The Top10 Things You Should Do If You Test Positive For Alpha1

  • Have A List Of Questions When You See a Doctor About Your Alpha1(If you try to remember the questions you want to ask you may forget half of them)
  • Learn To Breathe Effectively
  • Limit Or Eliminate Your Alcohol Consumption
  • Don't Be Afraid To Be Proactive About Your Alpha1
  • Get Plenty Of Rest(You will likely have a higher oxygenation level)
  • Avoid Sick People(You have a lower immune system than most people)
  • Drink Plenty Of Water
  • Eat Healthy/Avoid Processed Food(Carbonated beverages)
  • Start A Careful Exercise Program/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program(Your muscles will become more efficient so they won't use as much oxygen and if you have surgery you will likely recover quicker as well)
  • Stop Smoking

Friday, March 30, 2007

F.A.Q. Inhalers & spacers

When you use a inhaler with a spacer you increase the delivery effectiveness by 60%. There are two major spacers out there. One of the most widely known and expensive that I am aware of is the Aero-Chamber. The second is the Optihaler.

The Aero-Chamber is about 3 times the price of the Optihaler, cumbersome and much more indestructable. If I have the choice....which I do....I choose the Optihaler. The Optihaler conveniently stows the inhaler canister and is compact(Yes, I did destroy one accidently at work when I dropped it on the floor). If you do not have either of those options do not hesitate to ask for the spacer used when you have a PFT done. You've paid for it (or someone did) and they will just throw it away anyway!

Just when you think you know what you will do...

Life throws you a curve ball!

Not too long ago I thought I would never attend a high school reunion. Partially because of the Alpha1. As those of you with severe Alpha1 know any of a number of things can set off an asthmatic reaction: perfume, cologne, soap, changes in temperature, humidity or secondhand smoke. Many of you are also used to one of two reactions to your predicament....indifference or panic. Somewhere in the middle would be the suitable tact to take. They also don't realise that the little albueterol inhaler is no more an instant cure-all than a nebulizer(at least in the most severe conditions it hasn't been for me). Partially it had been so many years since I have seen most of them I wasn't even sure I would fit in with the group that attends(which I had mostly heard was about 50 out of 450...give or take a few).

Tonight when I got home from work I decided to do an internet search for Rock Aqua Jays. I went to school (from grade school to high school) with a guy by the name of Ron Wyss and I regarded him as very intelligent as well as being blessed with good sense. Someone uptown suggested I wear a wet suit when I sail as it would help me float. I didn't completely trust my source uptown so I thought I would try to get in contact with Ron. When we were in junior high and high school his whole family was very active in the Rock Aqua Jays.

I can remember in high school when they had gone down to Florida and he had broken his leg AGAIN and hearing that they had to take out two airline seats in order to fly Ron back. I had visited Denny W. and he had mentioned Ron was involved in the Rock Aqua Jays still as of the last class reunion. I couldn't find anything that specifically linked him in the Rock Aqua Jays I typed his name in google and was shocked to see his name listed under obituaries in a PDF of the front page of my hometown newspaper. As of right now I have had two very athletic guys from high school pass from this world before me that I know of and I'm not sure why. They were both really nice guys!! The other was Jim Krause.

I think there is a strong possibility I will attend my next high school reunion. I do think though there is also a strong possibility I won't stay a long time and have a sailboat in Chicago waiting for me(either rented or owned) that night. No matter what though I am reminded of this saying....

We make plans and God laughs!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bi-cycle, Bi-cycle, I want to ride my Bi-cycle!

OMG! Johanna actually knows this is the line from a song by the group Queen. Johanna is 15.5 years older than me(I'm 41). She has survived my desire to learn to sail, too!!

I sent that as the opening line to an email about my new bicycle to Johanna. I had returned to Janesville, WI to see my old dentist and to buy a new bicycle. I had always heard rave reviews about Michael's Cycle and thought that's the place to buy a bicycle for the charity bike rides. Very disappointing. The old guy that waited on me wasn't willing to change the settings on the first bike I tried and wanted to show me a lesser bike by another manufactur. Needless to say the only business in J-ville that made money that day was D. D. S. Loyld Smith.

I then went to visit an old high school classmate Denny W. He was very concerned about me trying to drive back to Northern WI that night. He said they would be up at 5:15am (ungodly oclock, to me) but, I was welcome to stay there that night. ( Yes, I work the swing shift!) I called "my sister in the closet" and told her what was going on. I spent the night and called "Red" and highjacked her computer the next morning to find a bike shop in Madison (at Johanna's urging). I wasn't real crazy about driving around Madison since it had been many years since I had(I live near a town that bills itself as "The biggest smalltown in the state")

I went to Budget Bicycle Used Bikes and wound up buying a new bike. I can't say enough good things about them,!! They were willing to sell a used bike to me and change the setting on the handle bars, seat, etc. The Raliegh was up on the bike holder. They had the Cateye Astrale half installed and I noticed the Raliegh didn't have any shocks in the front fork. They sent me to their new bike showroom pedalling the Raliegh just so I could make sure it wasn't what I wanted. I got a sweet deal on the repair kit, and Cateye Astrale and loaded a Gary Fischer Nirvana in the back of "Ol Red"(My truck).

The next day I pulled the bike out of the truck and pedalled "uptown". Picked up the mail and headed over to a couple places I visit. Got a few wise assed remarks at the first place but, know they were glad for me! Then headed over to another and they had encouraging words for me!

I decided I want to go in an event that requires pledges for a non-alpha1 event over by Milwaukee. I don't know if any of you had the priviledge of knowing Noreen & Ken Austin.... but, I told her daughter Janet " I hope I can posesss as much style & grace when I become feeble. I'd even be happy if I had half as much!". For those of you that didn't have that priviledge I am truly sorry!! Noreen died as the result of complications from Leukemia. I never once saw her sad or with a negative thing to say and she had her fair share of heartaches! She had one of the biggest hearts in the whole wide world!! My family and I can tell many a heartwarming story involving the Austins....our lives are richer for those experiences.

I'm kinda wish I had bought a 27 speed bike (instead of a 24) but, maybe when the weather warms my attitude will change. I can tell you there IS a noticeable difference between a Wal-mart Huffy and a Gary Fischer in performance!! I now understand the diff between mash and spin.