November 22, 2007

I am a rather poor turkey.

Ah, Thanksgiving Day! A day to sleep in, eat all you want, maybe get a little exercise since you don't have to go to work. Sounds ideal, eh?

But...nah, there's no "but" to this. Not today. I did sleep in, I am eating all I want (not that that's unusual), and I did get a little jog in. The weather today has been absolutely glorious. If anything, it was a little too warm for comfort. I've adjusted down to being comfortable at 45 degrees and it is 68 degrees out there right now. Amazing.

Let me back up to last Saturday. I went out for an almost-two-mile run (thought it was 2, but I calculated wrong - more like 1.75) and thought I was beginning to get a handle on things. My running-to-walking ratio is getting a little bit better and on Saturday, I was even able to string five blocks together before having to walk again. Five whole blocks. Five. Whopping. Blocks.

I know that doesn't sound like much of an achievement. Believe me, right now it is.

Between then and now, I've been put on IV antibiotics - the orals weren't doing quite as effective a job as my doctor and I had hoped. The home nurse who came to put in the midline did a good job, overall. I was nervous, since I particularly like a nurse named Gemini, who put in my second and third midlines a couple years ago. She wasn't available this week, unfortunately, so a nurse named "Josh" came. Actually, I had to send him home the first night - the meds and supplies had not yet arrived. I told him to come back in the morning (yesterday).

Surprisingly, Josh did a good, if bloody, job, getting the midline in on the first try. But my blood pressure is good and my veins are big, so there came a point where the midline was in and while he was trying to get the little extension port thing attached, I bled all over the damn place. Ruined a pair of jeans (my next to last pair), my IKEA wood stool (blood stains are cool, heh), my right sock, my right sneaker, the floor, the table - just everywhere. But still - the placement was quick, easy, and aside from the initial insertion, there's been no pain along the catheter itself - which is highly unusual. Out of my four midlines I've had so far, this is the best. And Josh knows his stuff; I like him. In fact, he JUST called and scheduled w/ me to come in tomorrow morning to change the dressing and draw blood.

So, it is with a midline that I was faced with going jogging yesterday. Now, there is initial pain in the arm - in the joints and muscles - and Josh recommended I take it easy, not to mention I'm now on six antibiotics total (3 oral, 3 IV) and the vancomycin in particular is known to cause fatigue. So I waited to run until today.

And I'm so glad I did! The mild arm pain was gone and I have nearly full use of that arm. The weather is superb for a jog; the traffic was lighter than usual, even along my backroads flat route, and my lungs really are feeling better. I'm coughing noticeably less, and the amount I'm coughing up is less. But my PFTs haven't improved and I still tire easily when exercising...

So today's run:

Uneven as all my runs have been lately. But not as uneven as it looks. If the iPod sensor sampled every five seconds (i.e. more often), you would see regular, consistent dips in the pace. I'm not sure the run was three miles, actually, though it was close. I was a bit past the hospital on 2nd ave when the iPod announced the halfway point - I should have been another four blocks, I think.

Whatever - it was an honest 44 minutes of work and pretty consistently jog 3 blocks, walk 1. Two and a half blocks was consistently where I'd run out of air; I'd push it to the end of the block, then walk the next; while coughing, of course. Every now and then I had to just stop, but not for very long.

This, of course, means mainly one thing: I'm just out of shape. Okay, it also points to persistent inflammation in my lungs that's not helping, but still. If this was my own little 5K Turkey Trot, then I make a poor turkey. In a flock of T-day-morning birds, I'd be the first turkey to get caught and put on the chopping block. Can you imagine some little turkey looking up at the butcher and wheezing out, "Wait,, really, just let me get my breath back and then you can chase me some more." In the game of survival, the turkey doesn't have to run fast, he only has to run faster than ME.

I got out; I ran. That alone is a big deal right now. I do have to cut up a sock, though, and get some control over this midline - it flops around too much while jogging.


Stephen said...

I gotta give you credit. I don't if I'd go outside , let alone go jogging with an IV in my arm. ibjd

I'm sorry to hear that you're on so many antibotics. From now on I'm not going to bitch anymore about being on a few steroids.

Despite all your medical hassles, I hope you have a good Turkey day!

Danny said...

the socks is a good idea. or secure it down with some more tape. it shouldn't be what holds you back from jogging. your lungs on the other hand...

feel better soon!