Thursday, January 17, 2013

an ICU scare :(


I just want to start off w the basics.... the names Natalie && I'm 20yrs young. I was born w a lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis. In basicBASIC terms, its just a wholeee bunch of mucus built up in my lungs. However, a much better definition would be:

" Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by a defective gene which causes the body to produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus. This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas, the organ that helps to break down and absorb food.
This collection of sticky mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems. The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man's reproductive system. "

I was diagnosed when I was 10yrs old. && although it was a big change for me, I didnt notice it all that much. I mean yeah, I coughed all the time. But nothing like it is now.. 

I'm in the hospital right now because of it. I come in about every 3months now for a "tune-up" of IV antibiotics for 2weeks at a time. Not fun, but worth it ;)

This time however didnt quite go as planned.. so my "goal" used to be to come in about every 6months, tried shooting for that anyways. But I hadnt made it that long in a looong time so time kept getting closer && closer in between visits. Like I said, its cut down to 3months now. Well at home I ran out of a very important CF medication used for one of my many breathing treatments. I know its careless, but it happens. So while I was waiting for that to come in, I tried toughening it out so I wouldnt have to go into the hospital. Well at this time I was already too bad off because I couldnt really make it up stairs. My boyfriend had to carry me. My co2 levels got super high; we think they were already too high when I came into the hospital. But once I come in here, I get whats called a PICC line placed in my arm for the tune-up. Its like an advanced IV that goes straight to my heart. Well when I get this PICC line placed, they put me on adivan && conscious sedation. Well because my co2 levels were super high, that meant my body could breathe in just fine but it wouldnt expel the co2. So my body was trapping it && my breathing kept getting shallower && shallower. This caused crazy headaches && so they were giving me vicodin && oxys for it. I have no recollection of this, I was just told that. The first few days are blacked out for me because of all of these narcotics. Well since I had all of these in my system (mind you, I'm 105lbs), it was just making the co2 levels worse && my body basically just wanted to sleep && sleep until I wasnt breathing anymore. I guess when I was found, I was laying in my own puke&&pee. I only remember glimpses of the event. Its weird trying to look back && pinpoint my very last memory of it all. So anyways, they put this BiPAP on me to force air into my lungs. && I guess it was making the co2 levels go even higher so they took me down to the ICU to get this huge blue nose cannula that also forced air into me. It was so much pressure that I was just breathing out of my mouth for a few days. Quite uncomfortable. Lets just say I was pretty happy to get switched to a reg oxygen cannula afterwards! So I was in the ICU for a few days && my blood gas levels && everything started getting better. When I finally started coming to in the ICU I felt almost mentally handicapped. I knew the words I wanted to say, but it was like my motor skills just didnt work right. I was confused easily but powered thru it. I didnt eat for a good 2days I believe - it was the last thing on my mind. I wasnt even hungry. Now I'm also CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes), so they had to have me on an insulin drip during all of this. I'd never been on steroids before && they started those as well in the ICU. So after a few days of this, everything was starting to improve && I was put on a normal floor && onto a reg nose cannula.
I'm currently only on 2liters of oxygen, walking around on my own again, gaining weight again, eating again, doing everything I'm supposed to, meds are all working on me as they're supposed to && everythings looking up!
I'm a couple of weeks down && I've got 1more week in here to go!

When I get outta here I have to change things though.. I'm not the most healthy person (obvi), but I have to look out for my diabetes as well as my CF. I'm looking into getting a treadmill && start by walking w that at home :) Healthy eating will be the real challenge....


be brave <3


  1. Hi Natalie, Welcome to the cystic fibrosis blogging community. Its a great place to be. I hope you get well soon. Great attitude when you come out!!!

    Check out my blog my CF life is always interesting

    1. Thanks for reading! I'll check yours out too :)

  2. That's a really scary experience. Thanks for sharing! I'm glad things are getting better, and I hope they continue to! I started a blog last year about my life with CF, and it really is a great way to let things out and to help yourself stay compliant with treatments, exercise, and eating right. :)

  3. Hi Natalie, it's Tia. I am just crying reading about your experience, I cannot imagine how scary it can be for you at times. What is so amazing Natalie is how strong you are and have been through your 10 years battling this. You are such a great example of pushing through the hard times while keeping that smile on your face and a good attitude. You are wise beyond your years.

    1. Well thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!
      && I'm only strong because I have to be :)

  4. Hi my name is maria I'm from Venezuela and I feel very inspired by you I don't have cf but I have Rhinitis I'm allergic to almost everything so I know the feeling of don't be able to breath you change my point of view about life and I thank god for your strength... Get well soon and good luck with the you have a friend in Venezuela ;)