Two Health Victories

The health saga continues. I have two notable victories to share since last time I posted. The first is that I started seeing my chiropractor again. This isn't necessarily earth-shattering in itself, but he got a table that's quite amazing. It's called the CERAGEM-RH. You lay on your back on top of it and it has rollers that travel up and down either side of your spine along with infrared heat. Although the first couple half-hour treatments were painful since my back was so tight and I have next to no natural padding, I can already tell some health benefits after only three sessions. My posture is improving and my back seems both a bit stronger and more mobile. Most importantly though, my ribcage pivots like it is supposed to; before it wouldn't expand much (if at all) when I breathed deeply. It was kind of like trying to blow up a balloon inside a steel cage rather than in free air - I could breathe in to a certain point but it just wouldn't go anymore. That sensation is now gone.

The second victory is something quite simplistic. Some supplements actually work. I have been consistently taking a multivitamin, a probiotic supplement, and cod liver oil for the past week and a half and have noticed a marked improvement in my digestion. I haven't notably changed my diet, sleep pattern, or started making incantations in that time so I'm pretty darn sure that the supplements are doing it. Along with improved digestion has come, I believe, improved absorption - I have gained two or three pounds since my lowest.

The upshot of all the above is that generally, over the last week, I feel like my health has been improving. Yesterday I took a walk at a pretty good clip and my stamina held out for the nearly hour I was out. I have energy to do more than just sit around. Unfortunately, I was a bad boy last night and most of today and ate way too many nasty inflammatory foods (pizza, ice cream, pancakes, mac & cheese, creme brulee) so when I went for my walk today I was rather wheezy and didn't make it nearly as far in as good condition. It was a fruitful experience though; it reminded me of the cost of eating bad stuff.

Battle of the Titans: Rehab vs. Antibiotics

I realize it's been awhile since my last health update (4 weeks, to be exact). Things have improved moderately since then. I took oral antibiotics for a couple weeks while my lungs calmed down after the assault from the nebulizer. After about a week, I was able to function without oxygen all the time.

I started pulmonary rehab 3 weeks ago. The intent is to get patients on a regular exercise schedule (strength training, breathing exercises, and cardiovascular exercise). I participated last May-July and it helped a great deal but getting sick in November and staying sick through May of this year pretty much wiped out my progress and then some. I have been doing OK with the program but not great. My energy level is not very high and with the fires and heat of the last week it has been difficult to get outside and walk daily.

On top of that, I have been placed back on the nebulizer - this time a different drug, Tobramycin. I am tolerating it, but barely. It basically gives me mild asthmatic symptoms all the time so I have been attempting to find a balance between enough drug to keep the infection at bay and not so much that I get a violent reaction like last time. It also seems to make my stomach a little more sensitive than usual.

Nutrition plays a big role too - another complication as my appetite isn't the greatest lately and even when I am hungry I get full kind of quickly and breathing is difficult if I overeat. My weight is beginning to cause me troubles - my leg muscles (well, I guess all my muscles) are pretty weak and doing almost anything beyond sitting or walking at a slow pace gets exerting quickly. Additionally, my entire left leg hurt earlier this evening - my friend Laura theorized that perhaps something came out of joint and the nerve was pressured. Makes sense. Fortunately, I found a spot to sit and it went away after a while. Regarding weight gain, the Vita-Mix has been great for making smoothies or really anything that needs pureed.

I don't want to sound like I'm terribly down or defeated - I actually have some degree of hope but know it's going to take a while before I'm better. I have goals and plans, the trick is just going to be sticking to those plans. I've always been an excellent planner but not so good at following them.