Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remember to BREATHE

The photo above is of my CF Awareness bracelet

To be quite honest, when I work out, I often forget to breathe. But that's the whole point isn't it? At least for me it is. I'm trying to challenge my lungs and force them to take in more air than they're used to. While I'm running, Mandi will wave her hands around to get my attention (so I can remove my ear buds) and then make these huge breathing motions while telling me to get my breath under control. It really helps. Often times, I think it's still a mental block that "tells me" that I can't possibly get in any more air. I think to myself, "man am I tight, it feels like I'm in a bear hug" and the conversation ends there without me actually trying to take in a deep breath. When Mandi forces me to focus on my breathing, all of the sudden I can take big ol' huge breaths. Now, it's hard and it is often followed by a ton of coughing and mucus to follow, but again, that's the point right?

Many other people could answer, "you know, all of this painful coughing, I'm not doing it for my health" (in a snide kind of tone), but of course, we (CFers) are in fact doing it for our health. It's painful and it's not fun, but at some point you just have to make the decision that you'll go through some pain in order to get some lung function back, or at the very least, stop the plummeting PFT numbers. While you're doing it though, just do me one favor, remember to breathe. Your lungs will thank you for it.

Thursday: Walk 2 minutes, Run 5 minutes (4 cycles)
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Biceps and Back (no running due to hemoptysis)
Sunday: Pool games and breathing exercises in water
Monday: OFF (Travel and clinical trial)
Tuesday: Walk 2 minutes, Run 8 minutes (3 cycles)

As you can see, it was kind of a funky week. I started coughing up blood during my run on Thursday, but it was streaked with mucus, so I wasn't very worried. By the time my run was over, about 25 minutes later, the blood had stopped and my mucus was back to yellowish-clear. It wasn't done rearing it's ugly head however as I woke up around 3am Thursday night with a mouth full of blood. I coughed up about 2-3 tbsp of pure blood that night and have felt a little off since. I took off my other running day to let my lung heal and recover. Whenever I have a hemoptysis episode of pure blood, I usually feel sick for a little bit. I'm not quite over it as of yet, but I'm on the up and up. During my clinic appointment on Monday, my doc asked if I wanted to come into the hospital for a quick burst of antibiotics. He's worried about the drop in my PFTs (almost 10% in 10 days) and my drop in energy. I politely declined and told him I would fight my way back. I'm confident that after giving myself a few days to recover and then getting back on track with my workouts, I should get my numbers back up. I go back to clinic on September 11th, so only time will tell. I'll of course keep you guys posted!

To see pics from previous weeks, please click here, here and here.

3 people had something to say...:

Groettum Family said...

Keep up the hard work! I too am a runner and without the CF I really struggle sometimes (OK, a lot ha!), just know how inspiring you are to all of us CF moms and dads!

Cara said...

I always forget to breathe when I work out too! But, I rarely ever work out (slacker!), so it's not much of an issue for me! HA!

Praying that your lung function will come back by 10+% quickly!

OceanDesert said...

Good tip. ;)

I'm picturing you running that FULL time and feeling so awesome cuz you DID IT!!!!