Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Prefer Hand CPT to the Vest

Before reading this list, know that I do my vest religiously and that I am VERY compliant with my treatments. Just because I prefer a hand pound to a vest treatment, doesn't mean that I blow off my vest treatment. In fact, I spend two hours a day on my vest. When I tell my doctors I'm compliant, I mean it, and I'm not going to lie to them. Plus, as I've already told many of you, the vest is certainly better than a sharp stick in the eye. Bottom line: You HAVE TO do your treatments if you want to stay ahead of this disease.

Without further ado, the top ten reasons I prefer a hand pound to the vest....

10. I can do it in the car. - I do get a lot of funny looks, but I am constantly pounding away on my chest as I drive and am sitting at lights. I especially like it when a song with a good beat to follow is on.

9. I don't have to worry about being hassled by airport security because of my hands. - I always get some sort of comment when putting my vest through airport security from "This is the biggest c-pap I have ever seen" to "How exactly is this box supposed to help your chest?". And of course, I can ALWAYS count on extra time as they make sure it's not some awesome bomb that I built.

8. It brings back fond memories of my childhood. - I don't know how, but my mom, dad or my step-dad pounded me twice a day everyday from the age of 6 months to 20 years. I was literally a grown man sitting on my mom's lap as she clapped away. But my fondest memories come from lying on the "wedge pillow" while trying to squirm away from my mom's grasp as she continued to "slap" me.

7. It doesn't give me hernias. - After my surgery for a complete intestinal blockage I had two subsequent hernias. They at least partly attributed this to lugging around my "old-school" vest. Lucky for me, the insurance company agreed and provided me with a new spiffy one.

6. I bring up mucus from my lower lobes. - I never feel like I'm getting much out of my lower lobes when I have on my vest. My lower lobes also seem to give me the most problems. Often times, after my vest, either Mandi or myself will whack away for a while and try to get the stuff out that's way down in there.

5. It puts me to sleep. - Even to this day, I almost ALWAYS fall asleep while getting pounded. When I'm in the hospital, it's common practice for the RT to have to shake me awake so that I can change positions.

4. My hands are a lot lighter to carry around. - A part of me always dreads traveling, even if just for the night, cause I always have to deal with my vest. Not only do packing it up and unpacking it bother me, but then lugging it around just kind of pours salt in the wound.

3. It makes me cough more. - I RARELY cough when I have the vest on. I have to be incredibly junky or be supplementing with some sort of breathing exercise to work up a productive cough on the vest. Conversely, it's really hard for me not to cough while getting a hand pound.

2. It's a cool bonding experience between Mandi and I. - From the very beginning, Mandi has been more than willing to "feel the burn" in order to give me hand CPT. The more she does it the better she gets (although she was a natural) and I'm pretty sure that she would make an excellent RT.

1. Plain and simple: For me, it's more effective than the vest. - I guess that doesn't really need an explanation.

So what do you guys think? Am I way off the mark? I know that in the CF community it is different strokes for different folks and there are those of you who swear by the vest and hate hand pounds. Maybe you guys could leave me some comments as to why the vest is better? And if, like me, you prefer a hand pound over the vest, leave me some points that I missed!