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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vesting in the car

Well, I’m thrilled to share with you all that I have managed to solve a problem that plague many CFer’s (or at least solved for me and I hope it will help other CFer’s) – doing meds in conjunction with driving to save time.

You heard me right – this morning I did my entire med treatment (Albuterol, Cromolyn Sodium, Pulmozyme, HTS and the Vest = 50 minutes) while driving.

How? Well my clever mom went down a road I hadn’t thought of. While I was focusing on a generator powerful enough to juice my Vest, but small enough to fit in my car and of course one that doesn’t give off deadly exhaust that could really mess me up in my car – my mom went the more obvious route. She called Respirtech. Duh. What would we do without moms?

Respirtech right away sold my mom a $70 800W inverter (not made by them, but rather by a company called AIMS) that they promised would blow up my car (oh, I didn’t realize that was an issue. ;) ).

I got it over-nighted on Friday. I quickly reazlied that I had no clue how to install an inverter (some of you may know how to, though) so I called a few mechanics to get a quote on installing this sucker. Turns out audio car guys or alarm guys are the people to go to.

So Saturday I was off to Al & Ed’s Auto Sound – and 3 hrs and $200 later (I probably was overchanged, but really, I don’t care because I’m so excited), I have an inverter in my car that can power using my Vest AND PARI ProNeb Ultra II at the same time (I do HTS and Vest at the same time).

Yes. Really.

The key is to use the devices while the car is on – kind of like the radio. If the radio is on while the car isn’t running, your battery might die. Same with this inverter.

And to note, I don’t have some special car or special battery. I have a 1998 Volvo Station wagon and a standard battery. The inverter is installed in the back seat and here is my equipment in the front passenger seat.

So this morning, Sunday, I decided it was a great day to take a 50 minute drive and do my morning meds. Now I’ve nebbed before in the car, no biggie. But since I hadn’t vested in the car before, I put my Vest on before I got on the road ( worked in the seat belt so it was closest to my body without compressing the vest jacket. Took some working, but I made it happen) so I could just press “go” on the Vest machine when it was time.

So ya, I vested while driving. Now, I’m not a big cougher while I Vest – for me, the Vest helps keep things moving throughout the day. I could see if I was a big Vest cougher how this driving/vesting thing might not work out too well. But for me, at this stage of my CF game, vesting wasn’t distracting at all. And the vest was at 100% power. I can tell for sure :)

It felt weird – kind of like the 1st time I used my Vest. But not distracting. The one annoying thing is I had to engage my abs a bit more than I usually do while driving because I didn’t want to deflate the entire back of my Vest. So I had to sit up more forward than usual. No big deal. Just a good ab workout ☺

I was scared my 11 year old car might lose some juice while driving/vesting, but I went up through some hills with the air conditioning on and things were fine.

I’m so excited I might scream. OK, yes, I just screamed. I start my job tomorrow, and my commute for a few months will be about 45-60 minutes. My plan for tomorrow morning was going to be to wake up at 5am to vest, shower, do my hair, and get in my long commute.

No longer.

I will be up at 5:45am instead, to shower, do my hair, and communute/do meds at the same time. And when I leave work at 5pm, I’ll do meds/commute on the way back.

Can you believe it? An extra 45-90 minutes a day. EXTRA. Extra extra extra.

That’s great insurance against getting sick if I use that extra time to sleep. Or to work out. Or to simply improve my mental health by having more energy to get together with friends after work.

This is the greatest thing since sliced bread and the eFlow ;)

I hope this will help some other working CFer’s (or CFer’s who take long road trips for vacation, or those who want to do meds on the way to the airport, or those who were considering taking a job they really wanted but the commute would kill them, or those who want to do a clinical trial but it’s too far of a drive, or WHATEVER).

It’s another option in our “Healthy CFer” toolbelt.


P.S. you can buy your inverter from Respirtech directly or at the same price from websites like this http://www.theinverterstore.com/the-inverter-store-product.php?model=pwrinv800w-top-rgb . I have a feeling the inverter is pretty easy to get a hold of :)


  1. That's awesome!!!! Thanks for the post. That's something I need to do for sure!


  2. Wow, that's really really cool!

  3. This is AWESOME! It would make traveling with Lucy so much easier to be able to do her neb on the road or while on camping trips this summer! GREAT TIP!

  4. Yep, very cool post! I basically live in a Van (Roadtrek RV) so I had an inverter in it already. I do my HTS Nebs in there, but I don't use a vest. I was just wanting to mention that they work well for various other appliances too like say a coffee pot :) Found your blog through Ronnie's, I am looking forward to reading more!


  5. Wow, what a great setup! We've had a PARI Trek for years and it is great for treatments in the car, but have had to use the Acapella instead of the Vest.

    I would get an inverter installed except that Ricky still has the giant original ThAIRapy Vest. I'm going to see if we can get the Respirtech one... He used one of those in the hospital and it was quite impressive.

    Thanks for sharing this info!

  6. Just a little side note really, you don't need to worry about the Volvo battery. They use high power batteries, unlike a lot of smaller cars, my dad used to use his to power the caravan when we were on holiday without the engine running. Mind you he used to carry a tractor battery as a spare too :)
    You could probably get about 2 hours of battery life without the engine running but I would then suggest a 1 hour drive to recharge

  7. Awesome Amy! I can just see you riding along on the highway. Talk about a cystic species! Lol Nice picts.

  8. Hi Amy,
    I was interested in trying this out. Do you still use this setup in your car? Did you ever notice any issues with how your car functioned when using the vest over the long term?