Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Back to life

So I went back to school--6th grade at St. Pius X Elementary School in Reynoldsburg, which was also where my family had gone to church, and we're still members. My mom had the foresight to have one of my classmate's mom's, Mrs. Diewald (Laura's mom--aka Rita, aka BEST NURSE EVER), come in and explain what CF was to the class so that no one would freak out or anything, or think it was contagious. We hadn't gotten to genetics in science yet, and we didn't need everyone thinking that I was highly contagious, or whatever. My classmates even sent me cards while I was in the hospital, as did most of the other grades (SPX was a small school, only about 650 kids total. So word travels fast.), but the card I remember the best is one that my classmate, John, sent me which showed what was presumably me playing Nintendo. I was never a Nintendo girl, but there was one available, should I wish to test my Super Mario prowress (or lack thereof....). 99.9% of my classmates were great, but there's always that .01% that makes life miserable, and unfortunately he sat right next to me. The highlight of his torment had to be the day that we were doing worksheets, or whatever, and he leaned over and said to me, "why are you even doing the work? You're just going to die anyway." Let me tell you how that warmed the cockles of my heart....

I was a good student, not stupendously great, but good. I'm a classic underachiever, even then. I loved reading, social studies, and religion, so those were my best subjects. I liked science, but I hated math, and was OK at spelling--yes, at SPX we had spelling tests every year, which may explain why I am a much better speller than my siblings. :) (although you can't always tell from my typing--brain moving faster than the hands.) I was also in the school band (clarinet, baby) and got the lead in the 6th grade musical, Aladdin , which was a lot of fun (and I got to share a lot of scenes with J (*), the kid I had a crush on..first crush, puppy love, whatever. Sadly he had a propensity for forgetting his lines, but since I memorized the whole script, I could feed them to him.) All in all, I liked school, I just didn't always like my classmates, since some of the could be kind of snobby. But I did have four good friends, so that helped. And I got along pretty well with most of them, even if I did talk the ears off half the class. (And not much has changed since then...)

We did PDs and aerosols, jointly known as "therapy", in the morning (which I could sleep though--joy!) and evening. By the time I was in 7th/8th grade, the Vest had been invented, which allowed me to do therapy independent of my parents, although we still used the old manual method and the Flutter device when we traveled. (The flutter kind of looked like...well, an upside-down whistle, I guess. A tiny metal ball was inside, and when you blew into it, it would 'flutter' and send vibrations back into your chest. But I never liked the thing.)

The Vest (which cost in the neighborhood of $16,000--yay insurance) looks like an lifevest, that you strap on with velcro straps. It's hooked up to a generator by two plastic tubes. The tubes send air into the vest until it's inflated, and then you can set the pressure and speed of the vibrations. You press a small black footpad (or you could sit on it) and there you go! You could do aerosols and vest together, which cut down on the time. It was nice to finally be able to do therapy independently, esp. since the whole "drape your body over the pillows" thing never really worked, since I would crush the pillows. :)

The enzymes also kicked in, and I gained weight and height! By the time I was ready for h.s., I weight about 100 pounds and was (thank God!) finally 5 feet tall! I went to clinic to see Dr. McCoy (or one of the other docs, but usually her) every 6-8 weeks to make sure things were kosher. I went a few years without needing another clean out...but this next one was going to be different...we were going to do most of it at home.

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