Monday Morning Thoughts: Dealing with CF Nuisances – Sterilizing, Packing, Neb-cups, Needle Sticks

I’m away this week… the final week of Summer! Thank God for the auto blog-posting feature.

We’re going to look at some CF nuisances in today’s blog.

Sterilizing

My go to technique for sterilizing nebs is to use a microwave baby bottle sterilizer. My thought process behind this is that if a company is making and selling such a device to millions and millions of families with babies who are using it in a safe way, then it surely must work for CF nebs too. I use the Avent Baby Bottle Sterilizer. You can get it for less than $20 on Amazon RIGHT NOW – remember to use AmazonSmile and choose Boomer Esiason Foundation! I use this over the popular Wabi all-in-one baby bottle steamer and dryer because the Wabi was discontinued out of fear for some corrosion issues. I’d rather have something that won’t go bad! You need to make sure you have a safe, working microwave that suits the sterilizer’s designer specifications for effective sterilization if you choose to use the Avent Baby Bottle Steamer!

Pari LC Sprint

I use the Pari LC Sprint as my neb-cup of choice. I think they are the quickest and most effective option on the market (aside from E-flow, which I can’t use because I get lung bleeds when I do). Once or twice a year I’ll shop the Internet for deals on the LC Sprint to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk usually brings the price down and I think it’s a good investment in my time if I can spend a little to buy fast, effective neb-cups. If a faster neb-cup is cutting (even) 5 minutes off each treatment session, it’ll add up. Just think about it… if you’re doing treatments twice a day, every day for a full year, and you’re cutting 5 minutes off each session, you’re saving yourself 3,650 minutes of time. That works out to almost 2 and a half days LESS of treatment time throughout the year. I also use my Live2Thrive copay card to get FREE LC Sprint neb-cups as well!

Packing

Since I’m going away this week (road trip!!!) I guess I have to talk about traveling. It’s a bit easier to go on a road trip than fly somewhere, as far as packing is concerned, because there are no space constraints. I like to use labeled Ziploc bags as standalone compartments for all of my smaller equipment. The nebulizer and Vest get packed like anything else. I categorize everything and then zip them up. I put all my oral medications in a single bag, neb-cups in their own bags, inhaled medications (vials, syringes, alcohol swabs, sterile water, nebulizer tubing etc.) in one bag and so on. Yeah… I’m using a lot of plastic, so what of it? I’m not going to compromise convenience out of fear of plastic. Since I’m going to be in control of my bags at all times (unlike when I’m in an airport and need to put my stuff in the overhead, under the seat or the security check), I use one of those reusable shopping bags (conservation Gunnar!) to carry all of it. I think labels are the easiest way to make sure I’m not forgetting anything, and then when I go to use something, I know which bag to look through.

My fear of needle sticks

I hate anything that has to do with a needle stick. You’d have to go no further for proof than a quick conversation with my parents, and they’d tell you that I subjected them to years of screaming and crying before flu shots, blood draws, IV placements and everything in between. It really wasn’t until the end of high school or the beginning of college that I started to tolerate my fear. I think it coincided with the when I started to learn how to use syringes to reconstitute medications. Looking back I think I started to realize that if I could handle a syringe in a safe way, so could the people trying to stick me. That being said I still can’t look when anything sharp approaches my body… that and I bite down on my shirt!

…and that’s what I’m thinking about this morning!