A back road in my small home town….
Our local Orchard, I get my pumpkins from.. annually..
I saw a meme I really liked today…
“I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and lit that b**** up myself”; this is the quote surmounted to the meme… ha!
For people with Cystic Fibrosis, or at least for me with mine, I don’t know how much more truth you can tag to such a statement..
I’m 26 now. I never got my lung function back up to 108% at the end of that month that I said I would. And guess what? It is okay. My most recent lung function rang in at 100%- that was two weeks ago.. Seven to eight more percentage points to go.
How have I been managing? I hold myself accountable to do my afflovest, nebulizers, and exercise every day. I chose to use medical equipment/ engage in habits that compliment what my personality entails; this helps me reach my adherence goals and ultimately, desired pulmonary function test results.
Since I was young, I have been an active/ on the go type of person. That being said, seems to make sense for me to have portable equipment! This change has helped me significantly, acquiring the afflovest and battery powered proAir nebulizer. I never knew such items were available, I had to do my own research and ask my doctors for prescriptions, which I obtained.
This portable nebulizer was not the one I wanted, the one I found online, but it was what I was offered- life is not perfect, so I take what I can get and do my best. Here is me with my doggie, Tobi ❤ Now I can do treatments while I play with him outside.
I have been doing less cardio and more lifting/ yoga, though today I did participate in “body attack” at Gold’s Gym which incorporated much cardio. From time to time I will stop in for a cycle class too..
After a personal poll and some thanks to Maxwell McGuire plus Chris Kvam, two friends with Cystic Fibrosis, Body Pump at Gold’s Gyms slowly became a constant/ my favorite class.
Gold’s Gym classes helped me become more organized and reliable regarding work out sessions. I know that everyday I can count on someone to be at the gym, expecting my participation, counting on me to “show up”. I have a hand full or a little more, to choose from for exercise groups, daily: body pump, cycle, body flow, body step, body attack, body combat, Barre, zumba, and of course hot vinyasa yoga. My gym has dedicated instructors here for me, Monday through Sunday, excited to work out with me, and encouraging me to grow. This makes me happy to exercise and easy to comply.
It also helps for me to chat with my friends that have Cystic Fibrosis about my exercise and treatment encounters. We have a special understanding of each other’s goals and how to achieve them/ encourage one another (mostly them encouraging me because I am so new to exacerbations and “climbing up the slope”). Having them here for me is a blessing.
Just as I said before, I needed the right tools to help me stay on track with doing my vest and nebulizing my hypertonic saline, Tobi, and pulmozyme. Now that I have the portable equipment, this is easy. Most often, with my sister on maternity leave, I leave my equipment at work. I do all of my treatments within 8-9 hours. Typically, I just do all of my treatments back to back. This is what works for ME. Maybe not everyone, but for me it does. I like to get it done in the most productive and speedily was as possible, this means, starting early morning with my antibiotics, ending my day with my antibiotic, and doing the hypertonics/pulmozymes/vest sessions in between the antibiotic time. In a perfect world, people would do their Tobi twelve hours apart twice a day; mine is done eight hours apart and my doctor told me that is okay. It is okay because it means it will get done and it will stay getting done in the long run.
In all sincerity, everyone knows that nobody does their treatment perfectly or the way they’re supposed to all of the time… We accept this. I accept it, and I do what works for me.
So, I have been attending the gym daily for a good while now; over a month? Doing all of my treatments… Getting my routine down and challenging myself.. Playing auntie to my newborn baby nephew, Parker ❤ Something I will mention in my next post.
I have a scheduled pulmonary function test and check up for mid April at Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC… We will see what is in store for me!
Keep lighting your tunnel! Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and or whatever else you would like to do.. I am here 🙂 Thanks for reading.
***I also want to thank Tom Nunnally for empathizing with me on my most recent post and starting his blog back up. See Tom’s blog at georgethomasweb.wordpress.com for his inspiring story.
I am 5’1, weighing in between 114 to 116 pounds every three months. Every day, 11 years strong, I drink an extremely high calorie valued Starbucks latte or frappuccino. I do not drink these because I HAVE TO (twist my arm)– I drink these because I LOVE TO!
Here is the secret… be okay with going broke… Just kidding (kind of)!
The real secret is that, my doctor ordered for me to do this every day! Yes… My doctor told me that he expects me to drink the venti decaf salted caramel mocha with whipped cream and caramel drizzle– EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Sometimes, even twice a day.
Mochas have positively impacted my health, due to my chronic condition- Cystic Fibrosis. My pancreas is kind of broken; it does not help me break down/ absorb fat like everyone else’s does. Thus, I have a predisposition to fat deficiency :0 …. You want this too, you joke? I understand why! I actually am thrilled to be able to eat what I want/ when I want. lol…. I am allowed to indulge in this aspect of my illness, right?
My high fat diet does come with a price; hypoglycemia bouts and the chance of developing diabetes… No diabetes yet (surprisingly). I have learned to manage my hypoglycemia: when simple sugars just wont do, add PEANUTS, OATS, and CASHEWS TOO…
A lot of Cystic Fibrosis patients drink ensure, boost, carnation instant breakfast, and etc.
Here are the nutritional facts to a standard Caffe Mocha, 20 oz: 450 calories, 18g of fat, 55g total carbs, and 17g protein.
*to be noted… this drink^ does not include my preferred fatty whole milk and toffee nut syrup and caramel drizzle (OR WHIPPED CREAM): AKA my real power drink…
Here are the nutritional facts to an ensure high protein serving: 160 calories, 2g of fat, 19g of total carbs, and 16g of protein.
Here are the nutritional facts to a BOOST ORIGINAL: 240 calories, 4g of fat, 41g total carbs, and 10g of protein.
See what I am talking about? This is a significant contribution to my ability to keep weight on. Fat is important. Fat, is my major source of energy- it helps me go to yoga after work when I am tired.. It gives me that extra boost I needed to absorb some vitamins and minerals. It protects my nerves, aids in blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation (a too familiar occurrence).
Guess what else that Starbucks drink has for me? Prooteeeinn! I need this protein to help me repair/build damaged lung and intestinal tissues. On the lesser of the priorities, it will encourage my hair to grow back, that is if I find cutting it all off less becoming than anticipated.. Probably unlikely.
Thank you for reading my Starbucks spiel. I will say that what I love most about Starbucks is the people that work there and the company its self. I have always felt *warm and welcomed* in conjunction to anything having to do with Starbucks’ enterprise- wonderful organization. ❤
Feel free to ask me questions, leave comments, and or anything else 🙂
Morgan A. Fogle
The first of many to come…
RE: Here is my favorite autumn leaf, this HOT October day..
Who is Kassandra Case?
“Kassie” is a J.Crew loving, coffee shop going, crossfiting, 21 year old woman. Kassie also has Cystic Fibrosis.
Here she is below, training with crossfit.
Diagnosed at birth, sports have always played a significant role in Kassie’s life- particularly gymnastics; she has traveled near and far for competitions. Like most of us, at some point during adulthood, exercise falls to the wayside and we “get out of shape”. For people with Cystic Fibrosis, this can be devastating. Post high school graduation (where I hear it occur most often), Kassie’s lung function dropped to 19%. She knew she needed to get her life back, she also knew where to start.
Kassie says, “I remembered how healthy I was when I was in gymnastics. I knew I could not go back to gymnastics, so I had to find the adult version of it. My friend took me to a gym to get started, little by little. I did not want to take my oxygen with me, but I did anyways. I would literally go for 20-30 minutes at a time at first. I would be so worn out… But, eventually, I started building my body to where I was able to do more. There was a crossfit gym next door to my gym. I had always wanted to do crossfit! One of my friends saw how interested I was and took me in. I fell I love with it from day one! It was super hard for me and still is, not going to lie, but I gained most of my lung function back by doing crossfit.” Kassie’s lung function went from a staggering 19% to 36%.
Kassie’s Disciplined Diet
Now, I must also add- I read Kassie’s dieting regime and I still think “how can someone be SO self disciplined?!?”… Please, if you could give me only a smidgen of this that you possess- it is a virtue… Her diet looks like this: no dairy, no bread, no soy, no processed meats, no processed foods, yes fresh fruit, vegetables, and oats. For drink? Only water and some juice. Kassie also manages CF related diabetes and a seizure condition (hence the no soy). All of her protein comes from nuts, quinoa, and oatmeal. How much water does she drink regularly? Her body weight in ounces. Her doctor advised her that using this diet will aid in rebuilding lung cells; Kassie says she feels the difference.
Here is Kassie, being beautiful per usual (and very fashionable!)
Kassie mentions, she could not have achieved all that she has on her own, though. She is surrounded by a very strong support group: family, friends, a Cyster (best girl friend that has Cystic Fibrosis), her care team, fitness coaches, and other CFers (fellow CF patients). “I have a wonderful social worker at my CF doctor’s office, she is a huge supporter of me. The whole doctor’s office is a huge support to me. My family is supper supportive and are there for me through everything. I haven’t been through anything alone due to them being by my side. …On Instagram I interact with other CFers and we all just show each other support and love through there as well!” -Kassie
According to Kassie, CF patients should not let their “abnormality” keep them from achieving whatever it is they desire to do: “Don’t be ashamed to wear oxygen, use our equipment out in public, or to wear masks where people find it unnecessary.” “…you may get sick and you will have difficulties, but if you have the will and drive you can always get better. I want to show them (patients of CF) that things might be hard at first, but with time it will get better.” “In the end, our lives will be affected by the things we do and don’t do!” -Kassie on helping patients experiences with CF relate to one another.
Kassie’s take on CF right now? “Soon it will be cured. The people who have it now will remember it and stay strong individuals because of it. Our future generations will not know what CF is. To CFers, do not give up, our time is coming!”
Here are a few more photos of Ms. Kassie Case.
Would you like to try Kassie’s favorite work out routine?
Do this exercise 3-5 times in a row, per her suggestion:
-5 calories on an air bike (opens and works the lungs)
-10 kettle bell swings (strengthens muscles and lats around your lungs)
-15 to 20 abmat crunches (strong core= strong and happy body)
Thank you Kassie! ❤
“I don’t feel like exercising!”
There is a fine line between listening to your body and not pushing yourself to your full potential..
This week’s reoccurring conversation… hypothetically:
Me: I really could use your help right now, can’t we skip the next episode of The Office for some cardio?
Body: Nope- sorry. Too tired.. You should probably just let me use this energy to throw a few more punches in to MRSA and Pseudomonas; they’re are all colonized and what not in here.. Cipro and Bactrim are not holding up to their end of the bargain today.. phew…
Me: Okay- one more episode and I’ll check back in on your progress… Try to be productive please!
*lays through another episode of the office (thoroughly enjoying it..)*
Brain: Hey- look.. The show is over. Just go. See what happens. We have stored a little energy up; sure, you could lay here and store up even more… get all cozy.. but- time management. Dinner has to take place in 2.5 hours, you can’t eat before exercising, you also can’t eat just before bed time.
GI Tract: Please, go! I feel good right now. You will help us down here with motility- some of your lunch is still in here and you know how it doesn’t sit well when too close to dinner- those two get together and slow everyone down, causing commotion..
*pulls tooth to go to gym- tooth slowly complies*
At the gym- there were two things I felt like doing more than anything else: running and planking (core work out).
Here is what I did: a total of three miles of running with planking at every half mile marker. See…
1/2 mile than 2 minutes of planking
1/2 mile than 1 minute of planking
1/2 mile and then 1:10 of planking…. and so on.
Yes for one of my planks I did do two minutes; double my normal one minute time! I was very happy about this!!!
When I was done all of this, I was done. I broke a sweat, I made myself go to the gym, and I actually enjoyed myself- I didn’t want to turn it into a bad experience, so I did not push it too much. THIS is my balancing act- listening to my body while still reaching my full potential.
The next day’s work out? A little more rigorous. The circuit included arm curls, leg pressing, and more sprints..
And tomorrows work out- we will see, hopefully even more productive!
Feel free to comment, ask questions, and or share 🙂
“This week, show us where your heart is.
Here is my local, recent photo in downtown Westminster, MD: Historical Area
“Woe is the child who tastes salty from a kiss on the brow, for he is bewitched, and soon must die”.-On Cystic Fibrosis: European Folklore, Middle Ages.
I have Cystic Fibrosis. Unlike European folklore’s premonition, I don’t foresee DYING anytime soon… The key word here is plan, you do have to have a plan, though- everyone should! For me, this plan (to live, of course) entails a dedication to rigorous exercising and “healthy-ish” eating habits. My illness is most harsh on the respiratory and digestive tract; it is important for me to keep my body in the best shape, to combat reoccurring sickness, malabsorption, and poor digestion. Adherence to air way clearance, nebulizer treatments, and medicines are just as, if not more, important than exercise and diet (some topics I may discuss more in other posts).
My hope is that this blog will encourage not only me, but anyone that reads it, to choose a healthy life style: exercise, diet, be happy with simple things, and etc. 🙂 I will be keeping track of pieces to my days over the next few weeks, to observe the impact of practicing healthiness on lung function. In recent times (9/27/16) I observed my lowest lung function, 85%. My baseline lung function has typically been 106%-108% (for the past 25 years of my life). I noticed an increase in the aggression of my illness this time last year and it was not until July of 2016 that I could, FINALLY, statistically prove, a different kind of Cystic Fibrosis has been visiting me.
My next appointment with CF clinic is not until November, 2016, so I have some time to really experiment with the “healthy-ish” stuff and make a comparison!
My first week of fitness, 9/26/16 through 10/2/16. I went to the gym three times last week; I was not feeling up to par BUT that does not matter, still go. You can even go and walk on an incline with the treadmill for 10-15 minutes at the gym and I would be happy with you and/or myself. It is conditioning; you are preparing your body and mind for expecting to be at the gym on a regular basis, just by showing up. The hope of course, is for your visits to peak productivity but there is nothing more unproductive that not going at all. Lets just remember that gym is a loosely used word- your gym can be your basement, your bedroom, a trail by your house… A gym, here, is more of a room in your mind; a place you consider appropriate to conduct your exercising.
At Gold’s Gym, each visit was nearly the same; circuit training. A circuit is a completion of all prescribed exercises amongst your exercise outline. The training piece comes in when you repeat these circuits over and over again. I’ll show you the outline to my circuit training for last week, below.
- One minute of planking
- 25 seconds of mountain climbers
- 12 dumbbell curls
- 6 reverse pull ups
- 15 seated medicine ball side to sides
- .25 mile sprint
The point of this particular circuit training I outlined is to do four; you want to run a total of one mile by the time you are done. The six exercises are meant to be done back to back with little break in between but lets be honest, one to two times, I gave myself a one minute break in between a pair of these exercises, lol. I’ll get there. So again, the pattern is one minute of planking to 25 seconds of mountain climbers to 12 dumbbell curls to 6 reverse pull ups to 15 seated medicine ball side to sides to a quarter mile sprint, back to start over again at the one minute of planking and continuing this for a total of 4 circuits.
One day at the gym I know I substituted the dumbbell curls for some leg pressing (10 leg presses); I say it is fair to substitute exercises with others as long as they’re equally productive. I am excited to experiment with new exercises on the week of October 3rd.
I always incorporate a ten minute warm up to my exercises and my warm up of choice last week was 10 minutes of speed walking. Stretching- people should do that too, before the warm up- I did not. I will try next time.
I know my title placed Brownie Brittle before circuit training, it was my passive way of saying I would rather be eating brownie brittle right now than exercising. Nonetheless, exercise prevailed. I just want to share with you that I had the opportunity to try this incredible snack at my aunt’s a few months ago, a fellow chocolate connoisseur.. Last week, it was nothing short of serendipitous to find the Brownie Brittle at check out in Home Goods- not that anything and everything brings serendipity at Home Goods.. If you are looking to try a new “snack” and love chocolate, if you especially love brownies, it is Shiela G’s Brownie Brittle: Chocolate Chip. This is better than brownies- it has a cookie crunch, and tastes like you have just picked off the crispy sides to a freshly baked brownie batch. Worth a try. Especially with milk! I drink whole milk, by the way; I love it.
-Feel free to give me your feedback, ask questions, and etc.; that is kind of the point!