Saturday, 27 September 2014

Walk test #4

My cousin, Jason, volunteered to help me at physio today since Isaiah in NS. He had the oh so exciting task of fetching me water, cleaning weights, and swiping all the fans for me. I'm sure it was the highlight of the week for him and that now he will want to go all the time.  

I was convenced to to the walk test I had been scheduled to do early Sept, right around the time I was hospitalised. I was hoping to put it off until next week when I'm sure I will magically be feeling better. However, the physiotherapist bluntly said that there was no point in 'waiting until I felt better' because maybe I will never feel back to my old self and that it's possible this is my new baseline. Oh the optimism.

So, I grudgingly agree, because honestly, if they make it up to me, I'll put it off for as long as possible. I might as well do it on a day where I was actually on time and they were having a slow day.

***Side note: I realise I complain about the walk test a lot considering it's just walking up and down the hall for 6 minutes. I walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and complain way less about that (at least I do on here, Isaiah may disagree). There are several key differences that make the 6 minute test harder than my 20 min treadmill: 1) walking on a treadmill is way easier than walking in real life. In real life, your foot doesn't magically move back into the place it should be and requires energy for propulsion; 2) there is also no sudden stopping and starting on a treadmill unlike the constant 'get to the end, slow down, turn around' part that happens while pacing up and down a hallway, it's hard to get into a rhythm with the constant stopping; 3) There is an added emotional stress because it provides a objective reminder of my ever declining health (except that one time when it was high-fives all around); and 4) my oxygen levels usually drop to crazy lows from pushing myself which often gives me an oxygen-deprivation headache to enjoy for the rest of the day. In summation, I would rather 20 minutes on a treadmill any day.

All things considered with how I feel these days, the walk test went fairly well. I made it 548m which is slightly better than I expected. It is, not surprisingly, down significantly from the 584m I managed while I was on my pulmicort-steroid high. However, it's still a slight improvement from 6 months ago when I made it 535m.

I found the real difference this time was that I didn't feel that push to try my absolute hardest this time. While I didn't exactly stroll down the hall, I definitely didn't have that drive to push it until the end. I still pushed myself enough to tire out my legs and lungs but I was just missing that internal extra competitive something that I usually get around anything considered to be a 'test.' I kept waiting for it to kick in but it seems to have left the building. On the plus side, I didn't end up with a killer headache at the end so I may have inadvertently learnt that caring less is actually a good outcome.

If nothing else, at least the walk test is over for another three months. Next one scheduled in Dec. Urg Dec!

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