Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am sad. I miss my cat. Moving is hard. I miss my family.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carry On

So, I chose last week to proactively address my high stress level, which pretty much landed me in the ER last Monday afternoon, just before the bombs went of in Boston.

Suffice to say that I have not lowered my stress level at all this week.

And I don't want to write trite phrases about how the world is not a bad place, and most people are good, or Bible verses for you (though I do feel all of those ways right now in addition to a million other ways.)

Here is the thing I am going to cull from this week into this discussion about stress - big leap or not.

Tip #2: You cannot control the world around you, or the people around you, or the way that those people interact with that world. And something else - you cannot control your feelings either. You can only control your actions in response to your world, these people, your feelings.

You should feel the things you feel, and let yourself work out what to do with the feelings, when you are ready and fully able to work out what that "doing" will be. Some verbs come easier than others. Sometimes we just have to accept the way that we can Be while we work out what we can Do. 

We can also choose positive energies, positive thoughts, positive words, over negative intentions, images, or sensory input that is all throughout our world.

Tomorrow many of my students go back to school. I saw a few in town today and it was hard, how to speak of such unspeakable horrors? How to articulate or cause to articulate the nightmare that we wish had never been dreamt?

I like this song.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stress Buster: Long Time, No Blog

I am trying to cut the stress in my life in a more aggressive way.
Uh oh, aggressive is a stressful word.

I am trying to cut the stress in my life in a more aggressive pro-active way.

I will share with you one thing I did each day to cut my stress.

The first thing I did was email my friend Chicken Patty^, who knows a lot about stress-busting, to ask her advice. She told me,
"Stress, to review, can be mental, emotional, physical, infection, blah blah blah, you know the list. Make your body happy- keep the food & hydration consistent (hunger & dehydration add metabolic stress) and sleep as much as your body wants. When you're not sleeping, rest. Put on your big robe and pet your cat, do the things that put you at ease. The cortisol levels can shoot up fast, but It takes a few days to get them back down."
So, the thing I tell you first in order to bust your stress:

STEP 1: Cut a hole in box. Reach out to your smart, healthy friends. (Health can be mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, etc.), and tell them you are stressed!

More later!

Your old friend,

^This is psuedonym. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

 If people 

wanted you to write warmly about 

them, they should've behaved

better.” - Anne Lamott

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

International Readers, "Whaazzzuuupp?"

129, 884 !!!

Some of you may not know that Cystic Gal enjoys a healthy international readership. Today, alone, I have readers from Vietnam, West Africa, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa, the UK and Australia. WOW. I wonder what I wrote about last time that drew so much attention! 

Some other night/week/time of great energy, I will publish a better post about my stats like I used to. But here are some interesting, recent facts:

The international readers as listed above!

The most viewed post is still "Florence Nightingale Syndrome: What Can it Do for YOU?" 

The second most viewed is the page for the entire month of my actual Transplant, July 2010. 

The third most viewed post is "About CG the person and blog." 

Most readers come to my blog thru: 
1. Google Search for me!
2. My gal
3. Blogger itself refers readers to me.

Most people searching for content, find my blog by searching for:
1. "Top Ten Causes of Stress"
2. "Florence Nightingale Syndrome" - Only one post. I guess it was a good one. I still wonder if the subject of the post has ever read the post... 
3. 7% Hypertonic Saline - interesting because I didn't write about it that much, and almost never took it, due to the fact that I couldn't tolerate it. 

Most people leave my site via 3 different scholarly articles about CF or transplant. I won't list them here because it will seem like I am endorsing them more than others. What did I learn? You all like to read medical articles. 

*A lot of you also go directly to our NPR interviews! 

**A LOT of you zoom in on pics of my cat. YOU LOVE THEM!

YAY! Thanks for reading everyone! So far I have a total of... 
129, 884 VISITS!!!

Page LoadsUnique VisitsFirst Time VisitsReturning Visits

Friday, May 25, 2012

Top Ten Things I Expect

1. If I have an appointment with a doctor, I expect to, at some point, however brief or fleeting, see an actual doctor.

2. If I have been sent all over creation doing expensive and invasive tests, I expect that a doctor will review them with me at the appointment for which I have cleared my schedule, traveled, finagled and paid for.

3. I expect that if a physician is not available to see me, I will be informed, and have the opportunity to cancel the appointment, and that my insurance will not be billed as though I did see a physician.

4. I expect to see a physician whose name bears some resemblance to the name I submitted to my insurance company and primary care physician. A close resemblance would be preferred. This would help me help you keep up the facade that you are actually seeing all of the patients that the insurance companies (and I) are billed for.

5. If I am asked to do any invasive tests, I ask that they are thoroughly and accurately prepared, and that I am not sent back repeatedly in a short interval because an order was written wrong or two people who are on a "team" forgot to speak to each other.

6. If someone is going to touch my body in any way, I expect that they tell me exactly what they are going to do and that it has some apparent relevance to the reason for the visit, not a curiosity related to my very long medical history or a paper they are writing.

7. If a person is going to enter my room, I expect that they introduce themselves and tell me what they do for a living, as in, "Hi, I'm Sally, I'm a nurse practitioner here." Just as you don't enter my workplace and know everyone, I don't know everyone in yours. And we really do not need to pretend that we remember each other.

8. If someone is going to call me on the phone, I expect that they similarly identify themselves and the office from which they are calling, and the purpose of the call. Just like in the rest of adult society.

9. I expect that we spend more time communicating with me than staring at a piece of paper or computer. You have had ample time to review materials before meeting with me and it is just ridiculous to watch you make phone calls or play with the computer and squint while your poor internet connection times out, then leave saying that we will have to follow up. I am here at this appointment, this is me following up.

10. I expect that I'm not given alarming news and then told that there is not a physician available to speak to me, but one will be available next week. I will be in an alarmed state of mind from this alarming news until next week, but thanks for sharing!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cystic Gal: Cliff, Put Down That Hoagie!

Tonight I came upon this old blog o' mine and realized- the problem i have right now is NO DIFFERENT than the one I had before transplant. And it gives a shout out to Dr. U... so, enjoy!

Cystic Gal: Cliff, Put Down That Hoagie!: You might be wondering, right about now - What does CG have to do with HH (Dr. Heathcliff Huxtible)? Well, I'll tell you. "Cliff," as we all...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random Blathering (not really about CF or transplant or really anything)

My sister's favorite posts are the ones when I write a bunch of random stuff that comes to mind and so for sister, I say, here you are:

My high school English teacher posted a poem today by Charles Bukowski that brought back a lot of memories for me of old friends and old times and mostly of learning to write in a stream of consciousness in my high school English class, maybe because I hadn't written like that before, or maybe because I didn't know that's what it was or what I ought to be calling it. 

I remember that Kathy always wrote much more metered work than I did, and she still does, and I still don't  . . . know how I feel about that.

Here is the poem that Mrs. A posted: 

Hemingway Never Did This

by Charles Bukowski

I read that he lost a suitcase full of manuscripts on a
train and that they never were recovered.
I can't match the agony of this
but the other night I wrote a 3-page poem
upon this computer
and through my lack of diligence and
and by playing around with commands
on the menu
I somehow managed to erase the poem
believe me, such a thing is difficult to do
even for a novice
but I somehow managed to do
now I don't think this 3-pager was immortal
but there were some crazy wild lines,
now gone forever.
it bothers more than a touch, it's some-
thing like knocking over a good bottle of
and writing about it hardly makes a good
still, I thought somehow you'd like to
if not, at least you've read this far
and there could be better work
down the line.
let's hope so, for your sake
Charles Bukowski

I remember, then, that Allison and Arthur and Brian and I had an ongoing joke about Charles Bukowski mostly because Arthur hated Charles Bukowski and that we once got drunk in a park and laid in the grass looking at the moon having an argument about if it was pronounced "Bookowski" or "Buckowski" and that Arthur won because we were all in love with him. 


I remember that this week I was shocked to learn that I had deleted a pivotal email FOREVER and that for all my sleuthing it was gone gone gone, as I tried to find it like the last left clue in the rebuilding of what had been before, to see what’s left there now.


I had a heartwarming moment with a few friends a few nights ago and the only way I can describe what warmed my heart is to say and really mean it, You didn’t have to do that for me. But you did. And I’m so thankful.

And for once, you would not believe it, but the thankful feeling and it’s landing spot is not the romance or the one who brought it.

Perhaps that doesn’t make any sense to you, but it makes sense to me in the place of the text that’s gone forever.


I wonder about cliches in life and in writing, like writing a poem about losing some text on a hard or floppy drive so that it doesn’t exist, the way a floppy drive doesn’t exist: any more.

I wonder why we hate cliches and love cliches and so we call them “universal,” when it’s all different words for the feeling of “I’ve heard that before,” and the difference is whether it bores you.


I wonder about the accent of e in French and if Kathy will correct it, silently, secretly, above.

I wonder if Kathy will wonder why I’m not calling her Kathleen in this blog, or if she’ll ask me to change the name or her name altogether tomorrow.

If so, I will name her Catherine. That’ll fool them.


I wonder about Catholic girls that change their names in youth or adulthood and I wonder about a movie called “We’ve Been Reading Joyce In Class" that my friend made in 1996. I’ve been reading (and I’m not kidding) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  again, no kidding nor exaggeration to the content of the rest of this post, (which I realize now, only a few people will enjoy). I’ve been reading Joyce in class, literally, only because I found a copy and it makes a good decoy book for sitting next to a student trying to model a good reading habit while spying on them and their progress or lack.


A car crashed outside.


I like the way the Bukowski poem ends with a comment about the Bukowski poem and how it doesn’t accomplish a lot, but promises to try to accomplish something tomorrow.

I like poems that promise something for tomorrow.


Beth Peters

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Top Ten Causes of Stress

Scary pictures of birds stress me out. 

My last post made me think about things in my day that acutely stress me out. Here is my list from today.

In other news, I spent the weekend with my bff and came to many realizations about my stress and anxiety level that have already made my dealing with stress better, as I try to make some concrete decisions about what I can control in life to lessen my anxiety.

Oh yeah, here's the list:

Top Ten Stresses for Me, Myself and more Me. 

1. Waking up late.

2. People being loud for no good reason. Literally, I don't mind loud laughter or loud talking. I can't stand yelling, slamming, or generally loudness with negative motivation.

3. People swearing for no good reason. See above.

4. Not being able to sleep when I'm supposed to be sleeping, but being sleepy when I'm not supposed to be sleeping.

5. People calling my on the phone who I don't know to talk about something I don't care about.

6. My house getting inexplicably messy despite the fact that I try to keep it explicably clean. Note to self: "explicably" is clearly not a word, yet "inexplicably" is a word - which brings about the question, how can you add a prefix to a word that does not exist, and make another real word?

7. Lack of cheese in my refrigerator. General lack of any food craved within my immediate reach.

8. Pieces of paper. So many pieces paper. "Limitless paper, in a paperless world." - The Office.

9. Not being able to find parking and then regretting my decision to stop renting a parking space. Conversely, finding parking and then regretting paying for parking all those months.

10. Writing a blog post that doesn't accomplish what I hoped it would.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Top Ten Causes of Stress

These crazy pool noodle women came up when I searched for the title of this blog.
 So.... #1 cause of stress: multi-generational noodle-based water aerobics? 

This list of TOP TEN CAUSES OF STRESS is from a random internet place, but I found similar lists all over so I'm not going to cite it.

Here is what I think about stress: I need to reduce mine but I am not sure what is causing it because it seems that everything is causing it. So, here is a top ten list and I'm going to comment on each item as an exercise in trying to figure out my personal stresses. My thoughts are in purple. 

1. Self-criticism. Tame your inner critic (that’s the part of you that shakes a finger at you). Focus on your strengths and forgive yourself.

I don't think I have this or do this. I am not very critical of myself, but I would say that I am overly critical of the world around me which is probably more like #9 below. 
2. Powerlessness. Don’t believe you have no options. Open your eyes and see all the choices available to you.
I definitely feel this way sometimes. Here is a dumb quote to explain. There was this great show in the 90s called MY SO CALLED LIFE. The main character in that show once said, "I don't really plan things. Things happen to me and pretty soon that's my life." I certainly feel like this sometimes and I seem to lack a general sense of long-term planning, though it wouldn't appear so. I tend to make decisions (mostly positive ones) rather impulsively because the decisions seem obvious, but I don't really ever take the time to value my role in the decision making process of my actual life. Maybe this is an adult-CF thing, maybe not - like, "Seriously, I'm in my 30s? What now?" - but I am not sure that is true. Hmm.
3. Perfectionism. Do your best, but let go of the elusive goal to be perfect. Instead, be perfectly human and focus on completion.
If anything, I think I am overly focused  on completion of things and not focused enough on perfection of things. BUT perhaps this is me being like #1 above. Hmm. (That's two "hmm"s in a row... is this exercise helping me?)
4. Worry. Action is the best antidote, especially for situations you cannot control. Ask yourself what step you need to take now? It can be small and may not even be directly related to the situation. Maybe it’s about releasing that energy through creativity or taking a walk.
Please see prior blog post "If I Were In Charge of the World..." 
5. Unrealistic expectations. Life can never be problem-free, but your outlook can. What expectations are you ready to let go of?
I need to let go of the expectation (that I was allowed to live within for about 2 years) that people all around me will avoid stressing me out. It turns out, the world is full of a bunch of stressed out bitches. 
6. Insecurity. Stop looking to others to provide reassurance. Build up your self-worth by doing good things for yourself and others. Listen to the part of you that knows your unique gifts and talents.
I have this. Not a lot of it, but when I get insecure it is usually directed a particular relationship at particular time (boss, best friend, boyfriend, etc.) Usually, I move on from feeling insecure around someone to realizing that I don't like them. I am not sure that this is the healthiest way to handle it. Maybe there is something to think about there. (Hmm. in a good way). 
7. Hurrying. Try walking slower, chewing slower and working at a steady, but not frantic pace. You might be surprised to find yourself performing better. This might mean fewer lattes too. Sometimes sugar and caffeine can rev the motor way too much.
I do this all day all the time. Sometimes I find myself hurrying while I am peeing at work. Seriously. WTF? I always run up stairs now that I can run up stairs (mostly because I think it's fun) but then I get to my classroom all crazy faced. I drink too much coffee. 
8. Comparing to others. This is a losing battle. The only question that matters is whether you have done your best. If this is a particular challenge for you, read #3 above again.
I don't do this too much. 
9. Pessimism. Expect the best instead of the worst, and life usually has a way of handing it to you. In other words, be willing to change “the lens” you look through.
I think that I project a feeling of positivity, and having a positive effect on the world is important to me. However, I have pretty negative thoughts sometimes and I gossip a lot - like a whole lot. If I was a cartoon, I would be one of the old hens in CHARLOTTE's WEB.  
10. Competition. No one has to lose in order for you to win. Try turning every situation into a win-win situation. And remember, there is literally only one unique you. By embracing each individual’s uniqueness, including your own, you free yourself from the need to compare.
Do I do this? I don't think I do this. I actually work best when I have "partner" - whether at work, to spend the day with, or to do a creative project with. I don't think that I'm competitive with my partners, but maybe i need to work on doing more things by myself in the workplace and social places of the world. I don't know, though. 
Hmm. Not sure. Gotta think on this one and get some sleeps,