Spring has finally sprung here in Michigan! [Insert a loud and dramatic sigh of relief]. What a winter this was! I had a nasty, debilitating virus and CF exacerbation in December followed by three additional viruses over the course of what were some of the coldest months (weather-wise) of my life. Talk about feeling cooped up! My lungs have been aching for a breath of warm, fresh air.
My latest virus hit right after I wrote my last update. I had a sinus infection and a sore throat and this time, pink eye. Lovely. I went to a primary care physician who prescribed drops for the pink eye and told me my other symptoms were viral. She did encourage me to follow-up with my pulmonary specialist, however, and I just happened to have a routine appointment on the books for the very next day.
After I got to the appointment and took my breathing test, I knew I was in trouble. My FEV1 was down 13 points. What a shock! I knew I was struggling and hadn’t felt great in weeks, but I never would have guessed my lung function had dropped so drastically. My CF doctor put me on oral antibiotics immediately and scheduled another appointment for just four days later. The antibiotics took care of my acute sinus and throat symptoms within 36 hours (so maybe they weren’t viral after all?) but I continued to struggle with noticeable wheezing and inflammation in my lungs. When my FEV1 showed no improvement four days later, I started on steroids.
I’m now a week into the steroids and a week and a half into the antibiotics and am feeling pretty good. I’m a little cloudy–the steroids make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But it feels great to be free from troublesome levels of congestion and inflammation, and although I’m not exactly breathing easy, I’m breathing easier. I’ve felt well enough to be out and about with Lucas, enjoying this warmer spring weather.
Now for an update on Operation Up Scale and Lace Up. I have stayed true to my committment to gain weight and have put on three pounds so far. I haven’t gained an ounce since I started the antibiotics as they always upset my stomach, but my weight is holding steady. I know I’ll get those last two pounds on once I finish out the medication. The MyFitnessPal application has been an awesome help in this endeavor again. It keeps me on track with my calorie goals.
I got back on the treadmill too! Thankfully I never got terribly ill with this virus or bacterial infection or whatever it was, so once I started on the steroids and antibiotics I recovered enough within a few days to have energy to exercise. Last week I walked two miles at a 15 minute mile pace three times. This week I started back on the couch to 5K program and alternated jogging one minute and walking a minute and a half for the two miles. It’s going well! (Initially I typed cough to 5K. Is that a Freudian slip or what?!)
I have another pulmonary appointment in two weeks and I am hoping to see a big jump in the right direction on my FEV1. Even a little hop in the right direction would be encouraging. I have to remind myself over and over that healing takes time, and to choose patience over panic.
Happy Spring everyone!