post work out goofy face

How I almost died and learned to love exercise

I am a nerd, raised by nerds, who stares at computer screens all day for my livelihood. I am not an “exercise” person. I’ve always had the attitude that “stupid,” “sporty” people exercised and I was definitely not one of them. I don’t like sweating, I don’t like being tired and I definitely don’t like the “bimbo” stereotype of girls who exercise. Oh boy, did I get proven wrong by my own body.

2016 was a crappy year for a lot of people but for me it was literally the worst. Near the end of the year, I contracted Influenza and MRSA pneumonia. I fell asleep on Christmas Eve and woke up three weeks later, in 2017, plugged into machinery and confined to bed. I had been in a medically induced coma and had several surgeries – my lungs were not functioning on their own.

Once I was really awake, it dawned on me that I withered away – I had a hard time moving because I had no muscle left! I lost over FORTY pounds and had to gather my strength to walk, talk, and live again. It took every ounce of energy I had to move, every ounce of patience I could muster to stop myself from crying at every difficulty, and an even greater amount of rest to get myself well enough to go home.

It wasn’t easy but with the help of physical therapists, nurses, and my husband – I got up, I got walking and I got better. After three months, I was released from the hospital but I wasn’t done pushing myself. Believe me, I tried to get away with the minimal amount of working out at first but really soon realized that if I didn’t move my body everyday, I’d slide backwards and would end up in the hospital again.

I started out very slowly, walking as much as I could, practicing standing up, climbing the stairs. Yes, I was so weak that I had to practice standing up. I moved up to exercising with no weights – going through the motions with my arms and legs. I moved up to filled water bottles and then five-pound weights. I got on my bicycle again. At first I tootled around my parking lot and then biked a little farther and a little farther. As soon as I could bike a mile, I started biking up the biggest hill in my neighborhood – a few hundred feet of elevation in under a mile. I started to notice real muscles forming.

I also started to notice I had really bad mood swings some days and realized that when I tried to take days off from my exercise routines, I would end up moody, sad or angry every time. It was like clock work, I’d take a day off and the next day, the swings would come in to ruin my day.

I biked up the hill every night, taking shorter and shorter breaks until I only had to stop for traffic lights. Once I made it up that hill with no breaks, which I had a hard time doing even before I got sick, I knew I was ready to be harder on myself. So I picked up some workout DVDs; I usually hate the happy bimbos in those things but by a happy accident, I FINALLY found an instructor that didn’t make me want to smash my television screen in. I’ve worked out almost everyday since I put in the first DVD.

After only having use of less than 20% of my lung capacity when I went into the hospital on Christmas day 2016 to a normal capacity of 70% in Mid July 2017, I say the working out has serious results.

I hated working out before because I never worked hard enough or long enough to feel good afterwards. It’s finally happened, I broke through the pain and soreness and don’t feel horrible working out anymore, only sweaty and tired. I’ve learned to live with sweaty and tired.

I love the results of working out – feeling and looking better. I always thought you sporty people were nuts and now, I’m one of you.

Medical Bracelet

Hello again

I spent a couple of months in the hospital unconscious or barely conscious, starting Christmas day 2016 until Mid March 2017. I know there are posts from online after that, but chalk it up to the glory of publishing automation.

I’ve just recently been able to get back to normal life so online posting took a little hiatus. I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk about my hospital experiences anytime soon – it’s too recent and horrible to talk about yet.

I will say – don’t skip the flu shot every year.