It's been 1.5 weeks since my last post, and I missed being here with you. As before, I am still under injunction not to run - I am still waiting to find out how my heart is doing. So once again, this isn't really a running post.
About two weeks ago, I learned that my father has a congenital heart defect, and that I am at significant risk of this serious heart disease. My doctor ordered urgent tests and told me to "stop exercising". So two weeks into my return to C25K, I had to stop.
I was really distressed, and finding it terribly hard to cope with my anxiety, especially when I was not allowed to exercise. Terrified as I was, I took this injunction quite seriously. I even avoided semi-exercise activities, like singing, which I normally do a few hours a week (I have a concert opening this weekend). But it really bothered me. Up to that point, I was accustomed to exercising at least 20 minutes or more 6 days a week.
So I asked for, and received, permission to sing from my family doctor. I was eventually told my medical technician, who works with the cardiologist I am waiting to see, that a gentle walk or stretching or other light exercise is allowed. Thank goodness!!! Of course, I understand that running is ill-advised, or other vigorous exercise, while we ensure I am not about the have my aorta burst open. That just seems prudent.
It is so very nice to be able to walk a few minutes in the park and sit on the swings. And stretch a bit so I don't get all stiff and sore. Yesterday, when I was feeling really stressed and cranky, seeing a few trees made a difference for me.
But as I feared, the habit of daily exercise which was so difficult to cultivate (and took months of hard work) is already falling apart. This morning, after only a couple of weeks of mostly not exercising, I had to really *force* myself to do even some short, light movement. I didn't feel like it. I would rather sit on my couch again, where I can practically see the buds protuding from my couch-potato bum. I'll just sit there, curled up in a blanket and using my computer or watching TV. The good news is this: I did it anyways. Tomorrow I will move just a little again. And the next day.
Meanwhile, I am getting used to the idea of not knowing if I have a life-threatening disease. It's incredible what we humans can adapt to, isn't it? I think about it a lot still, but am at least able to think of other things as well. And no longer plagued by nightmares of collapsing alone in the shower. I still have a lot of symptoms of stress - tiredness, loss of focus, easily upset, tense muscles - but it is downgraded a few degrees to "situation livable" if not "normal".
I may actually get to run the day after tomorrow. That is my scheduled "stress test", although the med tech surprised me by saying I would be walking, not running. Probably. I guess we'll see if fast walking is enough to trigger my symptoms again, or if I need to be running. (I also have a battery of other tests underway.)
After that, I may have more information and a diagnosis. Or maybe I will be declared "fine" and allowed to return to exercising normally. That would sure be nice. We'll see. Otherwise, my couch-potato bum may actually start sprouting baby spuds.