The past few weeks have been a bit tough. My breathing numbers were down at my last visit at the end of July, so I have a bronchoscopy (a test where they scope your lungs to take a look) scheduled for later this month. It might not be anything to worry about, but better safe than sorry.
I also was battling a lot of anxiety over the healthcare vote. Yet, even after that I didn’t seem to bounce back that much. My energy wasn’t good and it was taking me significant effort to do much of anything. I also wasn’t sleeping well.
I made some changes & contacted a few professionals on my care team (locally) about this too.
I was prescribed Trazadone as I was only getting about 2 hours of decent sleep (deep or REM) a night.
It’s been about a week since I started it & I can tell a huge difference already. I don’t wake up hung over. I can wake up a few times in the night but fall back to sleep.
I also realized after I re-aggravated my knee a few months ago that even after it healed I was stuck in a bit of a rut with my exercising.
My friends convinced me to join their gym & that has helped.
In the week or so since I joined I’ve done aquafit (water aerobics), lifted weights (but this week actually did two sets instead of one) & then I also downloaded the couch to 5K app & did that on the treadmill two days (hope that in a few weeks it will cool down or not be as humid so I can do it outside at least once a week). I also tried a bodyweight class that I finished but I can tell was a bit much for me right now until I get a little stronger. I have a few more classes I can try (yoga & zumba) if I get bored or need something a bit lower impact still on a low energy day.
When I do my aquafit class I keep my swim shoes on to keep my feet covered. I do that just as a precaution to make sure I don’t pick up an infection.
My transplant hospital has a great blog that sometimes has some useful guidelines & information.
Also if training outside, sun protection is obviously important for transplant patients as we are prone to skin cancers because of our drugs but also because the drugs make us highly photo sensitive (prone to sunburn).
Even when I do my drives to my appointments in the height of the summer I protect my arms because my skin is so fair. I have a few hats if need be. I also often use a sunscreen (for sensitive skin) on my face or a light foundation or BB cream/balm with an SPF.
I often wear sun sleeves for my arms if I’m out & about for an afternoon.
Many companies make them in a variety of styles, prices, & colors.
They work well & aren’t overly warm on hot summer days either.
For those who cycle or wear shorts, many of these same companies make sleeves for the legs as well.
I did invest in some nice UV blocking pants in case I do plan to be outside for an extended period of time on a really hot day (plus they are comfortable so if I want to take a long hike or a walk, they work well for that too).
Why do I mention all of this? It’s part of reaching a few of my first post transplant goals.
I want to do a 5K race sometime in 2018.
I plan to attend & at least do the 3K walk in next year’s Donor Dash.
I also want to participate in the 2018 Transplant Games of America.
I don’t have enough cardio conditioning or stamina for cycling yet but I can work towards that. At some point I would like to do the Million Dollar Bike Ride, too.
I’m starting off with things I know I can train for with where I’m at now.
Upping my exercise routine from maintenance therapy at this point in my recovery is a good start to get training for both of these goals in addition to helping me recover from surgery & feel better overall now since my maintenance program seemed a bit static & boring.
I feel I have a good foundation to build from now & some activities I can fold in to alleviate boredom or even keep moving if my stamina takes a dive or with a minor injury to keep moving, which is where I always seemed to struggle pre-transplant too.
In addition, this will also help my breathing hopefully rebound a bit, or at least keep it from getting worse.