My doctors were, of course, pleasantly surprised and asked me what I thought had made the difference. The answer? EXERCISE.
Yeah, I know exercise is good for me. Everybody knows exercise is good for them. But that provides me little motivation to actually get on the treadmill when I come home from work. Especially when I would rather be snuggled up on the couch with my kitties.
But for almost a month now, I have been getting a daily workout without even trying. My "CF BF," Lauren, received her double lung transplant on October 27. Unfortunately, Lauren doesn't have a support team here with her while she is learning what it's like not to be sick anymore. So, I've been playing the role of big sister. I visit with her every afternoon when I get off work and we hang out while she makes slow but steady progress towards getting better.
The unexpected benefit? I have been doing a LOT of walking. Parking at UAB is priceless. Finding a place to park is like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Most days I end up parking in one of the two main hospital decks and making the trek over to West Pavilion. That equates to about three or four city blocks each way. Between that and walking laps with Lauren everyday, I'm averaging between 1 and 1.5 miles each day.
Other benefits? I've lost weight - six pounds in the last few weeks. I honestly don't know how I've managed to pull that off since I take dinner to Lauren pretty much every night. We've eaten at Arby's, Qdoba, Sinbad's, Surin West, McAlister's, Loco's, and a few other places that I can't think of.
And last - but definitely not least - I am officially protected from the pig. I received one of the only three H1N1 vaccines our Pulmonary clinic received. Don't even get me started on how ridiculous I find it that a practice that exclusively treats patients with chronic respiratory illnesses (both pre- and post-transplant) only received three vaccines.
My Dr.'s have been stressing the importance of me getting this vaccine, particularly since I work in a large building with people that come and go all day. Although most of my co-workers know how easily I get sick and respect the "three-foot rule," there are always certain people (in other departments) that feel the need to come to work when they are sick. I have been calling pharmacy after pharmacy (and the public health department) trying to find the vaccine, all to no avail. So I am thanking my lucky stars that I was able to get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday.
To say that I was a little excited over the results of my Dr.'s appointments yesterday would not begin to do justice to how I really felt.