Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Power Inverter for "Powerless" Treatments

This past 4th of July weekend the family and I took off up north to escape the 100+ degree heat here in beautiful Phoenix. We camped about 10 miles north of Strawberry, AZ at 7800 feet complete with tents, shelter for eating, propane, camp fires (kind of), s'mores, no bathrooms and no electricity. No electricity generally makes it tough to live the CF life as power is generally required for most of our treatment regiment. I use a inCourage Vest system and a Mobilare 50psi compressor for all 3 or 4 of my treatment sets, so for me, electricity is a must. I haven't been camping for years and years without a cabin full of 120v outlets, so I've never needed to come up with a solution for electricity before. That is, until we decided to "rough it" this past weekend.

Here was my solution:

Pictured above is the Wagan 1500W Power Inverter. I purchased it from Fry's Electronics and if you're interested in ordering one for yourself, you can see more info by clicking here

A brief rundown of the nitty gritty...
Price: 179.99
Continuous Use: 1500W
Peak Surge Power: 3600W
AC Voltage Output: 110V
Optimum Efficiency: 90.00%
No Load Current Draw: less than 0.95A
Input Voltage Range: 10V to 15V
Low Battery Alarm: DC 10.5 +/- 0.5V
Auto Low Battery Shutdown: DC 9.5 +/- 0.5V
Cooling Fan: Yes
AC Receptacles: Triple

Now, I bought the 1500W which was way more wattage than required to run my Vest and neb compressor. My Vest requires 500W and I'm assuming that my compressor requires much less than that. A step down to the 1000W inverter only provides two AC receptacles and I wanted the third in case I had to charge my phone or make a cup of coffee while I did my treatments :) Plus, having 1500W gave me the option to use the power inverter for a variety of other things...

Options are good
I had the inverter installed at a local shop called Direct Audio and the job was done in less than 3 hours and cost me 85 bucks out the door. They installed it under the driver's side seat with the AC outlets facing the backseat. I usually had my Vest and compressor plugged in and sitting on the ground near me while I sat in a chair. When it was raining, I simply sat in the front seat and left the equipment in the backseat. (I've also already done a full treatment set on the way to the airport while I was driving. Talk about a time saver!!)

Surrounded by pines!

Nice view during treatment time
When I did my treatments I always had the car running as to not run the chance of draining my battery (you also must turn the power to the inverter off when not in use). That was recommended to me by the guy who installed the inverter and it certainly made sense to me. So, as long as I had fuel in the tank, I was in the clear to do my treatments whenever I felt like it. Having the freedom to go camping and not have the worry about keeping my health as the number one priority was definitely worth the price tag of 264.99+tax.

Mckenna loves treatment time with Daddy

A couple other answers to questions I have been asked:

I didn't worry about sterilizing my neb cups in between treatment sets. I figured it would do no more harm than the 10+ years I washed them in the dishwasher about once a month. If I was worried about it however, I could have boiled water or plugged in my baby bottle sterilizer.

You can keep your Pulmozyme cold in the same place you keep your food cold. Ours was in a cooler full of ice.

I wasn't worried about disturbing other campers. We were very secluded. Even so, it wouldn't have bothered me and would have given me the opportunity for a little CF awareness ;)

I went to the bathroom in a hole that I dug by a tree. It was glorious.

I didn't feel a major difference in the power supplied to my Vest or compressor. I could possibly be convinced that my Vest was a bit weaker, but it wasn't super apparent. 

Final Thoughts:

The inverter did it's job and I would give it two big thumbs up. It will certainly provide more freedom and options down the road and I am very pleased with my decision to pull the trigger and pay the money. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Mckenna even got in on the picture taking action!
Please leave me any questions you may have about the power inverter and I will do my best to answer them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Grammy's House

It's not Monday, but it's Mandi here. I didn't write yesterday, so I figured I'd write today. I was en route to visit my Grammy in Florida, so I didn't post, but that spurred on my idea for today's post...the top ten things I love about my Grammy's house!

10. The location - You can't beat being walking distance to a beach, in the sunny state of Florida!

9. The snacks - My grammy always has the yummiest snacks. When we were little, it was an abundant supply of gum balls and lucky charms. Now it's the latest divine invention on the supermarket shelves. I think I get fatter just walking in the door. I'm currently 10 Hershey's Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds deep.

8. The meals - We eat well here, from yummy home-cooked meals like Goulash to eating out at fun beachside restaurants. There's always good company and delicious food on the table.

7. The smell - Everyone's house has a signature smell. My grammy's house has smelled the same way for all 27 years I've known her (and that's been two different houses). The smell is so glorious I would make an air freshener out of it and make my own house smell like it if I could. The smell is one that makes memories flood my mind and brings a smile to my face.

6. The decorations - The decorations are older than I am and each has a story. I remember playing with different knick knacks when I was 2. Each piece is unique and has a story to tell (well my Grammy tells the story, the piece just sits there)...I love hearing the history behind each.

5. The weather - Whether it's sunny or rainy, I love the weather. I love that it rains most days, usually just for a little bit. In Arizona we never see rain, so it's really refreshing to hear raindrops on the windows and hunker down inside.

4. The sounds - I love the music of the bugs chirping outside and the distinct sound of the front door closing. I love to hate the phone that rings as loud as a fire truck siren and the shrieking of my grammy's hearing aid when I hug her on the "wrong side".

3. The visitors - Grammy's house always has "extras"...bonuses, really. My Aunt Susan comes down to hang out. My Aunt Jo comes over from next door to say hi. My great uncle and aunt used to live next door and we used to play there and listen to stories. The company is always awesome!

2. The memories - We've been coming to St. Augustine Beach since I was born. My grammy's house and the house next door (that my great aunt lives in) were the homes of my great grandmother and my great great aunt. When we started coming, it was that generation living in the houses. When I was in grade school, it became my grammy and her sister living in the houses. I know this house better than my own. This house has been the only consistence house I've ever "had". We moved around a lot as kids (about every 3 years), so my house was forever changing. But not grammy's! One to two times a year I came to a house that never changed. It stayed its wonderful, warm, inviting self for 27 years. I know which floor boards make a little more noise. I know which stool will fall over if you sit on it wrong. I know which rules can be bent, and which never to break. I know which blanket I can cover up with when I'm chilly. I know which light switches do what. I know exactly where I can run. I have 27 years of memories in this house and this neighborhood.

1. My grammy - I've posted about my grammy before, but she's one of a kind. Time with her is time always well spent. We are always giggling. We are always smiling. We are always sharing a part of ourselves with the other. She brings me so much joy and I wish I could see her more than a week or two a year.