SARP Follow-up

Wow, has it been an entire year already? I guess so, because I just completed my one year follow-up interview for SARP.

This time it was just a phone interview. One of the researchers called me last weekend and asked me a bunch of follow-up questions. Most of the questions had to do with whether my asthma was getting better, was the same , or was getting worse. What kind of medications I was taking and how often, the frequency of my symptoms, and questions about whether or not I had seen a doctor, been hospitalized, or intubated. Based on the data they collected during my initial evaluation, I’m sure the researchers found my responses predictable. Since doing SARP my asthma has gotten worse. Two intubations in one year is definitely not good.

One thing that makes SARP different from most other asthma studies, is that they continue to follow their study subjects basically forever, or until the programs end. After the initial SARP study, they do telephone and mail follow-ups every 6 months. Additionally, there’s an in-person visit that you’re supposed to do after the first year, so that they can recheck your PFTs and do some other tests. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to fly all the way to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for a 2 hour follow-up research visit, so what I might do, is combine the SARP follow-up visit with something else that might coax me out to that part of the country.

Ah and wouldn’t you know it, every year in May the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center sponsors the Pittsburgh Marathon, conveniently located near the SARP center. Depending on how I’m feeling, I might just sign up to do the half marathon and while I’m town, do the SARP follow up as well. Combine a little business with a workout if you will. Ive read some good reviews about this race , so this gives me double the reasons to do it. Yeah, this is sounding like something that might just work out.

Anyways, I’d really be interested to hear about other peoples experience with SARP at the University of Pennsylvania, and/or the Pittsburgh Marathon. Hmmm… maybe I can get some of the SARP staff to do the race with me.

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6 Comments

  1. kerri says:

    Hmm . . . maybe I should join your Pittsburgh adventure in May. Half marathon AND SARP, eh? ;-) Hehe.

  2. MC says:

    Hmm….. this is sounding interesting… :) I'd be up for joining you guys, except it'll take a lot of convincing my mom that I can do a 1/2 marathon. The 5K last month, though I don't regret doing it, (and am hooked) set my lungs off for a not so lovely (and long) flare and bronchitis (lesson learned: don't exercise when you're getting over a sinus infection, even if your doc said you could if you were feeling better). ;)

  3. HeatherK says:

    @MC, my doc says it takes about a month for your lungs to truly go back to normal after an infection or exacerbation. Now that I'm monitoring my PF, I can see where my lungs were still healing and now it's much more flat line green in comparison. You might want to look for a Galloway training program – we have quite a few asthmatics and some of us do run/walk and some of us just walk when we need to. Jeff Galloway emphasizes fitness without injury, inside and out. Good luck!

    • I actually do something like Galloway, though it doesnt involve any running. My lung function is so low now that I cant run at all, not even jog. In order for me to cover long distances I have to pace myself constantly and never exceed a certain speed. Good luck on your training!

  4. HeatherK says:

    Half marathon is this Sunday! :D I'll be walking it.

    I think you are not the only asthmatic with that problem though. My best friend has to maintain a constant speed, walking or biking or her lungs lock up. I think the beauty of this site is that you've demonstrated that you can do it, as long as you do it smart. I hope you get out of the yellow zone soon.

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