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I KNEW this would happen!! For those of you who may not be familiar with me, I have had a long, (76 in July), and pretty healthy life, with a few speed bumps along the way. Premature birth, a childhood of second-hand smoke, and 20 years of smoking a couple of packs a day set me up for lung disease.A few bouts with double pneumonia over the years led me to a diagnosis of severe COPD at age 55. 33% lung capacity. Gradual deterioration led to a double lung transplant at age 71. All went well until surgery for prostate cancer (successful) about 4 weeks ago. The point that I would like to make is this: It is vital that we, as lung disease patients, keep our bodies as strong as possible in order to compensate for the weakness of our breathing apparatus. Each time we lay off our exercise routines, whether from exacerbations, surgery of some kind, or sheer laziness, we lose strength. Sadly, the older we get, the more rapidly we lose muscle mass, and the harder it is to get back.Many times, it is next to impossible for us to regain our former level of conditioning, so each interruption in our exercise routine leaves us weaker, more susceptible to the next exacerbation.So, after the prostate surgery, I was instructed to avoid lifting or straining for 4 weeks. I could walk, but that was all. As I recovered, I worked my way up to an hour on the treadmill. Feeling foxy, I tried to do 15 minutes on the elliptical. After 12 minutes, my thighs called me a bad name and refused to continue. They are now so sore that I have trouble getting up out of a chair.I am, as many of you know, kind of an exercise nut. I will get back to my former condition, because it helps me to ward off infections and to maintain the quality of life that I choose. Just as soon as my thighs heal a bit....
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