Friday, 22 November 2013

Stupid 6-min walk test.

I repeated my 6-min walk test today at physiotherapy and I did worse than I did in October. Arggg!!

I was not expecting it at all seeing as the physiotherapist told me most people improve after 6 weeks and on Wednesday, increased my intensity on the treadmill as well as my weights (woohoo 6lb!). There is nothing more frustrating to me than working really hard and still getting worse. I know, it might have been a lot more worse if I wasn't exercising at all but it was still not the news I wanted to hear.

How the 6 minute walk test works is that I walk up and down a hall as fast as possible in 6 minutes while they measure my heart rate and oxygen levels. On Friday, although I walked roughly the same distance (a little less, probably due to the fact that instead of encouraging me to do 'just one more lap', she kept saying 'you know you can rest whenever you need to'...thanks for the morale boost...), my oxygen levels dropped faster than they had in October. That means that my lungs are crapping out even more than they were in October.

I feel like I'm letting myself down (even though that is completely irrational and the entire thing is out of my control). I realized a few years ago, probably as a result of growing up in the medical system, that I internalize medical failures and that I need to stop blaming myself. I don't know if other people feel the same but when the doctor praises me for something ridiculous and not in my control, like having stable blood sugars, it stands to reason that when my sugars do go wonky, it is something I've done. Instead of it being an inevitable part of having CF. So when I don't do well on an exercise test, it must be my fault for not pushing hard enough at the gym. It is somewhat easier to blame myself than to admit that I have little control over the situation and all I can do is try my best while my lungs fail.

I'm sure I'm overreacting to one test but when the physiotherapy student doing the test calls over the physiotherapist to monitor, it is never a good sign. They didn't increase my oxygen levels or decrease my intensity for my workouts so obviously they aren't too concerned but I am super bummed out about being worse than I was only 6 weeks ago. 

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