Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Pushing ourselves to the max

Concerned about how easily I get short of breath, I asked my physical therapist to help me improve my breathing. I regretted the words almost as soon as they came out of my mouth. My therapist looked way too happy.

With my upcoming knee surgeries, I couldn’t walk the treadmill or pedal the bike fast enough to get my heart rate up. Instead, my therapist put me on a hand cycling machine to improve  endurance and tone muscles. My job is to push the handles forward and then backwards, rotating them in circles, as fast as I can, for three minutes each. How hard could this be? I am seated and don’t even use my legs.

I started going flat out. My therapist cautioned me to slow down as l had a long way to go. What does she know, I scoffed. Apparently a lot more than me. My breathing quickly became labored and I began gasping for air. My mouth felt like it was stuffed with cotton balls, and by the end of the first two minutes, I was begging for a water break.

“You can have a break when you finish your six minutes,” my therapist told me. “Keep going strong.”

Was she kidding? I was sure I was going to die before my time was up, and I let everyone else in the room know it, too. Obviously I underestimated my abilities because I not only survived, but continue to improve every time I get back on the cycling machine.

One comment on “Pushing ourselves to the max

  1. Leonard Applebaun
    July 23, 2012

    Hi Sheryl
    Wish you great success with your new blog and certainly with your knee surgery. Lookin forward tu seeing you between knee surgeries.
    Love always, Mom and Dad

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This entry was posted on July 19, 2012 by in Before Surgery.

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