Monday, April 4, 2016

Breathing back to normal - now working on strength

Today I am OK - more than OK - I'm almost normal! I have virtually no coughing or phlegm  and my peak flow, both  this morning and this afternoon, is 370. I'm hoping for 400+ later this afternoon - but no longer obsessing about it because I did hit 400 a couple of days ago. My side hardly hurts and I actually cancelled the appointment this morning with my GP because I can no longer pinpoint the pain.

However, my proprioception is still not good enough - meaning I am somewhat unsteady and weak. But my brain seems to be back - and that's a very good feeling.

Mike told me this morning that he was really worried by my apparent disconnection from reality after I finished the prednisone. He said I seemed not to be able to make sense out of what he was saying. I could hear him but my responses were way off. He said I seemed not to have any awareness of traffic when we went out walking. I do remember - it was worst last Wednesday after I got my Xolair shot and picked up my new progressive glasses. I felt I did not know where my body was. My lower body felt disconnected and mildly numb - kind of useless like a mermaid's tail. My feet felt like flippers. I couldn't tell where my feet were or where to put them.

I experienced this last spring when I was having dizziness from inner ear infection and poor eyesight from an eye infection and having to wear those nasty progressive glasses. It's called loss of proprioception. My audiologist told me that if I worked at it, I could get it back. For me working at it is taking the risk of putting my foot down without looking where I'm putting it and, instead, paying attention to the feeling inside. I think doing that reconnects sensory nerves that have become weakened by reduced sensory input. Before I got the bacteria last month I was really good - I was doing lots of weight training and skating as long and hard as I could a couple of times a week. My balance came back, I had strong shoulders and I could almost sense where the blades of my iceskates were. I have to get back to that again - because when your body feels week and your balance is off - being able to breath is not good enough.

So this morning I did an easy version of my weight training routine - just one set of 15 repetitions using 5 lb weights. All were relatively easy except for shoulder press which is always the hardest. In a couple of days I will do my routine with 6 lb weights and try to work my way up to 10 lbs for at least some the exercises. I used to be a very fit person and even taught aerobics for a number of years when I was in my 50s so I know the theory and just have to do it. Mike and i also did a bit of Tai Chi which I think must be excellent for proprioception. I guess it's all part of managing your asthma when you are an older person.

Mike must think my brain is back because he has taken himself out in our boat to Newcastle Island with his scuba gear. He is going to test his buoyancy. He lost quite a bit of weight lately by following the FODMAP diet and needs to reorganize his equipment and weights. Once that is sorted, he is going to do a short dive in Mark Bay. He hasn't been diving for months (partly because he felt he couldn't leave me alone) and has never actually gone out completely by himself. It's a lovely day, the camelias are in bloom and it's what he wants to do - so I'm just enjoying the fact that he is doing it and absolutely not worrying.  I'm going to garden, walk the dog, and wash the kitchen floor. Yippee!

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