While February was the month I would like to forget, March has been fantastic – full of friends, good health, good training, camps, speaking and sunshine! I packed so much into 10 days just to make up for a less than stellar 28 days in February! It is onward and upward for sure.
I spent a total of 5 weeks on IV antibiotics. I stayed very positive for most of the treatment but there were a few days in the last 10 days that were rough. The first 2 weeks only resulted in an increase of 4% lung function bringing me from 66% to 70%. That is not very impressive after all, this is intravenous medicine – 2 drugs – 3 times per day! So, they switched my medicine to another 2 drugs which meant that I was going to be on IV for at least another 2 weeks. One of the new antibiotics – Aztrenem – was in powder form and I would have to mix it once per day with distilled water and then put it in a saline drip bag for infusion. I was a real chemist. And I had to run the IV antibiotics 4 times per day – 6 a.m., 2 p.m, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The first 4 days on the new medicine had a huge effect and I was so excited. I was coughing less, my voice sounded better and my heart rate was coming down during exercise. Then it kind of settled and there were not many changes. I would go to the doctor with huge excitement to see what my numbers were up to only to see very little change. I was getting tired and cranky – not depressed – but if I wasn’t going to get better, then set me free from this medical routine and let me huff and puff my way up and down the 25 meter pool or run miles in the Caledon hills and pound out some watts on my computrainer!
Finally, after 3 more weeks, the doctors saw that my lung function had plateaued at 76% (up a total of 10% from 66% when I started IV) and my white blood cells were lower and they saw that I had already applied sunscreen for my anticipated trip to Florida – so they removed my PICC line catheter and my days of IV were officially over! They sent me away with an inhaled version of one of the IV meds and so I inhale it into my lungs twice per day to stay in control of the bacteria. Within 20 hours of having the PICC line removed, Dave and I were singing along with Sirius Satellite radio in our Subaru Outback driving south!
Since we arrived in Clermont, life has been bliss! My health seems to improve every single day!My lung function may only say 76% but I feel like a new person and I am swimming, biking and running and feeling fantastic. My first few swims were rough and my atrophied swim muscles were sore (I wasn’t able to swim at all and could not really use my left arm very much because of the PICC line) – but I didn’t care. I was swimming and I was alive and I just figured that the pool had ‘grown’ some extra length while I was gone!
Meanwhile, on the Thursday of our camp, I snuck out in the morning while the athletes recharged for our midday long run, and I did a motivational speech for a software company in Orlando. That was my first of 3 speeches in 10 days! When the camp ended on Friday, I caught a flight to Boston for the Multisport World Expo. On the Saturday, I did a clinic on how to run a successful Ironman marathon and then I delivered the keynote speech. I finished out the day with a computrainer time trial. Karen Smyers was also there – she was far more serious than I was – I rode in running shoes and toe clips – but I had such a blast! Then I caught a flight home. Seven days later, I did it all again. I flew to Washington, DC and delivered the keynote speech for the Multisport World Expo. I also did a swim relay for charity and a few Q and A sessions.
It was amazing to be so busy and to be healthy enough to be that busy and still love it. I am grateful that my body and lungs are allowing me to be busy and to still feel good. Don’t worry, I am still respecting my therapies and my medicine and I am eating healthy and listening to my body.
The day after I returned from Washington, I was off to cheer on the athletes at theClermont Triathlon. Morgan Locke came from the US Virgin Islands to race. I have been coaching Morgan since January. He is the son of my long time homestay in St. Croix. I have known Morgan since he was 10 or 11 yrs old – now he is 24 years old. He is an amazing swimmer but an even better human being – an absolute pleasure to be around. When I came in at 1 a.m. from my flight from Washington, there were flowers waiting for me and a welcome home note from Morgan and Carrie, his girlfriend! Morgan had a superb race bettering his 10 km run from 46 minutes on December 26th to 41 minutes on Sunday!
We have her doggies name tag all ready with her phone number ready for her to make friends!
And all of her treats are waiting for her!! We get to pick her up on April 10th!
But first, we have one more fun training camp with some teenage athletes from Quebec starting on Friday! Once again, this will be a blast and it will make April an amazing month as well!
Thank you for your support, your health prayers and your kindnesses – I am back and better then ever! Lisa