Previously I have declared I have "not regrets", that stands true for the most part, however there are a couple of mistakes I have made along the way that no doubt effect my health today. Aside from dropping my super healthy diet in my teens, I also became sedentary compared to how I lived my previous 14 years of my life.
My hometown of Stirling in The Adelaide Hills
I grew up in the Adelaide hills, in a town called Stirling. It is a very popular tourist town know for it's beautiful European trees, some lovely historic architecture and delicious foodie culture (Local tip: do visit 'the organic market' when you in town). They even have a festival to celebrate the autumnal leaves! Being in 'the hills' it is as it sounds, 'hilly'! Going for a walk there was more like a trek!! I love the outdoors and Stirling made going our a pleasure. I would love to go on longs walks my beloved Bernese mountain dog, 'Paddy Bear'.
The botanical gardens I would often walk around
I was like 'forrest gump', always running, walking, riding, doing! My father and I would go on great long bike rides throughout the hills on afternoons or Saturdays in winter. Hours and hours, at least 4. I had no problems keeping up. Inspired by 'starlight express', after school I was always roller skating (I know, I'm showing my age!!) I played in the local netball club, our team won the regional silver medal, tennis club and later Flamenco dancing. On summer weekends it was always down to Brighton beach for ocean swimming and sailing. I was always the first in the water!!
Brighton Beach, Adelaide
Summer holidays were spent at Marion Bay, in a beach shack. Surfing, fishing, snorkeling and of course sailing! Fun fact: Jaws was filmed right around the corner from there... is that a 'fun fact' or a 'scarey' one?... hmmm *ha ha.
Other childhood activity's were: table tennis, golfing, badminton, trampolining, camping, trail riding (horses riding), catching ball at the oval, gardening. Cross country, baseball, soft ball at school. Everything I did got my respiration up and my body moving, I was on the go!!
The amazing thing was I could do it, I could keep up and even play the most energetic position on the netball team, centre. Bike rides were ended more often by Dad than me! I had endless energy, which created endless appetite and all done on a super healthy diet. My weight was normal and I had no mucus build up. The diet reduced mucus production and the exercise maintained lung health. I didn't need percussion's or any other physiotherapy because my chest was clear. I didn't have a chronic cough until I was 13. I caught my first CF cough from the very first lung function test I'd ever done!
So I guess my question is: Physiotherapy vs Physical activity? Maybe if more energy was focused on the activities, then it would create a more energetic environment for children, happiness is a wonderful motivation. The fresh air and oxygen from moving about is hugely helpful, promotes appetite. Lung clearance happens naturally when one is so active. Coupled with a healthy diet and some extra supplements, this worked for me.
I am just throwing out ideas hear, know that I'm not encouraging anyone to stop their treatments at all!! Please Don't!! Only suggesting that perhaps with a few tweaks to a routine, it may create a better and more pleasant management of the CF, therefore reducing the need of so much formal physiotherapy, reducing hospital admissions, increasing quality of life and longevity. I mean if you don't have mucus build up or infection due to a very healthy active lifestyle and diet, then is it still necessary to do sessions of percussion/vest when there nothing to clear? I don't know, but this lifestyle kept me healthy, fit, cough free and out of hospital for 13 years. I know for sure I would adopt the same approach if I had a child with CF. I was happy, healthy and hungry!! I felt pretty normal actually, I was shocked when I was told I had CF, I had no idea I even had an illness.
Dropping this routine was the beginning of a very long and difficult road of chronic illness for me, this is one of my only regrets in life, but I don't dwell on it, I just need to try and make it right. I am begining my own fitness routine again. Even though I am very active looking after my children, the one weak point in my routine is deliberate exercise to increase my lung function. When the temperature cools down, I am going to start running again! Starting the exercise habit when your older is hard, please do yourself or your children a favour, take my advice; find something you LOVE to get active and never stop moving!!! Your body will thank you in the long run!!!