Sunday, August 9, 2015

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good : I can breathe again!
The bad : Oxygen access is depressingly expensive!
The ugly : I'm looking for a new bike and it's hard to find one that is pretty and semi-affordable.

So, my appointment with the pulmonologist finally happened, after 2+ months of waiting.  He talked to me for awhile, then had me do a bunch of breathing tests with a nurse.  One of them involved me walking up and down a hallway with her checking my oxygen level on the little finger thingy every time I passed her.  Since the air conditioning was frigid, my cold fingers kept messing up the reading.  She tried having me hold my hand under hot running water for awhile, but it got cold again within about a minute.  So she resorted to just vigorously rubbing my hand every time the number got too low.  We probably should have just done that test outside.  The other test involved various kinds of breathing into a mouthpiece hooked to a computer, followed by an albuterol treatment, followed by the breathing stuff again. The albuterol treatment smelled like my childhood.  After all the tests, the doctor came back to talk about my results.  He said a score of 80 is normal.  My scores were in the 90s before the albuterol treatment, and between 110 and 130 after. I'm glad he believed me when I said I can't breathe when I run, because I'm pretty sure those tests didn't show that anything is wrong.  They probably would have been more accurate if I had ran 3 miles right before testing.

He wrote me an Rx for Severent, which is a long-acting medication that will keep my airways open for 12 hours.  I take one inhalation at least 30 min before exercise, and then I am good to go.  I have to carry my rescue inhaler with me just in case I need it, but so far I haven't.  I used the Severent for the first time on Thursday morning, and it was amazing.  It's been so long since I got to run without feeling the asthma constriction in my lungs!  Unfortunately, one Severent discus costs $84.  I almost had a heart attack in CVS when I saw that number pop up on the screen.  There are 60 doses, and since I am only running 3 days a week, I could make it last quite awhile.  But the instructions are very clear about the fact that the discus needs to be thrown out after 6 weeks, because the medication doesn't stay good much longer than that.  I imagine I can stretch it for more than 6 weeks before it gets too weak to help me, but I'm guessing it won't last as long as I could stretch out those 60 doses.  All I can do is hope that this medicine helps get my lungs back into shape quickly, so I can stop using it before it drains my bank account.

This week : 
M : bike 23.1
T : run 4.3
W : rest day
R : run 4.6
F : bike 35
Sa : bike 30.4, run 3.3
Su : bike 18

bike total : 106.6 
run total : 12.2

My legs were dead on Monday's ride.  Probably has something to do with the fact that I didn't take any days off last week.  My mind says that a 3 mile jog is the same thing as a day off, but it appears that my body does not agree.  So, I skipped Wednesday's bike day.  I felt pretty good on Friday's ride, but then I was up late Friday night, so I was dragging on Saturday's ride.  And even though I went to bed early last night, I was also dragging on today's ride.  I guess taking only one day off after 13 days on isn't enough.  I want to continue with the 4 rides/3 runs per week though.  Looks like I will have to try doubling up on a few days so that I can go back to taking 2 days off per week.  Or I will have to bike less.  Decisions, decisions.

I have been getting up super early in the mornings to exercise before work.  I can do this for running any day, but biking can only happen on days that I don't have to work until 9, because there just isn't enough daylight for me to get on the bike any earlier than about 6:30, and I know that sunrise is getting later and later.  After this week, I won't be able to bike outside in the early mornings any more because I will be at school no later than 8 every day.  I was going to wait til winter to by a trainer, but I'm thinking I might want to buy one sooner so that I can bike in the mornings starting soon.  I'm hoping to be babysitting several afternoons after school, so my afternoon exercise time will be limited.  I was also going to wait til spring to buy a new bike (I need a bike that actually fits me), but at this point I feel like I may as well buy everything I need at once and be done with it.  Then, I can put my current bike on the trainer, and have the new bike handy for the days when I have time to ride outside.  Since the trainer will shred my tire, it seems easier to have two bikes than to have to change the tire every time I ride...But if I manage to talk myself out of buying a bike now, I will probably buy a cheap wheel instead, and then keep the cheap wheel on the trainer, and have my current wheel for outside rides.  It will be way easier to switch out the wheels than to change a tire every time.

In other news, I added a bunch of hills back into my run on Saturday, not sure if it would be worse for my foot or not.  So far, it appears that it was not detrimental.  Hooray!

I want this bike, because it is beautiful and blue.
But I want it to not be $1400+, and I want it to not have hydraulic brakes/shifters.
Because hydraulics are expensive to maintain.

This bike is also pretty.
But it's $2400.
And I probably really don't need an aero's not like I've picked up bike racing. Yet.

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