Friday, September 25, 2009

My First Cross-Country Music Video

When Mandi and I took a cross-country road trip last December, we admittedly went a little stir crazy. Mix our love for music, a camera, a car, lots o' time and being the idiots that we are and what you're left with is the following....

If you'd like to see more of this madness, click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Makes Lung Transplants Possible?

Here's what I'm thankful for this great Thursday:

-I'm thankful for cool fundraising events to benefit the CFF. This weekend we have the Annual Arizona Firefighter Challenge and Stair Climb in downtown Phoenix. This has been a really fun event since its inception and one I look forward to every year. I'm also fortunate in that I was invited to speak about CF and the event at a breakfast meeting last week with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. We both spoke about the importance of getting involved in the community and encouraged the business leader who were in attendance to get involved with the event. I'm hoping for an even bigger turnout than last year and even though this may be a downtime economically, I KNOW that we can raise more money this year.

-I'm thankful for the ability to connect to music. I generally have headphones in the entire time I'm working (currently listening to "Free" by Gavin Degraw) and can be found listening to one of my over 10,000 songs on iTunes. The nice thing about having so many songs to choose from is that I never have to listen to the same thing twice unless it's by choice. That's where connecting to an artist or song comes into play. If I feel that "little something extra" for a song, I can listen to it on repeat for hours and hours (in fact, I can do the same with movies). Some artists that I've had on repeat lately: Gavin Degraw, Tyrone Wells, Counting Crows, Corey Crowder and Brendan James. What song or artist do YOU connect with?
-I'm thankful that God created organs that can be transplanted. Isn't He a magnificent God? Not only did He create lungs that could be taken out of one and given to another, but He gave humans the ability to actually figure out that it could be done and then do it! I've had many fibros and cystas over the years that have been given a chance to live a second life by receiving the lungs of a donor. I currently have some fibros and cystas waiting for those perfect lungs and anxiously await the day that they are not held back by diseased air bags.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making Cystic Fibrosis Care a Habit

I come to you today happy to report that on Sunday I ran 2.25 miles straight. I'm to the point in my running program that I am supposed to be running 3 to 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. We'll on Sunday I ran for 38 minutes straight, and if you do the math, that equals a VERY slow pace, but 2.25 miles nonetheless. The key for me in running is just to keep moving! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other while moving forward at faster than a walking pace. I'd definitely consider myself a jogger now, but I don't want to go as far as saying "I'm a runner". That would probably bring disrespect to all of the real runners out there who bust their butt and move faster than a snails pace.

Here's the key in all of that though: I'm being the absolute BEST that I can be right now. I do test myself on every run and try to push it a little bit further than the last or make it a bit faster than I've ever run before. In fact, when I ran the 2.25 mile loop on Sunday, the first half of the run was all uphill. So again, another quick math problem, that's 1.125 miles up hill. Not bad if I do say so myself. Remember, this is coming from a guy who couldn't physically run 1 minute straight 8 weeks ago without counting down the seconds. Now, I get "lost" in my runs and often don't look at the clock until 20-25 minutes into it. It's amazing what a little hard work and determination can bring.

So how does this relate to CF? Here's how I see it: Make small commitments each week pertaining to taking care of your CF and then see where that gets you. Whether it's stepping up your treatments, getting more exercise, getting more sleep or taking in more calories, make sure you're focusing on one step at a time.

Only doing one vest treatment per day and want to get to two? Start by committing to just 5 minutes on your vest for your second treatment. Increase that by one minute every day, and before you know it, you'll be at a full 30 minutes! Calories a problem? Start by first committing to three meals a day. Then gradually add in snacks or increase meal portions. You can use this strategy when it comes to virtually any "battle" you face in your CF life.

It's just a matter of making certain things in your life habits. The only way you're going to make it a habit is by repeating the task consistently over a set period of time. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, but why don't we start with a month just to play it safe?

So, what habit will YOU be starting this week?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

I must first mention that I don't think I really watch that much television. I may get in quite a few shows, but I have them all on DVR so I can skip over the commercials and save time. It's gotten so bad, that I actually refuse to watch TV live anymore. You can generally catch me watching one of the following shows during breakfast, lunch, dinner and from about 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Whoa, maybe I do watch a lot of tv? I'm starting to feel like a lazy sloth.

How many hours a day of television do you guys put in?

Honorable Mention: Any sporting event involving the University of Arizona, The Amazing Race, Survivor.

10. So You Think You Can Dance?- I can't claim to have watched every episode from all of the seasons, but I do go on "watching streaks" with this show. If I can start watching it from the beginning of the season, I'll generally get hooked on one or two contestants and make sure to watch just to see how they'll do. I still think most dancers are a little strange (sorry dancers), but they sure are entertaining.

9. Hell's Kitchen- I could do without all of his (Chef Ramsey) cussing which fills most of the airtime of this show with the sound of "bleeps", but I must say, he can get the best out of his chefs. Something must be working so I doubt he'll stop his antics anytime soon. Plus, every time he calls a female contestant a cow or dumbo, I do chuckle a bit. Sorry.

8. The Biggest Loser- Definitely one of the most inspiring shows out there. The new season just began, so Mandi and I watched the premiere last night. It was a good thing Mandi drank plenty of water through out the day cause I'm pretty sure she cried it all out last night. There are quite a few contestants this season that will tug at your heart strings. Example: A woman who lost her husband and two young daughters (one under a year old) 2 and a half years ago in a car accident. She said everything that she knew she was (wife, mother) was stripped away in that moment and that death would actually be a "good option" for her at this point.

7. House Hunters- This show falls in line with our passion for open houses. Mandi and I love touring homes and this show allows you to do so at the comfort of your own couch. It's also cool to be able to compare home prices all over the nation as well as architecture. HH is a great show to watch during treatment time cause it requires no sound.

6. Judge Judy- Before meeting me, Mandi was a self-proclaimed hater of Judge Judy. I told her to give the old bird another chance and now Mandi can't get enough. If you're ever feeling a little down on yourself, I'm telling you, watch an episode. I don't know where they find some of these people, but they manage to bring in the dumbest, trashiest, clueless and most desperate people of all-time. If watching these people get berated by Judge Judy can't help you feel better, I'm not sure what can.
5. House- I've been told by a couple of doctors that this is their favorite medically related tv show because of it's accuracy and because of the lead doctor's antics. I'm sure many of them wish they were allowed to say to their patients what Dr. House says to his. It's also cool for me to watch because they often mention medicines I've taken or run the patients through tests that I've done. If you haven't seen House before, I strongly encourage you to check out the new season which starts this week!
4. Sports Center- Maybe some of you out there don't really consider Sports Center a television show, but I do and I can watch it all day long if I had to. What's weird, is I can watch the same sports highlights over and over again and not get sick of seeing them. I'm not saying that I'm a sportsaholic, but I'm also not denying it either.
3. 48 Hours Mystery, Dateline & 20/20- I grouped these together cause they're basically the same show, they just happen to have different hosts and be on a different network. If any one of these shows deals with a murder mystery of some sort, I'm glued to the screen. Here's how bad it's gotten: If I go to watch a DVRed episode of one of these shows and it turns out that it's a repeat, I feel like a piece of me dies. Ok, it's not that bad...or is it? I guess that's the mystery. (Man that was pathetic)

2. The Office- I've never been able to watch the same episode of a show over and over again like I can with The Office. I'll notice things said that I didn't before or see a character do something in the background that I missed the first time. I laugh almost the entire time while watching the show and I would HIGHLY encourage you to rent all of the past seasons and catch up on what's going on. You won't be disappointed.

1. American Idol- Here's one of my tv claims to fame: I've missed ONE episode of American Idol in ALL of the seasons it's been on. I seriously think that it's the best show ever and I wouldn't be mad if it survived another 50 long as Simon continues to be a part of the show. Goodbye Paula, you will (not) be missed.

This is for all of you Kris Allen fans out there:

Let me point out that this list is of current shows and doesn't include some all time favorites like Seinfeld and King of Queens.

Any shows that I haven't listed that are "must see tv"?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Health Insurance Woes...Part II

It's been awhile since my health insurance meltdown that I shared with you all, and in light of this week's events, I thought I'd give you an update. I've been fairly good lately when it comes to worrying about our health insurance options. Occasionally, I'd start to worry, Ronnie would crack a few jokes about how ridiculous I was being, and I'd be alright. This last week however, we had some (potentially) devastating news.

We received an email on Thursday from Ronnie's mother, forwarded from the President of the University of Arizona (Ronnie's beloved alma mater and his mom's employer) stating, "Governor Brewer signed House Bill 2013 which states: "For the purposes of this section, beginning October 1, 2009, 'dependent' means spouse under the laws of this state, a child who is under nineteen years of age or is under twenty-three years of age and a full-time student."

What does this mean you ask? This means, that by a strict interpretation of the new legislation, Ronnie will no longer be covered on his mom's insurance (as it does not mention anything about disabled adult children). Ronnie and I spent all morning calling government office to government office, trying to get a clear-cut answer about his coverage. Not a single person had a definite answer, and any answers we were given were quickly refuted by another government employee.

At the end of the day we realized what the clear-cut answer was: there wasn't one. The Attorney General's office was still "interpreting the language" (AKA deciding if they wanted to include disabled adult children in the "dependents" status or not). We were told there would be an answer "shortly" and "in a timely manner". And man, I hope "timely" actually means timely because October 1st is 10 days away!!

So for today, we are sitting, waiting and hoping. Come October 1st, we'll be scrambling, but for today, we are just hoping. Ronnie, not surprisingly at all, has remained calm, cool and collected throughout the process - My steady-Eddy. And I have, really surprisingly, not felt worried. I don't know if it's just that God has started teaching me to trust, or because I have an undying faith in other people to do the right thing (I truly think it was an over-sight and they'll decide that disabled adult children are still covered). I have a feeling it is a combination of both.

We'll keep you posted. If you live in AZ, are over 23, and are covered under your parent's insurance as a disabled dependent because they work for the state...leave a message and we'll make sure to get you news as soon as we hear anything!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Accidental Voicemail

You guys have to check out this voicemail that was accidentally left on my cousin's phone.

This was a message left on Paige's cell phone.

No, we have no idea who either of these girls are.

Yes, it was actually on her phone. I recorded it off the phone using the computer microphone.

No, she didn't have caller ID so we could call her back and give her a hard time...

Yes, we were laughing until our sides hurt the first time we heard it...

You should also make your way to The Addink Family Blog and keep up with all their shenanigans.