My doctor told me in late February that I could stop using supplemental oxygen and enroll in a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. So, last Monday, I started the program at a local hospital. The goal is for the program to increase my endurance, to condition my body, and to strengthen my lungs.
I crawl out of bed at 5:45 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to drive 30 miles to the hospital. The rehab room is a buzz when I walk in about 7:10 AM. The nurse takes my blood pressure and checks my oxygen saturation level before I start exercising on the available equipment. I usually begin with the treadmill. When I walk as much as I can at the prescribed pace and incline, I stop, and the nurse records my blood pressure and oxygen levels. She records this information for each machine that I use and each exercise that I complete.
I enjoy using the stationary bike at the hospital because the fan cools me as I pedal. My recumbent bike at home has an advantage over the one in the rehab room because it provides more support for my back; however, my home bike does not allow me to exercise my arms while I pedal. I definitely prefer the bikes to the treadmill since inclines are difficult for me to manage.
I use a resistance band at home, but the rehab room has hand weights as well as a machine similar to a stationary bike, but it is for arms. I had no idea how little upper body strength that I had until I began using that machine.
It is too early to determine if the program is working, but I enjoyed the first week. I am optimist that I will be able to meet all the goals that my doctor set for me.