Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back From Camping and a New Toy

The camping trip was great. Breathing in the salty coastal air makes me feel much better than when I inhale Hyper-Sal. It could all be in my mind or it could be a real difference. I just know that if I could, I would live on the coast full-time rather than these short visits. I'm hoping to make another trip in October for the whale migration. That should be fun to watch.

The coast was freezing though. Usually, there's a break of two hours during the day where it's warm enough to wear shorts and brave a dip in the ocean. This time it was cold all the way through. I kept myself pretty well bundled. I was thankful for the sleeping bag and cot my dad gave me. I stayed warm and dry.

Packing for a camping trip can be tricky, but doable. In order to maintain good health I can't skip out on treatments. And with no electricity, it takes a bit of planning. That's where a battery operated pulmo-aide comes in. There's a few out there so you have to find one that fits your needs. I like mine because it's light-weight and I can recharge the battery in the car. When I was younger and there wasn't a battery operated pulmo-aide, my family brought a generator so I could do my treatments. Generators are quieter now than the one I used, but it served it's purpose. I got to go camping. They still don't have a battery operated Vest machine so my mom does manual CPT. So both of us have to take time out to do my treatments. When it comes to packing my meds, I always pack a couple of days extra. It's better to be prepared than run out of meds and have an "Oh crap" moment. I have a small cooler specifically for meds. Keeps me from having to dig in the food cooler for little vials of pulmozyme or TOBI. I also let my doctor know I'm going camping so he can give me a few "just in case meds". Usually it's Bactrim and more Prednisone. Those are in case I get sick and need something to tide me over till I can get to a CF clinic. I also pack a ton of Purell. I'm out in the dirt and don't want to give germs an invitation.

So a camping trip is doable. And it's worth all the planning. I had a blast watching my dog chase the waves. And my niece learned to collect shells.

While I was camping, I received a phone call from Hill-Rom. I had been calling them and asking for a new vest machine for the last two years. They kept having reasons as to why I couldn't have one. It was getting to a point where I was going to just save the money and buy one myself (I'd be in my forties, but hey). See my Vest is one of the earlier models (103) weighs half as much as me and has no wheels for me to move it around. My first one I had used so much it finally gave out, and I was on my second one. I had already twice as many hours on the second one than I did on the first. It seemed I was going to be stuck with the same model for the rest of my life. Then I got the phone call. Seems I finally qualified for a free upgrade. I was ecstatic. They sent me the latest model. It weighs about 17 lbs (which is less than my dog). It has its own carrying case with wheels. And it is so easy to use. I sent back my old model. The new model should be able to travel with me. And I put it on a wheeled table so I can push it from room to room.

On top of camping and a new Vest, I am moving. For someone who enjoys permanence I sure move a lot. I'll be closer to family (right behind my grandparents) and out in the country. The sad part is I have to say goodbye to mountain life. I love having my own winter wonderland when it snows. I will dearly miss that part. Upside, there's a lot of trees at the new house so I'll get to be outside more (no trees here, so it gets like a desert in the summer).

The big move day is in September. I still have a couple of weeks.