Our bodies are amazing machines, but we can be hard on them sometimes.
My adventurous spirit has led to some accidents and injuries, but my body always prevails. When I push myself too far, my body forces me to rest, reminding me of my physical limits, which often supersede my spiritual and mental ones.
When I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, I was afraid that I’d lose my ability to travel. Traveling with a life-threatening lung condition is risky, but the alternative — the same stagnant routine — is far more frightening.
I’m on vacation in Hawaii as I write this column. I’ve tried to balance activities and rest, but there’s so much to see here. I’ve definitely had more busy days than restful ones. But I’ve surprised myself with my physical abilities. I’m proud of everything I’ve been able to accomplish.
Gratitude puts things into perspective. It’s easy to focus on what we’ve lost because of chronic illness, but it’s important to reflect on our accomplishments from time to time. Over time, the little things we can do add up to big achievements.
Following are things I’m proud of:
- Driving around Oahu: Honolulu, and the district of Waikiki, are located on the southern shore of the island of Oahu. I also was eager to see the island’s North Shore. I was the driver listed with the car rental company, so I was the only one who could drive. I was worried that long days behind the wheel would tire me out and was nervous about navigating a city like Honolulu, but I managed to do all the driving.
- Climbing down to Queen’s Bath: The natural lava rock “bathtub” on the island of Kauai has been on my bucket list for a long time. However, I didn’t realize how steep and muddy the terrain would be. I failed my first time down the path, but I pushed my body to try a second time and made it down safely.
- Snorkeling: Surprisingly, snorkeling can be a dangerous activity while vacationing in Hawaii. It tired me out, but I’m glad I was able to see some tropical fish, sea turtles, and dolphins.
- Hiking: We took our time and only hiked trails classified as “easy,” but it was a memorable experience all the same. The rainforests in Waimea Valley were incredible.
- Multiple flights: I was tired and sore upon arrival, but my body tolerated the long flights very well. I wore my supplemental oxygen and tried to rest, and only experienced minimal discomfort.
What are some things you’re proud of accomplishing recently?
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.