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 ~

1 comment:

  1. These emails remind me of some of the first emails between me and my CF penpal Carly. She and I emailed for 8 years, and finally met IRL this spring. She has been a real rock in my life--and like you two we had so many simliarities when we met. We were even born just a day apart!

    Anyway, I am blessed to have Carl in my life--and I am glad you two have found the same.