Friday, August 1, 2014

The "Vest" Thing to Happen for my CF in a long time

Hello everyone,

It's been a busy few weeks.

Two weeks ago I got to speak at my alma mater The University of Georgia. The speech went great. I had a lot of good feedback and was thrilled to have so many friends and family members in the crowd. I have 2 more speeches coming up. One is scheduled for Chattanooga and the other in Kansas City where I've made time to visit Kaufman Stadium to watch the Royals play.

Honored to have Abram (pictured) and his wife Cookie at my speech

Andrea, myself and the kids were just in Rhode Island for my cousin's engagment party. It was a wonderful weekend. We celebrated Andrea's birthday while we were there and took a trip to Boston (see the picture attached). The kids were great on this trip. It was great to see my cousin Barrett so happy. It was also wonderful to see my Aunt Loretta (Barrett's mom). She is such a wonderful person. And of course it was wonderful to see Barrett's fiance Alma.

25 again...thanks Aunt Loretta for going above and beyond to make Andrea's birthday special

Boston strong

We got Buddy back from his month-long training session and he seems to be a new dog but a bit bigger. He's still as cute as ever though. Now Andrea and I are the ones who are in training.

On the Health Front...

Well I received the Afflo Vest a few weeks ago, a new product out of Europe that only requires a battery rather than electricity to work. I'm reporting my findings to the Emory Clinic as I am the first patient from the clinic to use this vest. So far, so good. I'm combining it with the Hill-Rom vest in the morning and then using the Afflo Vest at lunch and then driving home. Yes, I said "driving home!" The advantage of this is that I get an extra hour to spend with Andrea and the kids. All I have to do when I get home is clean the nebulizers and charge the battery for the Afflo Vest and Trek S nebulizer machine. I've only been following this plan for a few days but I have to say it's a welcome change. If my PFTs go up after using this vest, this change will be permanent. The other great thing is now I'll be able to do something that I never in my life thought I could do...overnight camping!!! I've always wanted to have the freedom to do something like that. I know it sounds silly that someone could put this on their bucket list but for someone with CF it's not ridiculous at all. If you're worried by the way, doing my vest in the car is nothing like texting and driving. I'm watching the road the entire time. I just hope to avoid any speeding tickets as the officer will probably have a lot more questions than "Do you know how fast you were driving?"

"We got a code 405082 over here." "What's that, officer?" "I caught him nebulizing, vesting and driving, sarge!"

Just so you can understand how important it is to have a machine that is easy to travel with, here is a shot of my old machine which still lies in a closet in my parents' house. The machine, a 1989 model, still works today but is 50 times louder than the Afflo Vest, has lights to warn me about fire hazards and weighs at least 75 pounds! The loudness was a problem at school when others around me were trying to study hence the constant knocks on my dorm room door whenever I used it. That's enough to make any CF patient feel alienated. The fire hazard always scared me because I had to be sure to keep water away from it. I didn't feed it after midnight or let it see sunlight either just in case. Ha Ha! The weight was the biggest problem as it was almost impossible to fly with it. Thank you Hill-Rom and Afflo Vest for making my traveling a lot easier.

The dinosaur of therapy vests

I'm hoping that my PFTs will improve over last time. I have felt really good lately. I even shocked my trainer yesterday as she thought I'd be begging to quit after our most recent workout. Instead, not only did I not beg to quit, but I broke my record on the row machine. My current record for 250 meters was 2:06. Today I did it at 1:47...and that was at the end of my workout! I hope it's the Afflo Vest or maybe it's the fact that I'm doing my Hypertonic Saline 3 times a day during the week or maybe it's because it's warm out and I'm getting more outdoor activity. I'm also running a lot faster on the treadmill. I ran the Peachtree in 80 minutes and was gassed. I was so frustrated with my performance that I changed my running style. Instead of running 15 minutes at 4.0 on the treadmill. I'm now doing three 5-minute intervals between 5.0 and 7.0 and sprinting the last minute for all three. The change has also shown up on the softball field as I'm sprinting around the bases as if I'm back in my twenties. I hope it will show up at the doctor's office, too.

Just "running" the Peachtree isn't enough anymore

The great thing about the new vest is it seems to reach places that the Hill-Rom vest didn't and has different modes. It's not just vibration. I am continuing to work my tail off in the gym and at home. I'm very lucky to have an amazing wife and two really good kids. I'm not working hard just for me. I am doing this for Andrea, Avery, Ethan, Magic and now Buddy too.

Anyway, I hope that everyone is doing well.

Live your dreams and love your life!

Thanks to a great support system and the new Afflo Vest, that's exactly what I'm doing.



  1. Hi Andy,

    Are you still enjoying the Afflo Vest? How did it affect your PFT's? Do you feel like you get stuff up with it? I am looking into getting one and want someone's perspective that has nothing monetary to gain from their insight.


  2. Hi Andy,

    Are you still enjoying the Afflo Vest? How did it affect your PFT's? Do you feel like you get stuff up with it? I am looking into getting one and want someone's perspective that has nothing monetary to gain from their insight.