Week 39 – Medicinally Speaking

It has been 39 weeks since I started working out on a regular basis.   I am looking better, feeling better, and doing better than I have been for a long time.  😁

67 Years and counting. 👍

Last week I had my semi-annual appointment with my respiratory specialist.   I have asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis.  I have permanent lung damage from these conditions and from having a fully collapsed lung due to empyema ten years ago.  I use Advair and Spiriva inhalers daily and use a Ventolin rescue inhaler as needed.   Over the years, I have taken oral steroids (Prednisone), antibiotics, and a variety of inhalers – blue and green and orange and purple… Every color in the rainbow.

I have had recurring pneumonia and bronchitis and have been susceptible to every flu and cold bug that made its rounds.  Between the bouts of pneumonia, bronchitis, flu bugs, colds, and asthma attacks… I struggled to ever feel GOOD.  

In  February, I started working out on a daily basis.  I started with half an hour of dancing to hits from the 50’s – 60’s.  As I felt better, I turned to You Tube and started following a channel that posted dance/exercise classes for seniors.   By May, I was doing You Tube Zumba classes every morning.  By July, I was walking our dog 2-4 km  every day  and doing my Zumba lessons.  In September, I started lifting light weights every evening.  I am up to using 5 lb dumbbells now, plus doing Zumba, plus walking the dog (when weather permits).

And I am feeling good!  I am active! I am strong!   I am looking lean(er)  and fit! I am happy!   I have had one ‘bug’ which was come and go for a few days before it went away – with no need for antibiotics, oral steroids, or the like.

So…  Last week I went to see my respiratory specialist.   He checked my lungs, my blood pressure, my heart rate, my oxygen level.  He asked if I was experiencing any shortness of breath, how I was feeling, any current health concerns.  Everything was good!  I told him about my workouts and he said that was good.  😊

Then he renewed my inhaler prescriptions and offered to write me one for an antibiotic.  🤦 WHY? In case I get a lung  infection – bronchitis, pneumonia or the like.    I declined and told him if I needed antibiotics, I would let him know, but I wasn’t anticipating any such need as I am doing great! 

His response was…. “That’s because you are taking your medication”

I have been taking ‘my medication’ for thirty years!  My medication may have kept me alive but it sure as hell didn’t make me feel great!   It didn’t make me healthy and strong and fit! 

Every time I have seen this specialist, I have asked for advice on what I could or should be doing to best manage my asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis.  He could try this drug or that.  He could send me to a cardiologist or an ENT.  He could send me for scans or pulmonary function tests.  I would ask about exercise – specific exercises that he could recommend.  He would make a vague comment about any activity being helpful and remind me to take my medication. 

Ultimately, I started working out on my own and I found a workout program that worked for me.    I worked it for nine months – and his response to my phenomenal results was “That’s because you are taking your medication.”   😤🤯🤬

It doesn’t matter to me.  I take my inhalers to control my chronic lung  conditions and I do my workouts because I know that they are giving me the quality of life that I want and deserve.

But what about all the other people out there with asthma, COPD,  bronchiectasis, or other chronic lung conditions?    It is hard to know what will help or hurt when one is already struggling just to breathe.    It is hard to push oneself when one is  handed a simple fix in the guise of a pill or inhaler.   It is scary to get any diagnosis of a chronic incurable disease and to believe that it will only get worse.     It is just wrong that  people  are not hearing what they need and deserve  to hear from their respiratory specialists and that what they are hearing is only half the answer to living with chronic lung conditions.   😢

Molly and Sasha playdate – healthy, happy, and active! 💞

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

34 thoughts on “Week 39 – Medicinally Speaking

  1. Anne you are doing great. I think we know our bodies better than anyone and that includes those in the medical field. Medication is not always the answer to our health issues. They can’t make money with us getting better from exercise and other things we do to get fit and feel better. In my opinion too much medication is prescribed. Keep up the good work I am proud of you, wish I could give you a big hug and enjoy sitting down together and chatting with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your doctor needs some doctoring in the art of speaking pleasantly and effectively with his or her patients! That’s ridiculous, Anne Marie. I am so glad that you are doing far better today! You look healthy! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doctors here get paid to test, diagnose, and treat – with medicine or surgery. They don’t get paid enough per patient to discuss or consider anything else. So they just don’t. I am sure it is not an issue with my specialist. It is a problem with our healthcare system. It is infuriating but I don’t know how anyone can begin to change it.

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  4. Thank you, Mags. I wish we could have a good sit down visit as well! I can’t imagine the doctors are any happier with the system than we are – at least here. They are swamped with patients and our ER’s and health facilities are bursting at the seams. I agree about the medication!

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  5. That’s not good at all. Is this because of the way the Canadian medical system is built? And, you are welcome my friend. ☺️ You need my GP, this guy is so good and patient, he explains things to me that are easy to understand as a non-medical expert.

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  6. I don’t know if it is specifically Canadian but doctors are swamped across Canada. Canada is spending $313 billion dollars a year on healthcare. That is about $8,000. Per person. Per year. And nobody ever seems to get better. 🤦

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  7. Wow, I’m sorry, Anne Marie. Meanwhile, the folks in Ottawa don’t really care, do they? Nor does your provincial government I will bet. It’s the same crap that we have. After all, they have to line their pockets first…

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  8. How ridiculous! I hope that you are not subjected to the daily bombardment of TV commercials from the damn drug companies, Anne Marie. Change the channel to escape one and you are hit with a different one on a different channel. This needs to be outlawed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can really relate. I won’t bore you with my too many details but “precautionary” medication I took for ten years after a mild case of rheumatic fever as a teenager caused me serious side effects. After that experience I got both uber healthy and very lucky with good genetics and have avoided any regular medication. When I turned 75, all my numbers were still good and I felt surprisingly good but my doctor says my age now affects the algorithm and that I need to take statins. At my funeral, people will probably say: “He should have taken the statins.” But I have resisted for the time being because I just do not trust the formulaic approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can relate to your decision here. I struggle for years with allergies compounded by being over medicated but found a better solution to the problem with such holistic solutions as practicing yoga to control my stress and coming up with a healthier physical routine.

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