Catching Up–Working Mom Edition
Did you know that if you run a Facebook page and you don’t update it in a few days, Facebook pesters you into writing something?
Well, apparently I’ve been slacking off . . . except I haven’t been.
I’ve finished my first full month at my new job with the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. I’m the Development Director, which is a fancy way of calling me the official fund raiser. I wear a lot of hats: event planner, facilitator, story teller, public relations and social media. I love it.
I did have a few moments in my first few days of “oh poop. . .I so cannot do this!” But those moments passed and I’ve literally thrown myself into my work.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease in the US today. It affects about 30,000 children and young adults, and occurs in approximately one in every 2,000 live births. One in 25 Americans (more than 12 million people) is an unknowing, symptom-less carrier of the defective gene causing CF. If both parents carry the defective gene, there is a 25% chance that each child they have may have CF.
There are over 800 different genetic mutations causing cystic fibrosis. The most common mutations attack the lungs and digestive system. This results in frequent, severe lung infections, which eventually kill the lungs, as well as halting the production of pancreatic enzymes necessary for digestion and nutritional absorption.
Although there is no cure, genetic research has produced several medications that have found increasing success in treating the symptoms of the disease. These medications are very expensive, and must be taken every day together with enzyme supplements, antibiotics, special vitamin supplements and mucolytics. In addition, most young people with CF must do chest physiotherapy and inhalation therapy several times each day in order to maintain optimum health.
What Does the Cystic Fibrosis Association do?
As you can imagine, dealing with a diagnosis of CF (usually in infancy, but often as late as teen years) can be overwhelming for a family. As of today, CF is a fatal disease. That means that there is no cure! There are currently devoted researches searching for a cure. They are closer than ever before, but until a cure can be found, we need to keep those with CF as healthy as possible.
It is extremely expensive to maintain health with Cystic Fibrosis. Daily medications can run into thousands of dollars a month. CF patients are often hospitalized often, which means that family members often have to miss work to help care for their sick child. The therapeutic equipment that helps keep lungs clear is very expensive.
The Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota helps our members with medical costs that insurance does not pay for, we provide matching funds for life saving lung transplants, and we provide college scholarships so that those with CF can focus on studies and staying well and not have to worry about working while in college.
We also provide support groups for family members and we offer travel assistance for clinic days and travel to CF conferences.
My day is made when I hear from our members that they are so thankful for our organization! Here is an example from our Facebook page (go ahead and “like” us!)
It really is awesome to have a job that I KNOW impacts other lives positively!
The kids are adjusting well. We are so, so, so blessed to have a sitter willing to come to our house and care for the twins. When I get home the girls tell me of their adventures, and I know that they have had a good, full day. The older boys hardly notice that I’ve been gone.
People often wonder how I can “juggle” six kids and a job, but you need to know, I’ve been juggling kids and other responsibilities for some time now. I don’t always succeed, and sometimes balls get dropped. I also point out that I don’t have six small children. I have two teenagers (and I took one on his first college visit a few weeks ago!), and two upper elementary students. The preschool girls are missing out on having me full time, but what they are gaining with me working is a happier, less stressed out mother.
Dakotapastor has been the biggest cheerleader for me going back to work. He sees the benefits and he has pitched in a lot to keep everything running smoothly!
Part of my job requires some travel around the state. We decided that it was time to get a new, very fuel efficient car for my trips and for when Dakotapastor is running around town on church business. So yesterday, we added “Zippy”, a Ford Focus to our family.
Isn’t he cute? It has some really nice features and we feel so blessed to have it! I feel so much better about getting nearly 40 miles per gallon on the highway versus the 15-17 that we get with my van. Can you believe that it is our very first “new” car in our 17 (almost 18) years of marriage? It was fun watching Dakotapastor drive it right out of the showroom!
So! Since it has been a while, what have YOU been up to? Do you have any questions for me? Something you want to read about? Let me know!