Let’s Try This Again

I had to step back for a few weeks, and evaluate my training and what I wanted to do, and how to go about accomplishing it. With my asthma/COPD diagnosis, I took on anxiety and depression once again … that is something I have struggled with all of my adult life, and was even agoraphobic for nearly ten years.

The anxiety and panic attacks crept back in my life, and I was on the verge of a panic attack at every moment of the day for over a week. June 2017 SUCKED for me, as I struggled to get ahold of myself. I decided to up my nerve pill to every morning, instead of just PRN. I also discovered that one of my trainers was recently diagnosed with asthma, and that set my mind more at ease. He is someone I can talk to, and I need that.

So I’m back. The anxiety and depression are gone, I’m back in the gym, and things are going well. I had cut my runs back to three miles or less at a time until I got cleared from my cardiologist. (the reason for this is a totally nother blog post) Today, I had a stress test and an Echo, which I passed with flying colors. YAY MEEEE! I’m back, baby!

I am so incredibly blessed to be healthier than I thought I was … there truly is no stopping me now.

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It Won’t Stop Me

Yesterday was the first time doing a full run since being diagnosed with asthma and COPD, and it was great! I took a few tips from fellow runners, and applied those to my run, and it was a success.

I popped a menthol cough drop as I walked into the gym, and kept my handy-dandy rescue inhaler by my side, in case I needed it.

I did quite well, not trying to go incredibly fast, but to stay at a comfortable pace. I concentrated on my belly breaths, and tried to keep my anxiety in check. I had anxiety, for sure! My thighs wanted to stop, but my lungs were okay. I kept telling myself as long as my lungs wanted to go, my legs would just have to follow suit.

I managed to do a 5K in under 35 minutes, which is one of my fastest runs to date. And I wasn’t even trying!

I cooled down for a few laps, and thought I was plenty cooled down to leave. I was wrong. The heat and humidity hit me square in the face and my lungs couldn’t handle it, as I walked to my car. I had to take a hit of my rescue as I got in my car. I suppose I should cool down completely before leaving the gym.

I had to remind myself to calm down, don’t go into a panic attack … just chill. Breathe. Just chill. Breathe. Once cooled down, the AC on, music up, I drove home and rejoiced in my accomplishment. I am proud of myself. I know I can do it, asthma won’t stop me.

I’m Back!

I started my weight loss journey over two years ago. And since then, I had been quite tough on myself to work out as much as possible, and TO NEVER MISS A MONDAY.

That changed 18 days ago, when my doctor advised me absolutely NO exercise until I could be cleared by a pulmonologist. I got cleared, and was told to ease back into the gym. I could run, but slowly. I could workout, but slowly. Today, I went back to the gym, reluctantly. I was nervous. Would my lungs cooperate? I sure hoped they would.

I’m used to working out 1-3 hours at a time. Easily.

I got on the elliptical and did 22 minutes (one mile at 6/25 which is a far cry from my 10/75 that I had been able to do).

I then ran a half mile, just to test the waters again . . . I felt great! I felt like I was moving again, and my lungs were okay. Tomorrow, (Monday), IT’S ON!

Smokin’

I started smoking when I was 13. I would steal cigarettes from my dad, as a stupid little girl would do. He’d say, “Sam, if you’re going to steal from me, at least do it so you don’t get caught. Steal the whole pack, and not just a couple.”

I was never disciplined for stealing cigarettes. Nor for smoking them.

I continued to smoke, and I would continue to steal them. I would also use my babysitting money to buy them from vending machines. Those were great in the 90s! Eventually, my parents started buying them for me when I was about 15-years-old. Looking back, I think . . . what in the hell were they thinking?

I smoked two packs a day. It was cool, right? It was. I even smoked when I got pregnant at 19 with my first child. Nothing to brag about, but I did it. She even had noticeable withdrawals until she was 3-days-old. The nurses scolded me about smoking while pregnant, but it went in one ear and out the other.

My husband smoked just as much as I did. In the car, our daughter would complain of the smoke she had to inhale. In our house, she would complain of the smoke. Everywhere she went, smoke followed. It wasn’t fair to her to have to breathe that in on a daily basis.

Fast forward 15 years. I was 28-years-old, and my husband and I decided that we didn’t need to smoke anymore. It was time to quit. Our daughter suffered from the smoking. Our wallets suffered. Our bodies suffered. We quit together. That was ten years ago.

It was a hard thing to do . . . quitting together, but it was manageable. Ten years.

And now, at 38, I am told I have COPD, and the smoking I did was probably the reason why.

Stupid little girl, I was.

The Day After I Was Told

Yesterday I was diagnosed with moderate asthma, borderline COPD. I am 38-years-old, and when I went to the pulmonologist yesterday, I honestly didn’t think she’d tell me I was so very close to having COPD.

My lung function is at 63 percent. At 38-years-old.

I started exercising over two years ago, and have really come to enjoy it. LOVE it, really. I run. I lift weights. I do all the classes my gym offers .. even the old lady one. I do it all, and yes, my breathing was difficult. I figured it was because I was exercising, and heavy breathing is part of that. Right?

RIGHT?!!

Apparently not. Apparently when you’re running it shouldn’t feel as though you’re sucking through a straw. Apparently your lungs shouldn’t be screaming for release. Any release.

I thought that was part of it. I thought to myself, “Damn, self, you’re workin’ hard! Keep going!”

No, that isn’t the case. That’s when you develop pleurisy (three times) and are sent to a pulmonologist, just so she can do a horrific (FUCKED UP) pulmonary function test on you, and proceed to tell you that your lungs hate you, and they need a break.

So today. A day after I was diagnosed, and I’m trying to accept it. I had tears on the way to work. I had tears at work. I had a panic attack during the drive to work, and words of encouragement from my loving husband calmed me back into reality. I know I’m still alive. I know there are worse things that can happen. I know there are worse people out there. I know that I can live with asthma. I know I can even run with asthma. It’s just learning to live with it. Learning to be okay with it.

I’m doing okay now. OKAY, not great. I’m still afraid to exercise, but have hopes of getting back in the gym tomorrow. I haven’t been in over three weeks, with fears of my chest not wanting to cooperate. We’ll see tomorrow.