Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Perspective

Last Wednesday Dan and I went to a quaint little restaurant for dinner.  We sat down and ordered, and I told Dan I would go to the bathroom and be right back.  I walked to the bathroom and as I pushed open the door this wave of memories hit me. The peacock wallpaper reminded me how hard it was to push the door open and how I couldn't breathe just from trying to walk the 50ish feet from our table to the bathroom.  The memories were from the last time we were there, about December 26th. We were there for brunch that day, and it was a struggle to get me out of the house.  It was a struggle to get me out of the car and into the restaurant.  I had a coughing spell and had to sit down in the front area of the restaurant and catch my breath before I could hobble and gasp my way to where my friends were seated.  Soon after I sat down, I had to go to the bathroom.  Dan offered to walk me there because I was breathing so poorly, but I refused his help because I thought, "if I can't make it to the bathroom on my own, I should be in the hospital."  The door was so hard to push open and everything I did in the bathroom was hard.  Setting my oxygen concentrator down so I could do my business. Picking the oxygen concentrator back up, washing my hands. Opening the door again. Part of me wondered why the hell I bothered. And four days later we would call 911 because my breathing was so labored, and I would spend the first two weeks of January inpatient and wondering if I was going to survive my trip to Hawai'i. 

Fast forward to last Wednesday.  I walked into the restaurant like a normal person - no oxygen, no coughing spell, just me. I walked from our table to the bathroom without getting out of breath, and opening the door was easy. 

All of that is possible because of pulmonary rehab.  I have been exercising my butt off and it's been paying off. I had a check up on Monday and my lung functions are about the same as when I was released from the hospital - and that was the best they had been since August! 

I feel so lucky to be able to get my lung functions up this much, and I'm hoping to get them up a little more. I feel lucky to be doing lost things without oxygen, and to be able to do things like open doors so much more easily. The strength I've been building in rehab really shows. 

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