Not that I’m an expert on this… The last time I had a PICC line I ended up with a DVT (blood clot) in my arm and had to be on blood thinners for 3 months. Why? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but it could be because I didn’t want to atrophy away, so I was doing push ups as well as my daily walk. Dumb.
So maybe this does make me an expert because I definitely know what NOT to do.
Here’s my take:
If you have a PICC, NO UPPER BODY RESISTANCE TRAINING NOT EVEN PUSH UPS WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! But when you start feeling better after the first few days of “happy juice,” as I now call it, you can definitely go out for a nice walk every day. Or get on an stationary exercise bicycle. Basically, the bottom line is don’t push it too hard, but it is good to move! If you don’t move for three weeks, it will be very difficult to get motivated again, and you will lose muscle mass, a very bad thing indeed. Be gentle. Be mindful. But, move.
If you have a fever, no exercise. Rest.
If you are just coughing more than usual, but don’t feel too bad…well, this is a tricky one. Are you losing weight? Are you eating well? Do you have energy? This is probably a good time to call the clinic, let them know what’s going on, and ask for your doctor’s opinion on the exercise question. Do I do that? No (well, I ask myself and I usually tell myself to quit being a wimp and do some push ups). But I’m learning to not listen to that inner little sergeant.
Last week (Week One), was the “walk every day” week. My dogs loved it. I also did daily Qigong (gentle stretching).
This week, I’m adding some lower body exercises (squats) and curl ups to the above. Feeling good! Zero cough. I love this happy juice.
Next week, who knows…but it won’t include push ups.
Since this blog is a prologue to a book idea, I think it is appropriate that I lay out my idea in a series of short entries. So here it is.
This came to me at 12:30 pm one night when I could not sleep. I had been brewing an idea for a membership website which would be a place where people with a chronic illness could hang out to get support, ideas, coaching, and other products that would help them to live as healthfully as possible. While on vacation with me, a friend suggested jokingly that a good name might be “notdeadyet.com.” Of course, everyone laughed at the absurdity of such a name, but apparently, it stuck in my subconscious mind.
So that night the idea hit me like a gale force wind. Notdeadyet is not a website name…for so many reasons. I’ll let you figure those out.
But, perhaps, it is an acronym! I sat up immediately and took out my journal. Each letter in the acronym began a phrase that summed up what I have learned (through living with CF, being a physician, coaching others, and studying positive psychology) about being HAPPY while being SICK.
The weird thing was…I didn’t even really think. These phrases just sort of came to me…quickly. I had to write them immediately because I was afraid I would forget them (there is a precedent for this, trust me).
It was clear – Sick and Happy was the title (or at least the main part of it), and each of the chapters was going to cover one of the phrases, delineated by the acronym N O T D E A D Y E T.
And here they are…virtual drum roll please:
Notice what your body still can do, and take pleasure and pride in those things.
Only eat, drink, say and think healthy food, drink, words, and thoughts (i.e. cut out the crap).
Take complete control and responsibility for everything you can.
Decide how you will think and act.
Engage fully in life.
Accept what you cannot change without becoming a victim.
Discover your strengths and use them every day.
You are not alone – connect with others and give and receive support.
Envision the meaning of and opportunities found within your illness.
Thank everyone for everything.
My next 10 posts will go into more detail about each phrase, so come on back.
Pretty much everyone I have told about this idea says that I absolutely CANNOT use the word dead anywhere in this book. I would appreciate your feedback. It’s a joke, of course. But is it too morbid???
I listened to a great podcast today, Fitness Rocks, by Dr. Monte Ladner, who is a retired physician like myself. He didn’t get out for health reasons like I did, but more from a case of “burnout,” and a desire to help people with health and fitness information rather than fostering reliance on medication to put a “band aid” on chronic problems resulting from poor diet and sedentary living.