Improving fitness levels- any advice w... - British Liver Trust

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Improving fitness levels- any advice welcome

Carterc1
Carterc1
25 Replies

After spending 2 weeks in hospital and going through transplant assessment I managed to fail the final test which was the bike test. Basically legs have become weak sitting in hospital and full of fluid.

I’ve been given 4 weeks to turn this around which I will do everything I can but with my legs like they are was wondering if anyone else had this problem or suggestions to improve. Apparently on paper all my other tests are absolutely fine.

Frustrating thing for me is I used to do 5 miles a day on my exercise bike until January.

Thanks

25 Replies
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chugalong

Hi, I was pointed towards climbing stairs also to help breathing. At first could only do four with out stopping and before transplant could manage many more before I would stop and that was just in a few weeks but every day no matter how bad I felt. Also walked as much as I could with many stops and at times ring someone to pick me up. Wish you all the best.

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Fastkat

I can sympathise as I failed 4 times! I’m still trying and need to raise my anaerobic threshold but muscle wastage in legs doesn’t help.

You need to up your protein and carb input and train harder. I did improve my AT but a hospital stay meant I lost it again.

Only walking about 300 metres at moment due to muscle fatigue not breathing problems

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Hidden
Hidden

Hi. Start with walking daily and increase the distance when you feel ready. Add light handweights too the extra weight will make your legs work harder. Yoga classes are great for strengthening and flexibility and even swimming works as your leg movements resist the water. When you are at home wear ankle weights, you will really feel it working going up and down stairs !

Good luck

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Kristian

Hi Craig, walking is a really good idea to start and when you can do the steps. Repetition is going to be the key as you are unlikely to be able to do a large number of stairs all at once. I suspect getting up 1 flight of stairs is going to be difficult. I know it was for me. I can though categorically state it is really good for cardio exercise. See what you can do and just keep repeating it, gradually extending it over time.

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Carterc1

Thanks for all your responses there is great advice as usual and it’s really appreciated. I will also build up on my exercise bike again! I’m always fine with stairs at home but if I had a few flights of stairs I would struggle.

If only they would discharge me now so that I can really work hard at it as I’m determined to pass the test.

Craig

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mncold
mncold
in reply to Carterc1

Hi Carterc1,

I don't know how long you will be in the hospital or what their rules are, but even walking up and down the hall near your room, if allowed, would be a start. Even standing in your room and walking in place with something to hold on to , to prevent a possible fall, might be that small step to gaining strength. My husband has issues with fluid in his legs and I suggest that while he sits he might put his legs up - even on a little stool we have under the table [we sit here a lot on the 'puter]. I do that since I have some issues with fluid too and it helps as does, for me, rocking my foot at the ankle. The rocking seems to help a bit at least getting the fluid moving. Any way, for myself, I try to bounce on my feet when I'm standing - making a cup of tea or getting supper.

Best wishes on you getting up to strength.

Mary

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to mncold

Hi Mary,

Luckily they discharged me late last night so I can start making progress from today! Great advice about walking the hall near the hospital room I did this quite a lot in the last couple of days and it does help although a little boring after a while. I also use a footstool at home which helps but find if I use it for too long I can get leg cramps.

Hope you and your husband are doing well

Craig

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Hidden
Hidden

Could you say that to them.... that you want to start working on it immediately and if it would be possible to use any gym equipment they may have at the hospital ?

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to Hidden

Hi Laura,

I was discharged late last night so luckily I can start from today. The physio came to see me in Leeds but just said that she was happy with me as she had seen me walking up and down the corridors.

Craig

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Carterc1

Great news. Can tell by your enthusiasm you will keep it up.... all the best 💪👍

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to Hidden

I will certainly do my best! Just need to find ways to sleep now too! Thanks.

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Carterc1

Ha ha when you find out let me know !

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to Hidden

Will do 😴

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O13B

Hi I had physio at home and brought some light weights. I could only do 4 stairs (can do 12 now.) walking has been my best friend! I started with a Zimmer, then a walker, then 2 hiking poles, now I can walk unaided. You have to make yourself do little and often then build up as your tolerance improves. It’s hard work to begin with but you have an amazing goal to keep you motivated! Good luck.

Keep up your high protein and carbs diet and minimise your salt (to help shift that fluid!! Are you on spironolactone? If not ask your doctor.

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to O13B

Hi o13b,

Sounds like you have done great from where you started! Well done.

I’m on different protein supplements from the hospital and make sure I eat plenty of chicken, fish etc too, the hardest part is fitting in all the food as I’ve beeb asked to double my normal calorie intake.

I was on water tablets but they took me off them due to sodium levels being extremely low and bad cramps. They are reviewing this again to maybe take a low dose from next week which will help.

Craig

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O13B
O13B
in reply to Carterc1

I know it’s hard but little and often and never forget the pre bed snack (l have the new high protein riveta with butter, lovely) don’t worry too much, I ate by the clock as I didn’t ever get hungry ! Good luck x

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to O13B

I think eating by the clock is the best way. I struggle abit with the late night snack and can’t have a lot of things that are suggested as I’m dairy intolerant so I’m on a protein juice drink. The ryvita sound worth a try rhough but without butter! Thanks!

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O13B
O13B
in reply to Carterc1

Do flora do a high calorie version, what type of milk do you drink ? Good luck x

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to O13B

I’m not sure if I’m honest, I have soya milk on my cereal but drink my coffee black x

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O13B
O13B
in reply to Carterc1

You could try honey or jam or avacardo on the riveta , you just need to try different toppings till you find one that’s easy to eat x

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vulnerable

Did you have your assessment at Kings - what does it entail?

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to vulnerable

Hi vulnerable,

I had part of my assessment in York and part in Leeds. I believe the assessment can vary slightly by person and by hospital but the things I had were, chest x Ray, ecg, Mri scan, respiratory test and bike test and lots of blood tests. All very quick procedures but the thing which took the most time was waiting for the various consultants to see you, surgeon, anethetist, liver specialist nurse, dietician and social worker.

Hope this helps

Craig

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vulnerable
vulnerable
in reply to Carterc1

Yes Craig Thankyou. I’m for Kings next week. Are you on the List?

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vulnerable

Sorry Carterc1 re-read your post. Yes I’ve been in hospital with fluid build up which I had forced diuretics to relieve this helped tremendously. I couldn’t lift my legs they were so heavy ! But I do walk and even when I’m in hospital I walk 3miles around the corridors lol. I use the STEPZ app on my phone to measure steps distance etc.

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Carterc1
Carterc1
in reply to vulnerable

I was on diuretics and they definitely helped my legs but not my abdomen but then I ended up in hospital for a week as the diuretics made my sodium levels dangerously low and was getting really bad cramps and muscle spasms. I’ve started my exercise program but my breathing is all over the place due to the fluid on my lungs.

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