Saturday, June 20, 2009

Extra Effort

I'm up very early for a Saturday, which is usually a day to lie in bed and watch a bit of the news or perhaps do a little reading. Some good friends are having an enormous yard sale and I've promised to be there to keep them company- the yard sale starts at 8:00, not really that early, but I have my treatments to do before I can go out.

As much as we all try to consider life from another's point of view we are never really able to completely understand what others go through. Just as I can't imagine what it's like to be diabetic, to have to constantly monitor blood sugar levels and be aware of dietary intake, or have lower extremity paralysis or have suffered a stroke, I doubt anyone else would understand what it's like to need to do these treatments twice a day. Every day. Day in, day out, whether I feel like it or not.

I once was in contact with a physician who was an intern at MGH who had CF. He was 'in the closet' and didn't let anyone know about his illness. He said something that summed it up perfectly for me: No matter how hard everyone else tries or works, we have to do the same thing, with less energy and 3-4 hours less in our day due to treatment times. Yes! Some days when I'm feeling less than productive I need to remind myself that my day is shorter than everyone elses (in a sense) and no matter how motivated or energetic I am it doesn't make up for the time I need to spend doing treatments.

Yes, it is time well spent because it maintains my health, but that doesn't mean I actually enjoy it.

Lately, I've tried to consider my exercise as part of my treatment time in addition to the vest and nebs. I find that if I put it in that context I'm much more likely to be compliant with it. After all, it is just as important in terms of airway clearance. To use an analogy, it is like brushing your teeth but not flossing them (sorry to all the non-flossers out there!) Both activities are important maintenance which are most effective when used together. Sometimes when I'm a bit short of time, this morning for example, I'll just do the nebs and vest and perhaps try to squeeze in a walk later on. My goal is to exercise at least 4 times a week and for the most part I'm able to achieve that.

I've gotten a bit rambly here, my original point was that I need to get up 2 hours earlier than if I didn't have CF just to make it out the door on time. If I'm going out in the evening, I either need to: a) plan some time in the afternoon before going out to do treatments, b) plan on doing them after getting in, or c) skip them altogether. Skipping is a bad option because I'm going to feel worse the next morning. Just as not brushing your teeth one morning or evening won't cause all your dentition to fall out, skipping a treatment here or there won't kill me. In the short term I'll feel worse and it has the potential to become a pattern so I do try to avoid it.

Still only 24 hours in the day with more tasks to complete. I've got to remember this and be more forgiving when I'm 5 minutes late or can't get everything done that I'd like to. Amen!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If we has any more time, we'd probably pose a danger to society.