Sunday, January 12, 2014
Time to Get Down to Work
I am currently four weeks into being off work on short-term disability. The current plan is to be on for two more weeks and then reevaluate. I am taking this time to try to focus on my health and improve my lung functions and functioning (i.e. needing less oxygen). But what does it mean to "focus on my health?"
Well, I honestly am not totally sure. The primary thing it means is attending pulmonary rehab for 2 hours twice a week to increase my strength and stamina. I have completed two weeks of that so far. And not only that but pushing myself to be active between rehab sessions as well. I am trying to do something strenuous one additional time per week (I will tell you at some point all I do in rehab) as well as add in less strenuous dog walks. And maybe get back into a pilates classs at the Y.
But what else? Well, taking it easy, getting plenty of rest, spending LOTS of time with my kitties, trying to stay hydrated...staying connected with family, friends and the CF community, catching up/keeping up with things at home, documenting everything, of course.
But there is something missing...
Let me back up. For months, two of my best friends have been trying to get me to see this Chinese doctor who is an acupuncturist and also an M.D. My two friends have both had amazing results with her. I have dragged my feet because, well, for a few reasons.
One, I have done a lot of acupuncture in my day and while it helped some, I'm not in a huge hurry to jump back into it. It's sometimes not the most fun thing in the world. Two, I knew it was going to be a big money and time commitment (one of those I have a lot of right now! The other, since I'm not working, not so much...) Three, I knew that going in there would be sort of a life-changing experience and I honestly didn't know if I was ready for that.
See, Lynnea doesn't just treat what you supposedly go to her for, which in my case would be help with lungs, kidneys, sinuses, immune function, back pain, etc. She treats everything. And, to put it mildly, I know there are a lot of things I could be doing better to have a healthier lifestyle.
But it's so hard! I honestly do so so much and spend so much time to stay healthy: I am extremely compliant with treatments every day, I go to all my appointments, I am very proactive with my doctor and my CF care that I feel like I can cut myself a break when it comes to other stuff like how much coffee I drink, what kind of (sometimes unhealthy) snacks I eat, how much beer I drink. And to some extent I think this is okay. But there is this nagging voice inside my head that wonders - what if I gave it my all, what if I did everything possible to try to feel my best, how good would it be possible to feel? And what effect would that have on my lung function?
I honestly haven't had the will power to find out. Or maybe it's that I am afraid that if I did all of those things I would still be pretty much the same as I am now - I'm not wanting to put in all the time and effort for an unknown reward.
In any case, all of that I have just written about is me when I am accountable only to myself (and you all!) But starting on Monday, I am going to be accountable to Lynnea also. I intend to dive in and give it my all. No holding back, no exaggerating, no fudging.
I have at least two weeks off of work left. If I am going to do everything possible to be my very best self between now and then, I think I am starting down the right path.