The other day mom put up the Christmas decorations.  Once upon a time I put up a real cut tree, but now that’s not realistic.  One, I would have to haul it up four flights of stairs, and two, the mold spores and collecting germs from the tree’s water bowl wouldn’t be great for my lungs.  Last year when I downsized, I saved the ornaments that were meaningful and donated the rest.  Do you see the Blues Clues doll?  I get asked about that the most.  When I taught 1st grade I had a student named Andrew who had Asperger’s Syndrome.  He absolutely loved Blues Clues and talked about it ALL the time.  When Christmas rolled around, he gave me his favorite ornament.  I wonder how he’s doing now.  He had such a tough family life and Asperger’s on top of that.

On Wednesday I had a full Pulmonary Function Test and a CT scan at UC.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had a PFT, but the one test that I hate the most is the one where you have to squeeze your cheeks and pant against resistance.  I always feel like I’ve run a marathon after that one, especially when they make me do it 3 or 4 times.  My lungs got a full workout, and I was so tired afterward.  It felt like my lungs were in full protest.  I joked that I could imagine little cartoon bronchioles marching around with picket signs inside my lungs.

Yesterday I had a bronch and clinic afterward.  I narrowly escaped being admitted.  Before the bronch even started my doctor warned me that my CT looked horrible, and if the gunk in my right lung was spilling over into my good lung I would have to be admitted right away.  If he’s able to clear out a portion of it and my left lung wasn’t in immediate danger I could go home until the bronch results came out.  Well, I’m home, so now I’m just waiting for the bronch results to come in.  They’ll probably notify me around Wednesday of next week.  If they find any infection I’ll have to go in for IV treatment.

At clinic I was able to see the CT scan and let me tell you, saying my right lung is bunk is pretty much the understatement of the year.  It’s so curious to me that my heart is pumping along just fine, but my lungs failed when both were from the same donor. I saw one of my favorite doctors at clinic.  He was the 5th year fellow when I had my first transplant in 2008.  He’s now an attending and staying on with the team at UC.  My other favorite doctor left after her fellowship to open her own practice down the peninsula to be more available to her kids.

I also got the gossip on the surgeon who did my transplant.  He left UC at the beginning of the month.  Turns out he’s now in charge of the entire transplant unit at his new hospital. Talk about a promotion.  It’ll be so weird not seeing him around the 10th floor.  One of the nurses at clinic said that he flies back often to see his fiance.  Fiance??? Man what I wouldn’t give to meet her!  Another thoracic surgeon who’s been at UC and has been doing lung transplants with him has taken over.  According to everyone I’ve talked to she’s really nice.  We’ll see how she approaches things.  They’ve also recently hired a new heart surgeon, but apparently he won’t start until all the paperwork goes through.

And while this is not really related to anything, I found out that my social worker is pregnant with a girl.  She’s going on maternity leave in a couple of weeks.  So of course the first thing I did was look for a pattern for a baby blanket.  I bought the yarn last night, and it was shipped out this morning.  I can’t wait to start it!  The pattern is called Christoffer.

The other thing I wanted to share was my new purchase.  When I was looking for a cover for my Kindle I looked high and low for something that suited my needs.  I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg.  I didn’t want something heavy duty since I won’t be hauling it around with me everywhere I go. I wanted something functional but aesthetically pleasing.  After exhausting all my options on Amazon, I went to Etsy.  Oh Etsy how I love thee.  I found a guy named Randy Belyk who takes vintage book covers and turns them into covers for ereaders and ipads.

Isn’t it perfect?  I love it.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music.  One of my favorite albums is Josh Groban’s Noel. There is one song on that album that makes me cry every time I hear it.  Not only does he sing it well, but the song is like a little tribute to the soliders serving our country.  The parts where actual soliders are leaving recordings for their family members are just heart wrenching. And for fun I’ve changed my ringtone to Carol of the Bells and You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch for texts.

Here’s another thing completely unrelated that’s been on my mind – I hate when people misuse the word literally.  For some reason I’ve been hearing it more and more lately.  Literally is NOT simply used as an emphasis for any and all occasions people!  /end rant