Posted by: Kayle | January 15, 2010

Feelin Good in the Neighborhood!

Well, for the first time in what seems like forever, here are my weekly totals!

Monday: 10 minutes on the trainer- I hadn’t done very much of anything aerobic in forever.  It was hard.

Tuesday: rest- Had to be at school at 8:30 for a meeting

Wednesday: 13 minutes on the trainer- I felt stronger, breathing more under control

Thursday: 15 minutes on trainer- I felt like I could’ve gone longer, but I woke up late and I’m trying to take this slowish.

Friday: 20 minutes on trainer-  I felt/feel like a million bucks! This time frame was enough of a jump from yesterday that I had to push, but not enough that I’m totally exhausted now. In fact, I feel energized and refreshed!

First of all, I know that at the beginning of this week I started at rock bottom. I mean, 10 minutes on the bike is nothing to be proud of.  What I’m really excited about is how quickly my body is responding to working out. On Monday, it was a struggle to get to 10 minutes, and today 20 mins. was completely enjoyable. I doubled my time (and I guess distance since my pace is steady?) in less than a week! I realize this trend can’t and probably shouldn’t continue for much longer (doubling distances every week may not  be smart) but it’s an encouraging start.

I’ve settled into a routine that has been working. Basically I wake up, take my pills w/some juice, do my nebs, work out then go to school.  I really like having already worked out while at school. It makes me feel productive and oddly relaxed. On a slightly nerdy note: I have discovered the amazingness that is Greek Yogurt. It’s richer, thicker, creamier, and has more protein/less sugar than American yogurt. I eat it with fruit and granola mixed in. So tasty!

Since I’d really like to run the Cow Town 5k on Feb. 27th, on Monday I’m going to start one of those “Couch to 5K” six week plans. That means I get to buy new running shoes this weekend (get excited!!).  I can’t decide whether I should take an off-day this weekend before I start double workouts on Monday (the plan starts w/walking mostly so I figured I could still ride).  If I should take an off-day, which day; Saturday or Sunday?  What do you think?

P.S. I joined the rec. league soccer team I was on last Fall for the Spring season.  Should be fun!

Carpe diem

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Posted by: Kayle | January 10, 2010

Third Time’s the Charm: Plan

Since you’re now up to date, I thought it best to do another post about my health/fitness/sanity plan.  I’m now back in Texas. I start the semester tomorrow.  Since I tend to not want to cook during the week, I’ll be making a few dishes tonight.  That way I just have to nuke whatever I want during  the week.

For Christmas, my mom got me “Nutrition for Endurance Athletes”.  It’s proved to be very informative so far. It has specialized food plans for several sports including triathlon (all distances). They recommend an eating plan similar to this:

Early morning snack

Morning workout

Recovery breakfast

Lunch

Pre-workout snack

Afternoon workout

Dinner

Evening Snack

I think it’ll do well for me. With the planned meals and snacks I can easily monitor my intake and insulin dosages which will help my lungs out (controlled blood sugar). Until I get into better shape, my afternoon workout probably won’t be any more than abs and maybe light weights. Also, until it gets warmer (and lighter) my early morning workouts will most likely be on my bike trainer.

So, if all goes to plan, my day will look something like this:  Wake up, eat, morning treatments,workout, eat, school, lunch, more school, eat, workout, afternoon treatments, eat, homework, eat.   Hah! Did you get all that??

My parents’ were awesome enough to take me to the local whole foods market before they left and completely stocked my kitchen. 🙂  So, I have enough food for a while.  Now all that’s left is to make this week’s meals and try out my trainer!  Wish me luck!

Carpe diem

Posted by: Kayle | January 10, 2010

Long Overdue

A lot has happened over the Christmas holiday.  It’s about time I posted about everything.

First of all, I successfully finished my first semester of graduate school.  My grades weren’t stellar, but all things considered, I came out of it pretty well I think.  I went to my parents’ house in Oklahoma so that I could go to a follow-up appointment with the cf people and an endocrinology appointment. The cf appointment went alright…my lung function tested in the 70s. They say more may or may not be possible. I really like my endocrinologist. She’s really personable and helpful.  She set me up with insulin, needles (I now have more needles than a heroine addict), emergency pin, and meter.  It turns out that  I don’t have to modify my diet in order to manage my diabetes. I just have to count carbs and give myself the right amount of insulin to cover them.  It’s pretty easy except that it means that grazing is no longer an option. 😦  It’s probably healthier to plan out my eatings anyway.

After the appointments, I started coughing again. My mom and I decided that it was time to go see the ENT. I had had 2 previous sinus surgeries that helped immensely; maybe the doctor could help me again. About a week later, I went to the ENT’s office and got a CAT scan. The CT scan revealed a sinus cavity completely packed with very stubborn, thick mucous even after intense rounds of antibiotics. Also, my septum was so crooked that the doctor said I wasn’t moving air through my left nare. Because of all that, the doctor said the best thing he could do for me was to go in and completely strip my sinuses, fix my septum, and punch a hole in my sphenoid sinus. The procedure, he said, would make me swollen for a month, and cause my lung function to dip slightly, but would ultimately help me. He thinks the reason I got so sick this semester after being in the hospital this summer because the stuff in my sinuses remained untouched. Therefore my choices were: skip the surgery and face another semester of hell, or get the surgery and hope for something better. I went for it.

I had the surgery on December 29th. I didn’t bleed as much as they expected, so I got to go home the same day which was nice. My recovery was rough the first few days, and I looked somewhat like a pig (and Tim informed me that one nostril was more swollen than the other…thanks).  Now though, the swelling looks more like a healthy full face so I’m ok with it. Even though my mouth still doesn’t feel normal, I can eat normal food. My lung function took a small hit (69), but my high was 70% before…so I think it’s reasonable to assume I did make some gains before the surgery because the doctors expected a bigger drop. Also, they found out why the stuff in my sinuses wasn’t reacting to antibiotics and I’m now on one that the junk will react to. All in all, I’m optimistic.

Now for the more exciting news.  I got a cycleops fluid trainer for Christmas!! My family helped me set it up today.  Here are some pictures:

Posted by: Kayle | December 14, 2009

Needles and Sore Legs

Today I had my appointment with the endocrinologist to get my CFRD under control.  So I woke up this morning, did my nebs and vest, and went upstairs to try my luck with the elliptical machine. I got on and did a pretty fast pace for a good 13 minutes. It’s still not long obviously, but it’s longer than the 10 minutes of walking/riding that I could barely handle when I started. I recovered well too. I’m stiff now, but it’s just enough to know that I did something today. It’s a good feeling.

After that, I went into OKC for my appointment. The doctor was really nice. It seems like every time I go to the doctor these days, I always come back with a bunch of  “free” stuff. This time I got another glucose meter, an insulin pin, and a whole bunch of needles. She hooked me up with enough insulin/needles to last until my prescription comes through so that’s good.  I had my mom give me my first insulin shot before dinner. I’m not afraid of needles persay…I just didn’t have the nerve to give myself the first shot.  Surprisingly enough, the finger pricks really do hurt more than the insulin shots.  I thought the nurses and everyone were either trying to make me feel better or full of crap when they told me that. Go figure! I have to give myself a shot before I eat…every time I eat. For those of you that don’t know me, that’s a lot of shots! So we’ll see if I’m so pleased in a couple of weeks.

Also, I went to visit the hospital that I worked at during college and it turns out they need someone to translate/consult on a speech therapy evaluation for a spanish-speaking stroke victim.  Money and valuable experience for me!! Score!

So tomorrow before I go into work, I’m going to do the elliptical again. Depending on how sore I am, the goal is 13-15 mins at a good pace. Also, since I’m not coughing my head off anymore (so my abs are getting less exercise), I think it’s time to start up the abs work.

Until then…

Carpe diem!

Posted by: Kayle | December 12, 2009

Limitations-Screw ’em!

Warning! Semi-rant ahead. Pass on to the next paragraph to avoid it.

This past week, I successfully completed my first semester of graduate school. It wasn’t my best work, I felt like I scraped by.  But it looks like I’ll come out with 1 B and the rest A’s.  However, the one huge setback I experienced was that the professor that I had recruited to sponsor my thesis withdrew her support. She told me to my face that I couldn’t handle writing a thesis and do my work, that a thesis student should be able to integrate information better than I had (on one project that I did the day it was due b/c I was so far behind), and that I’m too sick.  Without her support I cannot write a thesis in the area I want to study, and it’ll be harder for me to get into PhD school should I decide that I want to go that route. There is nothing that makes me more furious…and motivated to do something than someone telling me that I can’t.  Their reasons don’t matter to me…you can’t b/c you’re so sick, you can’t because you’re not smart enough, you won’t have time…. doesn’t matter.  If I want to do it, I will.  End of story. Granted, these professors have never seen the healthy, active, good student version of me. All they’ve seen is what has happened this semester…sick, tubes in my arm, last minute projects etc.  I can’t let her take this away from me. So, here’s the plan (and you all are free to tell me it sucks if you want).  I’m going to research the thesis topic I was going to do over Christmas break and write the beginning part of a thesis for my professor.   It’s going to be the best work I can possibly do. I’m in the bilingual program, so I’ll be writing it in Spanish as well. I’m sending the paper to my Spanish speaking buddies and some professor friends for editing. I’ll send her the finished paper via email before classes start-up again and just so that she can’t say “Well of course you could do this! You weren’t doing anything else!”  I’ll be detailing my exercise/treatment routines for her (and how far I will have come health-wise) and telling her about how I’ve read the first few chapters of my texts for the next semester so that I’ll start ahead. If she still says no, I’ll be giving the papers to the rest of the faculty asking for someone to sponsor me. Basically I have to show her (and everyone else) what I can do when I want to do it. I’m not going to lay down and say OK when someone tells me I can’t. If I did that, I might as well just roll over and die.

Ok.  In other news, Tim is here with me in Texas to run his first half marathon on Sunday! I’m so excited for him and proud of him. He was never the athletic type growing up or through college for that matter. He’s trained for this out of sheer determination.  I can’t wait to congratulate him at his finish…and run one with him.  🙂

I went to the doctor yesterday and they decided that after 3 weeks on iv meds, it was time to take the PICC line out. My lung function is still below my previous baseline. Basically that means that I will have some permanent loss of function.  But, I think I can get it to go a bit higher. I haven’t been working out or playing my trombone (yes I know I’m a dork…but I like it and it really does help my lungs).  So I’m going back in a month, and after a month of working out and trombone playing we’ll test me again. Also, on Monday I’m going to see the endocrinologist so that he can figure out how much insulin I need (stupid CFRD). With the insulin I should be able to regulate my sugars better and maintain a healthy weight, which should also help my lung function numbers.

Right now, I’m actually doing my series of neb. treatments before I go work out. Tim’s  coming with me…I mean let’s face it, 10 minutes on the stationary bike or treadmill is not going to hurt his taper. It’ll be our first “couple workout” since this summer. I’m looking forward to it…however brief it may be. 😛 I’m still holding out on making distance goals for myself. I just don’t know how my body is going to bounce back. For now, my goal is just to get into the habit of doing all my cf treatments (nebs, vest, pills, shots, exercise, trombone) at the frequency I’m supposed to do them every day.

That’s all for now!

Carpe diem!

Posted by: Kayle | December 5, 2009

Workout 12/5: The First of Many

Well, today, for the first time in around 3 months, I worked out. Last week, my lung function was officially high enough to work out without restriction-that is, with as much restriction as any other out of shape person has. So today I did my morning routine: vest/albuterol, hypertonic saline, pulmozyme, ceftaz then I suited up and went to my apartment complex’s gym.

I must confess I’ve never used my apartment complex’s gym before. I really prefer to workout outside. It’s more entertaining that way. Anyway I walk in and there are 3 hard-core people in there. One guy is having it out on the only stationary bike, and the other two people are lifting weights.  Luckily, there is a treadmill open.  Since I’m only allowed to work out for 10 minutes at a time right now (ugh.),  I hop on the treadmill planning to walk for 10 minutes before I rode the bike for another 10 minutes. I mean, let’s face it, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t attempt to push my luck. 😛  I only made it around 7 minutes (.5 miles) though. I was breathing hard and my legs were starting to feel weak so I decided to switch activities. On the bike, I only lasted 3 minutes (.5 miles). When I started working out I expected my lungs to be the first part of my body to tire out.  Oddly enough though, it was my legs. You know that feeling when you’ve had a really hard workout and your legs are at the point of collapse? That’s where I was…after 10 minutes! Can you say OUT OF SHAPE?! Don’t get me wrong though, I’m THRILLED to be working out again…even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Everyone’s got to start somewhere right? And, as long as I have a starting place, it means that I can begin to move forward. As far as my return to racing is concerned, I’m still playing it by ear. Ideally, I’d like to enter a 5k in January or February. Now, how much of that 5k I run is somewhat up in the air.  I have no idea how my body will respond to working out or how quickly my fitness will return. Running/walking one though is something I really want to do.  Eventually, of course, I want to return to the sport of triathlon, and although it may sound stupid (especially now) I really do want to do an ironman someday.  Baby steps, baby steps. 🙂

On a slightly different note, I’d like to thank all of my blogger friends that have been supporting me these last few months. It’s remarkable really, I’ve never met any of you, and I don’t really know any of you (except for Jessica) but you never failed to give me encouragement or advice whenever I needed it. For that I am truly grateful.

That’s all for now.

Carpe diem!

Posted by: Kayle | December 2, 2009

BIKE HELP!

Ok so I need some advice. I told my mom that I wanted an indoor bike trainer for Christmas and she wants me to pick one out. Only one problem. I know absolutely NOTHING about bike trainers. I’ve been trying to research it, but I’m just more confused than when I started. Any advice!?!?

P.S. I’ve gotten the go ahead to start training!!!!! Only a max of 10 mins…but it’s better than nothing!

Posted by: Kayle | November 29, 2009

New Plan: Update

Ok, I think it’s time for an update on my situation. I went to the doctor the friday after I  got home. As it turned out, my lung function was significantly lower than it’s ever been. Now, on the one hand, I was terrified at seeing such a low number. On the other hand though, at least this proves I’m not a weeny. 😛

Due to my excellent negotiation skills…or maybe the fact that my clinic people are AWESOME… I got to do my PICC stuff at home. All I had to do was go to the diagnostic center to get my PICC put in the next morning. No big deal right? Wrong! The nurse totally messed up, put the catheter in too far, touched my heart and immediately sent me into a heart attack like state. It was terrifying. Luckily, she pulled back on the catheter (10cm!!)  before they had to call the crash cart. It was close though. Thanks lady…

After that though, it was pretty smooth sailing. My mom totally pampered me for the 10 days I was there and my lung function, though still lower than the last 2 times I was in the hospital, is improving.  One major blow though, is that it looks like I do have cf related diabetes. All my symptoms match, and after I eat, my sugars are insanely high. They haven’t officially diagnosed me yet, so I don’t have insulin or anything, but it’s coming. 😦 I think though, that instead of being angry or sad, I should really be thankful. I mean, cf related diabetes is totally treatable. It may even go away as my lung function improves. At least now I have an answer other than “sorry that’s just the disease” for why I’ve declined so rapidly. I also did a lot of research and found out that there is no reason I shouldn’t (after I get better of course) be able to do triathlon. I’ll just have to watch my sugars so that I don’t go all hypoglycemic and faint on someone.

So as of now, the plan is to continue iv antibiotics/breathing treatments/vest 3x a day for another 2 weeks. If by then my lung function is back up to par, I get the PICC out and it’s back to normal treatments. I’m back in Texas now to take my finals and turn in projects, but then my doctors/parents/friends/ everyone else in the world is ordering me back to my parents’ house for more rest and relaxation. I’m ok with that I guess. At this point, if it makes me better, I’m in.

That’s all really for now.  Keep your chins up and carpe diem!

Posted by: Kayle | November 17, 2009

Ok…New Plan

I went home this weekend, and my parents were shocked a frightened at how bad my health is right now. They suggested in a very strongly parental way that I need to take action now. Alright. So, part of being an adult is realizing when what you’re doing isn’t getting the job done.  My home health plan isn’t working. Yes, I have ups and downs, but over time, my ups have gotten lower and lower. I wanted to wait until Christmas break, but it’s become clear I can’t wait that long. It’s time for a new plan. Here it is.

I’m back in Texas now tying up loose ends so that on Wednesday, instead of going to New Orleans for the ASHA conference, I can go back to Oklahoma. I have an appointment with my cf doctor on Thursday and I’m not going back to Texas until after Thanksgiving. Whatever he decides that I need…PICC probably…I’ll do.  I am going to be bargaining for a no-hospital PICC line experience (nobody ever rests well in hospitals anyway) but we’ll see if he goes for it. Either way, as soon as they let me go home, my family will take care of me. That means lots of fatty foods and lots of rest; both of which I need. In a way, this is good timing. I’m only going to miss one day of clinic and one day of class, I’ll be better than I am now in time for finals, and I’ll have all of Christmas break to rest (aaaand maybe train a little).  Wish me luck.

 

Carpe diem!

Posted by: Kayle | November 8, 2009

Oh We’re Halfway There!

WAHHH OH livin on a prayer! This Jon Bon Jovi song has been stuck in my head for the last week.  Don’t ask, I have no idea why. Bon-Jovi---Living-on-a-Prayer- I’m not halfway through with school, the semester, or anything else. Still, I feel like it’s an appropriate title for my post.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try enzymes.  Well, it’s been about a week, and the preliminary results are somewhat promising! By the second full day of taking enzymes, I noticed something.  Almost every day since the semester started, I’ve had to literally drag myself through the day.  Last Tuesday though, was different. I woke up knowing that I had a long (10 hours minimum) day in front of me, but it wasn’t a big deal. I had energy!  I blew through the day with an ease that has been completely absent from my life for months. Granted, I crashed as soon as I got home, but I made it!  I figured it was a one-time wonder type thing, but my energy got me through the entire week! I’d crash hard every night, but I most certainly didn’t have to run on fumes during the day. I also gained a pound and a half. Now, you may say “1.5 lbs? That’s not much.” but really, it is.  I’m really excited.

In a way, giving my body the nutrients it needs to function and gain weight is half the battle. Maybe if my body has some energy it can build up some strength and fight off the stuff that has kept me down for the past 6 months.

I still don’t have any solid plans for my return to racing yet. Rest assured though, as soon as I can compete, I will.  Until then…keep the faith, and seize the day.

Carpe diem.

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