Sunday, January 12, 2014

Taking a semester off

I know I promised to be more of a blogger last year and I was a failure of epic proportions. This year will be different. I will have more time to blog. I am taking the semester off of school! This was a decision I deliberated on for weeks and weeks. I am still not completely happy with it but I know it is probably for the best.
*Flashback to last semester*
I was sick as could be and managed to get 3 PICC lines in four months. My FEV1 dipped to 22%. Despite all of this, I managed to not miss any class. I prided myself on being in class no matter how sick I was. I am an early childhood education major so I worked in a school this past semester with kindergartners. As much as I loved my kinderbabies, they made me so sick. One week I could not even talk because I had coughed so much that I messed my throat up. I even spent a weekend in the hospital and got out just in time to be at my practicum school on Monday to teach my kinderbabies. School and my kinders were the most important things to me. My health fell by the wayside. My parents and doctors both urged me to put my health first but my stubborn 20 year old self had my eyes on the prize- a college degree.
*Back to now*
My health has declined once more. My chest is heavy and I can barely breathe. I have had massive cough attacks. I cannot taste or smell anything. Every night since New Year's Eve, I have coughed up copious amounts of blood. My FEV1 was at 32% and I had lost four pounds. My doctor decided it was time for another hospitalization. My doctor also thought getting a port was the best thing to do. Now I am a pretty skinny girl. I am only 5'2 and weigh a whopping 82 pounds. My main concern as a 20 year old female was how the port would make me look and how much it would stick out.
So I was hospitalized. The first night they stuck me four times before the nurses could finally successfully start an IV. That night should have signaled to me that this visit would be bad. I was stuck over 20 times within 6 days. I just seemed to get stuck with nurses that could not draw blood or start IVs. New nurses I am assuming but hey, they have to learn at some point. Lucky for them they got to practice on me and not someone who screams and cries at the sight of a needle. Then Monday I was wheeled down and put to sleep and my port was placed.  Now I am not going to lie, so far I hate it. It sticks out and looks hideous. But hopefully one it heals I will like it more. I am finally out of the hospital. I am still in lots of pain from the port. I feel even worse than before I went into the hospital.

School starts Monday. It feels weird to not be starting. I have been going to school since kindergarten with no breaks except summers. I feel lazy. I know I need to take this time to focus on my health. It is the most important, especially when my doctors are talking of sending me to talk to the transplant people. I just wish I did not feel like I was taking the easy way out. I need to find something to fill my time this semester between appointments and treatments. Blogging will probably be my saving grace to keep me from going crazy.


  1. You are NOT taking the easy way out. In fact, I would venture to say you are taking the hardest (but best) way out. It is so hard to stop our lives, our dreams, our plans for CF. It is so hard to admit we need to put this disease first even if it is temporary. I hope this break gives you the boost in your health that you need. As someone who worked in education I know how many germ those adorable kiddos carry and how hard it is to stay healthy around them!

    As for the port, I got mine a little less than 2 months ago and am still getting used to the way it looks. I too, am very thin and it looks so large on me that I call it my third boob.

  2. Thank you for the support. It really helps me feel better about taking this time off. As for the port, that is too funny! I have been calling it my third nipple to everyone.

  3. Hey Chelsea your doing the right thing. I'm a 38 year old male with CF and had a double lung transplant in February 2012. I also worked in the education field for 18 years in the after school program for the school district I live in. I worked so hard, never complained about my health, but my stress of always working and not letting anyone doen was my down. It dropped my lung function at lot. When I was growing up I had a 90% lung function was a soccer player. I traveled the states playing tournaments and was being groomed to be a professional indoor soccer player. I never took time for my self in my later years and let my self rest. Now I realize how necessary that was.
    Once I received my transplant i decided not to go back to work and stay home with my twin daughters who are 4 now and started preschool this year. My wife also works in the education field and I draw disability and retirement to make up the difference. Now I have the energy and breathing to cycle, mountain bike, play soccer, and coach two soccer teams. As a CF'er who has been through the ringer take time for yourself and get your health and energy back up and go back and work hard, but take time to chill also. Good luck to you. My wife reads your blog, and tonight was my first time. I wish you the best and if you have any questions feel free to ask. If you want I can give you my e-mail also.

    1. Sorry should of proof read my reply. I'm falling asleep and need to go to bed

    2. Thank you so much for your insight. I love hearing from others who have gone through the same type of thing and it is really neat that both you and your wife dealt with the education field like I am. You definitely helped me see my decision is a good one for my health right now. Twin girls?! That is absolutely precious! I bet they are too adorable! I can't thank your wife enough for reading my blog and you as well! It's so nice to hear that someone is!