My plan this last weekend was to attend the Alphapack Christmas party and continue onward to Chicago. Between sick friends and bad weather it was deep sixed! The fact that the Alphapack Christmas party was cancelled due to the threat of 9" of snow(to the best of my knowledge never came to pass) was a HUGE disappointment!!!
In previous interviews I had said "You have to own the disease...You CAN'T let Alpha1 own you." which I truely believe. As long as one remains inactive and silent.....the quicker you're going to die and the slower a cure will be found!....EQUALS letting Alpha1(A1At) win.
I had hope to meet new alphas and help them see that it's so much more advantageous to them to be active and promote awareness than remain quiet. As long as one stays quiet fewer new people are accurately diagnosed, less new people participate in research, less progress is made and the further we remain away from a cure.
Aside from my grumble I guess it turned out for the best all n' all. I had been under the weather and called to make an appointment w/ Urgent care and for some reason wound up going to the family practice doctor who diagnosed me back in 2003 for alpha1(at my request I was tested for alpha1). He knows nothing about alpha1. He asked the nurse outside the door "WHAT'S augmentation therapy?!" He came in and couldn't accept I was only blowing a peak flow of 200 when I have come to U.C. before blowing as little as 125 on a peak flow meter. He also suggested 3 times I be tested for allergies. My visit was more premature than usual since I opted to actually use my 2 remaining vacation days as actual vacation days(where I work there isn't sick leave offered). I thought he was putting me on z-pac and 15 day course(that's what he said) of prednisone. He put me on 5 day 500mg Azithromycin and 12 day course of prenisone. He never asked if I had any severe reaction to 500mg azithromycin. End result: too many hours so I suffered through it. Glad it's over!! Came back early and slept 8hrs last night and hope to sleep another 8 -10hrs tonight as the sleep had a marked difference on my peak flows. My best peak flow yesterday was 175. Today it was 250. Although I would have liked to have taken the cancer wellness center tour, visit the Art Institute and Shedd's Aquarium.....Chicago isn't going anywhere. I can visit another time. It was really nice to only work a 50hr work week for a change!!!!
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