Health Update

Week One of Exercise Plan…

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I was pretty optimistic about starting the exercise plan. I have always loved exercising and was excited to get back into it. All of the doctors talked about how I needed to start slow and how much it would help me. What they left out, was the fact it would make me feel absolutely awful!

I started a week ago today with my plan being to exercise 6 days a week. Each workout would include strength training as well as cardio. I downloaded some NPR TED talks (I know, I’m a nerd) which I highly recommend and listened to them while I exercised. For the first three days, I did strength training which included doing 12-15 reps on about 8 machines. Since I need to start slow, I only did one set of each. Next, I spent 15 minutes on the recumbent bike — 5 minutes warm up, 5 minutes in my “zone”, and 5 minutes of cool down.

The first day, I was excited to be implementing my plan and even more excited to be putting my body back to work. My happiness at being there didn’t prevent my body from back lashing. After the workout, my throat began to hurt very badly. I figured “oh well” since it was kind of to be expected when doing something as small as going to the store can make me feel sick. After my day 3 workout, I was incredibly frustrated. Not only was I needing to take Adderall to work out, I wasn’t able to do anything else the rest of the day because it was making me so sick.

I decided to do some research to see if others experienced what I was experiencing. I found that a lot of people actually don’t add the recumbent bike until 2-3 weeks after starting the program. This is because it adds two types of exercise (strength and cardio) rather than just one like strength training alone  does. By just starting with strength training, it can ease your body into working again. I decided to try this.

3 days after starting doing strength training only, I am still not happy with how it is going. To get through my day, I am needing more medicine than before this plan was implemented. Working out is about all I can do, and then I’m out for the count for the rest of the day. If I do anything else (like when I did our mountain of dishes), I get even more sick and a little dizzy. The good news is, it doesn’t seem to be getting worse and worse how it was the first 3 days. It seems to have leveled out to being about the same amount of “sick” everyday. More good news is… I am very stubborn and self-disciplined so no matter how sick working out makes me, I will keep with it since it was what the doctors recommended. Despite it making me sick, while I am at the gym, I am happy to be there. Even more good news is Jake and my parents are, like always, helping me out a ton. I don’t know what I’d do without them!

So I guess I would say I am still optimistic and sticking with it, but am also incredibly frustrated. Yesterday was Emma’s birthday. I really want to go with Jake today and see her, but it is unlikely that will happen with how sick this is making me. With exercise taking up my “spoons”, I don’t really have any left to force myself to do things that I really want to do, like see Emma. To learn what the heck I am talking about when I say spoons, read this: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/. It is the best way to explain energy with chronic illness that I have ever seen.

5 thoughts on “Week One of Exercise Plan…

  1. Read about the spoons. It’s a great way to discuss how you use your energy. Very proud of you Jackie! Don’t be afraid to slow down if you need to you’ll get their. Love you!

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  2. Hang in there Jackie. While you might not have thought getting started would be this tough, you new it wouldn’t be easy. With your determination I have to believe you will start seeing improvement soon.

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    1. Thank you! I agree I have to see improvement soon. Yesterday at the gym actually wasn’t so bad, but then today it was. Even just one day of it not being bad is a good sign though!!

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