Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Pleurisy

This is the first time I've ever had pleurisy. I didn't even know what it was until I surfed the web yesterday morning in attempt diagnose myself. Basically, pleurisy is an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs. My CF doctor thinks a virus caused it.

I went to see my PCP and kept my CF doctor updated on the results. The visit with my PCP was interesting. Let me first say my PCP isn't too keen on the idea of me getting pregnant. Last year, when I saw him after getting a (false) positive pregnancy test, he gave me a stern look and said, "This is serious!" A few months later, Greg saw my PCP so he could be tested for the CF gene, and my PCP told him "what a big deal" it is for me to get pregnant. So, when I saw him yesterday, the first thing he did was look at my list of current medications and ask, "Are you on birth control?" And when I said "no" he asked "why???" in a stern voice. (He didn't say anything else when I reminded him that Greg and I are trying to get pregnant.)

Knowing he had this attitude and that I am in the 2WW, I was a little nervous when he ordered a chest x-ray. The x-ray technician made a much bigger deal about this, and she really put my mind at ease. She was definitely concerned when I told her I was TTC but said one x-ray during the 2WW should be fine and to, "Just make sure you don't have anymore x-rays until you get your period." And, of course, she carefully placed the protective apron over my reproductive area.

After my x-ray (and blood work), my PCP came into the exam room all exited - "Good News! It's just a bit of pleurisy." He told me to take Advil or Aleve. When I expressed my concern about taking those drugs during the 2WW (because they can interfere with implantation), he said it shouldn't be a big deal, but that I could take Tylenol if I wanted to.

Needless to say, I am taking Tylenol ;)

Overall, I am very relieved it's only pleurisy. I was pretty scared the other night because breathing was very painful. Last night was bad too, but I think it's improved over the course of the day, so I think I am on the mend. And the virus hasn't affected me too much - it has just made me very tired (I slept 12 hours last night!) and put me in a bit of a fog.

Hopefully I will be back at work tomorrow!

It Hurts to Breath :(

This sucks! Last night I was relaxing on the couch, writing Christmas cards and watching "It's a Wonderful Life", when I suddenly started experiencing pain in my back. It hurt to inhale, cough, and burp. Hoping it was just a pulled muscle, I took some Tylenol and went to bed. At about 2:00 AM, the pain got bad enough to wake me from my sleep - I actually got a little scared. I decided to call the doctor in the morning, took some more Tylenol, and was eventually able to go back to sleep.

Now it's 9:00 AM. I left a message with the nurse at the CF center an hour ago, and I haven't heard back yet. And, of course, my mind is racing, wondering what it could be: pneumonia? pleurisy? pancreatitis? a pulled muscle?

I'm almost positive the doctors will want a chest x-ray, but I am in the 2WW, and, (as we all know), x-rays during pregnancy are usually a no-no. And it's too early for a blood test to tell if I actually am pregnant. So I am wondering how the doctors will deal with this.

I'll update as soon as I know more!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fertility Consult Scheduled

Today I learned it can take months to get an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). So, I decided to give my OB/GYN a call and find out what she wants us to do if we do not get PG this cycle (as she told me to call her after 6 months TTC). I spoke with a nurse, who first asked if we have been charting and/or using OPKs (to which I said yes). She then said Greg and I should come in for a fertility consultation and begin testing. My guess is she will refer us to an RE after that, but I'm not 100% sure. Our appointment is scheduled for the first week in January.

I am excited to begin this next phase! For the past few weeks, I have felt like we are just waiting to hit that six month mark (although we are still actively TTC). In the meantime, I am enjoying the Christmas season :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Genotype

I can't remember if I already mentioned my genotype within an earlier post, but I decided to dedicate a post to this topic so it's easier to find. (I know I am always curious to learn the genotype of other CFers.)

My genotype is DF508/R117H.

For those who don't know a bunch about CF, there is some correlation between geneotype and the severity of the disease, and this is why we CFers are often curious about the genotypes of other CFers.

Quick genetics lesson - it takes two copies of the CF gene for a person to have CF. (People who only have one copy are carriers.) From what I've read online, it seems the "milder" gene is always the dominant one. This is why I have mild CF. R117H is associated with mild CF and pancreatic sufficiency. DF508 is the most common CF gene, and, usually, a person carrying two copies of this gene will have "classic" CF (i.e., they will have more lung complications and be pancreatic insufficient).

I feel very lucky to be a carrier of one of the "mild" genes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Onto Cycle 6

And so begins our last cycle before it's time to call the doctor. I took it pretty well this time. Even though I had my hopes up for a few days, I've pretty much accepted that we will need some assistance in getting PG.

In the meantime, I am trying to focus on the positives of not being PG yet. There are lots of things we can still do that we won't be able to do anymore when I am a stay at home mom. Some of these are:
  • Greg and I get more time to be "yuppies" and go out to dinner, go shopping, travel, etc.
  • We have more time to save money for a new car, build our emergency fund, and do some home renovations
  • I get to manage the construction of my first design (did I ever mention I am an engineer?)
  • I also just found out I am going to manage and design a $6 million project
Plus, I can still drink wine, eat soft cheese, and sleep in! Oh, and there is the whole still being able to do what I want when I want to. I'm sure in two years when I am taking care of a baby I am going to look back at the current times with great fondness :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Toture is...

...when your temperatures are looking better than ever, (they have never been this high at 14 dpo), and you keep getting BFNs. This 2WW is killing me! I keep staring at my chart, hoping it will reveal something I missed the other 25 times I looked at.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CF & Gestational Diabetes

I recently learned on the CF forums that women with CF are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes. There is some great information in the thread here. I was aware the general CF population is at risk for developing diabetes - it is called CF related diabetes (CFRD), because it is caused by CF related damage to the pancreas.

I did a little bit of online research, and here is my understanding of gestational diabetes in a CFer:
  • The CF foundation describes the difference between CFRD and "regular" (Types 1 & 2) diabetes on their website. Basically, CFRD is a combination of Types 1 & 2 diabetes - the pancreas does not release enough insulin, and the body is resistant to insulin (due to constantly battling infections). 43% of adult CFers over the age of 30 have CFRD.
  • CFRD seems to be more common in CFers who are pancreatic insufficient (PI). (Pancreatic insufficiency happens when channels that secret digestive enzymes are blocked by mucus. A PI CFer must take digestive enzymes in pill form when they eat.) However, I don't think this means pancreatic sufficient (PS) CFers are not at risk for developing CFRD. Although PS CFers do not need to take digestive enzymes, there is still sometimes damage to the pancreas that occurs. For example, PS CFers are at a greater risk of developing pancreatitis (I suffered from this a few years ago). Therefore, it is my educated guess that even PS CFers are at some risk for developing CFRD.
  • The American Diabetes Association's website describes gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is similar to type 2 diabetes in that the body is resistant to insulin. They aren't 100% sure of the cause of gestational diabetes, but think it may have something to do with pregnancy hormones "blocking the action of insulin in the mother's body." 4% of "normal" pregnant women will get gestational diabetes.
  • I could not find many sources regarding the risk of gestational diabetes in women with CF. One study saw a rate of 14% (7 out of 49 patients). Another study found 7 out 8 pregnant CFers developed gestational diabetes.
So, it seems the risk of CFRD combined with the risk of gestational diabetes means this is something every CFer who is TTC should discuss with their doctor. I know I am going to ask mine about it at my next appointment!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to the ENT Today & Thrush

Today I went to the ENT for my 6-week post-surgery check-up. Everything looks good. From now on, he wants me to call when I notice my sinuses getting worse so he can do an endoscopy and suck all the gunk out. He said it should delay the need for another surgery and keep me feeling good. He wants to do this every six months at a minimum. I am excited about it!

On the thrush front, I finished my month of Diflucan about four weeks ago and the thrush started coming back. However, I think I've figured out how to manage it. I've noticed that drinking beer and eating sugary foods really cause it to come back, so I've cut way back on them. I've started gargling with Orithrush every evening and after I decide to splurge on a beer. I also break open an probiotic pill (I like Ortho Biotic) and drink it to get healthy bacteria in mouth (in order to crowd out the thrush). It seems to be keeping things at bay - I still get a little bit of thrush couple of times a week, but the Orithrush really helps knock it out right away. I even carry a small bottle of it in my purse. Hopefully I've found the solution!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cycle 5

AF arrived 11 days ago, and she hit me hard. I wasn't expecting it. I figured I would take it like each month prior: "Oh, well. Now we have more money to work on our house. Maybe next month." I mean, four cycles TTC isn't that long. It takes the average couple about six months to get PG, and a little bit longer for couples in their early 30s, (like us). But, for some reason, AF's arrival caused everything my doctors have said to hit me: We will likely have trouble TTC.

She came Thursday evening. I was okay. But I think part of me was hoping she would stop - after all, I was only 9 dpo and my luteal phase had never been that short. The next morning she was still there in full force. And then I realized we only had two more months to try before my doctor wants us to come see her for "help." That just didn't seem like enough time. I felt like we just started TTC. I got a huge lump in my throat and struggled not to cry at work.

I feel better now and have accepted things. Greg and I talked and he admitted that, in the beginning, he didn't believe we would have issues either, but now he understands we will probably need help. So, we started looking at our health insurance regarding coverage when it comes to infertility treatments. I also started doing some research. I asked the women on the CF message boards what our next step would likely be, and they agreed it would be Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). (You can see the thread here if you are interested). So, hopefully, all we will need is IUI to help Greg's boys get by my CM, and nature will do the rest :)

In the meantime, we still have a few months to give it our best shot!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Few Words About Toilet Paper

TTC involves many things I was clueless about before jumping on the baby-making bandwagon. One of these is the obsession with toilet paper. Once you decide to start charting, going to the bathroom is never the same again. I had no idea.

It comes in two phases. Phase 1 is the pre-ovulation phase, in which you stare at the TP in search of the elusive EWCM. And, if you think you see it, it sometimes hard to resist the urge to touch said TP just to see how stretchy the EWCM really is. And then you get a little grossed out by the fact that you just touched used toilet paper.

Phase 2 is the post-ovulation phase, which involves analyzing the TP looking for any sign of blood. In the middle of the 2WW, this can create lots of excitement (“could it be implantation bleeding?”) and fertility friend will increase this excitement by confirming that you do indeed have “possible implantation bleeding.” Later on the 2WW, any sign of blood is met with depression and frustration (“here comes AF again…another cycle is a bust”).

Actually, I think one of the blessings of AF (besides the excuse to drink heavily), is the break from TP analyzation ;)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It Looks Like I O'd!

Woot! My temperature was way up the past three days, so it's looking like I definitely O'd - I'm so happy being sick didn't delay it for long. The only question is: Did I O'd three or five days ago? If I adjust even one of my temperatures for the irregular waking times, Fertility Friend tells me I O'd five days ago. If I leave my actual temperatures in there, it tells me I O'd three days ago. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. Now we wait....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I am so ready to…Ovulate!

My body seems to be struggling to do its thing this cycle. About nine days ago, things were proceeding along as they usually do – a few days of EWCM, a high cervix, a positive OPK. But bronchitis got in the way and my body decided it wasn’t quite ready to O. So I waited a few days and the process started over again – EWCM, a high cervix, and a positive OPK. Then another positive OPK, then another positive OPK…and then another positive OPK.

Right now I am on day 4 of positive OPKs. Some reading-up at told me that my body geared up to O a second time, failed to O (probably because of the head cold), and geared up again right away. So I had overlapping LH surges, which gave me four days in a row of positive OPKs.

I must admit this has been a little torturous. Not only do I have the confusion of the OPKs, my chart is horrible and isn’t telling me much of anything because my temps were elevated when I had bronchitis, and now I keep waking up at 5am for no reason, which means I have to temp two hours earlier than usual (and this messes up charting). Plus, I am sick of analyzing my toilet paper every time I use the bathroom and fingering myself multiple times a day in attempt to clarify things. (And, because I’m sure enquiring minds are dying to know, my CM has continued to be fertile and my cervix was still high, so all fertility signs point to no O yet.) I am actually looking forward to the two week wait this cycle!

I can’t imagine how crazy I would be going if I had a really long cycle. I know this is nothing; some people have 60+ day cycles.

It’s mostly the constant gearing and then not Oing, combined with the crappy chart, that is torturing me. I hate feeling like I have no idea what is going on. So I was pretty excited this evening when I checked my cervix and it was low for the first time in weeks – maybe I finally O’d!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And...Now I have a Headcold!

Arrrrrghhh! For the past few days, I have been a sniffling, sneezing mess. At least my bronchitis is feeling much better :P

All of this sickness made charting a bit difficult this month. For a few days there, I had no idea what was going on with my body. My BBT temperature was elevated for a several days due to the bronchitis, so I had to discard all those days from my chart. But, based on CM, cervical position, OPKs, and when I usually O, I was positive I O'd Tuesday night. I was psyched because that would have meant we had perfect timing. However, once I started feeling better my temperature went back down - meaning I hadn't O'd yet. So it looks like my body geared up to O and didn’t because I was sick.

Luckily, I have started noticing the fertility signs again during the past few days. Fingers crossed that it actually does this time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Have Bronchitis

I am a bit frustrated! I usually don't have so many health issues back to back. Last Tuesday, I started noticing a slight pain my back while breathing in. I had pneumonia the last time I felt that way, but I told myself it was probably just a strained muscle. Plus, I was on colistin - if I was already on an antibiotic, how could I get an infection? I was in denial because I was going on vacation and didn't have the sick/free time to go to the doctor beforehand.

The pain went away on Thursday, but then my body started aching, and I starting coughing up some really nasty stuff. I just took Tylenol and chalked it up to bad allergies. We were in Maine on Friday morning, and that's when the coughing really started. I told myself it takes a few days to get the allergens out of my system. But, by the end of the day, I felt like absolute crap and crawled into bed early.

Saturday was a little better. I was still coughing up lots of nasty stuff and aching, but I managed enjoyed our hike and the fresh air made me feel a little better. However, on Sunday, I started feeling achy again, and I was still coughing, so I finally conceded defeat and admitted it was something more than allergies and that I needed to go the doctor.

Luckily, we were able to catch an earlier flight on Monday and got into Austin in time for me to make it to the doctor. A chest x-ray showed bronchitis. The doctor went through a few drugs before he settled on Levaquin as being safe while TTC. That night, my fever spiked to over 101 degrees, and I took Tuesday off from work.

When you have a chronic disease like CF, dealing with doctors and nurses can sometimes be interesting because you often know more about your condition than they do. This was the case on Monday. I always communicate with my CF doctor via the CF clinic coordinator, who is a nurse. After she spoke with my doctor, she called and told me the doctor did not have time to see me, so I should see my PCP or go to the ER. I asked her “so, should I make sure I get a chest x-ray and a sputum culture?” to which she laughed and replied “Dr. Smith said ‘she knows what to do, I’m not worried about her.’ Heck you could probably teach me!”

Then, at the PCP’s office, he sent me for a chest x-ray but didn’t mention a sputum culture. When I asked about this, he said, “We don’t do sputum cultures for lung infections because they are contaminated by mouth bacteria.” I then explained to him that CFers have unusual bugs in their lungs, so we always do cultures. He was surprised to hear I usually culture pseudomonas aeruginosa (which is very common for CFers and is a big reason we get sick and have lung damage). So he agreed we could do the culture (although I ended up not being able to bring anything up at the appointment). Next I hold him which antibiotics I am usually prescribed (Levaquin and Ciproflaxin), and he checked which was better for TTC.

Anywho, it’s now Wednesday evening and I am feeling a little better. The body aches are gone, and the nasty phlegm is reduced a bit, although I am still hacking like crazy. My back hurts again too. But my fingers are crossed that I am on the mend. I went to work today for about six hours, and it wasn’t too bad.

Of course, this whole bronchitis episode has affected TTC a bit. We weren’t able to be super-aggressive this month because I felt too icky. And my chart is messed-up because of the fevers. But, it I think I did ovulate despite the bronchitis (due to other fertility signs), and we still got a few “efforts” in, so hopefully that will be enough!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Fun Weekend!

Greg and I just got home from a weekend in Maine. I grew up in Maine, and I always get incredibly home sick this time of year - 90 degrees in Texas does not feel like fall to me! So we decided to escape the heat for a long weekend. We had a great time and really packed it in: apple picking, a hike in the Appalachians, a trip to the ocean, lobster eating, and, of course, there was lots of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale drinking going on. Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Apple Picking

The View from my Parent's Deck (Yes, I Grew Up Here!)

Casco Bay with Portland Headlight in the Distance

My Sister & I Peaking through a Window of the Fort near Southern Maine Community College

Hanging out at the Lighthouse near Southern Maine Community College (I was trying not to giggle in this picture)

At Table Rock in Grafton Notch State Park (it was cold up there!)

A Picture of the Foliage we saw on our Hike

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're Back in the Game!

We are officially in a TTC cycle now! Woot! Now we can finally begin our super aggressive cycle. Here's our plan of action:

For determining ovulation: Charting, OPKs, and CBEFM
For helping with CM: Pre-seed, Mucinex (twice daily), Green Tea Capsules
For getting PG: Lots of sex ;)

I am excited about this cycle because my CF doctor said it would be the perfect time for me to get PG - right after sinus surgery, so I don't have any sinus issues, and when my lungs are looking great.

My fingers and toes are crossed!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun Weekend!

This past weekend was Austin City Limits music festival! Greg and I have gone every year since it started seven years ago. We LOVE it! It's so fun to discover new bands, and to hear some old-school acts. My favorites this year were Hot Chip, John Fogerty, David Byrne, and Manu Chao. Here are some pictures from the weekend:
Our friend, Greg, and I (I don't know who is the random guy smiling in the background)

Friend and I at Hot Chip

After a Few Drinks......

Extreme Close-Up

It was Very Dusty!

Protecting my Lungs from the Dust

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recovered & More Thrush Stuff

I am officially feeling FANTASTIC after my surgery! I am not coughing at all, which is something I didn't expect, and I do not have anymore of that annoying post-nasal drip. And I am am amazed by how much better I can breath. It was soooo worth it!

So I never did provide an update on my thrush saga. A few weeks ago, my throat starting hurting so badly I winced every time I swallowed. I started seeing the white patches on the back of my throat again, so I went back to my PCP. He said I probably just had a virus, but took a throat culture to test for strep. It came back negative, and he reiterated that it was a virus. But, he called in a prescription for Diflucan when I whined that I thought it was thrush. A few days later I had my surgery and told the anesthesiologist I was on Diflucan for oral thrush, and he took one look in my mouth and said "your diagnosis is definitely correct!"

All I can say is Thank God for my brother and sister in law. I don't know why, but none of my doctors (CF doc, my PCP, or ENT) are taking this thrush thing seriously - they completely brush it off like "engh, it's not a lung infection." I want to scream at them "HELLO! I HAVE FREAKING MOLD GROWING IN MY MOUTH AND IT WON'T GO AWAY!"

My brother in law is a doctor, and my sister in law is a nurse practitioner. They are both very smart and understand that, I have been battling thrush for three months now, it keeps going away and coming back, so obviously I need something more than a few days of diflucan to completely wipe it out. They have me on four weeks of diflucan (100 mg) - something a few nurses told me there's no way in hell that any doctor would prescribe. But my sister in law says they do that at her for chronic thrush all the time. My fingers and toes are crossed that it works!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank You!

I just wanted to write a quick post thanking everyone for their well wishes (regarding my surgery). It's always very touching!

Friday, September 12, 2008

It Went Well!

My surgery went well! Yippee! I had hardly any nausea, and I am not anyway near as tired as I was last time. Hopefully this means I will be back at work by Tuesday at the latest.

I told the anesthesiologist about the 10 days of dizziness I experienced after my last surgery, and I let home know I have a vomiting phobia. He agreed phenegran most likely caused the dizziness, and he gave me 2 different anti nausea meds. He also gave me two medications for acid reflux meds and something for anxiety. The cocktail of drugs really helped - I didn't freak out much, (just a little bit of shaking and a few tears), and I had almost no nausea during recovery!

The only thing worse this time is the bleeding. After my last surgery, I only used one gauze pad to catch the bleeding from my nose, and I took it off about two hours after my surgery. Today I've been through about seven and wore them almost all day.

We were home by 11:00 and spent most of the day following hurricane Ike coverage. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by the storm.

Going In

I up super early, doing my medicine, because I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 ::YAWN::

The nurse said I should be in and out in three hours, which is sweet. I'll post more afterward, when I'm awake!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm an Emetophobe

Yep, I suffer from an irrational fear of vomiting, or emetophobia. I freak out if someone around me gets sick, and I am terrified of getting sick myself. And by “freak out”, I mean trembling so much my teeth chatter and breaking into a cold sweat.

I'll do almost anything to prevent getting sick. I have seabands in my nightstand, Dramamine in my purse, and a box of ginger tea in my workbag. When I do feel nauseous, I'll sit on the bathroom floor with a cool washcloth on my forehead, wrapped in a blanket in attempt to stop the shaking, asking God to stop me from throwing up.

I'm also an obsessive hand washer, and get really nervous when I'm around anyone who has recently been sick (I don't want to catch the stomach flu!). However, I am lucky that I have no issues eating (some emetophobes avoid certain food or just eat less overall to avoid getting sick).

I've had this fear for as long as I can remember. When I was young I would promise God that I would not eat any sweets for three days if he would stop me from getting sick - and I would stick to my part of the bargain. I actually had a 13-year no puking streak that was ended by a bad grapefruit. At the time, I remember thinking "I was afraid of that all those years? That was not so bad!" But my fear slowly came back, and, when I got sick again a few years later, (from too much alcohol mixed with too much Advil), the experience was so horrible my phobia came back in full-force.

This is going to be an issue if I get morning sickness, and it is something I think about a lot. I'm also very nervous about how I am going to take care of my future children when they get sick. I am considering visiting a hypnotherapist to see if it helps - the main reason I haven't yet is free time (I don't have much of it).

So, this is my biggest worry about tomorrow's sinus surgery - getting sick during recovery. Logically, I know it's silly, but I guess that's why it's called a phobia - because it's illogical.

I am hopeful because I did not get sick after my last sinus surgery. But I kept asking for more and more anti-nausea medication, which then made me dizzy and unable to work for 10 days after the surgery. So I am going to try to be strong and not ask for so much medication, because I cannot afford to take more than two days off from work (I only have two sick days, plus, I have a lot of work to do).

My fingers and toes are crossed that I stay strong, don't throw up, and don't freak out! ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm a CF Advocate

On Friday I met with a representative from my congressman's office (Congressman Michael McCaul). The cystic fibrosis foundation organized a nationwide initiative for people to meet with their Congressman and tell them their "CF story." The main points of the meetings are to make our Congressmen aware of CF and encourage them to vote "yes" on bills supportive of CF research and funding for CF patients.

Overall, I felt like a bit of a tool - I kind-of rambled my way through the meeting and forgot to mention a few key points about my CF story (such as my surgery scheduled for this week!). I think part of my problem is that my CF is so mild I felt like I was complaining about something I should feel thankful for - you know "feel sorry for me and vote on CF issues because I'm sooo sick..." The entire time I was wondering if she was remembering the terminally ill cancer patient she recently met with and thinking "Girl! You aren't sick! We've got WAY more important diseases to fight for!" (However, she gave ZERO indication of this and was VERY, VERY nice, and I really liked her).

The meeting definitely had some positive outcomes. She was not aware of the Congressional CF Caucus and was excited to hear about it. It would make me very happy to see his name listed on it sometime soon. She was also interested in learning more about local CF fundraisers, - it be awesome to see him at one of those! I just keep reminding myself of these positive outcomes so I don't feel too embarrassed :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CF & PG - I Just Learned Something New

A person on the CF forums posted a link to the Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc. (CFRI) webpage, which currently lists the slideshows presented at their annual conference. One of these is titled Sexuality and Reproductive Issues in Cystic Fibrosis. It has several slides on pregnancy and CF, and it lists a few facts I didn't know, including:

  • Not only do we have issues with thick CM, but we also lack ferning around ovulation (ferning is a mechanism that allows the sperm to swim through the CM)

  • Ovulation requires 100 calories - This could be an issue for PI (pancreatic insufficient) CFers who have trouble getting enough calories

  • A BMI of 20 and FEV1 of 50% is preferred before getting PG

  • CFers are at greater risk for gestational diabetes compared to non-CFers

  • Lung function is higher during a woman's lutal phase (after ovulation) that it is before ovulation

  • They really stressed that "It is motherhood not pregnancy that may impact on one’s health!"
The slideshow also listed a few things I'd already heard, including CM creating a sperm barrier, and the need for careful pregnancy planning with the CF team.

It is encouraging to see that so many women with CF are successfully having children!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fun Weekend!

Greg and I had a fun over Labor Day Weekend. Seeing as we can't get knocked up this month, we decided to spend lots of money this weekend ;) On Saturday we went to Home Depot and ordered a new vanity for our master bathroom. Then we went to dinner at The Driskill Grill - we had the chef's tasting menu with wine pairings and it was AMAZING - one of the best meals I've ever had. On Sunday we went to our friend's lake house, and yesterday I began working on "project organize our closets."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Everything is A-OK

My clinic visit went great! My pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are holding steady (FEV1 = 112%), and I was most excited about my sputum cultures (that’s when they test the junk in my lungs for bugs). My doctor showed me the results of my past four cultures and they were like this:

- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa & Staph Aureus
- Nothing
- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa & Staph Aureus
- Nothing

He said, basically, what that means is that I have very weak bugs, (meaning they are easily killed by antibiotics, e.g. my every-other-month of colistin), at low concentrations, and this is a big reason my lung function is so high.

My doctor is very please with my health and said once my sinus surgery is complete I should be in tip-top shape for getting pregnant!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clinic Visit Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first visit to CF clinic since Greg went with me to have the whole "TTC talk." That was four months ago. I wonder if they are curious to see whether or not I am PG yet....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Being Bad" = No Worries

AF arrived today, so we don't have to worry about the 0.00001% chance of having a three-headed baby caused by me taking Diflucan five days before we had sex.

The good news is that my BIL (the anesthesiologist) said we may not have to TTA this month! If that's the case, we're getting really serious - no more of this "sex every other day" around ovulation. And I'll be taking green tea capsules.

I have given up on OPKs - they don't show my peak until after I ovulate - how is that any help? So I bit the bullet and shelled out the dough for Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM). We'll see how that works.

Sorry I have been a bad blogger lately. My life has been unexciting and I have been lazy. I NEED to continue my CF story...and now I am distracted by my purchase of all four Twilight books.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20 Random Things About Me

Some people on the Nest had the idea for this post, and I like it and am stealing it :) So here are 20 random things about me:

1) I love cats and have two of them

2) I was a field hockey goalie from 8th grade through my senior year in college

3) Blue is my favorite color

4) I am a beauty product junkie and own way too many of them

5) I love cheese

6) I also love wine

7) I can do a cloverleaf with my tongue

8) I am obsessed with having a clean house, but my car is a pigsty

9) I can't stand Hugh Grant movies

10) Sometimes I wish I had become a teacher...and I think I may someday

11) Skiing is my favorite thing to do (and yet I live in Texas!)

12) If I haven't been clothes shopping in a month, it's been a while

13) I wish I still had a Maine accent (alas, I lost it after 10+ years living away from there)

14) I used to be really, really liberal, then I was really, really conservative, now I'm in the middle

15) I've eaten an entire tub of frosting in one sitting

16) I am very opinionated and have a hard time keeping my mouth shut (but I am learning!)

17) I am extremely close to my sister (she's 4 years younger than me)

18) I really want a Yorkshire Terrier (but Greg doesn't)

19) I grew up on a lake, swimming all summer for 18 years, and yet I still can't dive

20) I would rather hike up a mountain than lay on the beach

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Sinus Surgery for Me

I went to the ENT today. My CT scan showed my left sinus completely full of infection. I may also have a few polyps. Nasal polyps are very common with CFers, however, this is the first time I have had them. My surgery is in about four weeks. I'm bummed mostly because it means TTC is on hold for even longer.

However, we were bad last night and had "fun" without protection (I know, shame on us, but we were out of condoms ;), so there is a slight chance we could be pregnant this month. If we are, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue because I took my last Diflucan five days ago.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Going Back to the ENT

I had a CT scan of my sinuses done on Friday. Today I received a call from my ENT's office - he wants me to come back in. The lady on the phone couldn't tell me anything, but I'm assuming it's not good news if I have to go back :( My appointment is on Thursday, so I won't know until then. My fingers and toes are crossed that I am not going to need surgery - I just had it three years ago!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pity Party for One, Please!

I am so frustrated tonight I am almost crying. My oral thrush is back. With a vengeance. My tongue feels like I drank a gallon of boiling hot coffee this morning. On top of that, I’ve spent the past two days squirming in my seat because I also have it vaginally.

So the Clotrimazole didn’t work. The Nystatin didn’t work. The Orithrush didn’t work. The Biotene didn’t work. Taking probiotics didn’t work. Now I must move on to Diflucan. This means we have to take a month off from TTC.

Now, I know we have only been TTC for 2 months. But we were “wanting but waiting” for what seemed like an eternity, and having to take a TTC break so soon, combined with being so grossed out by my tongue I want to chop it off, and my crotch itching so much I want to scream, is making me sulk. I won't even be able to start the Diflucan until tomorrow evening because my brother in law (the doctor) has his phone turned off tonight. I feel so nasty.

And I can’t even wallow with a glass of wine or some comfort food, (ice cream and mac n’ cheese would be fab), because alcohol and refined sugars make it all worse :(

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Onto Cycle #3

AF arrived yesterday. Oh, well. As I mentioned a few posts ago, it's probably for the best due to my exposure to burning plastic. And every month we are unsuccessful means another month I am bringing in dough, so we get spend money on some extra things. This month it's project home improvement. I'm not sure if it will be a new coffee table, curtains, some stuff for the sitting area in our bedroom, or remodeling our bathroom. I do know, however, that I am headed to the mall today to buy some fancy sunglasses!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Insanity of the Two Week Wait

Anyone who is or has TTC probably already knows this: The two-week wait (2WW) is torture. I heard this before we started TTC, but it wasn't until I experienced it myself I realized quite how much torture it really is.

Oh, it starts out all well and good. The first few days are full of the excitement of seeing my temperatures rise and I getting those oh-so-anticipated crosshairs on my Fertility Friend chart. The next few days are not so bad either. But once 5 days past ovulation (dpo) hits, the craziness sets in.

I read somewhere on the internet that 5 dpo is the earliest the embryo may implant in the uterus, meaning it is the earliest pregnancy symptoms may be felt. And thus, it is when analyzing every possible body twinge begins: Was that implantation cramping or just gas? Am I nauseated due to very early morning sickness, or is it that sour yogurt I had with lunch? Do my boobs hurt because I am pregnant or because I did 40 push-ups last night? Is my tiredness caused by a growing fetus or getting only 5 hours sleep last night? And on, and on it goes. I will even admit to randomly grabbing and fondling my boobs just to see how much they really hurt, and sticking my finger in my chacha to see how much creamy cervical mucus I really have (because, did you know, that can be an early pregnancy symptom?).

And then 10 dpo arrives. Ah, the magic of 10 dpo. This is supposedly the earliest you can reasonably start taking pregnancy tests, although I have heard of people getting positives as early as 8 dpo. And, yes, I have caved and tested at 9 dpo in the past. But 10 dpo is the first day listed on the "dpo accuracy chart" for PG tests. Still, the tests are only 37% reliable at this point - not very good odds, and many women wait a few days more to begin testing. Not me. I am a self-proclaimed pee on a stick (POAS) addict. I am actually proud of myself that I have only taken two tests this cycle, and I am 13 dpo. Thank goodness for the dollar tree, where they have very reliable pregnancy tests (according to for $1 a pop. Otherwise, I'd probably be dropping $25 a month on pregnancy tests.

The problem with being a POAS addict is that it drives you to insanity. First comes the decision to POAS. For me, this usually happens in the evening. Because I know the insanity it causes, I really do try to resist the urge to POAS. I am usually very good about this when I wake up in the morning, but, in the evening, after I’ve had a glass of wine, my self-control goes out the window. At first I sit there debating it with myself…well, I have some symptoms (that could be PMS) temps look good (they looked like that last month)'s only a dollar. That last one gets me every time. So then, it's off to the bathroom. And this is where the excitement begins. I think to myself "these could be the last seconds of this phase of my life. Everything could be about to change." I feel my heart rate increase a little. And then I take the test and start at the test window as the urine goes across it. No test line shows up. I walk away for a minute and look again. Still no test line. Well, I should wait longer. A few minutes pass. No test line. Well, I've heard of some people taking almost 10 minutes to get a BFP when it's only 10 dpo. Five minutes later, still no BFP. And then I pick up the test and stare very intently, just to make sure there is no faint line on there. I tip in different directions to ensure shadows aren't hiding a possible faint line. I've even taken a test apart just to make sure.

And then, after wasting 15 minutes of my evening, I sigh and admit defeat. But not really. I think, "There’s still hope. After all, there's only a 35% chance of a positive if I am pregnant.” And those percentages continue to be my lifeline to hope. Even two cycles ago, when I got a BFN at 17 dpo, I held onto the fact that there was an 8% chance it was a false negative (but the arrival of AF later that day brought me back to sanity).

So analyzing symptoms continues. And this just gets worse as PMS kicks in, because Mother Nature likes to be cruel and makes PMS and pregnancy have the exact same symptoms. And even though I know this, the chance I may be PG has caused me to give in to my ravenous PMS hunger even more. After all, if I am PG and this hungry, the baby must need it, right? And then AF arrives and I want to cry when I can barely button my pants and have to resign to dinners of grilled chicken and rabbit food for the next week.

And of course, there is fertility friend, with its multitude of ways to spend endless hours analyzing my chart. My favorite is the "compare my chart" feature, which allows me to compare my charts to those of other people. I love do a search of charts that have the same post ovulation (O) temps as mine and see what percentage of matching charts resulted in pregnancy. Then I will do a search of charts with similar post O temps and coverlines and look at the percentages. Then post O temps, coverlines, and sex patterns. Then post O temps and sex patterns. And then perhaps a few other permutations before moving on to the chart overlay feature.

And then, finally, AF arrives. And it is bittersweet because I now officially know I am not pregnant, but I can also have my sanity back. For a few weeks anyway.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hoping for a Big Fat Negative :(

Last week I caused a near-disaster at our house. I have to boil my nebulizer cups to sterilize them after each use, and I have six of these cups so I only have to boil them every 3 days. Last week, I fell asleep while boiling them!

I awoke at 2 AM thinking, "What’s that smell?" and woke up Greg. He immediately said, "YOUR NEBULIZERS!" and ran into the kitchen. Not only had I boiled off all the water and melted the plastic cups, I had vaporized the melted plastic! There was nothing left in the pot except for some little blue rubber pieces. The living & kitchen were full of plastic smoke, and it smelled awful (and our smoke alarms didn't go off!). We opened all the windows and spent two hours outside waiting for the house to air out. We finally made it back to bed around 4 AM.

However, our house still stank of burnt plastic for several days afterwards, and there was a sticky film all over our laminate floors. We spent three days cleaning the floors and everything else in the house, I bought a new carbon filter for the air purifier, and we spent a lot of time with the windows open. The filter in the AC unit had plastic strings and beads all over it! The house stopped stinking this weekend. Phew!

Greg and I, being environmental engineers and knowing about the toxic things that can be found in plasticizers, knew this could be bad for us, and definitely for any baby that could be growing inside me. So, now we are hoping for a BFN this month. Sad :(

Friday, July 25, 2008

My ENT Appointment

Three words about my ENT: He is hot. During my appointment, he kept saying, "you are always smiling!" and I thought to myself, "maybe that's because you are so dreamy."

Anywho, he performed a nasal endoscopy on me and said that my left sinus (the one that has been hurting) was swollen. He wanted to perform a CT scan to see what's going on, but told me I needed to wait until I knew for sure if I was PG. Which means I'm either going back when I get my period, or not going to get one at all. He said, "it would probably be fine if we did one now and you are pregnant, but I would feel really guilty if your child ended up having three arms." He also told me he knows I am going to have a boy :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Something I Didn't Think About

When we decided to TTC, I knew there would be risks because 1) carry a baby is hard on a woman's body and 2) my medication options would be limited if I got sick.

Last week made me realize something I didn't think about: The face that #2 is true for the entire time we are TTC, because I could get pregnant at anytime.

Last week, my doctor told me to not even bother coming in for a sputum culture because there was only ONE antibiotic they could give me for my sinusitis. Being on that antibiotic made my thrush come back, and my options for thrush meds are limited as well.

Funny story about my thrush….I wrote a little while ago that I was going to ask my doctor for a prescription to wipe out my thrush and then I would prevent it with Biotene mouthwash. Well, I started using the Biotene right away, and it got rid of my thrush on its own! So I never did call my doctor for the prescription. On Saturday morning, I noticed it was back despite my continued use of Biotene. I did not want to wait until Monday to get a prescription, so I called Greg's brother, who happens to be a doctor.

I told him what was going on and he said he would call in a prescription for Diflucan. After I handed to phone back to Greg, I realized didn't ask him if it was safe to take Diflucan while TTC. So Greg asked and he said he would check and call back later.

I also happened to get a positive OPK on Saturday, so, a little while later, while Greg and I were cuddling, he called back and told Greg that Diflucan is a pregnancy class C drug, so it may be ok to take, but, if it were his wife, he wouldn't want her taking it. He wanted to know if I wanted Nystatin instead (this is a mouthwash that doesn't work quite as well as Diflucan). Greg said, "I'll ask her and call you back."

I told Greg I wanted the Nystatin, and Greg called his brother back right away and left a voicemail. Then Greg and I got busy ;) About two minutes later, his brother called Greg's cell. We ignored it. Then our landline rang. We ignored that too. Then he called the cell phone again. Then the landline again.

A little while later, I listened to his messages on our answering machine. They were something like this:

"Greg - where did you go? You JUST left me a message! Call me back.”

And then:

"Greg - ok, I've called you four times. Where are you? My guess is you either fell in a hole, don't want to talk to me, or Kristen is ovulating and you guys are humping right now." Of course, then Greg had to tell him "You guessed right!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Our Wedding Album is Finished!

Finally, over a year later, our photographer has finished our wedding album! Greg and I are very happy with the results and can't wait for it to arrive. Here it is electronically (the first slide is the front and back cover).

Friday, July 18, 2008

4 Hours Sleep Also = Blah

I woke up at 3:30 AM because my sinuses were draining so much that I had to move to the couch for a little while so I could clear my throat without waking Greg. I was able to go back to bed and prevent more drainage as long as I had four pillows under my head so I was pretty much sitting upright.

Then my freaking muscle in my side started twitching from my armpit down along my ribs. The only way I could make it so it didn't feel like someone was poking me in the side was to stretch out by putting my arm up over my head. But, because my head was propped up, that just made my arm fall asleep and was very uncomfortable.

Two hours, lots of tossing, turning and readjusting, and a few mental cuss-words later, I decided to just get up and go to work early. Fun times :P

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sinuses = Blah

I suffer from on and off sinus headaches, and I notice they are worse when the mold count is high. However, the past few weeks they have gotten worse. The sinuses below my eyes hurt all the way into my teeth, and the drainage is killing my throat and keeping me up at night. In the past, whenever I have called my CF and/or ENT doc about this, they said, "Take Advil and Mucinex and rinse your sinuses" so that's what I have been doing. (Actually, I do that anyway when my sinuses are not as bad as they have been lately.) I finally caved yesterday and called the doctor when I woke up feeling like crap, had been dreaming that I had body aches, and I took my basal body temperature and it was 99.5.

My ENT can't see me until Wednesday, so my CF doctor decided to put me on an antibiotic now. The phone exchange was rather amusing because I communicate with my CF doc via the CF clinic coordinator, (I'll call her Jane). Here’s how it went:

Jane calls and says, "The doctor wants you to come in tomorrow to get a sputum culture so we can identify what meds will work. He also wants to call in a med for you now, but needs to know if you are pregnant" I explain to her that I am not, but I may be about to ovulate and we had sex two days ago, so even if I used a condom now, I could still become pregnant at any time. She tells me she will call me back.

A few minutes later my phone rings and she says "The doctor doesn’t want to take any risks and is going to prescribe you Bactrim" to which I respond "I am allergic to Bactrim" she then says "Oh, well then I will call you back again." The phone rings a third time "OK, we found a med we can call in for you, but you don't have to come in for a sputum culture anymore because it's our last option!" So now I am taking cefuroxime for two weeks. I’ve never taken this one before.

She also told me I should not be taking Advil (ibuprofen) while TTC, and I should take Tylenol (acetaminophen) instead. A quick Google search taught me that Advil can interfere with ovulation and implantation. Good to know!

And I must add that I am wondering if:

flying stresses + being sick + advil = not ovulating anytime soon

Oh well. We will be shagging tonight anyway ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally Back from Vacation!

What a week! Last Wednesday Greg and I left for Pawley's Island, South Carolina. His family has vacationed there every year since he was three. It was a nice vacation. It rained quite a bit so we didn't get much beach time in, but it was nice to visit with Greg’s family.

My stomach was bothering me on and off Friday and Saturday. I think I may have picked up a mild stomach bug, but several people asked me if I was pregnant :P

Here are some pictures from this weekend:

Greg and I on the Dock at Night

Wow...Look at all the Stars

Now for the story of our trip home: It was awful! We were supposed to get home on Sunday night, but we did not make it back until last night (Tuesday). We stopped over in Atlanta on our way home. However, some storms in Atlanta shut down the airport for several hours, which cause tons of chaos.

When we checked in at Myrtle Beach, we were told our flight to ATL was 3 hours delayed because of the storms, and we were rebooked on an earlier flight to ATL so we could make our connection to Austin. However, as we were taxing to the runway, an engine caught fire and the cabin filled with smoke! At first we didn’t know what was going on – it was just very hot and smelled as if someone had gotten sick. Then the flight attendant told us what was going on and pointed out the smoke. Scary! Thank God we were still on the ground when this happened!

After deboarding the smoky plane, we saw the gate agent, who told us our flight from ATL to AUS was also delayed and we should make it, but he got us confirmed seats on a later flight to AUS just in case. He said that, if we miss the first flight, we just needed to get our boarding passes printed at the gate for the second flight in ATL.

So, we flew to Atlanta and then sat on the runway for an hour and a half. Then we sprinted (as much as we could…the airport was SO crowded!) to the first AUS flight, which is cancelled about 15 minutes after we got to the gate. So we went to the gate of the second Austin flight and wait in line for THREE HOURS to get our boarding passes printed. However, when we tried to board the plane and the gate agent told us "whoops, you don't have seats on this have seats on the TUESDAY NIGHT flight" At this point it was 1 AM and it was all I could do to not cry.

Delta wouldn’t put us up in a hotel because the delay was weather related, but I was able to find a hotel with available rooms and made a reservation. We then waited in the taxi line for another hour, got to the hotel and waited in line to check in for a half hour, and finally make it to bed at 4 am. We took a cab to the mall the next day because Delta wouldn’t even give us our luggage during our two day wait to fly home, so we needed a change of clothes and some deodorant, (and I used this as an excuse to buy some fancy moisturizer ;).

The airport was INSANE on Sunday night. There were thousands of people in the same boat as us. The line to be rebooked was over 5 hours long, and all it did was go to a bank of phones that called India! One man said he waited in that line only to wait on hold for another half hour. Another woman we talked to waited in line to speak with a gate agent for four hours, was five people from the front, and the agent said, "We’re closing, come back tomorrow morning."

Now, I completely understand the airport had to be shutdown for safety, flights were cancelled for safety, and we couldn’t get on a flight for two days because there simply wasn’t enough room for us. I even understand why Delta can’t afford to put a few thousand people up in a hotel room. But:

Dear Delta,

Please hire more employees to help us stranded passengers. Standing in line for 3-5 hours just to learn what the heck is going on is unacceptable. In addition, please include more baggage handlers when you do this hiring, because, the least you could do is give us our luggage if we are going to be stuck for two days. I would pay a lot more for a ticket if it meant that I wouldn’t have to go through this again.

Pissed-off in Texas

The 5 Hour Rebooking Line - The Length of the Entire Terminal, in Both Directions!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Going on Vacation (Again)

Greg and I are leaving for South Carolina this afternoon! His family has vacationed there every summer since before he was born. It should be some nice time for me to read and relax on the beach. After we get back, things should be a little less busy in our lives, and I will have more time for blogging. I'll be sure to post pictures from our trip!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Onto Cycle #2

Well I got a wonderful 4th of July present: AF arrived. Luckily, I wasn't upset because it means one more month that we can save some money and buy some things we'd like for the house. I think I'll have this attitude for at least the first few months. (Although, I will be over the moon if we get PG.)

A summary of my second cycle off BCP (our first TTC): This cycle I was more bloated than the previous one, and my skin broke out right before AF - that's something that never happened to me while on BCP. Hopefully, the skincare products I bought this weekend will take care of that ;)

In other news, I have thrush again :( I am not pleased about this! I just got rid of it two weeks ago, so I decided to go the alternative medicine route and picked up some Orithrush at the homeopathic pharmacy. I also started taking a probiotic. The Orithrush sort-of works, but not 100%. I think I am going to ask my doctor to call in another prescription for me, and then start rinsing with Biotene every time I use Advair. I read on the CF forums that Biotene works to prevent thrush, so hopefully that will do the trick!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

CF Pregnancy Board!

I know I posted about the CF Forums a few weeks ago, but today I finally got around to really surfing through them, and they have a message board specifically for pregnancy! I'm so excited for this wonderful resource! Now I'm off to surf through past posts.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!

I’m sorry I haven't posted in a while. Greg and I had a crazy busy week. Some friends of ours were in town visiting last week, and we went to Nashville over the weekend to celebrate Greg's brother finishing his anesthesiology residency. Now we are playing catch up.

On other news, I got a promotion (and a 10% raise) on Friday! Whooo-hoooo! This will really help us build our emergency fund.

I have so many things I have been wanting to blog about, hopefully I will get around it soon. In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures from the weekend:

Greg and His Brother at the Ryman (The Old Grand Ole Opry)

Me at the Hotel

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What We Are Doing About Cervical Mucus

A few posts down, Carolyn was kind enough to comment that she knows women with CF who have taken guaifenesin (which is in Robitussin and Mucinex) to help thin their CM. I figured it was probably a good idea to mention what we are currently doing to deal with this issue.

My doctors said we will likely have trouble getting PG because of the thick sticky mucus, which is the primary reasons CFers get sick. This mucus is difficult for our cilia to sweep out of our lungs, so it ends up stuck there, growing bacteria and causing lung damage. It also clogs ducts in other major organs of many CFers, such as the pancreas, which is why most CFers must take pancreatic enzymes with food. (I am on of the lucky 15% of CFers who is pancreatic sufficient, which means I do not need these enzymes, and is a big reason I am so healthy.)

This problem with this thick, sticky mucus also includes cervical mucus. Sperm have a hard time swimming through it to reach the egg, and there is often a mucus plug at the opening of the cervix, creating a sperm barrier.

I am very surprised that none of the three doctors I have seen about getting PG (my CF doctor and two OB/GYNs) have mentioned any action we could take now to address CM issues. However, thanks to the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Nest message boards, I did learn about taking guaifenesin, which I was taking anyway for my CF. The book and message board also taught me about Pre-Seed, which is a lubricant that mimics fertile quality CM,and we are using that as well.

I've also heard that taking evening primrose oil and drinking green tea can help with CM issues. I am not trying either of those yet, but may in the future if we have trouble TTC (and yes, I will talk to my doctor before trying the evening primose oil).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

First Comments!

I must admit that I was very excited when I logged in today to see that my blog received its first few comments. Thanks for the compliments on my Glacier pictures, and your prayers and encouragement!

I've noticed on Google Analytics that most of my traffic comes from The Nest message boards. This is not a surprise considering I have a link to my blog in my siggie, and I haven't told any family or friends about it, (because I’d rather they not know all the sordid details about us trying to get pregnant!).

So, for the nesties who may read the comments and wonder who Nathan and Tricia are, check out this blog. It’s by a man who married a woman with CF, who was preparing for a lung transplant when they learned they were pregnant. It is an amazing story that will make you laugh, cry, and strengthen your faith in God.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back From Glacier!

Greg and I just spent five days in Glacier National Park! Beautiful is not a strong enough word to describe it. If you ever get the opportunity, definitely take the time to visit! We hiked about 30 miles during our stay, so I got a great workout! We spent two nights in hotels and two nights camping. And yes, I did skip my treatments while I was there (blushing). Luckily I'm on an "off" cycle of Colistin and I took my albuterol inhaler, so I was only skipping hypertonic saline.

Here are some of my favorites of the 330 pictures we took:

On Top of the World at the End of Scenic Point Trail

Greg Hiking to the Sky

Amazing Reflection at St. Mary Lake

How Insane is That Reflection?

Who Turned the World Upside Down?

Huge Trees on Trail of the Cedars

Getting Wet at Virginia Falls

Dirty Hikers Eating a Hearty Breakfast

The Many Glacier Hotel - Where We Spent Our Final Night

There are Three Glaciers in this Photo, But They are Snow Covered

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I went to a new OB/GYN today. I decided to find a new one after my previous OB/GYN told me she would see me for the first trimester, but then would I have to see another doctor at the same office. I wasn't very comfortable with that, so today I went to see Dr. Jones. I love Dr. Jones! She went over things in great detail and really listened to me. I learned a few new things today, including:

  • I should start taking a DHA supplement because it's been shown to help with fetal brain and eye development
  • If I spend any significant time around children, I should be tested for immunity to rubella, because it's been shown to cause birth defects (however, I don't spend time with children, so I don't need this)

Dr. Jones also said the same thing my previous OB/GYN told me - that we will probably have trouble getting pregnant and that I should come see her if we are not pregnant in six months. Fingers crossed it won't come to that!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Have Thrush :(

I went to my Primary Care Physician (PCP) this afternoon because my throat has been hurting and I noticed some white patches on it. It turns out that taking an inhaled antibiotic (Colistin) and corticosteroid (Advair) has given me oral thrush. It's not that big of a deal, except that the thought of having a fungus growing in my mouth grosses me out to no end!

This used to happen to me when I was on 250/50 strength Advair, but it stopped when my CF doctor dropped my dosage down to 100/50. Last month, when I asked my CF doctor to calle my refills in to the mail order pharmacy, he accidentally prescribed the 250/50 for me again. My fingers were crossed that I wouldn't get thrush this time, but, no dice. The sucky part is I have to keep using the 250/100 for two more months because my insurance won't pay for the 100/50 until I use up the prescriptions they already paid for. Boo. Time to stock up on gentian violet.

(My doctor wrote me a prescription for clotrimazole, but I don’t have the time to go to the doctor to have it refilled every time I get thrush. Gentian violet is an over the counter treatment I can get at the holistic drugstore, and my doctors have confirmed it works, but it is messy, and painting it onto the back of my throat makes me gag A LOT!).

Week 4 Off Birth Control

Most of Week 4 was just like Week 3, except I got my period 17 dpo. So my first luteal phase was 16 days. AF was very light (but definitely more than spotting) and lasted about 2 days (awesome). Now I am onto Cycle 2 off BCP and Cycle 1 of TTC!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cycle #1 of TTC!

I think this is one of the few times in my life I have been this happy for AF's arrival. She showed up today, which means we are officially on Cycle #1 of TTC! Now time for some Advil.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My CF Story (Part 2)

My CF symptoms started around age 11. When I was in 5th grade, I developed a constant stuffy nose. I always needed to blow it, and it was this thick yellow mucus, not your wimpy watery nose stuff. At the time, I didn’t know this was CF related, but, in retrospect, I realize it was. I blew my nose so much that my teacher told my mom “her nose-blowing is disruptive to the class” (this teacher was like one of those devil-teachers you read about in books). My mom went ballistic, of course.

Then, at age 12 (6th grade) I developed pneumonia. I remember playing with my friend on a Saturday and saying I felt weird, and she said “you are short of breath” – I didn’t even know what that meant! The next day, I had a fever of 101. The third day, my fever was even higher and my mom took me to the CF clinic in Portland. A doctor saw me, some chest x-rays were taken, I was diagnosed with pneumonia, we were given meds, and we were sent home. I remember having such a hard time breathing that I was putting Vick’s vaporub under my nose.

That evening, my temperature spiked to 105 and I could not breath at all, so my mom rushed me to the ER. I remember the nurses pretty much attacked me the second I walked in – I must have looked really sick! The nurses ripped off my clothes and rubbed me down with alcohol and put a Tylenol in my butt to get my temperature down. Out of everything that happened, I remember the feeling of the Tylenol up my butt annoyed me the most…in retrospect, I think that’s bizarre, but, when you are a child, I guess you just don’t always realize how serious things are. I also remember the doctor had such a hard time getting the IV needle into my vein that my mom almost fainted and had to leave the room.

It turned out that my lung had collapsed and my throat was so swollen they almost had to perform a tracheomety. I spent that evening in ICU, but I responded phenomenally to the antibiotics and was moved to the children’s ward the next day. I spent 10 days in the hospital, and for some time after I was discharged, a nursed visited my home daily to administer IV meds.

When I was older, my mom told me the head doctor at the CF clinic yelled at her in the ER for not taking me to see him earlier in the day. And, the CF clinic changed their policy based on this incident – from then on, anyone who came in with an infection was immediately admitted to the hospital. My mom was also told by my doctors that I may have died that night if she had not brought me into the ER. And, that was when they said “yes, now we definitely know she has CF.”

My Fantatstic 5th Grade School Photo

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Week 3 Off Birth Control

Week 3 has been all about waiting for AF to arrive so we can officially begin Cycle 1 of TTC! Here are my observations of Week 3, comparing them to my PMSing week while on BCP (AF should be visiting any day now):

  • I have been coughing up more mucus than normal. I have no idea what is up with that, and I don’t this it’s related to being off BCP, but it is a bit concerning. I feel fine, but I cough up a bunch of green gunk every morning, usually between the hours of 10 & noon.
  • I haven't experienced any acne, something I've heard many women just off BCP get while PMSing. This is a plus!
  • I had some very strong AF cramps last Friday (8 dpo). I did not get PMS cramps while on BCP. I was positive AF was going to arrive the next day and was worried that I may have a short Luteal Phase (LP). The LP is the time between ovulation and AF, and if it's too short, the egg doesn't have time to implant. However, the cramps went away the next day and haven't been back (yet).
  • My breasts are not as swollen and sore as they were when I was on the BCP. However, they are still a little sore.
  • I haven't had the same ravenous hunger, but I have still been pretty hungry, and it has lasted more days than it usually does.
  • (TMI warning) I usually get super "in the mood" while PMSing. Not so much this week :P
  • For most of the week, I was more tired than usual and had a very hard time doing cardio. I would get exhausted easily and have to take frequent breaks while working out. I did not have this problem today, though – I felt great on 7 hours sleep and worked out like a champ. that I am typing this, I am slightly concerned that this may be related to the first bullet on the list...I must keep an eye on that.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No eFlow :(

(I had to wait a few days to post this because I was so upset.) The CF coordinator returned my call on Thursday and said they will not prescribe an eFlow for me because it hasn't been FDA approved for certain medications. Thus, my dreams of actually having time to spend with my husband during the work-week were quickly crushed.

This news was especially hard to take because I am currently in the middle of an "on" cycle of colistin, which has been taking me a half hour to do lately. This means I’ve been spending two hours a day doing my meds. I try not to complain about this too much because I know I am blessed to be so healthy, but today is my complaining day :P

The thing about being so healthy is that no one really sees me as having CF. This is great most of the time, except that people expect me to have the free time that every "normal" person has. I don't skip happy hours because I am anti-social. I don't decline putting in the extra hours at work because I am a slacker. I didn’t give up learning the violin because I am boring. I physically can't do those things because I have to take care of myself. And it’s gotten harder to squeeze things in as more meds have been added to my regimen. Here's my typical weekday:

6:30 am - alarm goes off
6:30-7:30 - do my meds
7:30-8:15 - get ready for work
8:15-9:00 - drive to work
9:00-5:30 - work
5:30-7:00 - drive to the gym and work out
7:00-7:30 - drive home
7:30 - 8:00 - take a shower, check the mail, say hi to Greg & the cats
8:00 - 9:00 - eat dinner & clean up (that Greg has cooked for me)
9:00-10:00 - do my meds
10:00 - 10:15 - get ready for bed
10:15 - in bed

So, during the week, I have about an hour and half a day that I get to talk to Greg, and there is no time for working extra hours or hanging out with friends. I seriously do not know how CFers with children have jobs. There is no way on earth I could ever do that!

Luckily, on the months I am not taking Colistin, I get an extra hour of time each day, and I feel much less stressed. I also usually take Thursdays and Fridays off from working out, so I have an extra hour to play or run errands on those days. I am just very stressed a lot of the time because I can't live up to expectations that others have for me, or those that I have for myself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Want an eFlow!!!

So I just found a CF message board ( and read about a nebuliser called eFlow ( Apparently, this makes taking meds go much faster. It takes like half the time compared to what I am using now. If I could get one of these, I would have an extra hour of free time every day!!! I want one soooooo badly! Tomorrow I'm calling the coordinator at my CF clinic to learn more about this!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Week 2 Off Birth Control

The big news of Week 2 is that my chart shows I ovulated!!!! Now, this is exciting for a CFer because research has shown that we are less likely to ovulate than non-CFers. However, a few odd things did happen: I never got a positive OPK (although I could have missed my surge), and I didn't have any fertile CM until after my temperature rise. I don't know if this is a result of coming off the pill (because cycles can be out-of-wack after the pill), or something else. I'll just have to wait and see over the next few months.

Other than that, this week was similar to the first (less bloat, more sex drive), except I did experience some ovulation pains and a lot of nausea the day of ovulation. Now I’m just waiting for good ol’ Aunt Flow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My CF Story (Part 1)

I met CF mother on the baby boards yesterday, and she mentioned to me that it was inspiring to hear from an adult with CF who is doing well. That touched me so much and made me decide to share CF story for any CF parents who may read this. This is a relatively long story, so I will tell it in multiple parts. Here is Part 1:

I was born in November of 1976 in Portland, Maine. A few months after I was born, my grandmother was playing with me and nibbling on my toes, when she exclaimed, “Oh my! She is so salty!” This concerned my mom, who had heard babies with salty-tasting skin should be tested for CF, and mentioned this to my pediatrician at my next appointment. The doctor shrugged it off and said “there is no way she has CF” because I had no symptoms or family history of CF. However, my mom, wanting her fears relieved, insisted they perform a sweat test to confirm I did not have CF. Much to everyone’s shock, the sweat test results were positive.

Me as a Baby (Wasn't I Cute?)

My parents refused to believe that I had a fatal disease and took me to the Children’s Hospital in Boston for second opinion. Again, the doctors said, “there is no way she has CF” but the sweat test came back positive.

My parents were told that I would probably live about 16 years.

So began a lifetime of medication for me. I remember being very young and taking this gross liquid medication daily (it was an antibiotic) and fighting my parents tooth-and-nail over taking it. I also remember having to start every meal with a bowl of applesauce that my mom had emptied my digestive enzyme capsules into – I hated it when the little enzyme beads would be stuck in my teeth because they tasted awful.

However, I never exhibited any symptoms of CF for years. I remember my doctors sweat testing me again when I was older just to make sure I really did have CF. It wasn’t until I was 12 and got really sick that my doctors conceded that yes, I had CF.
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