Note: At the end of this post are links to previous posts about my lung disease. I’ll keep these links at the end of each subsequent post, or figure out how to add a Table Of Contents.
An actually busy three days, so get ready for three separate posts. Think of them as amazing bites of one monumental post (I hope).
Starting back on Hump Day, or Wednesday for those who did not grow up with Morning Zoo radio programs in your area, I did my second session of Pulmonary Rehab. Today, I also got my first dose of the “education” part. More on that in a blog minute.
I did the same set of exercises today that I did on Monday, but genuinely felt that I did some of them worse. I felt a bit more stressed, felt I needed a bit more effort, and didn’t feel like my breathing was right. It might have simply been that I now had a taste of these and overthought how I was doing.
However, I think it was more that I paid more attention to watching the numbers and panicking before I needed to. First lesson learned from these sessions: I need to simply do what I can do and not worry that I am failing before giving myself a chance to succeed.
I attached my monitor contacts differently this time, since the way I attached the lower ones on Monday caused my T-Shirt to pull up like a fancy theater curtain, and allowed my belly button to take extended bows. This still really annoys the hair on my chest. Damn genetics.
Did the treadmill. For some reason, I took shorter strides and that made me work harder to go the same distance. Of course, I realize this AFTER I am finished. Noted for future reference. I then did the arm pedal/ ice cream machine. This feels more passive though it isn’t. Because it is done in a sitting position, this works the upper body, especially the shoulders and forearms. Still a low resistance level and still serving yummy fake ice cream to screaming imaginary kids (and taking great glee in telling them that school goes back soon).
Did the bike ride. I have to put my sneakers in rubber stirrups on the pedals. Of course, sliding rubber soles into rubber pedals is not easy at all. I have to ask for help from the instructor. Why not just ask help to tie my shoes? Still, I like this exercise, because I used to love riding a bike, and because it is another way to kind of lose myself for a few minutes. This goes well, my oxygen saturation levels (with the oxygen line in my nose)stays at a decent level.
Final exercise is the weights. She still wants me on three pounds weights. Featherweights. I follow the drawings of the exercises, convinced that I need to constantly adjust the way I am standing, holding, lifting, turning, bending, salivating, sweating, daydreaming. I don’t, hence we are back to our theme of the day: DON’T OVERTHINK.
Cool down. Get funky.
Then, I get my first education class of the program. I’ve been looking forward to this because I hope this gives me a better understanding of what I have. This starts with a video that is mostly about COPD, which is not what I have, but there is some basic pulmonary information that I can relate to. This includes the fact that my ILD, or NSIP, is a restrictive lung disease. COPD is obstructive. The difference is that restrictive creates a situation where a scarring on the lung permanently restricts the lings ability to function to full capacity. It is not reversible.
I also learn things that my sister has told me and will not stop at saying “ I TOLD YOU SO”, like carrying hand sanitizer at all times. I am also told about flu, colds, and pneumonia and their inherent dangers.
The two parts to depress me are when I am told that I should avoid seeing friends if someone in their family is sick. The other is that I should avoid crowds. Only way to completely avoid crowds is to take up being a hermit. I need to be social, I need to out and about once in a while. I’ve spent over a year scared of that kind of situation. I cannot fathom a time when I cannot even think about doing that.
Sorry for the bummer ending. I still think this program will have definite benefits in maximizing my abilities as well as improving my mental focus. Still, I also know that I will hear more that I do not like.
The secret will be to tell those parts to fuck off, I’ll still going to get the most I can out of my given life. People around me deserve no less.
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