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Recent Conclusion and Fighting the Urge

BrilliantI’ve had a recent conclusion that my lungs are clear and I’m fighting the urge to slack off on treatments as a result. Don’t worry, though, as I’ve already preached about taking all of the meds you’ve been taking, even once you feel good. The reasoning is: you got to where you are by doing what you’re doing – to do less will make you feel less healthy.

What brought me to my conclusion is a combination of two things:

  • a nearly complete lack of loogies
  • the seemingly ineffectiveness of my Vest treatments

When I get sick or feel something coming on, my biggest indicator is how productive my cough is. If I’m battling an infection, there is an endless supply of nasty mucus. When I’m healthy, I can’t bring anything up to save my life.

I’ve read numerous accounts from my new CF friends about how rough the Vest is on them. They can’t do a treatment if they are having issues because they say something to the effect of, “it’s too much at once,” and it’s overwhelming since it treats all of the lobes at once. For me, I can go a full 30 minutes at 90-100% without any coughing, though it does rid me of any wheezing symptoms.

This conclusion is what drove me to start my big push to exercise. I am healthy. I am not fighting an actively aggressive infection, and my lung capacity is still ~40%, though we haven’t confirmed that it has reached 40% yet. If I’m so healthy, the only things that I can think of that would make my function so low is my lack of exercise and any long-term damage due to scarring from past infections.

Notice that I said “function” rather than “capacity.” I’m no medical professional, but it seems reasonably sound that the PFT is called that instead of PCT because someone with the same sized lungs as Michael Phelps won’t necessarily be able to perform like Michael Phelp’s lungs because of training and possibly genetics. The same goes for muscles; the biggest guys aren’t necessarily the strongest. I am out to make my lungs do what I want them to do rather than what they want to do on their own, which would be to spaz every couple of hours and whither away into an oblivion.

I already feel like I have more capacity because I can take deeper breaths. I still have a pretty strong asthma-like feeling at certain times of the day, but I’m going to be monitoring that closely as I increase and continue with my exercise. Last night, I played DDR Hottest Party 2 for over an hour. There were some times that I was out of breath and coughed and other times that I went 2-3 songs without getting phased at all, so I think progress is clearly being made, albeit subjectively measured for now.

Just wait until I start running for an objective measurement.


  1. Keep up the good work!

  2. We don’t have the Vest here in the UK, basically because the NHS say’s there’s not enough evidence to say it is effective enough compared to the flutter etc to warrant paying the cost of it. It would be interesting to be able to compare the different techniques. Good job on getting to this point, you’ve really come a long way since the turn of the year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • What I like about the Vest is it’s zero effort for me (unlike coughing my head off with the Flutter), but I still want the Flutter because I would have to say it’s the best device I’ve ever used. I know it’s going to be out-of-pocket, though. Hey, I suppose Loz could lose hers, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oops! “NHS, I need another.” j/k I’m probably going to ask for one at clinic in November.

  3. I am the same way. I do my vest twice a day during the week and hardly cough. When I hold my breath at the top of the inhale for roughly 5 sec. it tends to make me cough some times. I also try and take long deep breaths the entire time. I find it interesting that I too get more clearance with my exercise… makes you think! Also my wife and I have taken the ball room classes on a couple of cruises we’ve taken…wow what a work out. Rip it up JP Hammer, maybe we will see you on dancing with the stars ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Determinedleo says

    Good luck with your exercising! I too feel exercising help me more than the vest. Jeep it up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I plan on it. We’ll see if a foot wart removal becomes a problem. I know it will be a problem to run with it, but forgot that I need it removed and that it takes weeks to heal since it’s on the ball of my foot.

  5. Sounds like you’re doing great! Keep up the good work!