Treadmill Desk: Day One

Day one results:

Time walking: 4.0 hours

4 hours on the nose. Now I just have to do this for the rest of my life, or the rest of the work days in my life.

4 hours on the nose. Now I just have to do this for the rest of my life, or the rest of the work days in my life.

Steps taken: 15,130

Miles walked: 5.18

Calories burned: 757

Body weight: 213.5

Day 1 lessons learned:

  • I can read and type an email response and control the mouse at up to 2.5 mph. No problem. If I need to concentrate, I have to reduce the speed.
  • Treadmills generate heat. And in my small office it can be hot in the summertime. Our AC bill is going to go up.
  • My hip is killing me. Not sure why. When I walk the dogs, it never bothers me. Something about my stride on the treadmill isn’t right. I hope this won’t be a deal breaker, but I am concerned. Hopefully, my legs and surrounding muscles will continue to strengthen and the pain will go away.
  • My posture is much better on the treadmill than sitting. When I sat down today, I was surprised by how upright I was.
  • “Treadmill fail” videos are funny. Type it into youtube and prepare to laugh. I almost wiped out a couple of times today.
  • My friend Dr. Nanos would enjoy something like this. Or I think she would.
  • Wearing the Vest and doing breathing treatments while walking takes some coordination, though it seemed like my doses of hypertonic saline went fast. I need to time them on and off the treadmill.
  • Life is good.

My head cold goes south; I stay West

Everything was going fine this morning preparing to leave for my trip until I coughed a dry cough – red alert. It was a clear sign my cold had crossed the imaginary barrier of my throat and entered my chest – chest cold, red alert.

The monkey tossed a wrench. But was I reading the sign correctly?

I don't know why, but this photo seems appropriate. (Creative Commons: soldiersmediacenter)

I went through my routine. And when the driver knocked, I hugged my wife and left. And the first thing I did when I got in the car was take a Xanax. But it was too late. Each suppressed dry cough was like someone shaking me to wake up.

The closer we got to the airport, the greater the thought of “turn around” became. Turn around. Turn around. Go home. Do not go, turn around. TURN AROUND. BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

At least a dozen scenarios played through my head of what might happen – what I would do when I got to New Jersey and this chest cold turned worse. What would it be like to be in the cold weather, a hotel room, sick? What would it be like to have a dry hacking cough on the plane and have people stare? What would it be like to go through security and have to open my bag of CF paraphernalia and explain it?

How would I get home? How would I get home?

Too overwhelming, go home.

As we exited the freeway, I felt warm.  And as we got closer, hotter. When we were about a mile away, I knew I couldn’t get on the plane. My face was flush, my heart beating in an uneven drum beat – hard beats, ready to release blood into my lungs.

When the driver pulled up to Terminal 1, I told him I was having a panic attack and couldn’t get on the plane. I asked him if he could drive me home or send another car to pick me up. He was very nice and said he could drive me home. But he suggested we wait five minutes, take a deep breath and see if I changed my mind. I called my wife and told her I couldn’t get on the plane. I had made my decision. No sense waiting five minutes.

The driver took me home. I handed him an extra 40 bucks. And in the dark of morning, I wheeled my suitcase into the house.

Now had I written this post this morning, the title would have been: This blog post written by the world’s biggest idiot. I felt that way for making the decision not to get on the plane. Wimp, wuss, were a few of the words I used. However, the cold worsened throughout the day. I’ve had a dry cough and been out of it, tired, groggy from the stress and the virus.

But, for once, I made a correct decision. An uncomfortable decision, but the right decision. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but it does now. I’m fighting a chest cold, which may put me in the hospital. I have no doubt had I gone, I would have been in deep s**t with this thing.

So, the part of me that felt like a complete wuss at the airport for not getting on the plane, now feels good because I made the difficult decision not to go and to ensure I was in the best position to fight the cold and, with luck, stay out of the hospital. That is yet to be determined. It’s 50/50 at best right now.

Here’s my last thought tonight: I hate cystic fibrosis. It can kiss my ass.

The disease formally known as . . .

Lawyers often say that you should only ask a question you know the answer to. I’ve decided to ignore that advice with the following: What if we renamed cystic fibrosis and called it something else?

What if we used a symbol instead? We all know how that worked out.

This is a question answered by other questions. Can you change the name of a disease? Would you want to change a name of a disease? Would lighting strike for doing such a thing? Is it a crazy idea to contemplate? Where did the idea come from?

I can answer the last question. I hate having cystic fibrosis. I hated the name growing up. I still hate the name. That’s where it came from.

I’m tired of having cystic fibrosis. I’ve been embarrassed to speak the name all of my life. It doesn’t roll off of my tongue. It feels foreign, alien, like it has nothing to do with what I have and explains nothing that I go through. Sometimes it elicits a blank stare when spoken to others. So, this idea of a name change must spring forth from my unconscious and conscious minds and their desire to shed cystic fibrosis from their lexicon. Would it feel like a victory if I no longer had “cystic fibrosis,” but a disease of another name?

I have no idea what we would change “cystic fibrosis” to. I only wonder if we could and what would happen if we did. Web sites would have to change, as would stationary, history books, medical texts and the minds of E.R. doctors who know nothing about cystic fibrosis and who would be even more confused by a new disease. It would be easier to move the Empire State Building three blocks than change the name cystic fibrosis. At least it feels that way. And it probably is as pointless as moving the ESB three blocks. A lot of effort and what’s the reward or payoff.? Is there a reward other than saying you did the impossible? We moved that building, damn it. It can be done. Now let’s move it back to where it was.

I know it’s a silly question. It’s an impossible feat. But something inside me says “what if?” What if I no longer had “cystic fibrosis”? Even if it’s in name only there would be something really nice about that. I’d never again have to tell anyone that I have it. The words “cystic fibrosis” would never again leave my lips. Of course, I’d have to tell people I have a disease and that would require a name. And, as a I mentioned, I have no suggestions for what that name would be. I only wish George Carlin were still alive and I could ask him. I know he’d have a great name. And I know you’d never be able to say it out loud in public or on television because it would be X-rated and censored. But that would make me love it even more. Every time I coughed and people stared at me, I’d just say, “It’s okay, I have f**king *$#*&%# *&#$#** and there’s no way in hell you can catch it, Jerk-off.”

Perhaps, I should contact Prince for advice. He’s been there, done that. But even he knows that sometimes a name is difficult to escape no matter how hard you wish it away.