Friday, 15 June 2012

6 minute walk test = complete & utter exhaustion

Today at physio I did a 6 minute walk test.

Photo for People Magazine
This consists of walking as far as you can in 6 minutes. Complicated, huh? Basically, there are 2 pylons at each end of the hallway and you go back and forth, back and forth, back and's a crazy good time. The test is one of the ways health professionals can monitor my lung function and make any necessary adjustments to my exercise program.

During my first assessment for transplant, back in 2008, I didn't need oxygen with exertion. That's just one of the ways my health has changed in the 4 years since. Many other things have changed, but I'll leave that for another post.

Yup, there I was strutting my stuff, dragging Squeaker behind me - paparazzi lined up and down the hallways snapping pictures. I've decided I'm going to enter the Crusty Lungs, Oxygen-Dependent Marathon. Not sure where it is, but there's bound to be one. It only makes sense.

After the test we started my workout. So, what can I say about was tough. I was physically exhausted. I managed to do all my exercises and 10 minutes on the treadmill but...screw the bike. I just couldn't. At one point (and this is what I do when I feel exhausted or sick) I looked at Brad, with tears brewing, and whispered, "I can't do anymore". I can be a real big baby when I hit a low. It can be a struggle to persuade my body to keep going. 

 So much easier to crawl into bed and hide from my lungs...oh wait, I guess those things are attached, right?

We left the hospital in a cab; a testament to how worn out I felt. However, something along the way lifted my spirits - due to the entertainment factor. A women walked onto the street and almost into our cab - she didn't get hurt and that wasn't the entertainment. Her posterior was the most unnatural, oddly triangularly shaped, and obviously fake thing I've ever seen. It stuck out 1.5' from her body. I assure you I am not making fun of her, as there is no way that was real.

Some just like to "stick out" from the crowd, eh?

 We get back and, as I have energy to burn, I have a nap. This weekend we will obtain much needed transit passes. Next week I have appointments every day and the walking is too much. I need to stay fit, but I also need to starve off exhaustion which can turn into sickness. I'm sure every trip on Toronto's public transit will be an experience.

Tonight was another fun night at the park. So many cute furry faces. Griffin is such a little weirdo; he loves other dogs and wants to play, but can be nervous and unsure of what to do in a large group of dogs. I think he's adjusting well though; he's just a little boy trying to make it in a big city.

We have a couple of people who've volunteered to look after the G-man when we get the call for lungs...and the sweet part is these are people who you just know you can trust. It's so great to know that there are good people here. They know our story and are very supportive; reminds me of home.

A couple of us talked about how a large percentage of the population aren't aware of how to become organ donors. Please spread the word. Educate.

Organ donation is one of the most selfless acts you can do.

One donor can save up to 8 lives! That's a huge legacy to leave! Sign up; just takes a swipe of a pen :)


  1. Thanks Sara. Congrats on your novel!

  2. I'm a donor. :-) Granted, I'm in the States, but my Michigan license has the big read heart sticker that says DONOR. I have been since I got my license at 16. I'm also on the National Bone Marrow Registry for the US. That's another cause that so many people should sign up for. It was painless- I swiped the inside of my cheek with the swab they sent me- sent it back, postage on them, and now if someone needs a bone marror transplant, they can run the database and BOOM! I can go to the nearest hospital affliated [I think mine is in Cleveland, Ohio] to try and help save a life. Why not!? No cost to the donor!

    This comment turned into a PSA for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Oops. :-)