Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Increase from Exercise?

A question that I received lately that I know must be a common thought or question on the minds of others:
Ronnie, I wanted to ask what your pft range is or more specifically how much has it changed with exercise and how long did it (or has it taken) for you to see improvement?

I am currently at 30-35 percent and on 1-2L O2 24/7 I have lost about 10-15 percent over the past 7 years. In that time period the highest I was able to reach was 49.something, well almost 50%. I was hospitalized in June of 2009, my first in an 8 year period somewhere at 45%, however, can't give exact because records are stored since our move. After that hospitalization I cultured b cepacia, treated aggressively in Oct09. It took until August 2011 before cultures were clear. Anyhow, I've just started back at bicycling. I haven't participated in sports for 20 years (last softball season 1993). My main reason for having to quit was major hemoptysis. My husband and I have been in St. Augustine for a year and I truly believe that the salt-air is what keeps my lungs from episodes. 
So...after my last hospitalization in Oct. 2012,I was able to gain the 12% back I had lost in Sept., but it took 3 months. Since my last clinic, I've been riding every other day 30-40 minutes. A total of 9 weeks. So...the big test will be this coming Wed. clinic to see any change. Hoping and praying so...I want to get back to as close to 50% as possible. Lord willing with His help, I will.  Sorry so long and not sure how much you were familiar with my history, so I apologize if I had mentioned any of the details previously.  
Thanks, In Him, Laurie 
ps-if you'd rather not share I understand, just find it hard to find other Cfers that still have their original lungs! And if you did get a transplant, then I didn't catch it in your posts.
Thanks for sharing some background Laurie. (As a side note, Mandi's grammy lives in St. Augustine.)

As far as my PFT history, you can see much of it here: http://runsickboyrun.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-pft-history.html

I have not had a transplant.

It took about 18 months of working out everyday and doing 4 treatment sets a day no matter what for me to see "real" improvement. And by that I mean setting a new baseline and bringing my range closer together instead of further apart. That's continued to improve over the last 4 years.

I also have bouts of hemoptysis and it's one of those things that's always in the back of my mind. However, I'd rather "bleed out" trying to take care of myself, than slowly "commit suicide" by doing nothing (just how I think about it).

Your next PFTs may not show all of the hard work you've put in. The numbers will come, but they usually trail the effort. How are you feeling? Right now, that's what's most important. We always want to be in a position in which we can give our best. If we can't give our best, then we need to do what we need to do to get back into that position (for me, it's often a hospital stay).

Just keep your nose to the grindstone no matter the numbers. Our numbers can't dictate our effort, only we can, and should, do that.
Thanks, Ronnie for your insight and getting back to me. I am with you on not focusing on the numbers. I feel sooooo much better and I am just so grateful that I am able to get back into riding. I've had more junk, as of late, but it makes me wonder if the cycling is finally causing it to "rise". Which then I say...Good riddance!! Just to also add that the years from 2001 to 2008, I opted for "natural remedies" that kept my lungs clear or helped me through a particular illness. 
I also need to start in again with chiropractic care, it has always helped me to not be so tight from coughing and such. I've felt Cayston has helped me the most since my last hospitalization, but I am finding a slight ringing in my ears once I've done my neb this time around. Which is a bummer and something I will discuss with the Drs. this week at clinic.
I'm so happy to hear that your feeling soooooo good. That's what it's all about!! If you keep working hard, that won't change and your numbers will most likely catch up.