Friday, July 8, 2016

Health and 5K

Getting my Health Back:

I was at my healthiest in 2012. I was walking every day and jogging some parts of that. I was in a musical where we had dance rehearsal at least 2x a week. And I did a 5K where I pushed the hardest I could, finishing in 42 minutes. Well, I did another 5k last Saturday (on my mom’s birthday) and power walked the entire thing finishing in 53 minutes. 

( Picture to right: Ada & I at the 5K)

I knew I couldn’t jog, since my hips now like to pop out of place and it is too hard on my joints. My arthritis has gotten a lot worse in the last four years. While I know I will never will get back to level of health I had in 2012 (due to normal progression of my disease), I think looking at how I achieved that level, will help me to reach the best health I can today. I had a steady hourly job that allowed me to schedule out my day. Routine is what has always worked best for me, which is why I struggled in college and with jobs where hours changed a lot. In 2012, not only did I have the time to walk every single day, but also the motivations. I also started out slowly and gradually added more distance with time.
I had someone who walked with me 2-3 x a week. Those were my walking days, I’d usually push myself to jog walk 2-3 nights. So I’d be active walking or jogging typically 4-5 nights a week. They weren’t long periods of time or very long routes, just a 1 mile or so at first. I started this in late February and by July was jog/walking 2 miles at least 2 x week. Then I built up to do the 5K in September. 

Having someone walk with me 2x a week really helped keep me on track. My 2nd major motivation was my health in general. My lung function was around 56-58%. Whereas, now I struggle to hit 50% at clinic. I’ve lost 10% lung function in the last 3 years. I’m hoping being more active (with the help of “hopefully” Orkambi) will help me increase my lung function again. In 2012, I actually hit 64% at one clinic. While I think 64% is a pipe dream, I’m trying to 58% again. Which will be hard, but I WILL do it! My 3rd motivation was Laura. My best friend Laura (who passed in 2014 and also had CF) was being evaluated for a lung transplant in 2012. We were hopeful and she’d tell me how hard it was and that I needed to push to stay healthy. She was honest and open. She wanted me to succeed more than anything. I was also motivating her to keep her health stable until she could get her new lungs. [Note: Laura was denied transplant listing and therefore, had to try to make do with her 18% lung function]. Her living 2.5 years with 18% lung function was amazing, especially considering all her secondary problems, like diabetes, gastroparesis, etc. She was one tough lady.

While Laura isn’t here anymore to cheer me on, I can still hear all the words of wisdom and motivation she gave me. I have a playlist I put together that reminds me of her and my future for while I go out walking.  My new motivation is my future with Andrew, in our home, hopefully with a family. The biggest motivation is wanting to be a mom (via surrogacy/ foster/adoption) and to have the ability to run and play with them. I want to be able to pick up my child and carry them if they are scared or hurt. I don’t want to drag an oxygen tank with me to their games or recitals. I want to be healthy for them. I want to live to see them grow up.
I can not jog anymore due to arthritis, but I can power walk. So I’m going to keep walking and try to do another 5k for a good cause later in the year! I loved that the one I did last week. It was for ALS research. I have a friend, Sean, who has ALS. It is a truly horrible disease and I seeing him continue to fight it, is some powerful motivation right there. Perhaps I will powerwalk the CF Walk in October!

Anyway, fighting for my health and trying to get to a point where I feel healthy and not sick is where I am right now. I will continue to update you as I go along. Also, if anyone has a Fitbit add me!

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