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A Stumble, A Wander, A Falter--A Decision

Monday, October 03, 2011

For the past two days...I've been HUNGRY it seems -- all the time.
And I haven't exercised --at all.
As I look back I have to ask myself, "What happened?"

ASTHMA happened.

And once more, I find myself on the dreaded, evil drug: Prednisone. A steroid guaranteed to make me feel famished ALL THE TIME, (regardless of how full I actually am).
Guaranteed to keep me up all night (as it is doing tonight)
Guaranteed to make me depressed and irritable...and soon, maybe psychotic.
These are just a very few of the lovely side effects I get from these drugs.

Let me reiterate that Just in case you missed it: Steroids. Me. HATE!!

of course, they've saved my life; multiple times. And the worst kind is Solule Medrol...an IV form of them which gets dumped into my veins once Prednisone has failed to do its work...And THAT has led me to be in a wheelchair for two years at one point because of the damage it does to my muscles. And it caused me to stuff myself until I'd gained 90 pounds two years ago. from 130 to 220. BAM!

And slowly , painfully I'd lost 60 pounds of that weight. Until a couple of weeks ago when prednisone happened once more...And my weight has crept up to 183. Now I'm not excusing myself...but ask ANYONE who has ever had significant experience with corticosteroids and they will tell you: it's almost impossible not to gain weight while on them. They cause fluid retention. Fat redistribution to the stomach and face (JUST WHERE I WANT TO BE FAT, don't you too??), horrible insatiable hunger; just to mention a few of the consequences and side effects.

Now the asthma made it impossible to exercise. And the treatment makes me fat.

So the question is -- as I sit here having consumed the leftovers from dinnertime's Apple Crisp...which I made because my daughter and her boyfriend were here for dinner-- What am I going to do with this situation?

I've already done the knee-jerk response: eat, sit on my butt, feel sorry for myself...

But I know where that all leads. And i really truly do NOT want to go there.
So the question is how to stop this snowball once it's been tossed down the mountain...before it becomes an avalanche of failure.

Well, for one, I can exercise...even if it's just a LITTLE. I can certainly do a nebulizer treatment and then go for a walk, right?? And what about yoga and strength training. THAT doesn't take much breath...IN FACT yoga breathing can only help...And even the ergometer...it's actually even safer than a walk...because should I run into a problem..I'm here at home...not a mile down a hilly road. AND it can be done at any speed.

I've already proved last year that the one thing which will help asthmatic lungs is, paradoxically: exercise! STRESSING those lungs a little at a time...Making demands of them greater than their capacity...challenging them...I found IT WORKS. Even when last year I'd asked my pulmonologist about what kind of exercise I could tolerate and he said very emphatically. "NONE...ANY extra stress on your lungs will kill you."


what did I go home and do? Set about to prove him wrong.
Was it hard? You betcha. Terrifying? Yessiree. And can I do it again ...having slid back into the self indulgent, lazy, sedentary self that can so easily occur with chronic, permanent illness....?

Well, I've always been (traditionally) very self disciiplined and self motivated...a high achiever...And stubborn as all heck. Certainly those qualities have not evaporated...merely been buried in a mound of flesh and misfortune.
Time to dig down deep, Cynthia....time to take that self who never, ever listened to the words, "NO, and NEVER" but set about to prove them wrong ...and generally was successful at that in every occasion I can think of.

My life has been more mountainous that the Rockies..with deep valleys and high highs. Well, I've spent enough time this past year in the valley. Time to put on my hiking shoes and head for those peaks again. There are so many areas in my life right now that this could apply to. Finances. Marriage. Faith. Stamina and weight. All of them need an injection of hope and energy.

Pain and illness have sapped me of the strength I am so badly needing right now. And as I head into my next five major joint replacement surgeries....I'm going to need all of the faith and energy I can summon...or be blessed with from above.
And I need a running start. I really do.
So put on those Sauconies and get yourself jogging and then sprinting ...you have a big vault ahead...you won't clear it by crawling.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Cynthia, How I dread being put on the nasty stuff, for whatever reason - including injections. I haven't had it for my asthma, but my back, knee, rashes, etc. Every time, the weight is a residual I don't want to live with.
    You are right in tackling it a little bit at a time. Dealing with the aftermath of surgeries right now, I am doing less, and facing similar results.
    Let's stay positive my friend, we can do it, one little bit at a time.
    3268 days ago
    Fellow asthmatic here! But under control now. Prednisone and the others I can't remember, were lifesavers at the time and my only relief. But yes I did gain. My situation is not as severe as yours, but I can't believe your pulmonary doc would say no exercise! My improvement came from exercise. I began to sing again and the vocal exercises are the same breathing exercises that benefit asthmatics. It overtaxed my lungs and I was careful, but I saw a steady improvement.
    3273 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Sorry you have to be on that awful drug again :(((
    But you have been down that road before and know what you have to do. Be safe and stay home to exercise. You don't want to have some fall or episode set you back even further. About the food. Sure you must have dessert for company. But had you even considered using one of Spark's healthy substitute recipes?
    Almost ANY major meal or dessert has been made over to be lower fat, lower calorie, etc., etc. All you have to do is search the recipe data base and see for yourself. Eating healthy in all ways is one thing you can do for yourself and your family. My step dad may not like the sudden influx of veggies he finds himself being served when I am visiting, but he sure notices the difference in how he feels. He eats NO fruits or veggies. Total high carb meat eater -he has 5 slices of bread a day!!
    Some times the menfolk can use a little help..Have nothing but healthy meals for you and your loved ones -it will be appreciated in all ways..
    Good luck with your exercise -remember one step at a time, you must build it up..
    There with you,
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    3274 days ago
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    3274 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5645667
    Hi Darling I can so attest to what you are going through ..
    I was on Predisolone for over 8yrs 15 mil a day.
    I was only 67 kilos when I started, but was over 145 kilos when they finally took me off it when the 12 hour Nualin tablets came out !.
    It not only ruined my body, it also sucked all the protecting tissue and fluid from all my joints ..
    I know where you are at .. and I love the idea of yoga and also using your equipment rather than walking to far after the nebulizer ...
    I know you have done it all before ... and I think giving the right frame of mind you can do it again.
    Love and Hugs Susie

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    3275 days ago
    ATTAGIRL! That's the spirit and attitude that will get you thru this and on to better fitness, better health. You are so right about prednisone: I was on it for several months, years ago, and I've never been so ravenous in my whole life - all day, every day, I wanted to EAT. Hunger was like pain, and drove me mad. And like you, the weight didn't creep back on; it leapt on, in pounds per week.

    I love your idea about the yoga, since even if you can't manage much in the way of cardio because of the asthma, you can still work on keeping muscles flexible and strong so you can build up to cardio. Plus I think you're right about yoga being especially helpful for assisting in regulating your breathing - and it helps with stress, which will also help with the asthma, so - it's all good, ain't?

    You're a real inspiration to me, Cynthia. Whenever I start thinking 'Oh, I'm too tired to walk' or 'My knee's bothering me; I'll skip the fitness today,' I'll think about you focusing on what you CAN do, instead of what you can't.
    3275 days ago
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