04.08.14

pancake therapy

there’s a little nook somewhere in the caverns of my right lung that always seems to be where the crud wants to live. any time i have a cystic fibrosis exacerbation that spot always sounds crackly and gross through a stethoscope, and is very apparent on x-rays and ct scans.

last wednesday i woke up and coughed and lo, that spot hurt. and then i was all like “well shit.”

and i don’t know what happened, but rather than my usual wait-it-out-to-see-if-it-develops-into-anything approach (aka waiting until i’ve gotten past the point of no return) i did a responsible cf adult thing and reached out to my doctor to see if i could schedule an appointment so he could take a listen to my lungs.

want to know what being responsible and proactive got me?

HOSPITALIZED.

uh huh.

truth.

the doctor told me i could come for an appointment that afternoon, sure. “and bring a suitcase,” he said. and then i was all like, “well shit,” and then i ate a lot of pancakes and bacon. pancake therapy is the best therapy.*

here are a few bad things about being the hospital:

– the accommodations
– the doctors

sleeping in a hospital bed with hospital sheets and showering in a hospital shower gives me the heebie jeebies. other sick people have slept in that bed and they have showered in that shower. yes. i know. the linens are clean. i don’t care. it’s weird and i don’t like it. i bring my own pillow and sleep on top of the blankets. i bring my own towel and maybe i shower with my eyes closed BECAUSE IT’S WEIRD. also, hospital beds? worse than dorm beds. for real. i always have horrible sciatica flare-ups when i’m in the hospital, the kind with pain radiating from my tush all the way down to my kneecaps.

the doctors… oh, the doctors.

when you have cf and you’re at the hospital you are actually seen by no fewer than 500 doctors.

there are general hospitalists. they’re the docs who stay on the floor. there’s an intern and a resident and an attending. sometimes the hospitalists are great and sometimes a toddler could do their job more effectively. without fail, every morning at about 6:30 am, one of them comes into my room, wakes me up, and then asks, “HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY LEANN?!” and i just stare at them blankly because 1. they just woke me up and 2. THEY JUST WOKE ME UP and therefore the only feeling i have is anger.

there are the pulmonogists. not my regular cf pulmonologist. just the pulmonologists who are on call at the hospital on any given day. i don’t like them purely because they’re not my own doctor. and also because sometimes i really question how much they know about how hospitalizations with cf patients work.

there are the infectious disease doctors. these guys are totally badass. they’re always super knowledgable and they draw/take pictures of your germs for you. they’re the ones who study the cultures and make sure the medications are working. they’re also the ones who decide when you get to leave the hospital.

and then, finally, there’s my cf team. someone from the office stops by each day just to check on things.

that’s 4 groups of people.

the best part about being seen by four different groups of people is nothing. there is almost nothing good about this because nobody talks to each other. seriously. each team of doctors has a slightly different interpretation of why i’m in the hospital, what my lungs sound like, what tests i need, and so on.

it happens every time i’m in the hospital and yet it always blows my mind harder than the time before.

one full week in the hospital and then they finally let me go home. and then someone, somewhere made a stupid mistake and goofed on my at-home treatment orders. which, while stupid, was sort of nice because i got a full night’s sleep in my own bed. with my own sheets.

i’m stuck with at-home iv antibiotic (and probably pancake) therapy for a few weeks but i’m at home so it’s not so bad. ┬áplus, i feel better so i win!

in other news: i went to visit friends in washington dc and it was awesome. i re-connected with a college friend and it was awesome. i attended an annual family brunch and it was awesome. i’m traveling to chicago to visit more family and i’m certain it will be awesome.

i’ve watched so much hgtv over the last few weeks. all i want to do is buy a foreclosed house for $5 and remodel it head to toe. if you have a wall that needs sledgehammering or a backsplash that needs re-tiling or ikea furniture that needs assembly please please please HOOK. ME. UP.

i mean COME ON.

*iv antibiotics are actually a better therapy but they don’t taste like pancakes.
[image 1: lungs by hanecdote, image 2: my scandinavian home]

dear 2013,

adios amigo. you made me a very, very tired girl.

you were dubbed ‘the year of yes’ and i’m pleasantly surprised by how well i was able to stick to it. in the past, my default answer to invitations and such was at best “uh, maybe” but i have fully embraced the power of YES.

some of my favorite parts of you were:

– traveling to mexico to relax and watch my best friend of 26 years get married. it was fun to live like a real housewife of riviera maya for a few days.

mexico

– traveling to austria and hungary. even though it was freezing and raining or snowing the whole time. i fell in love with budapest!

europe

– rittenstrong wedding! i only cried a few times during emma’s wedding weekend, danced my tush off, and soaked up as much family time as possible.

wedding

– portland. this might have been my biggest yes of the year. a last minute trip to the west coast in which i seriously considered “accidentally” missing my flight home. forever.

pdx

– booooks! i finished reading a ton of books that were works in progress, and discovered some new authors that are now my favorites.

books

– standing 2 feet away from the girl with a pearl earring. in the past few years i’ve been out of touch with the part of me that adores art, and standing in front of this beauty rekindled that fire.

art-denim

– FINDING JEANS THAT FIT. i never knew denim could bring me so much joy. as a five-foot-tall-chicken-legged girl with cystic fibrosis, finding pants that fit from tush to toe is impossible. (madewell, my savior.)

some of my least favorite (and therefore undeserving of pictures) parts of you were:

– sickness x2. i thought my days of multiple cystic fibrosis exacerbations a year were long behind me, but i was wrong. that i got to do 90% of the iv treatments from home as opposed to in the hospital did not even kind of soften the blow(s).

– the anxiety attacks that never ended and made life miserable.

– godzilla kidneys stones that made me sad for many, many weeks. i particularly disliked the 5-hour car ride to hilton head in the way way back of a car during a bout of stones.

– eating a plateful of white truffle rosemary garlic french fries. they were good for about 10 minutes. and then miserable for about 3 days. live and learn.

2013, you were mostly awesome and fun and for that i am most thankful, albeit a little worn out. (and i learned to say yes to naps!)

2014… i’m gonna rock you. so hard.

love, leann

[all images are my own except for the denim, which came from madewell]

09.16.13

oh hi.

i’m back. four months later. you’re welcome.

i have so many good reasons for ignoring the blog. swears. here they are:

– i went to mexico
– i went to europe
– i got sick
– my sister got married
– i got kidney stones
– i had anxiety attacks
– i went to the beach
– i had a birthday
– i went to portland
– i’m sometimes tired and sometimes lazy

basically, i’ve been to all of the places and i’ve done all the things and i’ve got all the feelings and this poor little blog just got shoved to the back corner of that one closet where you keep the coats you don’t want anymore but don’t want to part with quite yet.

sorry, blog.

BUT BUT BUT!

i’ve pre-written lots of goodies for you, so things will be poppin’ up on the regular for a while. you’re welcome.

here’s a sneaky peak photo from my trip to europe. it’s one of my favorite shots from schonbrunn palace in vienna.

schonbrunn