At the age of 6 months, the Doctors diagnosed me with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a hereditary disease of the lungs and pancreas, resulting in more mucus production and the inability to produce digestive enzymes. Not only do I produce more mucus, but it is also thicker. Therefore, it is harder to get the mucus up.
I was given a life expectancy of 10 years of age. My 10th birthday came, and the age was changed to 18. I'm 26 now, so I think the Doctors have given up guessing.
Having Cystic Fibrosis means doing airway clearance every single day. Christmas Day and Birthdays are days in which shouldn't be ignored as it’s a clear reminder that your one year older, and that you are beating the odds even more.
So keeping on top of my CF remains one of the biggest parts of my life. Along with having CF, I also have Exercised Induced Asthma. One would think I should be bed ridden, but it's just another hurdle that I have to jump, and clear.
As part of my airway clearance, I run. A lot. I run 10 times a week and anywhere between 70-100 miles a week. This comprised of two speed endurance sessions, a threshold run, a long run ( between 90mins to 2 hours), recovery runs, and of course a day off. I have to take precautions while doing the speed training, as my lungs can flair up. This means taking a steroidal inhaler beforehand.
I'm constantly looking for ways to help both my EIA and my CF. I heard about POWERbreathe roughly 5 years ago, and it was always something that interested me. So recently, I had a very bad attack of inflammation in my lungs which came out of the blue. It meant not being able to run. When I can’t run, I'm stuck with a catch 22 situation. I need to run to clear the mucus from my lungs, but if I was to run, my chest wouldn't allow me because of the inflammation.
While sitting down, trying not to do too much, I remembered about the POWERbreathe. I thought what could be the harm in trying it out. As soon as it arrived, I had a go of it. I was surprised at how it worked the lungs from an inspiration and not expiration point of view. I’m a cynic when it comes to these types of "gadgets", because there are a load of "gadgets" out there. From my first breath, I could actually feel my pulmonary muscles and diaphragm kicking into action.
A big part of my life is my work. I am a Sports Therapist and Acupuncturist. I run my own clinic called Scully Therapy Clinic. By treating Olympic athletes, I see quite a few who come into the clinic with either Asthma or Exercised Induced Asthma. I could safely recommend the athletes to use POWERbreathe as a tool to help their lungs become stronger. Stronger lungs equal faster times.
I have documented, and will continue to document how I am getting on with the POWERbreathe on my blog: www.ihaveCF.blogspot.com
A huge thank you to Evan for sharing his first experience of using POWERbreathe for Cystic Fibrosis and we'll look forward to sharing with you his continued experience.
If you'd like to show your support for Evan then please leave a comment here, and if you too are using POWERbreathe to help symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis then we would love to hear from you.