Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

So as most of you know I have been recouperating for about a month now from battling pneumonia. Just wanted to share some thoughts with you real quick about how I am doing and what I am doing to help in my recouperation.

I am feeling much better than I did one, even two months ago... way back in April... when all this started. However it has been a very long road to this point. Some days are better than others and I am still in the process of balancing soooo many doctors appointments.

One thing I did want to mention though is something that I have taken it upon myself to add to my daily routine of treatments and excercising... and that is an incentive spirometer. If you have ever had surgery or pneumonia or if you deal with Cystic Fibrosis in your own life you know what I am talking about.
Usually you use this device while you are in the hospital and then once you go home they tell you that you do not have to use it anymore.
I have decided to make it a permanenat part of my routine. I must say when I first used the device in the hospital I was only getting up to about 800... now two months after faithfully using this thing I am reaching the 2000 mark - which I was ecstatic about! I do this thing 3 times a day with my treatments and I'm telling you I am noticing a difference each day. My goal is to push it to the top if at all possible. It may take me a while, but I am determined to keep pushing until I reach that goal! Its not as easy as it looks (esp. for someone with CF) but the object is to put your mouth around the mouth piece and breathe in as deep as you can keeping the marker on the right in the "happy face" area while the yellow piece at the bottom on the left moves up as you inhale as deeply as you can- measuring how high you can push it.
I keep telling myself that I will make it to 4000, which for those of you that know me and Zach- is what Zach got when I made him do it. I was THRILLED when I hit 2000, because that meant that I was half way to that goal! I think when I hit 4000, I will throw a party!
Here is a description so you know what I am talking about:

Why Should You Use an Incentive Spirometer?
Deep breathing helps alveoli, the small air sacs deep in your lungs, fully expand.  Though you’re probably not aware of doing it, you normally take many deep breaths every hour.  As well, you probably yawn or sigh numerous times without knowing it.  However, your normal breathing pattern may change.  When you lie in bed for a long time (while recovering from injuries or surgeries, for instance) you tend to take shallow breaths and not cough as often as needed.  You might start taking shallow breaths in an attempt to decrease pain associated with chest surgery or abdominal surgery.  Using an incentive spirometer will help you return to normal breathing rhythms.  By inhaling deeply, you also help mobilize secretions and open areas of the lungs that my have collapsed.

Using an incentive spirometer will mimic natural sighing and yawning and encourage you to take slow, deep breaths.  After major surgeries, it’s important to take your spirometer home with you and continue your breathing exercises at home.  Not only will this help restore your regular breathing rhythm, but it will also help you avoid atlectasis (a collapsed or airless condition of the lung) and pneumonia.