Over the weekend, I celebrated Christmas with Ethan's family at his Grandma's house. Every year they have a tradition of serving bagna cauda. This is an Italian dish that is much like fondue in which you cook meat and veggies in a mixture of garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and butter. Each person makes their own serving and the oil stays hot for most of the party so you can eat as much as you want, when ever you want. It is actually really good. Except for one part...the smell.
It's not really that it smells bad necessarily. It's that the smell saturates everything in the whole house. Clothes, shoes, purses, jackets, hair, every possession inside the house. This smell is a topic of concern and conversation each year. First there is this big build up to the day...no one can talk about going to Grandma's for Christmas without mentioning the smell of bagna cauda. There is strategy...only bring items inside which you only really need and leaving everything else in the car. There is the aftermath...carrying cloths home in plastic bags, showering at the first chance, and of course the complaining about how bad everything smells.
This is the 11th Christmas Ethan and I will be celebrating together. And although I have not spent each year at Grandma's, I've been around long enough to know the controversy over this smell. The build up and worry over the smell is such a big deal, I've actually been under the option that most just take it a little to far. It kind of gets old year after year, the same comments...just wash your clothes it will be ok. Well, I thought this way until my experience this year.
Being a good CFer, I of course took time out of the party for treatments. I took my nebulizer upstairs, away from the party and the food and the guest to have a little privacy and not have my loud equipment disturbing others. I did my treatments, washed the cup, packed it up, and went about my business. The next day, back in my own home, I started doing my treatments and I could actually taste the bagna cauda in the meds. At first I just thought I would need to sterilize my cup, but then I realized the compressor itself had the smell in it. IN IT! I could actually smell this stuff in the fan and coming out of the tubing. After running the machine for about a half hour (not while using it, just letting it run) it still smelled. I finally realized that the constant comments about the smell were not an exaggeration . It was really. I was now too a victim of the bagna cauda.
I actually had to order a whole new nebulizer. Luckily, my doctor order the new machine and it was delivered to me the same day. And with no co-pay. I was really worried that I would miss a bunch a treatments waiting for a new machine, but the insurance was really responsive. Even though I have been with my new insurance two years now, I still can't believe how much better it is then what I had before. Seriously, it probably would of taken three weeks just to get the order approved with my old company. If there is one positive thing I can say about having CF, it is that my team takes my health and well being very seriously. For this I am thankful.