Bustle for muscle

by Brennen Reeves

A mom who played college basketball. A dad who entered the army at eighteen. A brother who received a football scholarship after high school. That’s my family.
Me, I like theatre and acting.

I like to workout. I can do most anything, though I tire when I run. Running, not a daunting task for anyone else in my family- nor was the ability to put on weight or the ability to gain muscles. Both were and still remain a struggle of mine today. I understand the weight section- I have CF, my heart beats faster than other hearts, my digestive tract is not on track and diabetes is well, diabetes. Sadly, I cannot understand why I cannot gain muscle. Or turn the muscle that now exists to a lean quality.
I exercise just as much as the next person.

My parents and brother, they’re athletes. Sure, being athletic doesn’t necessarily mean you possess muscle, but my family did. I retained some of those genes. I played baseball, I owned a lacrosse stick, I love to golf. I count that as a sport (so what if I ride in the cart?).
I have coordination.

I received a bilateral lung transplant over 7 years ago. Within that gap, and day by day I become more flexible, stronger, newly energized, with no luck of further muscle growth. The weight is there. Up about thirty-five pounds. But how come there is no significant muscle gain, or the leanness to which I work for? Could it be a diet issue? Because the thirty, sixty, ninety day routine after these 7 years has been ineffective. I still come up short and this lets me down, my physical appearance.

I’m 5’6” and weigh around 120lbs. My body is symmetrically balanced. I have new lungs. There’s the determination- so why this outcome or lack of?
This is not a lecturer post but more a collaborative question- what is your secret? Do you have a secret? Is it a secret?

Sure, I still have CF, yes, my heart still beats faster than other hearts, yes, my digestive tract needs aligning, and well, diabetes still remains diabetes. Just about every other facet since my surgery has changed, emotionally, physically, etc., and my body is still present just with a little more weight with nowhere to go.

I challenge this. Could it be the severed nerves under my breast plate have yet to heal or reconnect, making it harder to attract muscle in this area? The numbness from my shoulders on down through the wrists lose feelings during most points of the day, is that a sign indicating powerless limbs?

“7years. Brennen your body needs more time to heal”
Ok.
—–
Wait,
or could it just be my body?

Advancing the GI frontier for patients with CF

The care of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has seen amazing advances in the past few years, made in part through the development of CFTR modulators. However, the recognition of the frequency of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in our patients is just beginning to emerge. Only recently have publications noted the excessively high frequency of GI issues. Continue reading Advancing the GI frontier for patients with CF

Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 176: Importance of Nutrition for CF Patients

In this podcast, we meet Molly Bigford, a Registered Dietitian for the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Care Team in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born and raised in Michigan, Molly began working with hospitalized adult patients with cystic Continue reading Cystic Fibrosis Podcast 176: Importance of Nutrition for CF Patients

Green Smoothie Recipe – Healthy and Caloric!

By Ella Balasa

Rise and shine to start another day! Like most of us, I have limited time in my morning routine, AND I tend to slack on getting my greens for the day. Occasionally, I will eat a salad with my lunch or dinner, but that isn’t enough. The saying also goes… an apple a day keeps the doctor away…That’s definitely something we as CF patients want! Continue reading Green Smoothie Recipe – Healthy and Caloric!

Cystic Fibrosis Step by Step: Building a Treatment Routine

In this video, Gunnar stresses the importance of building a routine in order to stay compliant with his treatments and remain healthy. He also reminds listeners to keep an open dialogue with their doctors and support teams at CF Clinics. Continue reading Cystic Fibrosis Step by Step: Building a Treatment Routine

OWN IT: Cystic Fibrosis Survival Rates in the United States vs. Canada

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that “the median age of survival [is] 10 years higher [for CF patients] in Canada than the United States.”

If you’re wrapped up in the world of cystic fibrosis news like I am then you’ve probably seen this study floating around the Internet for the Continue reading OWN IT: Cystic Fibrosis Survival Rates in the United States vs. Canada

‘Stunning’ gap: Canadians with cystic fibrosis outlive Americans by a decade

‘Stunning’ gap: Canadians with cystic fibrosis outlive Americans by a decade

Continue reading ‘Stunning’ gap: Canadians with cystic fibrosis outlive Americans by a decade

Perseverance, Resiliency and Erin Andrews

This morning I came across a story on MMQB about unbelievable year Erin Andrews is having.

As many may know, Erin Andrews, NFL on Fox’s lead sideline reporter, had been dealing with a crazed stalker in court. I cannot even imagine the stress that must Continue reading Perseverance, Resiliency and Erin Andrews

Making it Matter Podcast – CF Nutrition

Making it Matter Podcast Ep. 10 – CF Nutrition

Nutrition is something I love to talk about (well…. ever since I got my feeding tube placed in 2011). It is a vital part of CF care, something that Julia and I approach differently. While my pancreas doesn’t seem to work, Julia knows she is Continue reading Making it Matter Podcast – CF Nutrition

My Gluten Free Experiment Results

By Amy Braid

As I mentioned last month, I read Wheat Belly by William Davis MD and decided to go gluten free for 30 days.  Well my 30 days is up…

I felt no significant difference eating gluten vs not eating gluten.  I did eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and yogurt which I loved.  And I was hungry a lot more too.  But I was eating lots more quantity.  The first week or two I did feel less bloated after eating, and my wrist problems seemed to be diminishing.  But I can’t say that for certain since I was not using it as much as I normally do either.  By the time I hit the two week mark I felt exactly how I did before I started.

One thing that did change significantly…my fasting blood sugars.  They were all in the normal range for those 30 days.  But my post exercise blood sugars were awful.  I crashed every single day I exercised, and that was 4-5 days a week.  Not good.

I only cheated once.  Hand to God I swear.  It was the last week.  We were going to my mother in laws for dinner, and since I make fresh bread a lot this time of year and , I made some the night before.  I had to try a bite when it was finished!  Just a small bite, and I didn’t have any at dinner the next day.  And to be honest I didn’t feel anything negative side effects from sneaking a piece.

So for me I don’t think gluten has any noticeable impact on me.  I was a little disappointed, I won’t lie.  I did hope my lungs would feel better and my wrist would feel amazing and I would not bloat like a balloon with meals.  The first 10 days or so I was excited that I might get there.  But in the end, nothing.  So it is back to gluten for me.  But modified, I will eat less, avoid all the snacks and processed foods (for the most part) and try to maintain the healthy fruits and veggies I was eating for that month.

All in all I don’t think this experiment was a total bust.  It was a learning experience and I tried some new foods I didn’t think I would like, and ended up loving them.  So win win for me!