I only go to the doctor once a year for a checkup, and I pay them a goody amount of money for them to tell me what I already know: “I’m doing very well.” I had a visit this last Wednesday, but this time, it was different. I had achieved a goal that, to my knowledge, I have never reached before.
Every time I pay the doc a visit, I take a breathing test that is called a PFT Test. It stands for a Pulmonary Function Test. It measures how my lungs are doing in air flow and volume as I breathe in a few times and blow out as hard as i can into a tube thingy. My nose is clamped so i can’t use it during the test. I do this test at least 3 times. The test I specifically take is a called a “flow volume loop.” It measures how much air I can blast out with force. (forced vital capacity, or FVC). It also shows how much air I can exhale in the first second of a blast (forced expired volume in one second, or FEV-1). The results are given in liters and percentages: “you expelled such and such liters of air and your lungs are working at such and such percent.”
My lowest percentage that I know of was maybe 5 years ago where I was at an 84% lung function, and that isn’t a bad number to have. It was my goal for since then to get that number back up. I would have liked to see it in the 90’s. That’s exactly what happened, too. I got the numbers back into the 90 percentile. That was a good feeling…seeing those numbers, because I spent a lot of years in the 80’s and I finally reached the 90’s.
After reaching the 90’s, I thought that reaching 100% lung function would be impossible and that I would probably stay in the 90’s. Last year I hit a 92%. I thought I could maybe go up a percentage point or two every year and slowly work my way up to 100%…..then came this year’s test. All my expectations and goals were blown out of the water when I blew a 100% on my test. It was a great feeling to know that all of my hard work to get to that point had paid off. I think I killed Cystic Fibrosis
I thought I would share on this bloooog 3 things I focused on to get my numbers up, and maybe that can help someone who is struggling to get their numbers up too. These things are not earth-shattering or ground-breaking or some new secret that is revealed. They are just 3 things that I made sure stayed consistent. Consistency is always key. So, this is how I killed Cystic Fibrosis:
- CONSISTENCY IN TRAINING – exercise is very important. I can’t say enough how much it has helped me. I do all sorts of things: running, weight training, swimming, HIIT cardio, hitting the punching bag, flipping a tire, pushing a prowler, sprintervals, hill sprints, etc. The only thing I will not do is zumba. No, not doing it…..except for that one time I had to take a hip hop dance class in college…but that’s neither here nor there and we will not talk about it. Whatever I do, I have goals in mind that I work for to get stronger, faster, and more endurance.
- CONSISTENCY IN NUTRITION – What I eat and drink is equally important. If I’m going to train hard, I need to fuel my body. For me, it’s not about the quantity of the food that I eat, but it’s the quality of the food that I eat: good sources of protein, good sources of fat, and good sources of carbs. If I eat junk then I feel like junk. What I eat and drink will affect my lungs, my digestion, and my sinuses.
- CONSISTENCY IN MEDS – The advancement in medicine today is amazing, especially with the inhaled meds. There are three inhalation meds that really help me are Pulmozyne, Albuterol, and Hypertonic Saline (salt water). The are all liquid meds that are run through a nebulizer that is hooked up to a compressor. This compressor vaporizes these 3 liquid meds so I can inhale them. It’s basically a bong. I smoke a bong, folks. I like to take my meds after I workout. Some people are different and it’s better for them to take them before they work out. Whatever works for you, do it.
I hope this helps if you are struggling to get your numbers up. Remember, the key to this is consistency. If you take one of those three things out of the equation, it’s not as effective. I know I can tell a difference when one is lacking….definitely if 2 are lacking. If there are other things that you do that helps you, please share what they are. CF is a disease with different mutations (we’re X-Men) and different things work for different people. We can learn a lot from others. Also, fell free to “like” and/or “share” this bloooog.
Until next time