Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tomorrow I see the doctor

First off, Happy New Year everyone. I hope that 2013 is a spectacular year for everyone full of celebrations.

Several of you have been asking about my health and I just wanted to say thank you. Recently I've been writing a lot about silly things to keep my mind off of my health though I will say my top ten things I've learned about the bowl games was very impactful (ha ha!). I don't openly talk about my health in person but I do tend to write about my feelings on my blog so here goes.

Tomorrow is the big doctor's appointment. My numbers have been down lately and I've been on multiple antibiotics. My last appointment was disappointing but still it was only 4 points down (it's been down by as much as 30 before). In the past, I would have gotten depressed, blamed the world and lamented about the appointment for weeks. I have changed the way I see "bad" appointments now. I give myself a day to get upset and then when the alarm clock beeps at 6am the next morning, it's time to "RISE UP!" I stole that from Samuel L. Jackson and the Falcons so forgive me.

I now look at these "bad" appointments as challenges to return to my old form. I think about things that doctors have said in the past.

"As you get older, your numbers are likely to decline."

"Working out will probably not do a whole lot for your overall health."

"Don't overdo it."

I take every challenge as something very personal.

You don't think I can do it? Well, let me show you.

Over the last month, I have doubled my Pulmozyme, finished my TOBI, and finished a couple of more antibiotics. It's been exhausting but it hasn't stopped me from working out at Lifetime Fitness once a week and 6 times a week in my home gym. I'm still running about 5 miles a week. I walk Magic most mornings and evenings to get even more fitness in. While some people ease up when they are sick, I do the opposite.

I am also eating a bowl of gummy bears every night. That has nothing to do with fitness. I just wanted everyone to know that I'm not exactly Ivan Drago.

Ivan Drago from Rocky IV

Am I worried about tomorrow?

Absolutely. I have a lot riding on tomorrow. I don't want to go on IV antibiotics and miss significant work time. I don't want to have more tests done. I don't want to make that phone call to my family that things aren't going well. Most of all, I don't want cystic fibrosis to win.

Doctor's appointments are one thing but "bad" doctor's appointments are another...especially when you have a terminal disease which is what cystic fibrosis is. Negative appointments are tough to get over. The last time I was there my doctor wanted me back 2 weeks later. That's so frustrating. It's as if the appointment didn't count. I have to go right back. Does that tell me that the doctor is concerned? Does that mean my doctors appointments will become even more frequent? Does that mean I better start liking the hospital cafeteria food? I can't speak for the first two but heck no on the third one. It used to be that I worried about my own welfare but now I'm more concerned for Andrea and the kids. I just want to be able to contribute my share. It's tough enough when Avery asks me why I always have to do my therapy or when Ethan asks why I have to spit in the toilet. I wish I was "normal" but I also know that because of CF I have the ability to help others. Still there's nothing like having a disease like CF. I have seen or heard of people my age and younger succumbing to this disease. Granted, I'm fortunate with my health compared to most but I wouldn't be human if those lost relationships didn't affect me negatively.

How am I feeling?

I feel like I'm getting stronger. My workouts have reflected my increasing stamina. That doesn't always mean my pulmonary function tests will reflect that. Still, I remember the advice my old doctor the late Lindy Wolfenden used to give me. Don't let what's on paper affect you. If you feel good, that's the most important thing. I suppose she meant "Mind over matter."

Dr. Wolfenden

How am I feeling MENTALLY?

That's just as important as the question about my physical health. You can't have one without the other when it comes to CF. I feel relatively confident that tomorrow will go well. Still, I have the worst case scenario in the back of my mind in order to prepare myself to contend with my depression if the appointment does not go well. I've had really bad appointments where all of a sudden my mind went to complete darkness and I could picture myself dying then, having no memory of the past or present and just disappearing from everyone's memories. It's a pretty disturbing feeling. I don't want that feeling to return. I think since I've started seeing a regular therapist, psychiatrist and been involved with a sponsor, I've been less likely to experience these episodes.

My appointment is at 8am tomorrow morning so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers and help me achieve a good score on the pulmonary function tests. I always choose one picture for motivation when I take as deep of a breath as I can in the tube and then exhale. I usually don't reveal it to anyone but I'll share it with you today.

This is from Sea World in December.

I also choose a song in my head to fire me up. It's usually the same one. Most of you will be surprised to know that it's not "Eye of the Tiger." It's from another 80's movie though. Here you go...

Motivated yet?

I am ready to kick some serious ASS!

Wish me luck! Thank you for reading.


Doctors can measure my lungs BUT they can never measure the size of my heart.


  1. Will be thinking of you tomorrow - hope you have a good report!

  2. I can relate to you in many ways with this post, even though we have different lung diseases. It's really tough going to an appt and getting news we didn't expect, or might have been expecting and didn't want to actually hear. Praying your appt tomorrow goes well, and that YOU are doing well physically and mentally!