Monday, August 9, 2010

Kings Island


One day, not so long ago, I was thinking about good blog topics for us to explore all that we have in common. One random thought was Kings Island, as any girl living in Ohio would have something to say about this place. Then, a few days later, you post something on your Confessions blog about going to Kings Island. Not that I needed any more proof you are my soul cyster, but really? For having never met each other, I can't believe how connected we are sometimes. :)

Anyway, living in Chicago as a young girl, I remember my Grandparents taking to me to Kings Island. I was very young (maybe 4?) and I don't remember the details, I just remember being there with Grandma and Grandpa. Kings Island is a special place to me because it is one of the few memories I have of my Grandpa...being there with him.

What does Kings Island mean to you?
Did you go as a little girl?

Lots of love to you,


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Exercise MUST

Exercise has become the key to my health. I have been exercising regularly since 2000. I've always had a gym membership. For a long time I thought I was exercising to "stay skinny" but I have learned over the years that it is really about my health and keeping these lungs clear. It is my main form of mucus clearance. I keep a goal of trying to get to the gym four times a week. Additionally, I use the Acapella for mucus clearance. I try to use it every night. Some times I forget. Yeah, I'll admit it.

I keep things changing at the gym or I will get bored and not go. I do something different each time I am there: elliptical, weights, bike, walking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga. I try and rotate between these options. Some times I'll stay home and do an aerobics video. I just have to keep things changing.

Actually, I have to admit, I am proud of myself for keeping with a regular exercise routine. I hear the excuses people make to get out of exercising. Its weak. I don't want to be that person. (And by this I just mean the general population...not excuses CFer make).

I have some experience with Yoga and I love it. Believe it or not, it is the ultimate form of mucus clearance. Yoga involves deep breathing, which really gives the lungs a super workout. It may not get your heart rate up or you may not break a sweat, but it does lead to that productive cough!

I completely agree about keeping up with exercise while we are healthy enough to do so. I have learned that I am so lucky to have my health. I'm not going to take it for granted. Some days its not easy. My head hurts, I'm tired, I just want to be lazy. But in the end there is noting more satisfying that a good workout.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I CAN Do!

Hey Colleen ~

I am so thrilled that things are still going well for you! I know you were disappointed that you couldn't produce a sputum culture in order to attend the CFRI retreat. That is a bummer. However, how great that your lungs are that clear!!! My lungs have actually been feeling good for the past 4 days or so. It took a couple weeks for the Doxy to kick in, but it seems to be going OK now. I just learned more about the mycobacterium that I cultured prior to my tune-up. If you haven't yet, read my blog post from today for those details. I have a clinic appointment next Wednesday. I may be starting a one year course of treatment. I really hope that knocks my lungs back into shape. It's really frustrating that every single time I go off of abx, I have an exacerbation within days.

So, with the frustrations and helplessness I have felt over the past couple months, I chose to focus my energy on positive things that I CAN do for myself. One of those things is exercise. My doctor allows me to replace one vest treatment a day with a one hour session of cardio exercise. The vest makes me itch, so I love the option to opt out of a daily treatment. I used to run, but I realized that I got bored a lot while running. I also had no motivation to really push myself when I got tired or winded. I would have a great day where I could talk myself into finishing a few miles, then the next day I had to drag myself through one mile.

About 3 years ago, right around the time my CF symptoms started getting worse, I was introduced by a friend to an aerobics class. It includes 40 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of strength training. I find that for me I need to work out in a group-type setting. Knowing that others are watching and that if I quit, they will know, makes me continue. Even when I have little breath left. Even when I feel a wall of exhaustion. I guess it's peer pressure? Whatever it works! I have gone to these classes religiously 4-6 times per week. On occasion, I'll even try to stay for back to back classes. It helps me feel healthy, even if my doctors tell me I'm not. It helps me feel strong. It helps my mood tremendously. Basically, I'm addicted.

I know you are aware that my PFT's have dropped 30% in the past 3 years. When I look back, I shutter to think how much lower they may have gotten if I hadn't been so active during those years. I feel like being introduced to this type of exercise program came at just the right time in my life. I also know that many with CF are not physically able to participate in this type of aerobic activity. It's not that they don't want's that they just physically are unable. I think that's what motivates me to get my butt out of bed and work-out each day. As long as I am physically able, I MUST take advantage of my abilities. One day I may not be as able.

So what are some of the things that you do for your health, while dealing with this relentless disease of ours?

Hugs ~