Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Transcending Transplant: How Dr. Sunita Mathur Helps Recipients Stay Fit

Today I was honored by being highlighted on the University of Toronto's Department of Physical Therapy website.

Here is one quote from the article:
“Transplant patients feel tremendously grateful for their new organ. In honour of their organ donor family, and this second chance at life, many are committed to living an active lifestyle. Through CAN-RESTORE, we aim to equip transplant recipients with the knowledge they need to lead healthy and active lives” explains Dr. Mathur.
Dr. Mathur is spot on with her comments.  I, along with my family, do feel a profound amount of gratitude to our donor and donor family. I cherish this gift of new lungs and a new life and I will continue to do what I can to honor what they have done for us.

CAN-RESTORE is the Canadian Network for Rehabilitation and Exercise for Solid Organ Transplant Optimal Recovery. CAN-RESTORE is an excellent resource for both healthcare professionals and transplant patients/caregivers.

What led me to find Dr. Mathur's research on exercise limitations experienced by lung transplant recipients? It was a couple of months post-transplant and I wasn't gaining strength as quickly as I thought I should.  Yes, the Team still had me on strict weight limitations, but I was still having trouble with the basics like doing a squat. I was just plain, overall, weak. I worked to maintain some semblance of strength before the procedure and now understand that I should have worked harder on major muscle groups, but still. I was weak.  So I went looking for more exercises for lung transplant patients and ended up finding this study: Exercise Limitation in Recipients of Lung Transplants published by Dr's Mathur, Reid  and Levi.

This paper explained my weakness, and with that explanation came acceptance, and a plan that matched expectations with reality.  I've gone from doing sloppy partial squats while holding onto the kitchen counter to full range of motion, in good form, squats while holding a 32 kg kettlebell.

Back then, when I was noting this study in my public journal, I finished with -
Seems I have my work cut out for me, but as they say, no hill for a climber.
I really appreciate this research, and the fact that this report was open access. So much good data that can be used by patients is hidden behind a paywall these days.  Makes finding a gem like this extra special.

More websites that have highlighted my IPF and transplant journey.