Along with knowing how hard you can push yourself, there’s also that fine line of knowing when to step back.

Throw chronic disease in the mix, and that line blurs even more.

For me, it’s evident that I don’t exercise when I’m not breathing at 80+% of my best peak flow [aka in my yellow zone]. Especially right now when I’m not even doing anything and am breathing in my yellow zone. Something earlier compelled me to attempt some push-ups. Because I’m a genius. Three of them and I was on the floor, and not in push-up fashion [granted right now I am doing modified push ups. But that is 1) better than no push ups and 2) another story for another day].

Oh right, and the whole mom quote of the day saying “Yeah, you don’t sound healthy when you cough.” Thanks, Mom. Thanks. [That said, I have a normal, baseline cough. It is not as brutal sounding or feeling as this sick cough is. Sick cough you can totally tell there’s rattly gross junk in there.

And it sucks. I’ve essentially gone from almost 30K last week to zero, which will remain zero unless I get better. I threw some bicep curls in tonight while printing an assignment because really, 3 x 10 with five-pounders = not terribly taxing on the lungs and at least I did something a little good. YES, if I’m just flaring mildly, I often do throw a workout in there. I probably shouldn’t but I do. I catch a cold though, and everything gets put on hold, because my lungs don’t take that well.

That’s what’s brutal. That I may actually end up backtracking having to take a week [or more] off of working out. I’m averaging about six hours of physical activity per week, probably about four or so of those in actual workouts, and the rest in commutes and stuff. I’m 21 kilometers behind where I was in October for November, which is something I definitely would have caught up with this week if I wasn’t sick. Thank goodness i’m not training for anything [training? What’s that?]

It’s brutal when I was so excited to tell my doctor on Thursday that I’m doing fantastic and exercising for like four hours a week and so on. And now I get to go in and tell her I’m burnt out on the asthma shit and can we please get me in and out as quickly as possible so I can go on with my life outside of my currently screwed up lungs.

Oh, Mom and Grandma, if you’re reading this, consider this your disclaimer on the fact that I’m about to give asthma The Finger in this picture and drop an f-bomb in the next paragraph:

Last night, today, THIS is how asthma makes me feel. Pissed off and exhausted and angry. Fuck asthma. Screw the nebs and the inhalers, the jitteriness, the coughing, and the not being able to clear this shit out of my lungs. I’m waking up several times a night, and have done so multiple nights this week, and then I have to be awake and think about how while this flare and this cold are temporary, this disease is forever. And how I will have to do this again at some point after I get better. And that’s something that’s hard to think about. It’s much easier to deal with when I feel okay and I can just not have to deal with thinking about it until I get sick or flare again. I realize I have no idea how I went through months at a time of feeling like shit without a burnout. I have no idea. The intensity of it increases and decreases, but this intensity is what some of my friends with asthma face every single day and then some [also, to break the seriousness for a moment here, totally starting a giving asthma the finger project over here on Facebook. Because it’s therapeutic].

Last night I was burning out on the asthma stuff hardcore; it was honestly the lowest I’ve felt in years about something in my own life. Today I started out rough but have been trying to step back in a different way; push it out of my head, focus on one doubled-over coughing spasm at a time, one inhaler or neb at a time, one breath at a time.

Yeah, I need a break from this. That’s not going to happen, and I’ve accepted that. I know I will get better from this, but I also know that it will happen again. Because you can never let your guard down — you can’t just stop the inhalers, the doctor’s appointments, the germs, the nebs, the medication-induced jitteriness and tachycardia, the frequent hand-washing, the thoughts of every little step involved in taking care of yourself. And you know what, this is my reality. Nobody gave me a choice in the matter of having to share my body with asthma, but I do have the choice in how I perceive it [own it] and how I fight it with every last thing I’ve got.

And if I can have even just one more little piece of control in this that is in my control and doesn’t come off of a prescription printout, I want that. I want to throw all the fight I have into this disease — not just for me, but for everybody. And being able to share that with everybody–that your healing, inside and out, your body and your heart, doesn’t have to come from a pharmacy. That little piece is a big piece of my life: exercise.

But for now, it’s nebs and Watch The Sky on repeat.

Trying to remind myself that: even if today was a good day wasn’t true for today, it can be true for tomorrow.

i’m lost at sea. the radio is jammin’ but they won’t find me. i swear it’s for the best, and then your frequency is pulling me in closer until i’m home. and i’ve been up for days, i finally lost my mind and then i lost my way, i’m blistered but i’m better, and i’m home

i will crawl, there’s things that aren’t worth giving up, i know. but i won’t let this get me, i will fight. you live the life you’re given with the storms outside — some days all i do is watch the sky.

this room’s too small, it’s only getting smaller, i’m against the wall. and slowly getting taller here in wonderland, this guilt feels so familiar and i’m home

i will crawl. there’s things that aren’t worth giving up, i know. but i won’t let this get me, i will fight. you live the life you’re given with the storms outside — some days all i do is watch the sky. some days all i do is watch the sky

i think i, i could use a little break. today was a good day. i think i, i could use a little break. but today was a good day. and it’s a deep sea in which i’m floating, still i seem to think that i must crawl. there’s things that aren’t worth giving up i know, when you can’t bear to carry me, i’ll fight. you live the life you’re given with the storms outside. some days all i do is watch the sky. today was a good day. today was a good day.

watch the sky, something corporate

9 thoughts on “knowing when to step back: i could use a little break.

  1. Yep, the hardest thing when you are so committed to your life and so enjoying everything you do, is knowing when it is time to slow down and take a break because you’re sick. Hopefully when you see the Dr she’ll give you what you need to get better, anti bs cough syrup and hopefully pred to shut it all up once and for all! (Not that I hope or wish you are going to get pred but it sounds like if it is asthma symptoms and not just a cold, you could do with some!) And hopefully a quick burst of the monster pills will have you back to tip top conditions and back to hitting the JIM once and for all. Feel better my friend xx

    1. Lol Jim :].

      Thanks Sus! Think I’m feeling better this morning despite the meter saying otherwise, plan to check again when i get home from work and the mess have kicked in to see if my numbers are up and I’m starting to kick this (sheesh I’m impatient eh?). We’ll see.

      1. And by mess of course I meant meds ;). Mess of meds!

        Still stuck in the yellow zone, even with ventolin, but am feeling better I think. Not sure I’ll avoid pred tomorrow, but am trying my hardest and just wanna get things back on track, so we’ll see what the doc has to say on that. Think I’d feel better if I could move some of this gunk out of my lungs, but having some issues in that department.

  2. Oh honey….
    I’m sorry you’re not feeling well 🙁 I can identify with everything you’ve said above, as I’ve felt it all before… and will again in the future, since as you said (and I said before), flares end, colds end, but there will always be another one. Have you been watching movies? The Sound of Music will always have a special place in my heart (I think I told you this, yeah?) ever since I watched it 2-3 times a day for three weeks straight sitting in my dad’s recliner while doing round the clock nebs when I had the flu when I was 14. I used to know the whole movie by heart but I can still recite good chunks of it with no problem. Also – if you need the ER, go. Even if you don’t wanna.

    Feel better, sunshine. Hugs xx

    1. Haha no movies for me; no rest for the wicked: have two exams within 24 hours next week, but spent my time yesterday writing a paper [granted, it was only two pages, thank God].

      And don’t worry — I’m definitely not ER bad, just junky and discouraged. Both are lifting, though, and I see the doctor tomorrow.

      Thanks lovely <3

      1. Man, you just can't take a sick day, can you? For me getting sick always comes as a sign of me working myself too hard and I won't fully recover unless I chillax and take care of myself.

  3. I so identify with this. The backsliding in fitness really grates on my nerves. I hate the stop/start get fit again hamster wheel. Good for you for finding what you can do to maintain muscle mass–that’s where I struggle.

    Hope you feel better soon.


    1. Hey M, thanks for stopping by! :] Have followed your blog for awhile, but haven't been keeping up with everything very well lately because of school.

      Totally get that — have to do SOMETHING to maintain, but not too much as to piss off the lungs. Delicate balance, and I haven't quite figured it out yet.

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