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

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Never Noticed....

I never noticed the stories about cancer survivors or transplant recipients till I was diagnosed with cancer this summer. Well, actually I did but, they didn't effect me like they do now. Granted I've always felt like I was a caring sensitive person who tried to help people... but, I never used to get this emotional. Did I mention tears run down the outside of my face when I read remarkable survival stories???

I just got done reading the Len Geiger story in the Sports Illustrated archives. I think it was "the life of Reilly" archives. Anyhow I sat next to Len Geiger one of the two award nights at the National Alpha1 Convention 2007. I didn't really know who he was then but, I can tell you two things: one he may still be a salesmen but, secondly and more important he totally and completely embraces life!

Augmentation, Work & an Orphan

Well, I am on my third nurse from the homecare outfit. I handed her the procedure sheet for Zamaira and she didn't even look at it. She said "Let's get started mixing it!" Can you hear me groan? Given my record of blown veins. I told her "No, you get that started(my IV) and then we mix. The mix goes bad after 3 hrs!" She didn't follow procedure. She asked me when I switched from Prolastin to Zamaira. I had to tell her I've always been on Zamaira. My sister uses Prolastin. I called Accredo afterwards to speak to the top boss. I told her what had happened and she didn't sound any happier than me. She didn't know that they were changing my nurses. I then asked her "How much trouble will I get in if I do my own IV?" She said "Sue felt you were capable of doing your own just make sure you soak your hands in as hot a water as you can stand 10 minutes before you try to start your IV." I also happen to know that a hot shower before hand helps equally as well(that's my sisters preference).

Now on to work. I worked 55hrs last week. We lost power for 1.5hrs tonight so, I expect to work 55hrs this week. I may even be working 50hrs a week well into the new year. They just introduced a new window product line that has been well received but, we have bugs to iron out and production to catch up on. I am hoping for a non-windy & non-rainy day to do the brakes on my pick-up....but, I may have to pay my mechanic to do them at the rate I'm working!

The orphan was a 3 -4 week old kitten. It was the cutest most lovable little guy. Some people should never be allowed to have animals...what a cruel thing to do to a kitten not weaned yet!!

I came home last Thursday and I heard this horrible meow. I thought "Oh, NO! I've accidently run over one of my cats." It turns out that it was an orphan kitten but, I couldn't get close to it till Sunday. Once I could it clearly had eaten food that didn't agree w/ it's system. I was able to grab the kitten and bring it inside. I had bought premium milk replacer from the vet earlier in the summer to feed 5 kittens of one of my cats who was killed. I was able to save 4 of the 5 kittens.

I started feeding the orphan milk replacer w/ a syringe. That didn't seem to sit well w/ it so, then I had gotten a free can of cat food in a bag of dry cat food and I decided to try that. Yesterday morning I realized that wasn't the ticket either. I then gave it pepto bismo. Now to some of you that might sound outrageous but, I have friends who dairy farm and they keep that on hand for their cows w/ upset stomachs. No farmer wants a milk cow to get a DA. The kitten spit out most of it. I went back to feeding it milk replacer and I thought as I left for work he'll probably be dead when I get home from work....If he isn't I'm going to call him "Lucky". To my surprise he was still alive and felt stronger when I picked him up. I thought we've got this licked. By the time I left for work this afternoon I thought he wasn't long for the world so, I tried to make him as comfortable as I could. When I came home he had crossed the rainbow bridge. I do wish I had tried to feed him pepto bismo again but, I didn't think I had gotten much if any down him. Though I didn't save least I know for next time.

Although, I accept I can't save every animal it's never something that doesn't still bum me out. I worked for a guy named Duane 20yrs ago out in OK. As we were gathering cows for milking he said to me as we were walking, "It took me the longest time Katie, to realize I couldn't save every animal. You have to accept there will always be some no matter what you try you will lose. I always used to think I could save every one of em."

So, I'm a busy little beaver, who's a little bummed, very tired and a little bit cranky!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

One Foot, Two Foot

I stopped over in Bruce tonight to eat and I started talking to one of the owners. She didn't know I had cancer earlier this summer nor did she know I had this alpha1. She asked me with my health condition was marriage possible for me. We then launched into a discussion about intimacy.

We can either tell ourselves we can only go one foot or.....we can tell ourselves we can go two foot. As an Alpha I choose to believe I can go two foot. I'm too scared to sell myself short because I know others out there will out of concern for my welfare. I have on ocassion sold myself short though. It's usually in terms of relationships. Every now and then I tell myself that I shouldn't date and I can come up with one of the longest lists in the world.....then I'll wind up reading an article like the one I read in a pamphlet I recieved at the Hike For Healthy Lungs. It said even when you have COPD(alpha1 is a form of copd) intimacy is still very doable....then I think "Why you smuck! Well, of course it is!!" Or I'll read an article about a couple that marries even though she is on oxegen. It still happens folks! Love knows no boundaries. And...Yes, by most married folks standards(and some singles)'s still a wonderful thing!

The same holds true for exercise but, I'm really good at telling myself I can go two feet when everybody else tells me I can only go one foot. There are days when I can only go 1/2 foot, other days I can go 2.5 feet but, most days I go somewhere in between(usually 1.5 ft) The days I exceed expectations are the days I savor & relish!! They are absolutely AWESOME !!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's flu season again!

I want to remind newly diagnosed alphas out there that it's very important you get your flu shot yearly and keep your pneumonia shot up to date....if you don't you can be declined a lung transplant. It's equally important to keep on your maintenance meds as well! If you do not keep using them you can also be declined a lung transplant last time I read up on it. If you can't afford the maintenance meds let anybody & everybody'd be surprised how others will help you find a way to get you the meds you really need. I haven't gotten my flu shot but, it is very much on my wish list of things to do!

I've been working unusually long hours and have had some personal matters I felt compelled to attend to. I just went into urgent care today. I was put on a course of 5 pills of 500mg azithromycin and a second course of prednisone.

I can't hardly wait for this next paycheck to roll around....I can renew my Body Shop membership and start reconditoning my body. Then it's onto setting up my Gary Fischer bike up on my Kurt Kinetic trainer so, I can begin training for the Team Alpha1 Lake Front Bike Trek next June. WooHoo!!

I also think I wouldn't mind taking a stab at "The Dare" or "The Horribly Hilly"!