Since the boys have been born, life has gotten much... busier. I don't like to use the word harder. Nothing about raising twins is physically hard. It can be exhausting at times running off little sleep. But hard I feel is the wrong word. Now having said that, let me remind you all that we have had a tremendous amount of help from family and friends. I've heard of people raising twin babies by themselves with no help at all. THAT I would classify as hard! It definitely tests your patience, an area I need a lot of work in. It is very time consuming, especially in the beginning.
When we first had the boys, they would eat every 3 hours. Sometimes we had to wake them up and make them eat, but they ate every 3 hours. Each boy would take about 45 min to eat. They were still learning how to latch and were so tiny, it took a lot of energy. They would eat, take a break, eat some more, take a break, and so on. You could tell that the slightest bit of exertion seemed to drain all the energy they had in their tiny little bodies. To add to their exhaustion, the poor, little guys were loosing weight as all babies do once they're born. We only had an hour and a half (if we were lucky) in between feedings. They took a lot of our time and attention. We didn't mind one bit. They're only the cutest babies in the history of mankind! :) It's gotten 10x better though! Now they eat less than ten minutes a piece and it goes much quicker! Lately they have been sleeping up to and sometimes exceeding 5 hours in between feedings at night! Mommy and Daddy are happy, happy, happy! (Thumbs up)
With all that going on, I was only fitting in one set of treatments and no exercise. Most of the time we were just wiped out. Any spare time we had, we slept. I knew going in, that it would be hard to fit in treatments and exercise. The doctors and I had discussions about staying on top of treatments and all of us expected that I would probably see a dip in my PFT's by my next clinic visit after the boys were born. My CF doctor has a set of twins, so he understands. In my mind, I wasn't going to have a "dip" in my numbers. They had been steadily rising for over a year with no hospital admissions. I was determined to keep that up.
I haven't been doing two sets of treatments and exercise has been non-existent around our house these days. Well, Monica has been doing her ab exercises. Her abdominal muscles separated so she has special exercises she has to do to pull them back together. Since her ab muscles are separated, she cannot run or do any heavy lifting. In fact, she is supposed to stand up and get out of bed by turning/rolling onto her side and standing/sitting up that way so she does not engage her ab muscles. Any use of her ab muscles will pull them apart further.
The moral of this post is that starting Monday, Monica and I agreed we will do what has to be done to ensure that I am getting two sets of treatments in a day and exercising. My FEV1 had dropped from 66% to 60%. It's going to be difficult at times, because I can only do so much to help when sitting doing my vest and treatments. Especially now that I'm going back to work full time. I wish I could do more sets of treatments a day or exercise more, but with a 40 work week it's just not doable. I'm hoping to find a job that is more flexible so I can do more treatments and exercise more. I've been praying about it. Any prayers my way are much appreciated! :) Obviously something needs to be done to ensure that I'm getting my treatments and exercise in. Now so even more than before. Now I have THREE people depending on me! It just so happened that my best bud and former running buddy (until we both stopped running) called me Saturday and was telling me how he really wants to start running again. Perfect timing! We went for a run on Monday. It was awful, lol! To know how far and fast we used to be able to run and see how much we struggled was a bummer. We only have ourselves to blame. We weren't as far gone as I would have thought, which is a plus. So, I'm "running" back onto the band wagon!
Time to whip myself back into shape. I know I'm a much better husband, son, sibling and friend when I'm feeling good and my numbers are up. So I assume the same is true with fatherhood. I can't take care of my boys, my wife, my family if I'm not taking care of myself. (Swift kick from myself to myself in the rear)
On a side note it felt great to lace up my running shoes and get back out there. We were sweating bullets and breathing like freight trains. I had full on stabbing rib pains through most of the run, but it felt awesome when it was all said and done! It's an accomplishing, rewarding feeling knowing I'm taking the right steps to being healthier for my family.
God always knows when we need a little motivation too. In the midst of realizing I need to make some changes and get back to taking the best care of myself as possible, I read a post by an awesome guy. A fellow CFer who I consider a buddy even though we've never met. He did what I, and most people I know, would of thought as impossible. He was admitted to the hospital with an FEV1 in the 20's and sent straight to the ICU. After 52 days in the hospital he left with an FEV1 of 50%. Doctors told him they'd be happy if he could bump it to 55% but not to count on it. He is the type of guy that when he's told he can't do something, will prove everyone wrong and work his tail off to accomplish it. He has been kicking some CF tay ever since and has his FEV1 up to 75%!!! Talk about motivation!!! His name is Ronnie. I've mentioned him several times in this blog. He's an inspiration to CFers around the world and does A LOT for the CF community! To read his post that I read yesterday, click here.