Today I was discussing with a new friend that during my pre-transplant time I felt like I was living in slow motion. But, in fact I was. My day to day life was one of doing everything so much slower than before because I only had 20% function in my lungs. Makes for a very slow life. What would usually take 20 minutes now would take 40 minutes to an hour.
I found it so difficult even to take a shower, to dry off, to walk the stairs. I knew I was in trouble the day I grocery shopping, walking slowly, leaning on my shopping cart. I took the cart to the car and loaded the trunk, then it dawned on me. What the heck am I going to do to get these groceries in the house! No one else was at home that day. I did the only thing I could do, unload the things that needed refrigerated and leave the rest in the truck for my husband or my son to bring in. This was also the first day I felt helpless or pretty close to it. I sat in the living room and cried. I kept thinking, “is this how it’s going to be? Will I be confined to my chair and my car? I am 54 years old and I feel like 84 years old.
Ok, so enough of this pity party! Nothing happens unless I get a better attitude and get it fast. This was my epiphany! I realized from that day forward my life was in God’s and my hands. If I hold God’s hand, give my health to Him I was on the road to healing. . .If you learn anything from the entire blog, I hope it is this: “ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! DON’T YOU EVER FORGET IT!” You need to grab hold of your attitude and read it the riot act! If you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in yourself you will find yourself in a real predicament. It is difficult to endure some of the things that encompass an organ transplant. This stuff is not for wimps.
I worked in a hospital at the age of 17 as a Nurse Aide. I worked on a floor that was a mixture of Oncology (Cancer) and Orthpoedics. Strange combo, I know. But the point I wanted to make is this ~ if you want to live, you will live. You will live longer. But, I must qualify this by saying that if you have a life-threatening illness your attitude will help you no matter what you have to face. You may be healed and live a very long time, you may not live a very long time. But I tell you this. . .life is worth living, even for a short time.
OK, but I digress! I lived in slow motion for a couple years. I kept on and I did the best I could with the help of my husband, grown children and friends. AND I did very well with Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Pulmonary Rehab is a God-send to those of us who suffered and continue to suffer with lung disease. I remember asking my Pulmonary Dr. about Pulmonary Rehab and would he refer me. He didn’t think it would be of help to me. He said it isn’t going to raise your lung function. I tussled with him until he relented and gave me a referral.
That was the best thing he could have done for me. I went 2 days a week and exercised for an hour and a half. We were all closely monitored by nurses, respiratory therapists and physical therapists. Exercise cocnsisted of the treadmill, statonary bike, rower, recumbant bikes and weights. We had weight machines as well. Going to Pulmonary Rehb gave me more stamina, a bit better breathing and a sense of accomplishment. I knew that Pulmonary Rehab made my recovery from my double lung transplant much easier.
What I will say to anyone who is not working out in Pulmonary Rehab is truly missing out and their bodies and lungs are missing out. Please do what you can to get involved, you will not be sorry. Oh, you may hate me at first, but after a short while you will thank me. AND you may just get to move on from living in slow motion!
To be continued. . .
Sandy Ozanich ~ Copyright 2012