A blog about my beautiful life living with Cystic Fibrosis: to educate and help promote awareness and understanding associated with CF.
Dedicated to sharing my experiences of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the funny, so that all who so eagerly support the fight against CF, will know how much their love and support truly means.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Beautiful Mountains & Deep Valleys
Take a moment and imagine a breathtaking mountain scape: blue skies,
snow capped peaks, and rushing brooks.
A photo from my time in Bavaria.
Imagine yourself picking up a stone along your
walking path. Imagine the trees next to you; the smell of pine.
Feel the sun streaming through the trees and the sound of the birds
singing their songs. Imagine that moment when you come upon a
"scenic lookout." Whatever the altitude, there is beauty.
When looking back at the last year alone my PFTs represent a great
mountain scape. Today, I had an appointment with part of my team and
added another "scenic lookout" to my mountain vista.
My Mountain Scape
What are PFTs?
Pulmonary Function Tests are used to test the
health of the lungs. They compare the lung function of a person with CF
to the predicted values of a person similar in weight, age, and gender who has
healthy lungs. There are several specific things a PFT measures [FEV1, FVC,
FEF25-75], but the "scenic outlooks" I always look at are the
FVC and FEV1.
FVC [L] - the Forced Vital Capacity is the total
amount of air you can take in and blow out.
FEV1 [L]- the Forced Expired Volume is the amount
of air you can blow out in 1 second.
What is an example of normal?
FEV1 - 8O% and higher
Decreased lung function is a primary cause of CF.
A sudden decline in PFTs can be a sign of infection and progressing lung
damage. PFTs are done to help my team and I know the needed course of
treatment. As I have seen in the last year and a half, lung function is
easy to lose, terribly hard to regain, and more importantly maintain as my CF
continues to assert its presence.
Today's Scenic Lookout - Beautiful
My FEV1 was at 5O%. Meaning my lungs today are
functioning at half of what a female my age's should. The lowest my FEV1
has ever been is 36%. Who knew numbers could carry so much meaning?
5O% has never been a more beautiful number. It has been a long
time since I have seen that number, and I have fought tirelessly for every
percent of it.
Each beautiful element is necessary to create the
entire magnificent landscape. The smallest pebble helps build the
strongest mountains, and the deepest valleys make the mountains soar even
I WILL continue to climb this mountain: valuing
each extra ounce of breath as a true gift, always aware of the valley below.
Love to you all.
Take the time to reflect today on the beauty of the
mountain range that is your life.
What "scenic lookouts"influence your mountain scape?