I work Out! (Wednesday Work Out)
In Feb of 2012 I was diagnosed with Emphysema, Bullous Emphysema, and Emphysematous Bleb. I am not going into what all that means technically. Let’s just say it is harder for me to catch my breath. Yes I was a smoker, key word being WAS. It was incredibly difficult to quit and honestly I would still smoke if I could. I do miss it, sometimes a lot and sometimes not so much.
(If you want to read about my journey with that whole quit smoking thing you can read here for the beginning: http://theblogofteresa.com/non-smoking-10-days-and-counting/ )
The thing is that I underestimated my disease. I thought that if I quit smoking and just worked out I would be ok. Live long time. The doctors were saying average was 4 years but many make it to 10+ years. Of course so many people told me about their mother, father grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle brother, sister, best friend, best friends next door neighbor’s dog walkers brothers father-in-law who all had emphysema for 10 20 30 years and died of a something else. SO kind of encouraging a little bit I guess
SO in my ignorance I went off do the COUCH TO 5 K thing, exercising on the Wii Fit, and generally ignoring my disease. Then I caught a cold. What a cold it was too. I learned that I cannot wait for a week to see if that cold would go away. That cold took me out, it did. I was on steroids antibiotics and bed rest forever. Seriously, I was out for about a month. Not cool. Took me on several months of just being sick. One thing after another. SO no waiting for me!
Then I saw a dietician. I thought they were sending me because with all the steroids I have been taking and the inactivity, I got fat. SO figured the doc was being subtle. Nah, I was to learn how to eat to help my body with my disease and fend off sickness. High protein diet for me. I have never been much of a meat eater so giving up red meat for the most part was no big deal. It is getting more fish and chicken and pork into me. I do my best and the diet, it works.
Now, I am going through a rehab for pulmonary disease patients. It is an exercise and education program. The education part is pretty awesome. I will never again underestimate my disease. This stuff is going to kill me. It will kill me faster if I don’t respect it and do what it takes to keep me as healthy as possible.
The exercise part is even more awesome. Well except for the let’s see how far down your Blood Oxygen levels can go part. I think we are done with that part. Anyway I like the whole exercise part because finally it is something I can DO. I have felt so helpless and lonely with this disease. It is hard to explain, but I have really felt like many just don’t understand that feeling. Kind of like being told to go do things, chin up, keep a good attitude but every time you go forward you are tied up and can’t really get far.
(And I will digress for a minute. Yes a good attitude helps, but dammit it is easy for YOU to tell me to have a positive attitude, YOU are not trying to hack up a lung and have break catch your breath on the way to the bathroom. NOR or you battling the effects of medication that make puberty, PMs, pregnancy ad menopause look like a day trip! So quit telling me, I know)
The part of exercising I like the most is that I have finally learned how to get moving without taking myself out. Beforehand I would feel good so I would get some exercising done, and clean the house and everything else, then I would take 2 weeks to recover. Now I have learned how to pace myself and watch my oxygen levels. I took a walk today using the Couch to 5K app again. I don’t run but I use it to walk then walk faster. It gives me a half an hour of exercise. This time I paused when oxygen dropped to 90. Waited till it came back up then continued. A half hour of exercise took me an hour today. I am ok with it. I have a goal
I wanted to run the 5k in the St Patrick’s Day Celebration in March of 2012. I was way too sick to do so. But I got better and trained to do it in 2013….was willing to crawl it..I got sick again. SO New goal I am going to run this damn 5k in 2014. I will be tracking my progress here on Wednesdays, Workout Wednesdays if you will. Just as I tracked my quit smoking, I will track my progress not only with weight but endurance and the feelings that go with it