Saturday, December 18, 2010

Freefall and Mineral Hotspring Therapies

On a trip to the western US this past September and October, I decided to try a skydive from Boulder City, NV. It felt great, though I did not have to breathe long at 15 thousand feet, and on the fall the air rushing through my nasal passages at 120 mph felt pretty good. Adrenaline is a good bronchodialator. My lung specialist later told me that he never would have approved; I suppose it will be my last jump.

I had 3 soaks in this amazing spring at Pah Tempe near Hurricane, UT and felt better afterward; my peak flow improved. However, this trip wasn't without its health costs; the chilling weather and the altitude in some places was a real challenge. I believe that my adherence to the ALCAT recommendations made me more stable and able to do pretty well (though most of the time not well enough to run); I only needed prednisone on one day. I hope to make it back to this spring in the next few months.

I ran a very small 5K race in Miami Springs in early November and placed 2nd in my age group.
I am probably world class for runners with COPD, because there appears to be virtually none.

On a visit to my specialist a month ago, I performed better than last year on my pulmonary function test; FEV1 52% of predicted pre-medication and 61% post. I do not believe my scarred lungs are necessarily permanently so.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Change in Diet, Running Intervals and Trying to be Competitive

I took the ALCAT food sensitivity test in July and discovered that there was a host of foods that I had been eating as staples that my blood indicated were irritants for me (corn, coconut, potato, apple, banana) . This sort of reaction results in a kind of "toxic overload" that can manifest in a variety of ways over various lengths of time. "Food sensitivity" is not to be confused with a full blown allergic reaction, which is much more rapid, though generally short-lived. The psychic had been correct about the wheat (not gluten) being a problem for me, so it was an advantage to have been limiting that for several months before the other foods were eliminated. It turns out that I had begun to take something that I had had a severe sensitivity to--mussel extract. And interestingly, I had been doing very badly when I began to take it, but had attributed it to the climate and air in Chicago; whereas it likely had more to do with that supplement. It is so complicated to try to determine what of the myriad things anyone may be exposed to that could be creating the problem.

Shortly after the Chicago trip, I saw my lung specialist and increased my medications. I began to feel better due to that as well as the diet changes. With the advice of my husband, I began to change my running workout to include more interval training. I can now do speeds up to 12.4 mph for a minute at a time, and 10 mph for a mile. Gaining this ability, improved my pulse rate and oxygen uptake (no doubt) and fostered the idea that I may be able to compete in a race again. This proved to be a deluded idea, as I am able to pull off a good run under the very controlled conditions on a treadmill; but an outdoor race, with all the variables: heat, adrenaline, unfamiliar course--proved to be beyond what I could manage well. I appeared to go into oxygen debt after the first mile, and could not recover, having to walk intermittently to finish 5K at 28.37. I was 6th in my age group, but it was a small race. Overall, I felt pretty badly about it. I had unintentionally gotten excited about the times I had been running on the treadmill: 20.44 had been my best, so I could not help but be disappointed. Though I need to be grateful that I can run at all with my condition. I am happy that now I am able to blow more 300+ peak flows than I had in years, and I am trying to wean myself back to a lower conventional medicine dosage.

Just after the ALCAT, I began to see another chiropractor that uses muscle testing and Standard Process supplements to correct organ system imbalances. I am taking some supplements to improve my thyroid, and adrenal function. My lungs seem to be improving though my entire body is extremely fatigued; perhaps from the correction of these problems.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Psychic Advice, Chemical Reaction

Several weeks ago I enlisted the advice of a psychic to try to determine the best course of action to heal my lungs. She told me that wheat and peanuts were creating a negative reaction in my body--this, according to my guides and her cards. She advised also that some therapeutic methods that I was considering trying would be of no lasting help. So I have gone wheat-free, though I have no typical symptoms of this issue. I have been monitoring my peak flows in the morning (I do this daily before I use Symicort). I was waking up a few points higher--just at 200, rather than 150-180, as is typical. However, after a trip to a Dr.'s office with my mother, I was exposed to some very harsh chemical "air fresheners" that gave me a nose bleed and then a nasty sinus infection. My peak flow has fallen since then, but should come around, as I am almost over the infection now. Perhaps I would have gotten even worse, had it not been for the new diet. It is hard to tell.
I want to give this at least a couple of months. It was difficult at first, but is getting easier as I am finding some decent alternatives to wheat and peanuts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year, Small Setback

I feel like a "bubble person", I am not typically around many people, yet I appear to have a problem with the few that I do expose myself to. In this case a couple of hours with an insurance/annuity agent gave me a cold that in turn affected my lungs. Perhaps the strange extended cold spell had compromised my immunity. During the few days that I was ill, my back went out. It has had the tendency to do that infrequently since about 1995. And it typically happens while I am on the phone, barely moving at all. It is my lower back. Anyway, I feel much better today and was able to run, however slowly, at the gym for 30 minutes--no back issues. It appears that leaning over the back of a soft chair creates a sort of decompression, that helps considerably.

I added a supplement to what I take currently: Shilajit, an ayurvedic mineral extract. Peak flows are still between 140 and 190 upon waking, to max out at 280 after taking Symbicort. This saps my energy much of the time. I look forward to improving this symptom.
I am much better than I was this time last year, when I had to take prednisone every other week to maintain my breathing.