Joyce I've not been reading as much of this as I could or should but what I have been reading has been WONDERFUL.
Jackie; It's okay if you don't get to read it all. I am reading it enough for both of us. ;D Sometimes I read thru it twice. I really enjoy the way in which Joyce writes and she does cover it all so well. I think your spilting it out like this will be good. After it is all done maybe put each visit in the locked area, including the orientation ones too, so people see what all she had to do first.
My day at rehab today was twofold. They didn't weigh me today...that's the positive. The negative is that by the time I got to rehab, I was already tired. Today I learned "not" to shower and wash my hair on the same morning that I go to rehab. In other words, I did not pace myself well this morning. Another lesson learned.
I noticed as soon as I walked into rehab today that there were a lot of empty bikes, Treadmills and other machines, where as normally most of the machines are in use when I arrive. One of the RT's said that there obviously were a lot of people out today from the 10:00 group, therefore I could go ahead and get started a bit early. Several people in my group (the 11:00 group) were also absent. It seemed strange not to see the same people as before. I found myself hoping they were not ill or feeling sick. I guess having so much in common with these new friends of mine, I find myself truly concerned about their wellbeing. I also hope there is not a bug going around nor the flu and made sure I sanitized my hands frequently.
Since I was a bit tired this morning, I was slow walking around the track and doing my stretches, but made sure I stretched well even if slowly. I know that not warming up properly can result in sore muscles.
My bike exercises went exceptionally well today much to my surprise. Maybe the warm up got my circulation going. Normally, my legs tire quickly on the bike, and today I rode the bike for 14 minutes at a level of 6-7 with no problems and no shortness of breath. I was happy for that.
Only two of the Treadmills were in use, so I selected one with a good view of the television and began my 14 minute walk at 2.2 miles per hour. I may have mentioned previously a man in my group had a lung transplant. He arrived and began walking on the Treadmill next to me. He looked tired today. I said and asked how he was doing today, and he said he had a bad night last night and didn't sleep much. I assured him that the RT's would not want him to overdo it if he didn't feel well, and I noticed he became short of breath fairly quickly. He did end his session early today, and I'm glad he did. The RT's have always told us that if we don't feel well, to stop, and they will check us. I'm glad that they do not in any way attempt to push us to do more than what we feel we can do. They treat us as adults, not children.
While waiting for my stats to be taken prior to leaving, one of the RT's asked me if I would be interested in participating in a Better Breather's Club. I have read about the Better Breather's Club and even called the American Lung Association to see if there was one in my area, but there was not. They are thinking about starting a Better Breather's Club here in my area and are trying to find out how many people might be interested. They are also contacting the other hospitals in this area to see if their pulmonary patients would be interested. I think this is a great idea, and I told her that I would be very interested in participating. I hope very much they can get a group started here.
I have an appointment today with my pulmonologist at 3:30, and he is doing another PFT. I will try to get a copy of the test and will post the results of my PFT.
I had my PFT yesterday afternoon and am posting the results below. My pulmonologist said that I had done 3 points better but am still considered severe. I don't always understand all these numbers so someone let me know if I have not posted important or relevant information. I have only a copy of the PFT and not my doctor's write up on the results, so they are as follows:
FVC Pre 1.52 Post 1.32 FVC1 Pre 0.96 Post 0.90 FEV1/FVC Pre 63 Post 68 FEV3 Pre 1.27 Post 1.07 FEV3/FVC Pre 83 Post 81 FEF25-75% Pre .54 Post .56 PEF Pre 2.26 Post 2.39
Other numbers were as follows: FVC Pre % 42 Post % 36 Post % change -13 FEV1 Pre % 33 Post % 31 Post % change -6 FEV1/FVC Pre % 63 Post % 68 FEV3 Pre % 37 Post % 31 Post % change - FEV3/FVC Pre % 83 Post % not listed FEF25-75% Pre % 20 Post % 21 Post % change 3 PEF Post % change 6
If I can get a copy of the medical report for these results, I will post it.
Although I didn't sleep well last night and had several errands to run prior to rehab, I got through rehab just fine. It saddens me a little that many people I started with are no longer there. I think some Medicare programs pay for 6 rehabs but that's all, so I don't see many of our Medicare people anymore. The gym seems to have only about half the number of people now as several weeks ago.
All went well today with my warm up and my stats were good.
For the past couple of visits, they have not changed my exercise routine, however today they did. Today I was on the bike for 14 minutes at a level of 6-7 and the Treadmill for 14 minutes at 2.2 miles per hour. They upped me to 15 minutes on the bike and the Treadmill. I"m not sure why they aren't increasing the levels on the bike or the miles per hour on the Treadmill, but I think they know what they are doing. I did tell the RT today that I felt I could do more, and so she upped me slightly.
While on the Treadmill, four of us started talking about our weight gain. We all at first lost weight but now have gained it back. Three of the four of us are on Advair, but don't know if the steroid in Advair is the reason. One man thinks it depends on how active we are on non-rehab days. This might very well be the case. Anyway, if anyone starts a rehab program or attends one, please don't stop exercising if you don't lose weight. I do know that my legs are stronger and my endurance is greater than it was prior to rehab.
I find that rehab is so mentally uplifting for me. It gets me out of the house, and it puts me with other people. I am looking forward to being able to take the Tai Chi class and also the possibility of a Better Breather's Club in my area.
Joyce you are doing terrific and a real example to people how important Rehab can be. When I graduated I told them it probably saved my life, not just because of the exercise, it is like you say the whole aspect of it. Getting out of the house, learning you are not the only one, the right way to breathe, eat and live when you have COPD. Again congratulations on your progress....
Thanks so much. Tomorrow is my pulmonary rehab day, and I can honestly tell that I am stronger. I can feel that the muscles in my legs are stronger, and it doesn't take as much energy to walk or get up and down...it is just easier to do now. My stamina is better also, and I don't feel as tired as often. I do still like to take a nap if I can during most days because it makes me feel refreshed, but in the past, I napped when I could due to exhaustion. It used to be a "have to" but now it is more of a "want to."
I also find that when walking, I am not as slumped over or using "poor posture" as I used to. More and more, I am walking with my back more straight, my shoulders held back more without as much slumping forward, and my strides are longer. I also swing my arms more now. I'm not sure why that is, but it seems comfortable and makes walking easier.
In the beginning of rehab, I rated many things a level 2 when it came to shortness of breath. Level 2 means sob and it is evident to others, level 1 is sob but not obvious to others and level 1 is not short of breath. I am now rating most of my rehab exercises as level 1 instead of level 2. Even when walking briskly, I am only slightly short of breath and using PLB, I am hardly sob at all.
Muscle strengthening is a slow process when done correctly, and I just wanted to post that I definitely notice a difference not only when I am at rehab but also at home and when I am doing errands. I'll post again tomorrow....Joyce
Rehab today seemed to fly by. For some reason, there were only 8 or 9 of us there while I was there. Being a smaller group, we all talked more and updated each other on how we were doing and what we thought of rehab. It was a nice "people" day too.
I think I could go through my warm up exercises now with my eyes closed, and I walked briskly around the track twice and also did my normal stretches of upper and lower body. I felt good today and enjoyed not only the exercises but also getting to know the staff a little better. With less people there, the staff talked more to us as they took our stats and asked us questions. I promised to tell the good, the bad and the ugly when it came to my rehab experience....so, here's the ugly...I now weigh 171 lbs. yikes! I was dismayed about this and the RT suggested that I do two things. The first thing is to exercise some every day..not just on rehab days and not just one day on the weekend. She said that exercising everyday is a good thing if you can do it without overdoing it. The second thing I am to do is write down everything, absolutely everything, I eat in one day. Do this for several days in a row. She said if I look at a list, I might see that I am eating much more than I thought or bring the list to her, and she will make suggestions about my eating habits. Well, I told her that I was thinking it could be either the steroid in Advair or my stopping smoking. The stopping smoking could be a contributor, but I think she thinks I just eat too much. I think she might be right!!
They increased my bike riding time to 15 minutes, and I was able to complete that. I do feel the pulling in my thigh muscles but it doesn't hurt.
They also increased my time on the Treadmill to 15 minutes, and I did that with no problems at all. I didn't feel much shortness of breath today at all except for some on the bike.
My days at rehab do seem to be somewhat routine when I write about them, but I can honestly say that going to rehab is not boring at all, and I look forward to it. I don't know when or if they are going to put me on other machines to work out on but I go by the schedule they give me. No one dresses up to go to rehab like they do in some gyms. Everyone wears comfortable clothing, and we aren't there to show off in any way. We are there to better our health, strengthen ourselves and to learn. We also get in some good "getting to know each other" time.
The RT who worked with me today decided to keep me at the same pace next week as I did today. I don't know what their deciding factors are but everyone is different. I am doing 15 minutes, some are still doing 10 minutes, some 20 minutes and some only walk on the Treadmill and that's all.
I still hope one day to find and and use that magical machine which will flatten and tighten my stomach muscles. To be honest I think the first machine I need to work out on to flatten my stomach is called "My Mouth"! I will try to remember that when I shop for groceries. (no more twinkies for Joyce :-[ but when I lose some weight, I will feel better )
Joyce Regarding the eating, we may not eat too much, but it can be too much for us that cannot be as active as a normal person. Writing it down is helpful. At least to me. I never in my life was overweight. I never had to check what calories were in food. Just was not a problem. Therefore, admittedly, my overweight really bothers me. I don't mean so much as far as being vain but rather that I am not used to carrying around an extra 50 plus pounds. I am sure I could breath better if I could lose it.
We would come home from rehab and stop at fast foods and when I learned the calories there we stopped. TV dinners are awful. I work at mine and never get anywhere yet. Thankfully, I maintain tho. Sometime a few years ago I had this weight on and hit a high and I have never gone over it at least. If I would not get sick and could keep working out I could lose it. I have lost some but then when I am down and cannot workout I get it back.
Here is a book that I really am glad I got. It opened my eyes and is not expensive. It even lists the fast food places. So if you try a Big Mac be careful because it is in the book. tinyurl.com/ytschq
It is a lot easier for me to eat or not eat something once I am used to the calories. Now when I pick up a can of coke I automatically go 140 calories. This is all mindboggling but over time it starts to sink in.
Hi, Thank you Bobbi for the encouragement about my weight. I know one day I will lose it, and the sooner, the better. Mary, you are so lucky never to have had a weight problem when younger. I haven't battled it a lot in my lifetime. I have gained but always have been able to lose the weight I want by just cutting back on my portions. Not this time though, so thank you for the link for that book. I will look for it at the Bookstore. Carrying around extra weight is very uncomfortable, and it would make breathing and moving around easier if I were not as heavy as I am now. Have a good Friday----Joyce
I had a real workout today at rehab. I now know that sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference when it comes to exercising and walking.
I was a bit slow getting going this morning but that is because I ate like a pig this weekend (I really did). I can't just toss "nutrition" out of the window at my own whim because I pay for it later not only in my weight gain but also in my energy level. I got through my warm up on the walking track fine and did my warm up exercises. A lot of people showed up today, and there was only one empty bike available, so I grabbed it.
I still find the bike to be the most difficult of the machines I use. I am still doing 15 minutes on the bike at a level of 6-7. They have not increased that yet for me. I still have to really push it that last three or four minutes. As I may have mentioned before, I still find that rehab is more difficult on Tuesdays than on Thursdays, but I attribute that to the fact that I don't have a good exercise program for myself from Thursdays through Tuesdays. I did complete the bike and proceeded to the Treadmill.
I set the Treadmill as I normally do to 15 minutes at 2.2 miles per hour. When I mentioned "the little things being important", I am referring to today's workout on the Treadmill. I did everything the same except I just decided that since walking at home or when rehab ends, I won't have those handles to hold on to on the Treadmill. So, I took my hands off the handles today, and I walked as I normally would with my hands and arms at my side. It was a lot harder doing it this way. I soon found that I could feel the muscles in my thighs and buttocks pulling a lot....a whole lot. I have always said that the Treadmill was the easiest machine I worked out on, but not today. I have learned a good thing today, and that is that regular walking and regular exercising is not always the same as when doing it in a gym. At home, I can cheat here and there...cut back on my time if the phone rings, etc., but not at rehab. If I stop early, they want to know why. This is a good thing. I won't progress if I don't maintain what I've accomplished and move forward in my workouts. I am not yet at a level that is high enough for me, and I need to be progressing. If I don't progress, then I regress. So, once again I can only say, a lesson well learned.
I did my cool down walk slowly and slowly did my stretches before I left, but I am determined to go forward so that I won't go backward...which will happen. Today was not my "weigh" day, but when leaving I did weigh myself and since last Thursday, I have gained two more pounds. I worked hard to gain that weight. This weekend I cooked a lot and ate a lot. So, for lunch today I had tuna fish on four small wheat crackers, and I don't feel stuffed nor bloated. It's a much better feeling.
I have signed up for Tai Chi class this Friday. They do want me to confirm with my orthopedist and/or physical therapist that it is alright for me to attend, so I will do that tomorrow when I see my physical therapist. I hope I can go and participate. If so,I will post about it and what it entailed. (my pulmonologist already agreed to it, and I will ask my physical therapist tomorrow when I go for arm rehab)
For your information, the gentleman who had the lung transplant returned to rehab today. He was out last week, and we were all somewhat worried about him. He is doing fine with no signs of rejection, and he has increased his speed on the Treadmill.
The hospital where I attend rehab is called Lexington Medical Center, and they sponsor a health program called "Health Directions." One of the courses they offer is Gentle Yoga. After I complete my pulmonary rehab and Tai Chi classes, I don't plan to stop. I am going to look into Gentle Yoga (if my doctor agrees to it).
Thank you Mary and Bobbi---Since my doctor doesn't seem concerned right now about my weight, I won't dwell on it either. I feel better, am breathing better and am stronger, so I'll lose the weight as time goes on. Thanks so much for the support and encouragement...Joyce
The Rehabilitation Gym at the hospital was packed today so some of us had to wait on the machines. If for any reason a person is unable to come at their designated time, they can come another time, so maybe a lot of the 10:00am people came today at 11:00am. With such a large group there at the same time, it was a good "talk and get to know each other better" day.
My stats were good and my warm up exercises went well. My right arm is a little sore today from my two physical therapy treatments this week, so I had to pull the oxygen tank along with my left hand today which slowed me up a little, but it wasn't a great hindrance.
Today I did 15 minutes on the bike at a level of 6-7 with very little shortness of breath. I upped it myself off and on to between 8-9, and I could tell the difference but believe I can do that much if they will let me.
I walked on the Treadmill for 15 minutes at 2.2 miles per hour and did not hold on to any bars while walking. It does make a big difference for me. It's amazing how out of shape I find myself, but I also see where I am becoming stronger and more "in shape" when it comes to my muscles and strength. The Treadmill went fine today, and I feel I can do more.
At checkout, the RT increased my time on the Treadmill next week to minutes and also the bike for minutes. I'm making headway here and am glad of it.
Being crowded today, after my cool down walk and exercises, I sat in one of the many chairs for my stats to be taken along with many others. Today I sat next to a lady who has Pulmonary Fibrosis and is on 15 liters of oxygen. She also has an enlarged heart and has a permanent cath for heart medication since she takes it frequently throughout the day. While there, the RT's administered her medication to her through the cath. It was interesting. She has been on 15 liters of oxygen since the year 2001 when she almost died of heart failure and pneumonia. She does not wear the cannula but wears a mask for her oxygen. She has such a tremendously positive attitude, and I watched her exercise on the bike and the Treadmill, and her speed is higher than mine. So, anyone out there who is on 15 liters of oxygen, don't think you can't get up and out and go. She couldn't at first, but now after a great deal of pulmonary rehab and the correct heart medications, she is. She is to be commended. If anyone wants to know more about her medications, let me know, and I will ask her.
I am meeting many people who inspire me. I feel confident that in time, I will be able to walk the Treadmill for 30 minutes along with the bike for 30. I can't now, but I will slowly but surely, like a turtle, get to my destination and reach my goal. Once again I can only say....today has been a good day.
Yesterday, Friday, October 26th, I arrived at the hospital at 10:00am to attend my first Tai Chi class. There was some type of mix up regarding the use of the room normally used for Tai Chi class, and another group was already occupying the room. The RT's all apologized for the inconvenience, and since there was not another room available, they cancelled the Tai Chi class for yesterday. I was disappointed but will attend another time.. Joyce
Unfortunately, I had a stomach bug today and a doctor's appointment, so I wasn't able to attend pulmonary rehabilitation. I called rehab, and they appreciated my "not coming" since I wasn't feeling well. I plan to attend on Thursday.
I had a very good day at rehab today. It is about midnight as I type this, so I don't know if this will show up as a Thursday or a Friday posting, but when I say today, I mean Thursday.
I arrived early, and since I was not able to attend rehab Tuesday, I made sure I did a few extra stretches when warming up. Also, I walked the track three times instead of only two. By the time they took my stats, I was limbered up and ready to go.
I thought they were going to increase my "machine time" today, but the RT changed her mind. Today, I did 15 minutes on the bike at a level of 6-7. I think I may have set my expectations a bit too high. I expected by now that the muscles in my thighs would be quite hard (as if I were age 25??), but that isn't the case. I mentioned this to the RT who is about age 25, and she just smiled and said that my goal is strength and endurance and not muscular thighs.
The RT did raise my speed on the Treadmill. Today I walked for 15 minutes at 2.4 miles per hour. I could tell the difference in speed but it wasn't uncomfortable. She assured me though that in time my time on the Treadmill would increase along with either the speed or the angle.
I am learning that when my mind thinks "I don't think I will be able to do that", within a week or so, I do that. For example, right now I am thinking that I do not want to attempt to walk uphill (at an angle on the Treadmill). I would rather increase my speed. It seems to me that uphill would be very difficult. However, I know that one day I probably will be walking uphill. without difficulty. I know this because, as I look back, I remember when I thought walking five minutes at 2 miles per hour was a difficult thing to do, and I was short of breath and my leg muscles hurt. I have more to do and more progress to make, but I have already made a lot of progress. In other words, I might be a snail, but I am convinced that I will succeed and reach my goal.
I was here earlier Joyce and when I left I was sharing your rehab journey with some other people and realized you never posted today. I came back to post and ask if you were okay.
I must have just missed you. Glad you are okay. You are doing great. Not many in my rehab that can walk that fast. 5 years ago there was one man and one woman who both were doing over 2 and also with incline. Just a small incline makes a big difference. Have a great weekend.
What Jackie said about people reading. You can tell by the total views that you are not being ignored by any means. I still really enjoy this and obvious others are too.
I am with Maryaz all the way, I enjoy reading this and have mentioned it several time to others, hopefully some have came over at least to read this rehab as so many people have no idea how helpful this is, and it really is hard to convince someone that is having a problem with SOB, understandably. You're doing great and definately not being ignored. and keep up the Great work!!!!
Thank you Mary and Muffin. I am enjoying rehab so much, and I look forward to attending Tai Chi class(es) as soon as I can. When I attend, I will post about it. The ability to relax both physically and mentally is important for us all...Joyce
You are doing so great! I'll bet you will be doing 30mins on each before you know it. You are right by the way about medicare they pay for 12 visits and then you can re up for 6 more if need be and that can usually happen pretty easy. Have a great weekend! Blessings
Today's rehab seemed to go by so fast. Of course, I did talk almost the whole time. I felt very energetic today, and after my stats were taken, I headed off to the walking track without hesitation and walked my two laps quickly with no shortness of breath.
On the bike, I did minutes at a level of 6-7, and had a good conversation regarding hearing aids with the gentleman on the bike next to me. I did start the conversation since I noticed he had a hearing aid in both ears, and I might need one. So, as he explained to me the details of his hearing aids, I rode and rode that bike and listened, and before I knew it, I was done. And, I had no shortness of breath.
There were a good many people at rehab today, but I was able to find a Treadmill without any problems. I walked the Treadmill for minutes at 2.4 miles per hour with my arms swinging slightly by my side (not holding on to the bars) and feeling really proud that I was hanging in there for full minutes. On one side of me was a lady who has progressed now to 20 minutes on the Treadmill and today for the first time, they started her at a slight inclination. The lady on my other side was new and today was her first day. They had her start at 12 minutes on the Treadmill. My "happy" bubble was burst a bit as I wondered why I wasn't at an incline yet and why I started at 5 minutes, not 12. But, as I type this, I smile, because each person is different, and they say I'm doing well, so I believe them
I started my cool down by circling the walking track twice slowly and did my exercises slowly and headed home. The RT said that once I get to the point where I can walk the Treadmill for 20 minutes, then they will put me on a slight incline. Without a doubt, I will get there.
I asked Mark, who seems to be the supervisor of RT, if he was holding Tai Chi classes this Friday. He said yes, and I am going to try to attend if possible.
Even though I laugh at myself at times for being a snail, I truly do feel better and stronger, and I don't mind taking it slow. Besides all the good physical exercise I get at rehab, I am enjoying so very much being in group with other people...some copders and some with cardiac problems or other pulmonary issues. We all have a common bond, and we all know it. Everyone always makes sure to say and See you later or Have a good weekend. It's nice.
It was one of those "fun" days at rehab today. Everyone seemed to be in such a good mood and smiling. We had some new people join the group today, so the gym was full, and there was a lot of chatter going on.
My stats were good, so I did my warm up walk around the walking track (I can tell I'm walking faster) and then my warm up exercises. The RT decided to up my time by one minute on each machine.
Today I rode the bike for 17 minutes at the same level of 6-7. They seem to want to keep me at this level and increase my time on the bike which is fine with me. I completed it fine with no problems and did not notice the one minute increase in time.
I walked on the Treadmill for 17 minutes at 2.4 miles per hour without holding on to the support bars. Since I had just finished riding the bike, it wasn't long before I could feel pulling in my thigh muscles when walking the Treadmill. By the time I was finished, I was fairly tired but with no shortness of breath. My legs were tired. Since everyone was talkative today, I did talk with several other copders about leg/thigh weakness, and they too felt that their legs had become very weak from either inactivity, sickness or a combination. It's always nice to know that other's feel the same as I do.
I completed my cool down walk and exercises and sat myself on a chair to wait for my stats to be taken. While sitting there, the lady next to me, who is relatively new, was discussing her frustration about her family not understanding her limitations with copd and how frustrated she felt not being able to do what she used to do. I wanted so badly to talk with her about signing up on this forum for support and information. But, the Rt was in a lengthy discussion with her, so I will mention it to her next week in case she is interested in joining or just lurking.
It was a good day today at rehab, and I look forward to Tuesday. I do plan on walking between now and then.