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, August 29, 2012

Don't Blink!

I've been going to post some other things but, Sunday was definitely a day to not blink!! I have been having breathing difficulties off and on all summer long. I attributed most of it to fluctuating temps, hot weather and humidity. Everything came to a head early Sunday morning. I was going to wait till Urgent Care opened in Rice Lake. It became apparent at 5am that was not going to happen. I drove over to Rice Lake where I was treated and released from ER. I really thought I needed to be admitted. I went home and laid down and got up feeling even worse. My sister had told me "Kate, sometime you will have to be admitted to the hospital to treat a lung infection because the oral drugs won't work and put on IV meds. Most Alphas know when you are admitted to the hospital for an upper respiratory infection you either get better or you die." I always thought I would be on oxygen 24/7 when this happened. The first trip my oxygen was at 88% and the second trip after being put in a wheelchair at the was 82%. IIRC, at 85% oxygen you are typically placed on oxygen part time. When I returned to ER the second time I wasn't really fit to drive but, I made it! I knew time was of the essence!! I called ahead requesting a wheelchair meet me at my car. I also told them I was entering by the emergency entrance backwards so that we could get me into the wheelchair quicker. They asked what I would be driving so they could watch for me. They missed me for probably 30 seconds and then it was like music in motion. The new team...the dr. kept saying how glad he was I came back. "It's good you relised this wasn't a normal respiratory infection.". They hooked me up to oxygen right away! One of the nurses parked my car and tossed the keys on the counter. They took am arterial vein blood draw. Took a mobil chest xray. They had a hell of a time getting an IV set up. My veins kept collapsing and I asked the nurse if they were rolling and she said "No, they're collapsing." I kept reassuring her and trying to encourage her where she would have good luck. Explaining I do my own IV and some nurses have had even worse luck than them. They were all really scared I thought. At 11 am I was finally wheeled to a private room. On Monday at 4 pm I was finally released. I requested an medical excuse for the next day off and asked my boss for another vacation day today to recover. I've drank A LOT of water and can't begin to express my gratitude to be alive and recovering.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Time Heals....

it truly does. It has become easier to go out and work in my yard and personal garden. I still think of my sister Johanna often. I still hear her voice as though she were still here with us. At times it still seems sureal but, she was the oldest. The third most enduring individual in myself and my siblings life.

I've been working some grueling hours at the plant and am having tiredness issues as a result of long hours and a longtime sleep apnea issue. I've had some seasonal allergy issues but, knock on wood no serious lung infection issues. I installed my window a c unit in my smallest bedroom in the house and LOL...sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. For some strange reason there seems to be a good bit of humidity in the room despite the a c but, it has helped me get more sleep.

Working towards starting up my carry and conceal training business and just learned there is an NRA Refuse to Be a Victim instructor course(a non-gun course) being offered in Kalamazoo. I really want to get certified for that. Guns are a last resort solution and there are just some people who don't want or shouldn't have a gun for any number of reasons! However, I'm really anxious to get it for these 3 reasons:

a) Because a college class mate was raped in a college parking lot in a town of less than 5,000

b) Because a former co-worker had a sister who took her own life because of being raped

c) Because 3 years ago a city police chief came in and spoke about internet predators and described several cases of 12-14 year old girls being raped and sodomized by internet predators that traveled from as far away as Ohio. Also, I just read a statistic that 1 in 4 women is assaulted in the United States. Pretty scary!!

Currently trying to read Six Pixels Of Seperation and 21 Irrefuteable Laws Of Leadership (or rather finishing reading).

Planning to attend the Alpha1 Ed day in Milwaukee this September. Looking into becoming a member of DAR. I was never interested in it until I learned Johanna had been a member. Spoke to a DAR representative and now I'm even more interested in being a member. I now understand more of what drove my sister to do certain things that were patriotic. Not that I didn't appreciate my sister but, I do wish I could have appreciated my sister as much when she was alive as I do today! Hoping to attend the National Alpha1 Conference next June near DC. Will not make the same mistake this time I did last time. I will take a week off and spend in DC. I've alaways loved history...especially American history! We have a deep and rich history. It just didn't dawn on me last time I was there how much reliving our nations history I could do there!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Long Time No Talk....

It's official I'm not growing produce for market. It's just too hard. Everytime I go outside to the garden I think of Johanna and our many gardening/canning/freezing conversations.  Still trying to reinvent myself a bit. Working long hours at the plant. I'm $300 short of my $1500 donation goal for the Special Olympics raffle. Did a pitch with an athlete to the local Knights of Columbus group. Agency gained $200. Been thinking I need to add/update weblinks on here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chances, Loses And Being Your Own Hero

It's been quite a while since I posted for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is someone we loved deeply took a chance on a lung transplant and didn't get the desired outcome we had hoped for. We lost my brilliant (she graduated in the top 20 of her senior class, had an MBA and could solve a weird mathmatical problem before I could spit out equal), thoughtful (when fellow alpha Cindy Wilson passed she called me because she knew I would want to know and don't use Carepages) caring, adventuresome and preservering sister/friend April 25th, 2012 at 10:27am. It was a very life changing experience for not only her children but, her siblings and the Wisconsin Alpha Pack members as well. She had spent the better part of the last six weeks of her life in ICU and was to be moved to a regular room the day she died. We thought she was going to conquer her transplant challenges. It seemed sureal.

Johanna Ringeisen was diagnosed with alpha1 at age 45. At 48 she found herself a widow hoping to find a fulltime job. She did find a fulltime job delivering mail out of the Cleveland, Wisconsin office. Despite being a single parent of then 12, 14 and 15 year olds she managed to pay her home off early. Somewhere around 2004 or 2005 she had to become reliant on supplemental oxygen and she continued to deliver mail. She raised to boys who became Eagle scouts. Somewhere along the way she found time to play violin for the Fond Du Lac regional orchestra, become a board member for the Wisconsin Alpha Pack, watch her son Martin play college football at Lakeland college & graduate and see her youngest son join the Army National guard, complete a tour of duty in Iraq and attend college at her old university where he was accepted into the ROTC program there. She received a LVRS (lung volume reduction surgery) which allowed her to become less dependent on supplemental oxygen for a while till she got some kinda bug and had to return to depency on a concentrater or oxygen tank. She started gun deer hunting again at the family cabin. She got listed for lung transplant at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, lost a breast but, got a get out of jail free card like me. She was told that it could take 3 - 5 years before she could be relisted. It took 1 1/2 years! We were all relieved she got on Loyola's lung transplant list! She bought a cross bow and bagged her first buck. A 8 pointer no less!! On August 10, 2011 she received a lung transplant. We thought what a magnificent early birthday gift! She turned 61 August 13, 2011. She said it was so nice to talk without gasping for air. Although in January 2012 things started going the other way we were glad she was able to have six months of wonderful breathing. The chances she took were very valuable. For a time while she struggled in the ICU I questioned if I would/could muster the courage to reach for the proverbial lung transplant "brass ring" I learned I would.

The second reason I failed to post anymore because my android phone was no longer able to be used to post on here due to google's endless updated software. At the time I had been working towards a fundraiser for alpha1 research and financial assistance for alpha's struggling financially with medical needs. I wanted to be my own hero rather than wait for someone else to raise money for those type of things. Right now though I've decided to be my own hero for a time in a different way. I recognize how valued I am by my family so, I'm playing things by ear, slowing down sort of and trying to reinvent my life a little. I've always worked I've hardly ever played and too soon the ability to do some of the things I keep putting off may not be viable pursuits if I don't take better care of myself or I don't make the time sooner. For the last week I've debated whether to raise no produce, an acre or 1 1/2 acres. I decided on 1 1/2 acres but, before Johanna passed away I was hell bent on 3 acres. I'm going to remodel some rooms in my house this year, make more time for the cabin, try to be a blessing to Johanna's children and take even better care of myself. You know they only go around once in life! YOU BETTER MAKE IT COUNT!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Warm Weather, Long Hours, Projects and More Tweaking

That pretty much sums up my week. Still have the darn left eyelid twitch. Maybe because of the up and down temp coupled with humidity my body is having to work overtime on behalf of my lungs. Went down to the cabin and remeasured the back door. THIS TIME I remembered to write the length and width of the long board down! Now, I should be able to finally fix it. Grabbed my collapsible hammock and toted it 1/3 mile uphill. I held up decent. Going to start getting up at 3 am to do some fitness ball exercises for 45 minutes to an hour. See if exercise helps my lungs work better. I think it will! I have been using my nebulizer a lot lately and every time a little goey junk comes out exercise will also cause it.

I'm thinking in one more week the 9 hr work days will cease for a while but, for simplicity purposes I'll continue to get up early. I physically don't handle schedule changes well. I figure I can always find something else to do when I have an extra hour to kill in the morning. When I was down at the cabin I decided I'm going to clear around the shower 8 to 10 ft. It's going to destroy some blackberry plants but, it's just too overgrown. Where my BIL removed what was once believed to be my grandfather's sawmill I'm going to clear out the saplings and move the lumber pile over there so I have more lawn. I really need to get the water pump back down to the cabin. Also, need to see if the pitcher pump works in the mean time. Found a napkin on the table that said the well was 34' deep and the water level was at 21' 6". All this time I had believed the point well was dry.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Busy Week

The last week of Special Olympics "bowling practice". Actually it was just a way to get all 16 games required to participate next season in an organized unstressful manner. It's surprising how inattentative folks are about special olympic athlete paperwork. Glad I have two months before it has to be on file at the Madison office! June 1st Special Olympics Bocce ball season begins.

Been cleaning inside. Started to dig back into Dave Ramsey's "EntreLeadership" book. About two-thirds through it. Very good book for a starting entrepreneur! Still tired. Have a nagging left eyelid twitch which is always a sign of tiredness for me. I was on nine hour days last week and again this week. Eager to get gardening!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Short N Sweet!

Working long hours. Fourteen hours awake and I'm ready to get to know my pillow! Long hours this week and potentially longer hours next week and possibly the next one (the result of an April price increase). Still haven't found tuner but, I still have two days to find it (haven't really looked hard for it yet). Futzed in yard and did some more cleaning and organizing in the kitchen. Anyway probably not going to post often for a while here or on Facebook. I'm just too busy and tired at the end of the day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Still tiring quickly after being up for 12 hours. Wish there was a solution to it. Fiddled in two of my three garden patches. Messed with my troybilt tiller a little. I also cleaned up the yard a bit, too! Did some house work. Cleaned out my car and truck. Still haven't found my electronic tuner but, I know it's in a box somewhere. I'll find it by the middle of the week I'm sure!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tool boxes, Compass's, Fishing Poles and Guitars

Reflecting can bring out to us the best things in life! Sometimes it helps us realise the best tools in life to help us cope with what life hands us. I'm reminded of something a friend once remarked "Nobody said it would be easy. They just said it would be worth it. So, grab on with both hands!". We all need to hang on for the ride.

My personal toolbox usually involves the outdoors. Taking long leisurely walks clears my head and rights my internal compass. I haven't fished in ten yrs. Last yr I grabbed my pole from the cabin and have yet to use it! I spoke to Joe "musky" Flater last night and I might try musky fishing sometime this summer.

I recently brought up to my POA /old piano teacher from college that I was thinking about my guitars and trying to start playing again. I explained I hadn't played in years. Her response was "You need to. It's good therapy and a stress reliever. I grew up listening to Glen Campbell and his recent announcement of retirement and farewell tour got me to thinking about my lonely acoustic guitars. She is is good medicine!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Advocacy & Humidity

Well, some think I'm crazy to want to create a 501c 3. Others think it makes perfect sense. Either way it is no longer a matter of if but, when. I've begun the process of laying the groundwork for future sponsorships for a bird hunt in Southern Wisconsin. At least two organizations associated with the alpha1 community have said they would be happy to receive any amount of funds we would make available to them.

It occurred to me at work today that humidity could be the main culprit causing me to tire before dark. My whole body has to work harder when it's humid out.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going Into Quiet Mode

Being challenged health wise as far as my energy levels go. Doing a lot better but, still not satisfied with where I'm at. Got a lot on my mind. Wrestling with the whole lung transplant journey as a result of experiencing my sisters transplant journey. Plus, crop season is nipping at my heels! Followed by Special Olympics Bocce ball season and last but not least hosting a family reunion. Also, Special Olympics fundraising runs from May to September. Kind of just trying to maintain some equilibrium.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Something Came Up

I may not go to the NRA National Convention after all. A number of things have arisen....including a good female NRA counselor near Minneapolis.... which would save me money and spare me 2 vacation days! It would also give me evenings to do field work and save me searching for someone to care for my critters.

I added super B complex to my health supplements but, it's too soon to tell if it provides any benefit. Super tired tonight. I sorta wish I would have pursued the basic EMT training first but, hind sight is always 20/20!

Just edited my "about me" section and reread it. It really is up to us to help ourselves change our day to day outcome. I know I want to start using my exercise ball w/ simply doing stretches. Then I slowly add yoga and Pilates to my exercise regime.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gardens, Gizmos & Moving Forward

Not as jazzed about gardening as in previous years but, digging out seed packets from last yr. Glad to see the rain making the snow disappear though! Can't blame my late start on the seed catalog companies for a change. All my fault.

I find myself using Facebook less and enjoying it. Actually, looking forward to being Facebook free Wednesday evening. I'm pretty sure my next phone will be an iPhone....too many problems with my droids.

Looking forward to attending the NRA convention provided I am able to attend the instructors classes at the convention. Wasn't the plan but, a wonderful opportunity to network! Way better class than previous ones offered. Kind of a mixed blessing!

No longer working at the bowling alley. Wrestling with the opportunity to get a job delivering pizza fir Domino's in Chippewa Falls or not. Starting a ccw training business isn't exactly cheap but, there is a need for ethical and responsible instructors out there. It's not just a right....there is a good measure of responsibility involved as well.

Dr. H is on vacation so, I don't know quite which way to tweak my health supplements. Considering CO-Q10, super B complex and cinnamon capsules. My metabolism is changing and more challenged.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Facebook, Freedom, Responsibility & Exercise

With the many continual changes to Facebook and the recent announcement of timeline....I decided to switch back to this. I did explore other social media networks as well. I also intend to use Skype and learn to use Twitter better!
With accepting new responsibilities in addition to existing ones I don't want to have to fiddle with timeline. I'm reminded of scripture that says "To whom much is given, much is expected." Luke 12:48.

The last couple winters I've struggled with tiredness. This year was the worst! I have a renewed commitment to maintaining my health freedom. Although I am not able to bike currently due to my back....there are many other forms of exercise I can pursue. I've begun to take supplemental 4000 units of D3 and an Iron tablet. It has made quite a difference in my energy level and alertness. I didn't know iron plays a role in carrying oxygen in the blood stream!