One thing that has been frustrating for me in life post-diagnosis is exercise. While I wouldn't say I was ever the most active person in the world, I saw a trainer, went to pilates class, ran 5x a week, just general exercise because I was convinced that my fatigue and general feelings of unwellness could only be helped by an immune system bolstered by exercise.
Before I got my diagnosis, I got very very ill, which made exercise next to impossible. I also went through a severe period of malabsorption, so I ended up losing around 40 lbs very quickly. That was unpleasant for a whole host of reasons, ranging from the damage it did to my stomach and bones, vitamin deficiencies, to just stupid things like how much older I look now, how I had to buy new clothes.
But I digress, that isn't the point of this. One of my current concerns is getting back into exercising while not running the risk of exercise anaphylactic shock, something I didn't even know existed until I had been diagnosed. But it's a possible risk (For those of us with masto it's a higher risk than the general population, and doesn't have include exercise after eating an allergen). So, once I got healthy enough to start exercising, I had to make a few decisions, the main one being, "Do I keep my gym membership?" Aside from the whole potential for shocking due to exercise, staph infections are picked up in a few environments, being prisons, schools, and now gyms thanks to the mega antibacterial stuff they bathe the equipment in. Since Vancomycin is one of the drugs my doctor strongly suggests not taking (and is one of the ones recommended for staph) I wasn't sure I was healthy enough to take that risk. Plus, perfumes, aforementioned equipment cleaning chemicals, were all things that left me hesitant, as well as the fact I knew I'd be an idiot and start pushing myself harder that necessary right from the get go.
I wasn't even sure if I was ready to work out or exercise, as I was still wallowing in the pit of feeling sorry for myself over being diagnosed with a rare, incurable disease. However, I'm not generally one to take adversity laying down, and every doctor had strongly recommended some exercise to help build bone mass that had been lost in my spine and hips as a result of the osteoporosis.
So, I canceled my gym membership with the intent of waiting a few months until I could buy a treadmill, assuming that one less monthly expenditure would make up for one large purchase. My parents caught wind of this, and aware of my current inability to work and my astronomical medical bills, ended up buying me a nice one for Christmas.
I love it, but now it's all about pushing limits. Every day I work out longer, faster, and track my progress and any symptoms I experience while exercising. I won't lie, it feels somewhat demeaning that I used to be able to run 3+ miles in half an hour and now I'm doing about 3 miles in an hour, but for now it's all about building bone density and tolerance. I can't let my arrogance get in the way of temperance, which is difficult. I've been lucky that I've get to go into full blown shock, and don't feel like having it happen out of my refusal to admit that the rules are somewhat different now. But it's a good thing to be doing, even if it is slightly boring. Soon I am going to have a friend teach me some high weight low rep free weights stuff which will burn fat and build muscle, which can only help my body maintain itself.
I'm not sure what the point of this entry is other than stating that it's easy to feel like giving up is the only option, that pushing yourself is scary and not worth it, but I just refuse to see that as the case. I'm not that sick right now (and hopefully never will be)so I figure I should do the best that I can to maintain what health I have control over. That's why I'm doing my boring powerwalking, that's why I'm seeing the hypnotherapist to give me a kickstart with the quitting smoking thing, and a psychiatrist to help me with the anxiety (which I will get into later.I personally cannot espouse the value of therapy enough)
If anyone in the Masto community is reading this, I'd love feedback in regards to exercise; what you do, what you avoid, what you've found to be a trigger..