Saturday, April 3, 2010

Acapella vs Flutter


I often get questions on which form of therapy I feel works best for CFers. My answer is pretty much always the same, "Different strokes for different folks". Now, I myself prefer hand pounds, but that doesn't work for everybody. I ran across this article comparing the performance of the acapella vs the flutter and wanted to share it with you guys. It basically says that performance wise there is no difference, but the acapella is easier to use. My question for you guys though would be different. Did you feel that either of these worked for you in terms of moving mucus up and out? And if you have done both, which do you prefer??

Performance comparison of two oscillating positive expiratory pressure devices: Acapella versus Flutter.

Volsko TA, DiFiore J, Chatburn RL.

University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA.

BACKGROUND: Oscillatory positive expiratory pressure (PEP) with the Flutter device facilitates secretion removal. In the Flutter a steel ball vibrates inside a cone, causing air flow vibration. A new device, the Acapella, uses a counterweighted plug and magnet to create air flow oscillation....We hypothesized that the Acapella and Flutter would produce similar mean PEP, oscillatory pressure amplitude, and frequency over a clinically relevant range of flows. METHODS: We measured oscillatory amplitude, PEP, and frequency. Values for frequency, peak, trough, and mean pressure were recorded automatically every 3 seconds at flows of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 L/min. The pressure waveform for 1 second was also graphically displayed and recorded. The devices were adjusted to give low, medium, and high mean expiratory pressure (Flutter angle at 0, 20, and 40 degrees; Acapella by dial setting)...RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences between the devices for mean pressure, pressure amplitude, and frequency, for all experimental conditions. However, the differences were relatively small and may not be clinically important. Both devices produced similar pressure waveforms at the medium flows. At 5 L/min the Acapella produced a more stable waveform, with a lower frequency, higher amplitude, and a slightly wider range of PEP than the Flutter. CONCLUSIONS: Acapella and Flutter have similar performance characteristics. Acapella's performance is not gravity-dependent (ie, dependent on device orientation) and may be easier to use for some patients, particularly at low expiratory flows.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never done the acapella and the last time I did the flutter, I threw it against the wall and it broken into a handful of pieces. Oh, and I guess I better mention that I neither represent nor do I have any monetary interest in either company that provide these devices. Stupid blog laws.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Idea of a CF Awareness Video

My fibro Josh is many things and as you can see in the following video, he draws upon many of those "things" to make an outstanding CF Awareness piece. Great work J-Dizzle!!!

You can visit Josh at his blog Welcome to Joshland by clicking here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today My Heart Breaks (and Burns)

There are many things to be thankful for on this Thankful Thursday, but here are some that come to mind:

I had a great dinner tonight. Not only was the food delicious, but it was cheap and I was able to enjoy it with Mandi and her parents. There is a sports bar near their house called Zipps. I haven't been to a Zipps very often, but after tonight, I may have to stop in more frequently. Every night starting at 8pm they offer specials. Tonight's specials that I took advantage of were 4 tacos for 4 dollars and mozzarella cheese sticks for 5 dollars. Mandi and I actually split the two. The cheese sticks were interesting in that they were wrapped in an egg roll type of a deal. To be honest, not the best ever, but I'm glad that I tried them. The tacos were pretty good if only I could shake this heartburn!

I mentioned this on Facebook the other day, but let me say it again. I'm so thankful for the performance of my compressor lately. I mean, it's always done well, but it's been kicking butt the last couple of days. Weird thing is, I haven't done anything special to it for it to be performing better. One reason may be the fact that the tubes are staying on better than normal and I've been able to crank it to 30 psi. But again, why are the tubes staying on so well??

Lastly, what I'm not thankful for...Mandi and I are having problems. I don't know if it's the stress of the upcoming wedding or if it's that her (overbearing) parents are in town, but we seem to be fighting a lot lately. I don't want to set off any unneeded alarms, but I thought I would just mention it. It's not a "maybe we won't make it to the wedding?" kind of a thing as much as it is a "maybe we rushed into it?" kind of a thing. I don't know, maybe I'm just venting a little. Things just seem off you know? I mean, how do you really know if somebody is right for you?? Obviously it's not your guy's problem, but I certainly wanted to shed some light on it before she started spreading false rumors about me or something.

Oh, and by the way, it is April Fool's Day right??? :)

*And just so we're clear, Mandi is the love of my life and we are head over heels for each other and just counting down the days until she's walking towards me dressed in white :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do Weddings and Workouts Mix???

It's been a couple of pretty crazy days around here...

The wedding (of Mandi's brother) is over, but I'm still feeling the hangover (not literally as I only had 3 sips of wine and 1/4 of a flute of champagne). It was such a great weekend as I was able to meet many family members of Mandi's that I had never met before. We were all able to hang for pre and post wedding events plus "cut a rug" at the wedding. The ceremony was beautiful and my (future) brother-in-law delivered his vows to perfection. I'm so fortunate to have a great family of my own, but I'm looking forward to becoming part of their family in the future.

I also got to hang out with some Melin Family friends. Bob and Wendy came out from Delaware and we all had a blast together. There were dinners, college basketball, pool sessions and house hunting all packed into the last couple of days with B&W and I've got to say, I loved every minute of it. I looking forward to those two crazies kids coming out for our wedding in May.

The Johnson's (another Melin Family friend) were also out all the way from Michigan. But get this, Mr. Johnson refuses to fly, so they drove all of the way out here. And yes, they'll be making the trip all of the way back in May for the next wedding. They were both such a BIG help around the house this weekend in getting everything together and making sure it all ran smoothly.

The wedding also brang (is that a word?) with it something else. Mucho slacko el working outo. Translation: I haven't run since last Thursday. I've been good with my walks, but running and te gym have been very, very bad. I can definitely tell too. During my walk today I was tighter than usual and it was quite hard to catch my breath while making my way uphill. Hopefully I can get my act together starting tomorrow and start putting my money (feet) where my mouth is.

Last thing, my Facebook is back up and running. I was "disabled" from FB last week for being "too active". I just recreated my FB profile and am now trying to recover my friends that I have lost (plus meet new ones). So here is what I would LOVE for you to do. If you're reading this and have a Facebook profile, please add me. If you're reading this, have a Facebook profile and have friends on Facebook that have CF or are parent's of a CFer, please suggest me as a friend to them. I know it won't happen over night, but I'm pretty sure my goal is to be the friend of every single CFer on Facebook. Not because it would just be cool, but I really think that we can all learn a lot from each other.

Oh yeah, and if you're a member over at, thanks for bearing with us yesterday. We had a spammer create a fake profile and "bot-out" some cheesy emails. The problem has been corrected and we have put some measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again. We will always be searching out ways to improve the security for our members at CysticLife and I hope that it wasn't too much of a headache :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Top Ten Reasons You Know You Live in Arizona

10. You know better than to get into a car with leather seats if you're wearing shorts.
9. You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car.
8. People who have black cars or black upholstery in their car are automatically 
 assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts.
7. Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer.
6. Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and l00 paper bags.
5. You think someone driving wearing oven mitts is clever.
4. You run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so you can use your fireplace.
3. You can (correctly) pronounce the words: "Saguaro", "Ocotillo","Tempe", "Gila Bend", 
 "San Xavier", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla", and "Ajo."
2. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
1. You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Monday, March 29, 2010

No Mandi Monday??

That's right folks, today, we have officially taken off of our blogging responsibilities (and by "we", I actually mean "I"...I know, I know, SLACKER!). My brother and his lovely bride got married yesterday at 5 pm, so we took yesterday and today to just celebrate their lives together. But don't you worry, next Monday there will be pictures and all of the details!! Leave Josh and Christine some love and well wishes. We will share it with them when they get back from their honeymoon!

(PS - Their beautiful rings are to the left)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ronnie and Mandi in the Arizona Desert

A sure fire way to be spotlighted on Sunday is to write a blog about the love Mandi and I share for each other. From The Unknown Cystic.

Ronnie and Mandi in the Arizona Desert

I really enjoy reading about, and watching video of, Ronnie and Mandi. I like following their exploits in the Arizona desert, watching them singing rock songs while driving and eating romantic dinners at the hospital, making the best of every moment.

Interestingly, I discovered today that cystic fibrosis has very little to do with why I enjoy the adventures of Ronnie and Mandi.

Yes, cystic fibrosis is a terrible disease that I hate to my core and obviously plays a role in their lives. However, like a flower that grows alone on a rocky hillside, CF can also defy logic and conditions and blossom a courage of love unlike any other. And it is love, not cf, that makes Ronnie and his heroine such a compelling story to witness.

Their actions and joy in the face of a mighty wind exemplify what is best about youth and humanity – no matter what life throws at you, being together with the person you love, if only for a moment in time, can overcome the most insidious of enemies. These two crazy kids embrace the storm and reach out to others, telling them, together we are stronger.

So, today, I sit ignoring my work. Instead, I take a moment to admire Ronnie and Mandi and every other cf couple who has said “no” to fear and “yes” to the here and now, and who has treated life like a juicy orange and squeezed every breath and drop out of it. And, I’m grateful for 24 years with my wife.

I thank Ronnie and Mandi for sharing their story. I wish them a lifetime together and humbly pass on this Springsteen verse, as it has served me well over the years:

We made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter’s night with a vow to defend
No retreat no surrender