Surviving COVID and respiratory therapy - barbell complexes and bodyweight exercises

I was one of the lucky ones: it's been a month and a half, maybe two months when I began to manifest symptoms. Since I have adult-onset asthma and recently had two episodes of pneumonia, I wasn't sure of anything. The first test, done on April the 7th, came back negative (5-15% false negatives on that test). And then I got really worse.

A course of levofloxacin and a heavy course of prednisone ruled out bacterial infection and "just another bad chronic bronchitis flare-up". We're waiting for the immune assay test to re-test.

My recollection of the three worst weeks isn't great. I did leave documents denying hospitalization (long story), made arrangements for my death and donation of my body to scientific research and learned later about my husband's intentions of ignoring them as I got too sick. Most of all, time passed like in an oniric state. I wasn't worried or depressed. Not even sad.

My physicians at the clinic weren't that happy with my decision but we coordinated monitoring of the disease evolution. There was not a single oximeter to buy in Oklahoma City and I ordered one that arrived when I was already recovering. We used by-proxy clinical indicators such as breathing frequency (breaths per minute), a reliable indicator of respiratory distress, heart rate, fever and coughing. They were all really bad (> 36 breaths/minute at rest, reaching over 60, HR > 110, fever peaking every day in the early afternoon, severe coughing). I slept a lot. There were days when I slept for 17 hours. That actually felt nice.

Respiratory therapy is used for COPD and severe asthma patients, for example, because they are unable to promote intense breathing through exercise. There are actually other benefits from certain breathing exercises but for pulmonary illness, that is the goal.

So I decided to do short conditioning sessions, increasing a little every day, as soon as my oxygen saturation was beyond 93% (since then I had an oximeter).

I chose barbell complexes and bodyweight exercises separated in two sessions/day.

There are still days when I can't handle them: recovery is not linear and it will take a very long time to get even close to where I was.

These are some of the barbell complexes I did (empty bar):

1) hang snatch, press behind the neck, bent row X 20

2) hang clean and press X 5 X 10 followed by bent rows X 20, chest pause

3) hang snatch, press X 3, overhead squat X 3, everything X 20 (that was not a good idea since it was too intense for my condition then)

4) hang snatch, press, drop snatch X 10

Bodyweight exercises ("coffee breaks"):

1) Pushups (20) + crunches (20) X 5

3) Fire hydrants (full set of four X 10) + hip thrust X 4

Unlike it was my whole life, exercising  doesn't feel like an urge and the conditioning work can be unpleasant.

For someone making arrangements for death, I'd say I'm pretty alive.

sandbags-home

 

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