How am I doing?
When I compare to how I was last year this time, I am doing really well. I have some energy to do some things which is leaps & bounds of where I was last year this time. My PICC was pulled on December 2nd. They did blood work before they pulled it because they know my veins are something awful and getting more than a vial or two of blood without the picc is torture. It was basically a check to make sure everything was okay and they also did a few (a lot) of nutritional blood work. Something that we never imagined would happen would be that one of the labs would come back so low that it would require IV. My Iron. When I got those results, I just hung my head because I knew what it meant. I’ve had it before. I went in for my first IV last Tuesday and forgot that when it’s been a while that they require a “test” dose – which is 1/2 the amount plus Benedryl. Well, I can’t tolerate Benedryl. I can, but it puts me into a zombie coma for at least 24 hours. Driving is OUT when I’m on Benedryl. So we had to postpone it. We did a Lactated Ringer (since I was on oral antibiotics that week) and simple blood work.
Simple is crazy. We *barely* got enough to do the simple CBC/Chem panel (and they threw on a test for Ferritin just to ensure the first time was right) and the results were a bit tainted because the blood came out so slowly that it could have tampered with some of the results. So my liver enzymes were elevated (which meant I had to STOP my treatment week) and my sodium was low (it always is, especially when I am getting blood from NOT a PICC since I have to pretty much double or triple my water intake to help them get a stick) and my Ferritin was still low (we’re accepting those results as true & accurate since it was the same as the previous test). So I get to go in tomorrow – for a redo of the tests & my first IV of Iron. I am not looking forward to it because basically it causes major memory lapses (the benedryl zombie coma) and I just essentially lose 2 or 3 days. Fortunately I have nothing planned really, but still.
I’ve always been fairly active. That is until I got Lyme Disease. Even without flat out exercise, I was still relatively active through my position at work. You can’t NOT be active and be a preschool teacher. It’s just not an option. However, March of 2014 was my last day at work and the duration of the IV therapy caused me to be very sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle can be just as bad for you as Lyme! But, I didn’t have an option. I have horrible sweats with Babesia and with a PICC line you have to sweat as minimally as possible (don’t want that dressing to get wet) so adding in exercise was not an option for me. BTW: I’ve read that Babesia LOVES to “eat” Iron. That may explains why I’ve now had to go through Iron IVs. Back to the exercise. One thing that I’ve been noticing is that I absolutely have no stamina. We’ll go to the store and my legs & lungs would be winded before I could get into the store. You can’t just jump back into something as if you’d taken no time off so I decided to take it REALLY slowly. We have an elliptical machine that has pretty much collected dust since it was purchased. My husband used it for a while, but then stopped. I began using it on January 13th. I took it “out” for a spin and my first day – 5 minutes. It was bad. My legs were wobbly, my heart was racing, the sweat was horrible and I had only gone a measily – 1/10th of a mile. I collapsed on the couch and cried.
Keep in mind I have a goal – sort of. I am in the process of planning to have a Lyme 5K in North Carolina in May 2016. Last time we had a 5K – I was able to walk/jog the 1 mile. I don’t remember the time I had (it took more than 30 minutes), but I remember the feeling of – at least I completed it. Ultimately the next 5K, I’d like to be able to actually complete the 5K and not just the 1 mile. I have plenty of time to prepare my body for this, but when I saw what it took to only complete 1/10th of a mile – I realized that meant it would take me 50 minutes to complete one mile. My body had gone WAY down hill. There was no way I could even walk for 50 minutes if I was wobbly after only 5 and the “couch to 5K” while would work for many absolutely not an option for me. Some people say it’s too slow, but it’s not slow enough for someone like me. Plus factor in outside conditions and my body wouldn’t be happy. So Elliptical machine it is and I will take it really slow. I am hoping that by the end of February I can use the Elliptical for 20 minutes without feeling wobbly all over. This is at the very basic level – no incline & no resistance. We’ll see how it goes. I am hopeful because I’ve already increased my time from 5 to 10 minutes. I still feel wobbly at the end, but at the 5 minute mark I’m good and my rotations per minute are faster.
There you have it. And btw: last year I tried to use the Elliptical and my legs were so weak I couldn’t even get one rotation. I really should be pleased as punch that I made it 5 minutes that first go around.