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

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.