Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Another Happy Dance

Sundays were once supposed to be a day of relaxation, eh?

Well...not in this house! Not with these new chunkers!

I knew before getting the gift of life that I would not be blessed with this miracle to sit around and let time pass by. I want to take advantage of each and every minute and really live

It's crucial that I invest in exercise to keep these beautiful windbags in optimal condition. I know there are other factors that are completely out of my control (cue big scary monster: rejection) however, exercise and living a healthy life IS.

I hauled on my workout gear (think hawt sloppy sweats), laced up my red kicks and was all ready to head to the gym when I noticed that June had her sexy sweats on too. Holy mother - she went with me!

We hauled our bodies all the way there and I was super pumped to go at it, but felt short of breath. I started to get a bit concerned, and sat on the floor beside the treadmill to calm down, before realizing that it was actually low blood sugar (the meds are really hard on diabetics).

Where the heck are the skittles when you need them - a little taste of the rainbow action?

After cruising back, and shoving lunch down my throat, we tried again. This time we got somewhere:

I was so impressed with us. We both did 20 minutes and it seemed like nothing. My mouth was flapping the whole time...and I didn't get out of breath!

Keep this in mind:

1.5 babeeeeee
BUT my muscles are still pretty weak from surgery and lying in bed for a month -  you know, being lazy and stuff. The physiotherapist assures me that I will get stronger and I will be able to walk those 3 5k's, and when my body is ready, she will help me start conditioning for jogging/running.

In the meantime, I felt like a freaking warrior:

I couldn't imagine that things could get any sweeter.

Well, they did.

Monday, January 14th I had my first full day of post-transplant tests. I peeled my eyelids off my eyeballs at 6:30 AM; I don't remember the last time that happened. I showered and again marvelled at the fact that I could shower tube-free and full of air. I can even sing and stuff. Could probably dance in there too, but my mom told me that's not really safe.

We arrived at the hospital at 8AM for blood work. I love needles.

Guess who's face I saw??? Mark and his wife Diane. Remember? Squat buddy Mark!!!

We spent about 45 minutes swapping lies while waiting to have needles driven into our skin. Immediately after blood work we went for breakfast.

My new way of life: I will never, ever, ever again sleep in past 9AM.

Anti-rejection meds are a lifetime commitment, as without...well, your body will reject those beautiful new blowers that were shoved inside.

It's extremely important to have a consistent level of the meds in your body so mine are taken at 9AM and 9PM. Clockwork. I have a really cool alarm set on my phone; it actually sounds like I'm getting geared up for a good time.

I have about a bizillion pills to take in the morning so I have to throw back some food with them to avoid a date with Ralph. We've all been on a date with Ralph...he's not so nice, eh?

After breakfast was x-ray. You all know how good I am at those; plus the whole radiation superhero name thing. After x-ray came PFT's.

Let me explain PFT's (pulmonary function test). PFT's measure how well your blowers work. They can measure how much air you can take in, how much air you can blow out and how fast, how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood and the strength of your breathing muscles.

Due to having Cystic Fibrosis, I've been doing PFT's my entire life. As a kid they were pretty cool, but as an adult they became a bit less so, as I watched my lung function go down like a bad joke.

On November 29, 2012, exactly 14 days pre-transplant, my lung function was 23%.

You've all met my happy dance
On January 14, 2013, exactly 1 month, 1 day post-transplant, my lung function was 78%!

I was expecting maybe 40%, maybe.

Doctor: "That's unheard of."

Perhaps these new lungs really are as beautiful as the docs say....or perhaps Kelly was right there with me, helping them work hard.

I'm going to go with both.

No word of a lie - as soon as I saw the screen with the results, and verified that the technologist wasn't "messing with me" I shot out of my chair and preceeded to do........

my happy dance!!!

Watch out world, Squeegee's here!


  1. holy! jumped to 78%! that is so amazing! I am so happy for you!

  2. I see good things in your future, Squeeg!!! This is just awesome!! At one month one day post transplant, I was doing quite well at around 66% - and you SMOKED that!!! I'm so proud of you - and I'm so happy for you... And, after my great 66% - I've had a freaking AMAZING almost-13 years. If this plays out, your next 13 years should be BEYOND AMAZING!!!

    And, awesome work on the treadmill - I KNOW you will be doing those 5Ks on schedule. And you'll rock them. I remember the day before my transplant, my wife and I and friends walked to our local tavern/restaurant (where we had our wedding reception) - I was toting my oxygen, plodding along. It's about one city block - probably an eight of a mile... It took me about 25 minutes to walk there. Four weeks later, I walked a mile from our door to the Art Institute of Chicago in 20 minutes. it blew my freaking mind! So I'm familiar with the smile you wear when you conquer something like this!!!

    You take care, Jess... These things are amazing right now - but they're just baby steps! Wait until you really hit your pace - it's quite wonderful...

    Love, Steve

    1. I love that you've been through this all and know exactly what it all feels like and can relate so well. You give me great hope for my future Steve. Thank you!

  3. Way to go Angel from New Germany. So thrilled to read your progress and success. I read Steve's comment and how amazing to have someone understands your smile, achievements and know the wonderful excitement of great things to come. I can not fully grasp your feelings but I can just imagine how marvelous they must be. Steve, if you read this, I love the fact that you would take time to comment on Jess's blog relating what we can not, thank you for that. Jess take it easy on Betty, she is one of those seniors you eliminated at the store - remember. Love you and keep care, know your pace and God Bless from now and forever. Hugs from the old guy and gal - Lee and Gladys.

    1. Ya, Steve is awesome. One of a kind and full of inspiration. Hugs back!

    2. I'll confirm that, Lee & Gladys -- Steve is awesome... My wife tells people, "He's a legend in his own mind!!!", so I definitely know she agrees with me too.

      But really -- I'm similar to what I see in Jess... It's not so much that we're awesome... We're surrounded by awesome people and incredible support...

      I've been following Jess forever -- for many years -- she popped up on my radar one of the first times she wrote "lung transplant" on her Squeegie blog... I have a Google alert searching for that phrase and it jingled when she used it... And from the start, I could see she was a fun, sarcastic, witty person -- and full of love... So many of the comments she made had me grinning, and thinking that she was somewhat a female, Canadian version of me! Seriously -- what's not to love?!?!

      You take care, Lee & Gladys... I'm glad she has people like you in her life too... Love, Steve

  4. We are so so so thrilled for you! You deserve the very best!

    1. Everyone is so touched by all of the support Jess receives from all over. It is amasing following her blog and reading the strength she offers others as well as the strength others offer back. Till next time Lee and Gladys

  5. happy to see your incredible sense of humour is getting you through.
    I am glad to see you getting better and better. you didnt tell us you had such a sweet little dog.
    wishing you all the best. i will keep following. your blog is the most interesting thing on the internet.
    nurse deb

    1. Deb! I can't imagine not having fun with all of this. The G-man is adorable, eh? Glad you're still reading. Maybe one day you can lay back on a beach on PEI and read my book ;)

  6. CONGRATULATIONS!! 78% WOW. My family and me are rooting for you, loving, laughing and lunging w/ you. Continued strength. Catherine Voysey Fourdraine

  7. My loved ones as well as me personally tend to be rooting for you personally, caring, having a laugh as well as lunging w/ a person. Ongoing power. Catherine Voysey Fourdraine.

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