Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's All About the Routine

My struggle with CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes) is no secret to those who know me and read this blog. I struggle with diabetes more than I do with my CF. There are few factors that aid in the struggle. I wasn't diagnosed with CFRD until I was 13 or so, whereas I haven't known life without CF. Another aspect that makes diabetes a struggle is that it requires multiple injections a day and numerous finger pokes whereas their is no poking on a daily bases to treat my CF.

I humbly admit that I was far from the model diabetes patient. For many years I did the bare minimum and tried to forget about it. Something changed about 9 years ago, I started to care. I started to see the importance of getting this aspect of my care under control. I began with baby steps so that I didn't overwhelm myself and throwing in the towel. I started to by committing to checking my glucose levels 3 times a day. As this became a routine occurrence each day I added something else. I kept building on this model and I started to see and feel results.

I am a learn the hard way kinda gal. I have to feel the impact before action is taken. It simply isn't enough to hear the statistics or even have the unpleasant symptoms described to me. I have to be affected to change course.

Fast forward to present day me. For the most part I have this diabetes thing under control. I have fit it into my life and it feels rather natural. I have a routine. Routine keeps me healthy. Routine keeps me on track. Because of routine I have learned what bumps me off course and what it takes to get back on course.

Of course, I could do even better. Which I continue to evaluate and make changes as I can handle them.  I have learned a lot from having diabetes. I have learned that diabetes truly requires one to be on top of their care for the immediate present while many of the treatments for CF are to help prevent damage in the future. Meaning, if my blood sugar drops too low I immediately feel the symptoms or worse will need to be rushed to the emergency room, but with CF if I skip a treatment there are no immediate symptoms.

This is why for me having a routine is essential. My routine helps me always know what's going on with my diabetes while being proactive with my CF. My hope is that I can keep my body in as good as healthy at this very moment as well as in the future so that I can be present in life with my family and friends.

A motivating saying I have posted to read every day is ....."Doing all my meds is NOT submission to my CF but rather FREEDOM from it." This is easily transferrable for any illness we struggle with. A routine allows this statement to be true.

Do you thrive in a routine?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Crepe Conundrum

The other night B got home before I did and I had asked him to start "thinking" about what he wanted for dinner. I usually try to meal plan the week before for the upcoming week so that it eliminates the stress of creating dinner each night. Truth be known I don't mind cooking or the clean up thereafter but I really hate trying to "think" of something or creating a meal out of what is in our cupboards. Come on, I know I am not alone in this?!

When I arrived home B had began making "breakfast" for dinner. One of my favorites. We usually do pancakes or waffles with bacon or sausage. But, yesterday he enter a new realm, a realm inwhich I am terrified. Crepes. He had read the instructions on the side of the pancake batter about making crepes. I have never made crepes and its one of those recipes that terrifies me. Crepes just seem so delicate and danty. But there he was just whipping them up like he'd done it his whole life. They were delicious!!

People tell me all the time how brave and stronge they think I am. I assure you that where I am strong and brave I have equal areas of weakness.Your areas of strength might be were I am weakest. Like B, he did not fear the batter and saw that crepe-making was just as easy as pancake-making. I did not see it that way. I was afraid of the crepes. Yes, this is over simplified but is it?

I started thinking about what other things I was afraid of that I really shouldn't be? What wonderful things am I holding myself back from that could easily be hurdled and give great joy?

Still not confident in crepe-making but thankful God gave me B so I could enjoy them at home.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Anniversary Week: Few Words Lots of Photos!

We are back from 9 days of glorious togetherness. After nearly 5 months of only having one day a week together we capitalized on the fact that our anniversary fell on Labor Day this year. B was able to take 4-days off from work, plus Labor Day, plus the weekend pre and post Labor Day!! We planned a great adventure, something I have never done, yet B grew up doing; backpacking.

We hiked with packs (backpacks load with the necessities of life for a few days) to 3 gorgeous lakes near Sisters, Oregon. 

Me with a 30lb pack on my back; after crossing a creek!!

B, with the heaviest load!
The first day was beautiful. Not too hot or too cold which made hiking relatively easy. Or easier than I had anticipated it being. I just love how every year we have celebrated our anniversary in different ways which has allowed us to see each other in different situations, under different circumstances thus lending to a deeper understanding of each other. B is a natural leader when outdoors and I am a happy follower, the dogs however don't know which direction suits them.

The first day we hiked fairly early in the morning so that we could set up camp and have time to relax before evening set in. 

#1 rule for survival is make camp and get a fire started. My leader taught me this.

After setting up camp, we took advantage of the amazing views. It was so great to not have our cell. phones, laptops, or even a radio. We simply sat on the banks and listened to the sounds of nature. I know this sounds hooky but its really calming and aided to a detox of life's frustrations.

I mean look at this view-

We set up camp just across the lake amongst the patch of trees.
Night fall sets in much earlier it seems out in the wild, probably because there are not lights to ward it off. So, I took to the tent to get cozy and do my nebulizer treatments. Yep, CF care doesn't stop even in the wild thanks to my portable battery operated compressor. I forwent the feeding tube feedings because I only do it 3-4 times a week and used the days camping as my off days. It should be noted that while in the tent I had ridiculously crazy hair due the static.

The first night was cold. We even each had a dog in the sleeping bag with us and we all were still chilly. Probably the location and altitude we were at.

#2 rule for survival is that snuggling close is essential for warmth. My leader taught me that.

Needless to say, we all were thrilled for the morning sunshine!

After letting the sun warm our bones, we packed up camp and headed to the second lake. For which we completely forgot to take pictures of. But I can assure you it was just as beautiful but also the smallest in the chain of three. The second lake was not far from the first so we hung out for a bit and continued on the third and final lake.

Once we got to the final lake we set up camp once again, gathered wood for the evening fire. The fire was the only way we ate. We shopped at  TJ's for dried foods that could easy be rehydrated with boiling water. It worked out great because dehydrated food is light when carrying everything in one's pack. We had oatmeal each morning, with hot tea. Had some indian fare with naan for dinner one night, mac n cheese another and of course hot coco. These types of foods were tasty yet easy to prepare with some hot water. We also had things like energy bars, crackers, etc. We used a water pump (very light weight) to get our drinking water from the lake. That water is naturally so refreshing, I actually am missing it. 

This entire experience was refreshing for my soul. The quietness, the calmness, the majesty of it all was surreal. I think most who have chronic illnesses and rely heavily on modern conveniences like electricity or running water to maintain health are afraid to do such things. I was. What if I got sick out in the middle of no where. What if, what if. I prepared as best as possible, had just visited with my doctors and took the leap. I am so glad I did. I actually wish the battery life in the portable compressor lasted longer so we could have spend some more time out there. I packed insulin and the neb treatments, they were kept cold by having them in tupper ware containers and placed in the lake (weighted down so they didn't float away). Then while hiking filling a water bottle with the cold lake water to keep the temperature down. In the end, it worked out wonderfully and I can't wait to explore more of our beautiful state this way. 

We were to the far left of the Three Sisters at the bottom of the far left ridge that has just a dusting of snow!
Happy 6th year to us. Each year presents new challenges and new accomplishments; both collectively and individually. I am so glad God placed us together to enjoy this journey with. B, you make me a better person, you gently push me to reach new heights, you allow me room to grow and I look forward to many more years with you. Together we can do anything, this I am sure of!

After backpacking we drove into Bend to shower at Gregor's (my bestie). Visited with her a bit and then headed to spend a day with my Nana. Such a great week. Oh, yes B wore the same cloths for 3 days, the only downside of the whole week :-)

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