Friday, January 27, 2012

The Power of Two-Movie Notes

In my 7th grade science class, Mr. Linch would often show a movie and require us to write down at least 10 or 15 facts from the movie.  Of course, I would try to write down my notes within the first 5 minutes of the movie so I could goof off the rest of class.  While I don't really remember anything from that class (7th grade was 20 years ago), I do remember Mr. Linch was one of my favorite science teachers.  In honor of Mr. Linch and my love of science, here are 10 movies notes from the recent Sonoma County screening of The Power of Two!

1. The Power of Two follows the lives of the Stenzel twins, Ana and Isa.  They have Cystic Fibrosis and both received the gift of life through organ donation. 

2. The Stenzel twins are Japanese Americans.  Cystic Fibrosis is not common in the Japanese population.  Care for those living with CF in Japan is archaic, as many resources and medications that are common in most developed nations for CF patients are not available in Japan. 

3. Organ donation in Japan is not common.  In 2008 only 198 transplants took place.  While in the United State over 28,000 transplants took place in the same year. 

4. While the primary focus of the documentary was Ana and Isa experience with CF and transplant, the secondary focus was the concerns with organ donation in Japan.  Less than 1% of the Japanese population are registered organ donors. 

5. Ana and Isa are advocates for organ donation.  They have toured around the United States to share their story and spread awareness about organ donation. 

6. They traveled to Japan to share their story in hope to change the view of the culture's perception on organ donation.  Not only where they able to influence a change in the law to make organ donation a more feasible option, they also facilitate the availability of four CF medications in Japan. (I think last fact as provided after the movie and not actually part of the movie).

7. The documentary uncovers the raw emotions of living with Cystic Fibrosis.  Both sisters faced end-stage lung disease.  Niether Ana or Isa would of survived without organ donation.  Hearing their accounts of facing end-stage lung disease was powerful and emotional. 

8. The reality of Cystic Fibrosis is always hard to watch.  "This will be me someday" is a difficult reality to face. 

9. Hearing Ana and Isa's stories help keep me focused on taking the best care of myself.  It motivational and inspirational.  Not just in my own health, but being part of a community and making a difference.

10. These woman are very brave for sharing their story.  From their emotions to actually showing their scars, they bear it all.  In my own life, I still don't really want to talk about CF with people.  But it is important.  This film will help me to be more comfortable with telling my story. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Work Out Wednesday-Swimming in the Winter

I don't really know what it is like to live in a place with cold weather.  I did live the first 9 years of my life in Chicago, but I can't really recall living in that kind of cold and snow.  Cold to me is our mornings here in Sonoma County where there is ice on the car windshield, maybe the low 30's.  Our average high in the winter is around 50.  It is not freezing, but it is not warm either.  But regardless, I still get out in the pool twice a week.  That is, I get in an outdoor pool twice a week. 

Most places that experience sub-freezing temperatures are equip with indoor pools, so swimming is possible, regardless of the elements. Being here in California, my gym only has an outdoor pool.  I'm out there in the pool no matter what the whether, but at least I don't have to worry about jumping into a block of ice.

I actually love swimming in the winter.  It is peaceful and quite.  There are not many people that stick with swimming in a outdoor pool year round.  Some days I have the pool to myself.  And I swim one day a week at dusk, so I am not only surrounded by nature, but I usually can watch the sunset.   I also think it is easy to get in the water during the winter.  The water is way warmer than the outside air, so it actually feels comfortable to jump in. 

Swimming has really helped keep my back pain under control and my lungs in great condition.  I usually do water aerobics class on Saturdays and my own version of water aerobics on Tuesday evenings. 

Here is one view from the pool.  See you in the water.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Back, but Moving Forward

As the current year comes to an end, it's hard not to reflect on the significant events I encountered during 2011.  Items worth noting include:

Becoming a Registered Environmental Assessor
I had very little problems with my sinuses and have not had a sinus infection for a whole year.
New treatments have increased my lung function and have minimized my CF symptoms.
Spring Training
Another successful Great Strides
Vicky and David's Wedding
Quest for 30 Parks-Park #10-US Cellular Field
Completed our Foster-Adopt application and have our foster parents license.
My husband has his own car.

There were difficult times in 2011 as well.  Both of my dogs each had surgery twice.  My dog Dotty had her toe amputated due to a cancerous tumor.  But there is no sign of internal cancer, so her condition seems much more manageable.  My grandma fell and broke her hip.  I struggled with managing back pain.  I learned a friend took his own life.  I said good-bye to two special CF friends, Joe and Hannah. 

What is in store for 2012?  We are in the process of planning our Spring Training trip, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's San Francisco's Finest event, Paws for Love, A's games, I am being considered to work in a different program at work, hoping to visit Disney World for my 35th birthday, and hoping we are matched with a child to adopt. 

I also have a few goals for the new year.  I'd like to read more.  I have a lot of "to-read" books on my list and I would like to take more time to get to my reading list.  I need to be better about taking my vitamins.  I would like to sell home made crafts on etsy.  I want to focus on being positive.  I want to set aside time during the day for practicing relaxation.

Happy New Year