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, October 1, 2010

Dads & Daughters

I am seriously considering doing a mission trip to Biloxi,MS(actually it's Ocean Springs a not so seedy neighborhood). It is a joint project between many churches & Habitat For Humanity to help those who losed their homes to Hurricane Katrina and are still living in FEMA housing 5 yrs later. I had talked to the leader of our group about equipment needs. He said "We have found it is best to take your own hammer & tool belt." I thought about my carpentry toolbox my Dad gave me for Christmas when I was 7 yrs old. He was sick of me dumping his minature wood toolbox that he kept his plumbing washers in. His big carpenters toolbox was too heavy and big for me to carry around the house so I took to using his plumbing toolbox for a carpentry toolbox. I would walk around the house telling my Mom "I'm going to be a carpenter like Daddy someday." He convinced my sister Mary to paint my name on this green metal toolbox. He then put a small trim saw & a hammer in it. He said " Now Katie, you have your own carpenters toolbox. You don't need to be dumping my plumbing toolbox." It took him about 3 times of gently scolding me & I finally accepted it. I thought the other day..."Where is that hammer?". I have several claw hammers but, when I see THAT claw hammer or THAT trim saw...I always think of my Dad. I don't know if I'll take that hammer but, I know that everytime I hold a claw hammer I remember Father always being real clear that there was a certain way one holds the hammer when they swing.

In other news I have a whopper of a upper respiratory infection. I missed 2 days of work last week and got put on a Avelox/Prednisone combo. It knocked out a lot of the problem but, this week I have a rattling cough I can't shake. I don't know what I'll get put on next but, I do know I'll have to wait till next week to see a dr again. I hope I don't have to go in & out of drs offices like I did 3 yrs ago after attending Strictly Sail!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Heart My Community!

I'm sorry I missed the Des Moines event. It was sweet corn season and I had to "make hay when the sun shined". I have donated a portion of corn to some organization almost every sale day! It's a nice feeling....knowing you're helping somebody eat a little better.I think if more people could get beyond theirselves a little more often they would be amazed how life changing it would be!

Now that part about I heart my community....
In the last month I've gotten on the local school systems long term planning board as a result I have found myself attending more meetings. So much so I woke up this morning convinced it was Monday morning and I had over slept!! I've started attending township meetings. Next will ne village and city hall meetings. Our local grocery store in our village announced it was closing and I woke up to the fact theirs lots of other Glen's out there! That's what contributed to the involvement. I had a choice I could be sad or belly ache OR I could get involved and tried to be a part of a solution. The later made more sense to me. To the extent I met with the county economic development director for about an hr this last Wednesday.

I also am finding myself getting involved in Special Olympics in a much bigger way than I ever imagined. I'd always wanted to volunteer to help Special Olympics since high school. I contacted them about volunteering. They mentioned something about starting an agency. I had intended to be just a coach. I told them I'd give starting an agency consideration. Well....I will be going through orientation either this Friday night or Saturday morning just before the fall S.O. regional meeting. What is truely special about this county has not had a Special Olympics program for several years! In my local school system alone there is 6 - 8 candidates to participate in Special Olympics. There are two other school systems in the county. Just imagine what it will mean to these children!! So, now I will not only be a coach but, an agency director as well. I've agreed to a lot of work! I have to take care of paperwork and fundraising. I have to arrange transportation, lodging, finding volunteers and keeping the kids up to date on physicals so that they can remain elgible to participate. So, now you know why I've been such a slacker! Oh, and one more thing...I'm trying to get a job as a wreath maker for some seasonal extra money.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thought For The Day:

Wring every bit out of life you can with whatever
life you've been given!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yippy Skippy....Hanging In There!

I am not in so much pain. My system still isn't working right. The Aleve is helping. I'm paying the neighbor kids to do field work. I had to cancel my physical therapy appt because my augmentation therapy has yet to be paid by Shasta Administrations and I AM NOT paying for more medical bills I don't deserve!! I will also have to cancel my breast check up appts as well. GRRR!!! I also don't dare schedule that drs appt to get a referal for an MRI.

I am at 90 signatures for my classmate running for WI state treasurer. Pretty darn good job on my part I think. I'm going to try and get him some more. It's been very much a learning experience as I have asked people for their signatures. I may go up to Hayward this weekend to get more....time will tell.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Day....Another Dollar

Been a long week but, it has slowly improved. On Monday my back caused me so much pain I actually wasn't sure I was going to make it out of bed. I haven't been that stiff since working tobacco harvest back in 91 and hadn't been that sore since I first blew out that disk in my lower back in 99. Bought a jar of blue has emu oil in it which helps the oinment go 4 layers deeper(I had heard that from an ER nurse years ago). Today was the first day I didn't grimice when I sat up in bed! Woo Hoo!!!! You would have thought I would have been in severe pain given what all I did yesterday! I mowed for about three hours on my hydrostatic Skag walk behind standing on the velke. Then I tilled for a couple hours followed by hand planting vine plants for a couple more hours. It's hard to believe that back pain messes up more than sleep. It can also mess with your appetite and digestion as well. Food is starting to taste good again.

I had even gone so far as call Mayo to see about having an MRI. It's interesting how they handled it vs. UW- Madison. They asked me many questions and said their doctors would review my case and let me know what they decide in 10 days( 2 weeks). The soonest I could see a dr was September 14th as a new patient. I called UW- Madison to see about getting an MRI and they directing me right to Neurology and told me I need see a primary dr to get an MRI requested for me. Although, I am better I am going to call back to see if it would still be advisable to get an MRI done. Talked to Karen about all this and she is in worse shape than me. She went on to say sometimes it takes forever for her to get up in the morning and she heads right to a hot shower to help loosen her up! She also told me an exercise to do and some names of some pain meds that relieve the pain but, don't make you drowsy. Thankfully I don't have to see a dr for pain. I don't like to take anymore meds than neccessary!

If I continue to improve I believe it is in my best interest to get my membership renewed @ OST and get back to working those back and ab muscles. That will help my back & LUNGS! I was always telling myself " Where will I find the time to squeeze that in!?" I realize " How much longer will it take me to the same tasks IF I don't exercise!?".

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jiminy Crickets....I'm Tired!

Don't have a lot to say. I think about exercising but, haven't. I feel sooo tried & I really don't think I'm working that much. Some of my sweet corn I planted came up. It keeps raining so I can't get out in my field & plant. GRRRR! I think I'm pretty well done with Census. I volunteered to help @ the Eau Claire Triathalon. It was put together by members of my church to help orphans. That's how I wound up getting involved w/ that. I was SO surprised...while I was working the event participants were saying "thanks for volunteering!" as they ran by during the running portion. Starting to get caught up on my lawn in between rain showers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Working census, cleaning up lawns and doin' the farmin' thing. My Droid has a lot pluses but, a few downfalls are it will not allow me to post on to my blog, it won't let me access my online billpay due to pop up blocker feature and it manuevers best on facebook via opera beta browser.

Have had a couple recent disappointments lately. Someone violently entered my cabin and buried an axe in the floor. I have had friends for years urge me to pack a handgun when I went back to my isolated cabin and I was resistant. When someone breaks down your locked door w/ an axe 1.2 miles back in the woods and the latch lands 10 - 12 ft from the door and buries the axe in the middle of that steals some of your piece of mind. The county sheriffs dept is sending the axe to Madison to check for DNA evidence.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Things Are Looking Up! Seeing Endless Possibilities!!

I got a droid but, it has it's limits! I. E. Like what I can post on the internet or rather where I can post on the internet. I'm caught up w/ all my property taxes. What a GREAT feeling that is!! I am also 2 months ahead of schedule on one of my three medical bills. I did in fact get called to do Census work....what really amazes me is of the 4 of us that got tested in December I was the ONLY one hired. My primary power of attorney keeps telling I have God's favor...I can't disagree with that the way things have played out the last three months. Sure feels like it!!

My vegetable seeds I started are doing well. I just passed CPR/First Aid this last Saturday. The gentleman co- teaching the class said if we liked what we were doing and want to go on to training for First Responder....the local fire departments would be thrilled to have more First Responders. Well, I'm gonna keep going and go for First Responder training. My local volunteer fire dept had two First responders. One had to move & one quit. I will be great to have the additional training since the cabin is 1.2 miles back in the woods. BUT, more importantly it will be a super opportunity to give back to my local community and help people!! I just can't express how blessed I feel!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not Much To Say...Just An Update

I have enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and the week of voluntary layoff. I got a pleasant surprise On Monday when I picked up my tax stuff from my CPA. My tax refund was 4 times what I expected so I will be able to pay up all my taxes and a few other things on top of that. I went for a 2 mile walk the other and could not get over how out of shape I have become. I slept like a baby that night though!! I had the infusion from hell last night. 6 sticks. Blew a vein right after I switched from the soduim chloride flush to the Zamaira. Inspite of the the problems I was able to save the Zamaira which I had to use up in 3 hrs or $2160 would be lost. I finally was able to do what I call "mainline it". I stuck the needle in the vein we all usually have blood drawn from. I am considering getting a port.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thought For The Day:

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.
author: Eleanor Roosevelt

Snoopy Dance Ready!

Or is that Snoopy hop ready???

Can hardly wait to get ground worked up, seeds started or plants planted. Excited to be getting certified to accept WIC vouchers. It's a program for pregnant women with children up to 5 years old. I will be able to help them eat healthier....that just ROCKS!! I also am going to do some other things different this year.

The lady I carpool w/ was talking to others at lunch and they presented the plan I sell plants to them rather than them buying elsewhere because they know I'll take better care of mine than folks @ Wal-Mart and they would be helping me out at the same time. Then I went "Hmm, that sounds cheaper than the local flea market or driving to the farmers market." I mentioned it to some of my friends and they were equally attracted to that notion. So, what started out as an idea I was toying with became a solidified plan!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Wanna Curl Up In A Ball!

Well, actually I've wanted to do that the last four days. I feel fine but, tired. I just can't seem to get caught up on sleep! That crazy old moon had been playing havoc w/ my sleeping the last few weeks. I did receive my Spiriva on if only my garden seeds would show up on my door step!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might!

I am waiting on the Spiriva I ordered on Monday. I usually have my ordered meds from Pennsylvania within 3 days. I called yesterday and they said it had shipped on Tuesday so, hopefully today they will arrive in the mailbox! I just saw an ad for Prevacid. It said it used to be a prescription med now it's an over the counter med. I'm thinking that's a good thing but, not completely sure. Thoroughly enjoying the warmer temperatures outside. Nice on the pocketbook and wonderful for the circulation. Now, just waiting on the ground to warm up. Looking forward to green grass...even if it means a lot of mowing around the farm. It's always great to be outside instead of cooped up inside!! Thrilled I found an authorized Kohler dealer who can & will work on my Skag "turf tiger". Their within 25 miles and considerably cheaper than previous mower repair shops! WOOT!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thought Of The Day:

Opportunity is Where You Make It.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surprises, Setbacks & Simplicity

Over the last few months I've had several surprises. My cabin property taxes went up 37% so they are almost 2x what my farm taxes are. I wound up doing my home improvements myself because the contractors either weren't available or wanted to be paided up front. While preparing my house for what I thought was going to be a reappraisal I discovered my palm pilot charger(I thought I'd accidently thrown it out when I moved)....when I found the charger it felt like Christmas or Fourth of July!! When I went in w/ up to date financial paperwork the loan officer & I were both flabbergasted! The new loan laws kicked in and the only ones they will help is the financial institutions that we helped bail out. My closing cost on a refi cashout went from $2717 wrapped into the loan to $5600 with $4600 up front. Then two weeks later the loan officer called to tell me they turned me down because of a satelite photo of my farmette(hobby farm) because they felt they couldn't get their money back out of it. At first I was stunned because I knew I had paid $10,000 under market value. My next reaction was "Don't bet against me!!"

So, having tired of all the back flips, handstands & cartwheels I had been doing for different lending institutions I hopped in my truck and went to talk to a banker friend of mine. He essentially said why not as you say hunker down & dig out. What was really frustrating though is I had made all these home improvements and if I hadn't my property taxes would be half paid! There's two ways to look at it though:

1) I would be in better shape financially if I hadn't made the improvements

2) Or since I made the home improvements and switched bedrooms I am sleeping better and my house looks nicer

So, I can't afford medication right now. The only things I'm focusing on is staying upper respiratory infection free, keeping up with my monthly bills, getting my taxes paid up, keeping a vehicle in good mechanical order & keeping my job.

I am looking forward to October 10th, 2010. It will be the day I will become medical bill free for the first time in 3 years. I first thought maybe go out for a fish fry or pizza to celebrate. Then thought..."Man, this is tooooo BIG an event to just eat out!" . I have decided to invite some friends over....grill some brats & have a big bon fire behind my barn!!

By July I will be caught up on taxes even on reduced hours. In a few weeks I'll receive my five yr 1 % bonus. March 3, 2010 I got lucky and won Glory B's popsicle stick drawing. $701!!! That will help me buy a 3 month supply of Spiriva & pay for some other things.

A few weeks ago I talked w/ the nurse who taught me how to do my own infusion. She got pretty upset when I told her what had been happening in December and that I couldn't pay for meds. She said the reason I was becoming hypo-glycemic was because my body was having to work so much harder to help my lungs work. I mean I knew a lot of times when your lung function gets down below 25% you body requires a lot more calories to function but, I didn't know up in the 50 % lung function group could have those same issues. I now eat whatever I want and I have had very few sugar low "crashes". My weight has stabilized. I'm pretty confident I'll never go back to eating two meals a day!

In an effort to lower my stress level. I turned down an opportunity to participate in a a-net focus group opportunity because I thought there was the possibility of it being too stressful on my body if the interview happened late in the day. It was in downtown Chicago and if it was @ 4pm or later it might take longer than the typical 6.5 hrs to get home. I also have dialed back on my involvement in regional political support. A band @ non-alcohol political fundraiser might draw the wrong crowd I was told. Gotta love some rural americans!

Just last week I called the Superior Census 2010 office to see when they were scheduling trianing. I was transfer to a second person and was encouraged! The lady said that my name came under the radar(because of my score in the 90 percentile) for a supervisor & crew positions but, there were floaters(someone who had turned down a higher position but, still wanted to be considered for a job) with higher scores. She said my score was in 90% was high. She said they were going to be hiring about 2,000 numerator positions soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thought For The Day:

"The cards we're dealt in life do not determine our future. It's how we handle the cards we're dealth that determines our future"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rest In Peace.....Cindy Wilson

For those of you who didn't have the opportunity to meet Cindy I am truly sorry. Chicagoland has lost a very preservering alpha1 support group leader & friend. When my sister called me Last Wednesday night to tell me the news I cried. I never would have bet against her. I first met her in April of 2007. She was spunky, caring & opinionated! In October of 2008 she received a single lung tx. She had shot up from 25 lung function to 75% lung function. She was on top of the world. She was experienced living in a way she hadn't in yrs. I had called her this fall because and email just wouldn't do! I just so happened her new lung was failing her and the next day she was to findout the verdict...if she would be permitted to be be relisted. She said to me "It is what it is." She was not sad. Just accepting that it could go either way. I just keep thinking about that James Taylor song "Fire & Rain". I've seen fire & I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days I thought would never end. I've seen lonely days when I could not find a friend but, I always thought I'd see you again. She was 53 yrs old.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am still trying to get a handle on what is triggering certain things. At first I thought I was hypoglycemic and I may be. I was showing all the classic signs but, when I focused on that I really only had one really great day.

I also heard that taking cinnamin capsules help with metabolizing of sugar.

Then somebody threw out the idea..."Maybe it's because of too much caffeine. So, then I had a small can of decaf at the house and did a 1/2 caf/1/2decaf batch of coffee. Then I had two really good days in a row. I have also begun eating breakfast every morning for the first time in 25 yrs. I can't skip meals or I pay. I'm still not exercising till I get a handle on this but, I am sure I will resolve what cause me to have bad or so-so days. I am sleeping better since I switched rooms and my mind seems sharper to me. I am currently reading: "The Difference".

Monday, January 4, 2010

Explain Please....I'm Concerned

I got a phone call from a friend in Chicago a day or so after my last post. This is an explanation of what happened.

I had been noticing I was forgetting things more and more often. I had been feeling exhausted. The week of the last post I had walked into work several mornings and became light headed & thought I was going to pass out. I also had walked across the parking lot over to the gas station. There is a snow bank that seperates the gas station from the employee parking lot at work. I came barreling down the other side, slowed down and wondered if I was going to pass out. The day before I last posted I had veiwed a safety dvd about the dangers of texting while driving based on a true event. Seven hrs later I had no remembered it right. I had sent an email to two biz executives(one happened to be my sister) and my primary health POA's husband who happens to be a traveling evangelist. Imagine my mortification when I discovered that the link I sent was for an adult entertainment site! I had txtd the right link to someone right after the safety mtg so I was then able to send the proper link. That was the deciding factor.

The next day the boss came around and said "The flu shots are being given in the large conference room. Your time is 12:32. Write that down somewhere so you won't forget Katie!" I realized also that if I didn't resolve these issues I would be a poor biz manager. I don't want to ever wait 8 yrs to get back to broke AGAIN! I also do not want to be another "Suzie's Super wing ding sauce"(that is not the real name of the product). It was produced in the county I live in and they were not prepared for the products demand to evolve. I want to be able to think "On the Fly" as I like to say.

I spoke to my alphanet coordinator last wk and she says "Your cognitive state is improved." I also realised when I was going through boxes and discovered my scale that I had lost a good bit of weight in the last 2 months. At first I thought it was off so, I called Marshfield Clinic and asked if I could use their scale to weigh myself. I needed the info for a alpha1 research project I was participating in. I discovered it was right. I then realised when I altered my monthly budget that by not eating any snacks from the vending machines, gas stations, etc.....I had in advertantly cut 600 -860 calories from my diet. That meant that I was only consuming about 900 - 1000 calories. According to the dietician @ Mayo I needed 1500 calories to function. I had my alphanet coordinator send an email to Dr. Sandhaus about it and he attributed to some other medical condition which I am not buying having been an athlete and watching wrestlers over the yrs drop weight in less than healthy ways to qualify for certain weight divisions.

I am feeling sharper. I'm down to a 32 waist which is likely a size 10 is my guess. I increased my caloric intake by 400 - 500 calories a day. I am still tired. By the end of today my old bedroom will be transformed into a fitness room so I will no longer have any excuse why I can't exercise. I'll have my Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer set up by the end of the week so I can prepare for biking this summer. I bought it 3 yrs ago and have never used it. I have taken my seasoning biz off the shelf a few times already. Somebody is working on the graphics. Although they are different than what I had in might just turnout way better!

This is my last post till the end of March........Stay Healthy & Stay Positive!!