TV/Movie Binge

This past weekend, I was going through my cable box movies, and sometimes for a day here or there, or even a weekend I notice that the “premium channels” HBO, ShowTime, Cinemax, etc. are open. Now, I watch a good bit of TV, but I’ve been trying to consciously reduce the amount of time I spend bingeing TV or movies, with CF that’s easier to say than do though.

When you’re laying up in bed after being in the bathroom for several hours, or you haven’t been able to keep food down because you’re coughing so much, TV is one of the easier ways to “escape.” Therefore, it becomes almost like a friend, you desire good TV and are mad when nothing is on or your cable provider is giving you a hard time.

Like I said though I’m kind of a frequent binge watcher, I can literally watch 2,3 movies in a row or kill an entire season of a show in 1 day and 1 night. So, it’s one of those things that is kind of like social media in that its annoying sometimes and doesn’t always go the way you would like it to, but its really nice having it when you need it.

Recently I was scrolling through my on demand options and noticed that all the premium channels were open, so I jumped right in…I watched several great movies, ones that I’ve been wanting to see but didn’t want to buy, or forgot about until I saw their title again. I watched “Legend” with Tom Hardy, AMAZING movie, right up my alley. I also watched the new “Fantastic 4,” which I found to be kind of boring and stale, especially with the cast they had available to them, it was just scripted weird and predictable. Then I watched the “Imitation Game” which I’ve seen before and is one of my favorite movies, but more so because Benedict Cumberbatch is a bad ass actor. I like this whole wave of European 25-40 year old actors that have taken over the movie scene in the past 10 or so years: Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, etc. After I had a chance to search through what was available, I also watched “Triple 9,” which was a little bit of a letdown, and not very well cut together. Finally, I watched “Burnt” with Bradley Cooper, and that wasn’t what I expected, but in a good way. It was super intense, but very good and I’m a fan of the guy from “the American’s” on FX who was basically his nemesis, or rival chef.

All in all I had a couple of days there where I was just zoned into the TV and being able to escape like that for someone like me with Cystic Fibrosis, or any terminal illness where time can almost stand still while you feel like shit, but fly by on the days when you are feeling ok, or even good is an absolutely amazing feeling Being that most of the time any escape is just a less of two evils type of thing i.e. if my stomach isn’t feeling so great today I won’t notice as vividly the ability to not be able to eat, or that I’m coughing up a bunch of nastiness. And on the flipside, if my breathing is raspy and I cant get a full breath, the last thing on my mind is how my stomach feels even though it doesn’t feel good, my preoccupation with my breathing takes the focus away from one and puts it on the other.

Funny as it is though sometimes neither matters, and I cant breath, I’m stuck in the bathroom , I’m sore and achy, I’m coughing up a lung, and bleeding out every orifice of my dysfunctional body. Those days are my “hell,” the other days are my normal, and as I get older the day that seem like hell are steadily becoming my normal and what I now consider “normal” are becoming the good ones…LOL it sucks, hands down.

So, with that being as much as I can get out of my fogged out brain today, I will say good afternoon, and hopefully everyone has a good rest of the week. Follow me on Twitter @William85887, and pass this blog along to someone you know whos going though a  hard time, maybe it will allow them to forget about their bullshit, by focusing on mine for a bit. I appreciate any who have stopped to check this site out, it means a lot to me. Feel free to message me on here or Twitter, with any questions, comments, advice, etc. I’m always open to meeting new people and hearing new, stories, ideas, or POV’s.

CF Life tip of the day: Don’t let your anger or frustration with your situation dictate how you treat people, always be kind, and if you feel like you’re going to “blow up” go close yourself in a room take 5-10 deep breaths, and try to think about the positive interaction you have had with that person. Not blowing up on someone when you don’t really mean to direct anger at them is a great feeling, and after a couple of times of harnessing in your aggression or negative feeling of any kind, it will become easier, and each time it feels a bit more satisfying.

CF Life Body Hack # 6: If you have to go somewhere and you don’t want to be coughing the whole time, which draws all kinds of weird looks, and unwanted attention, buy a pack of the most “natural” cough drops you can find. Take a few with you, and when you’re going to be around people pop one in your mouth and moisten it, but don’t keep sucking on it Then, tuck it back next to your jaw where you jaw meets your ear in between your gum and teeth. Now don’t do this all the time as stopping the natural reaction of your body coughing is not a good thing. But, if you need a hour here and there where you aren’t coughing up a lung or don’t want puke in front of a bunch of strangers this is a very good little trick.

Living, not just Surviving.

Saturday morning…wake up, stretch, enjoy the fact that it’s the weekend, is there any better feeling after a long week? I don’t think so, and as I sit here typing  and listening to music with some college basketball in the background I revel in the joy simple things can bring. That is one of the hardest things I’ve come to discover about CF, is that if you don’t live when you can, you will only survive…and that isn’t any good at all. Sadly I’ve had times where I’m just surviving, but I’ve come to a point where I was so stressed, tired, angry, sad, depressed, everything was hell! Several years ago it hit me like a ton of bricks with razors embedded in them. I decided right then and there that was not going to be my mindset going forward. After a doctor appointment with my amazing head shrink I did it! I literally just quit with all the negativity, the yelling, the being mad, the hate, and the distrust in life. I walked out about 20 steps outside the building and that was it, I was done being miserable!

Now, please don’t get me wrong, life for me isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination…it’s hard, it sucks, it makes me want to freak out. However, I now have control over my mental faculties to a point where I can be miserable all day, and still enjoy a drink, a good conversation, movie, book, anything…It is an amazing weight lifted, I was always walking around in a toxic head state. After having a few years of rational, reality based thoughts, and not losing my shit every time something happens I am in a much better place in general, but more specifically mentally I am solid. So, in my current situation, I deal with the same “problems,” I just handle them 50x better, and it’s amazing how it changes your outlook, your perception of life. It was a damn hard thing to accomplish, but it was worth the time, effort, self-doubt, self-loathing even to get to where I am now. If I hadn’t gotten better I would probably not be here anymore…which is weird to think that would’ve been what brought me down.

Anyways…lol…but, feeling better about life is a good thing no matter how far gone you seem it’s always possible to gather up your broken parts, put them together, and move forward. I did it, and so can you! I won’t be simple, straightforward, quick, or any form of basic nonchalance you can think of. In the end though it will be worth it, you’ll look back and smile at how far you’ve come. I believe all of us can attain our happy place in life, and with a little help from people with knowledge and experience it is absolutely able to be done. Having said that, if anyone whos reading this needs, or knows someone who needs a little bit of help/guidance please don’t hesitate to ask me…that’s is the point of my attempt at this site, and blog. I want to be there for the people who feel like there is nowhere else to turn and nothing good in sight…no light at the end of the tunnel is a horrid feeling. Please, do not feel like you’re alone, you aren’t and I would love to help you understand that. Lets change our perspective’s and be happy!! Hopefully everyone is having a great weekend, and enjoy the rest of it to the fullest!

CF Life tip of the day: Do not compare yourself to people who aren’t walking in your shoes, or who have never walked in shoes like yours…Trying to fit in is just human nature, but be happy with your place in life and find the places, people, and activities that make you the person you want to be. It pays dividends to be happy being YOU.

CF Life Body Hack # 2: As soon as you wake up drink a half-bottle of water before you do anything else, and then use the rest to take your morning meds, after that slam something nutritious into your stomach (yogurt, fruit, crackers, smoothie/milkshake) something you enjoy enough to use it most days. The water will lubricate your system, and loosen up mucus. The nutrition will give you the needed energy to get your day going while you tough out the difficult stuff (coughing, hacking, bathroom, etc.)

Your Weekend Plans…?

TGIF!! It’s Friday afternoon, and I love the feeling this day brings…it’s like a small holiday once a week, I’m weird I know, lol I’m glad I have the ability to laugh at myself though. So, yesterday I took a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and I posted a video on YouTube and blogged with a link to said video. Now I have 12 views, and a couple of new followers! I have to admit it scared me to put myself out there like that, but I did it, and am glad I did. As for me I’m going to start today, and use my weekend time to get a little more versed in the social media stuff I’ve been a little behind on. I’m going to update my Twitter, as it has been stagnant since its inception. I am probably going to look into Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. to see what fits with my desired platform blueprints. Also, since my first video was kind of raw, and not very professional I am going to look into ways to better my recording process, and I think I will probably need a new camera as the one on my computer doesn’t seem to be very decent. If I had the money I’d just go right now and buy one, but ill have to figure something else out until I can swing that. I am super excited because I really feel like this is going to allow me to do what I want to do, and that is help people who feel like they’re alone, with nowhere to turn. It’s hard to put yourself out there not knowing what will become of the vulnerability you show, but so far it’s been worth it!!

Anyways, that is what I intend to do with my weekend, what about you? What are your plans? Going to a movie, party, or yummy restaurant…leave a comment and let me know. Also, I am going to do a social “mixer” at some point in the near future. I am not exactly sure how I am going to facilitate and accomplish this. However, I’ve got a couple ideas that will hopefully allow people to come together (probably virtually) and share some ideas and stories in real time. I will be trying out several new things on my site, blog, and YouTube channel so keep an eye out. Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed. Hopefully everyone had an ok week, but are ready to have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by, it’s always very much appreciated.

CF Life tip of the day: Instead of using expensive box tissues, buy some cheap but soft rolls of toilet paper to keep near where you spend the majority of your time e.g. bed, car, desk, etc. That way you have something to cough into instead of your hand, tissues for your nose, and even a “napkin” in a pinch.

CF Life Body Hack # 1: Getting sore, uncomfortable, bored, or just not in a great mood? Go to an outside area where you can get some fresh air, give your entire body a good stretch. Now, starting at your feet flex then relax your muscles progressively moving upward all the way to your forehead, make sure your breathing is controlled and steady. You should notice immediate improvement in your mood, as well as physically being more comfortable.

 

It’s Friday! With CF…

As I sit here it’s Friday afternoon December 16th, it’s about 4:00 and I’m finished with all of my tasks, chores, work, etc. for the next few hours I can sit here and mess around on the computer…when I first got onto this site I wasn’t totally sure what I was doing. Now, I realize it’s more of a website, with the ability to blog and connect with people. I am kind of behind the curve when it comes to the “newest social, technological” stuff. I don’t have an Instagram, or snapchat. I’m always a little late to the party, and eventually I’ll probably have all the social media apps…as of now I’m just on Facebook, I used to have a MySpace (I know old school as hell!) lol. So, starting this site was a new experience for me, but I like it, I enjoy the ability to share my story and I’ve already created a couple of blog posts, this being the latest. Back in the day I could easily feel my way around a computer or the latest game system or gadget just fine. Now, I feel like an old man, I don’t know how half of this stuff works and it’s funny to see the circle come around fully. Again, it’s Friday afternoon, and I’ve got a few hours I can use on something I wouldn’t normally, so I’m gonna shoot the shizznit so to speak.

It got really cold here in GA in the last couple days, like way cold! When the weather changes like this it reminds me of being back at Southern waiting to come home for Christmas break, or already being home. Going out with friends, partying, etc. was part of what I enjoyed about this time of the year. As I sit here writing and thinking I havent been “out partying” in a long time. Now I will go out occasionally, but not like I used to. My body just can’t handle that stupid stuff anymore, nor do I have the desire to do so, guess I grew out of it…lol. The funny thing I have noticed as the years go on is the way I portray myself or the way I wish to be portrayed. I don’t desire the party life anymore, or to be the life of the party, and it’s a good thing because my body isn’t made for that kind of life. Also, I realize how much dumb stuff I got away with doing that I definitely wouldn’t get away with now, especially being that the CF has reared its nasty head into my life pretty intensely in the past several years. Due to my health I try to look at things from a positive POV as opposed to a negative being that I deal with so much negative already on a regular basis. I enjoy the fact that I had those experiences and the person it made me is much more capable, my mental fortitude is leaps and bounds over what it used to be, and I’m just more experienced in this thing we call life. However, sitting here with nothing to do does allow me to stroll down memory lane…bringing up some great memories, but also some bad ones.

Let’s go back a few years…2005-2009 era. I was a recent high school graduate who was in pretty good shape physically and mentally. I had a really bad experience with a doctor around then that i’ll write about another time. So, back to the portrayal of my Cystic Fibrosis towards the outside world. I didn’t want people to automatically associate me with being a “sick person” so I didn’t let that stuff show, except to a small percentage of my close friends, maybe my roommate’s really knew, my really close friends, and my immediate family. Other than that you wouldn’t know I had a problem in the world, and that’s the way I liked it. I worked out religiously, was actually pretty jacked, tanned every other day, and was out at the bars Thurs-Sat like everyone else. Hitting on smokin’ sorority girls and getting into trouble with my fraternity brothers, it was great! However, the next day i’d be puking my guts out sick as a dog while all my buddies were up and maybe a bit hung over but nothing in the realm of what kind of hell I was bogging through, i’ll just say I was an idiot and did some unintelligent things. I was young, naive, and invincible…or so I thought. For instance, Friday I had no classes, so after we were ok from the night before we’d all get together. We usually got together at mine or my pledge brother’s house, as our house was by far one of the coolest houses in Statesboro, with a pool in the backyard, a sick ass wrap around back porch, and even what we called the “tiki hut” which was a small shed we used to store stuff, it even had a service window which made it amazing for parties. It also housed the majority of our outside entertainment: golf clubs, pool toys, frisbees, footballs, etc. It was also where we kept our outside music system so we didn’t have to worry about it getting wet. It truly was one of the coolest setups i’ve ever seen, especially in Statesboro. So, after we all got showered and swagged out we’d all meet at the house to park for the night and start our shenanigans. I’d say on a normal night there’d be anywhere from 3-10 of us pregaming at one house or another. We were kind of known as the party fraternity, we were one of the first fraternities on greek row and we had a reputation: girls either hated us or loved us…there wasn’t much in between. But, I will say it was because we were pretty crazy, we used to say “don’t threaten me with a good time.” Anyways…once we’d figure our plans for the night we’d get ready and then go HAM…it was all about how much fun we could have, how much partying we could do, and how many girls we could get to go dirt road ridin’ with us. So, we’d get a driver to pick all of us up, and take us where we were going for the night, or where we’d start the night. It was purely about hedonistic, balls out, badass fun. Every second of it was a great experience, and we all were brothers to the core. This was our routine basically every week starting on Thursday after classes let out.

Anyways, in doing all of this I was doing two things mainly: trying to enjoy every second I could (I was totally aware at some point my health would start deteriorating) and trying to hide what symptoms i did show of the CF like my cough, spitting, going to the bathroom more frequently, etc. But, i did a pretty good job of camouflaging this stuff for a good long while. Actually, I was more prone to over compensate based on the CF, so It was easier to hide my problems if I was at my house, or a friend’s house, as compared to going to the bars…but, when i went to the bars i overcompensated even more, it was bad. So, to shorten a really long story…I overcompensated by being super macho, and overdoing things to show that my CF didn’t have any bearing on what I did or who I was. It was a great lie that I told the whole world, and sometimes even myself. I have some of the best memories from those times, I also have some times I can’t remember entirely, and some of the worst times of my life all rolled into one college experience. I wouldn’t take it back, because it made me who I am today, however, if I had a time machine I would definitely do some things a bit differently…to say the least. LOL

This post kind of took several off shoots and different storylines, I may go back and clean it up a bit, but the point of this website, and blog is to show you the unfiltered life of someone with Cystic Fibrosis, not just the good, or just the bad, but an entire picture…with as many details as I can remember. Wow, as I sit here having insane trips down memory lane, looking through pictures, reading stories, posts, notes, and old messages it is enveloping me in the life I used to live. It gives me mixed feelings, as I wish I could be young again. Like everyone says when you’re a kid you want to be an adult, but when we grow up all we want is one last run as “kids.” So, I may tweak this later, but it’s Friday…i’m going to make some grub and relax my body/brain from a draining and grueling week. Enjoy your weekend, enjoy life, and thanks for taking that trip down memory lane with me!