A typical day begins at 12:30 with check-in. Everyone has to have their vitals monitored and recorded before we can begin. Floor class starts at 1:00 and lasts for about 50 minutes. We each get a mat, stretchy band, leg weights, and hand weights. Different physical therapists (PT's) lead the floor exercises each day. I've been here long enough now to know if it's going to be a grueling session or a more zen-like experience depending on who puts on the microphone. One guy had me almost begging for mercy before he would say "...and rest." I wanted to shout out "and rest" a couple of times when my legs were burning and in danger of falling off. But of course, I curbed my expressive impulse and survived the experience.
After floor class, we get a 5-10 minute break to rest and snack. I use this time to save my blood sugar from sinking like a submarine. It's been a delicate balancing act of keeping my sugars stable through the entire afternoon but the first hour seems to be the trickiest.
Then the entire group is divided into 3 smaller groups and you begin at one of three stations and rotate through as you finish each one. I usually get weights first. One day arms are the focus and then the next day your legs get all the attention. Here I must do a wee bit of bragging...I've Got Guns! Thanks to prednisone and not being active for a long time, my muscles were
The next station is the NuStep. It's like bicycle but easier on the knees. It has arms that go back and forth but I am not allowed to use my arms. Since I have some osteoporosis, they don't want me to do the slight twist that happens in your spine when your arms are working the machine too. This starts out fun but by 10 minutes I am tuckered out and that is only half-way. The
The last station is walking laps. The gym has an indoor track and we cruise around it for 20 min. on MWF and 30 min. on TTh. You are not supposed to stop and rest but some people just have to. Because walking is the hardest and I get it last, I am sucking air by the time I am done. I was going faster the first week but I'm not breathing as well as I was then and my lap count has gone down a bit. By the end of the walk and I am sweating and huffing--it is not a pretty sight. What I am able to accomplish here would be soooo much harder at home with the altitude. Sea level is my friend for sure.
Right now you just want to go home and veg--but no! Now it is class time which lasts till 4:30. We are required to attend classes dealing with transplant issues such as: feeding tubes, medications, research studies, speech therapy, oxygen, what to expect, etc. I know more than most of the other patients but there is still a lot to absorb. Some of it you kinda don't want to know, but it is best to be prepared for the "could happens." It does a number on the anxiety level however.
Well, I'm sure as days go by you'll be hearing more about rehab, finding my way through the trees that are Durham, and humidity (yes, that has already begun and I've heard horror stories about what to expect this summer.) I'll try to catch up a bit more later--it's late and I'm tired. Gotta rest up for day 12!