Back to the beginning

“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down!” — Tubthumping, Chumbawamba (1997) (My British readers are going to chuckle at my musical selection, and I do know that a Tubthumper is slang for a politician. But the song is very upbeat, and I love that verse! It says to me that no matter what, you keep fighting back!)

Some good news, my hernia is better. It is not fixed, of course, but things are better. It’s co-operating, or I am learning to live with it. Or perhaps a little of both.

But this thing has had me in its grip for months… December was the last time I walked with any regularity. My weight is creeping up and my stamina is gone. As I mentioned, a friend’s father is in the hospital recovering from a car accident; I went to see him last Friday. There is construction at the hospital, so you have to enter the Children’s Hospital and walk over to the main building. And by the time I got to his room, I was worn out.

I’m pretty much a wreck right now. The Funky Heart is planning to travel in late May, and if the trip was this week, I couldn’t do it. And this adventure is pretty important to me; I plan to see a couple of friends, meet some new ones, see a part of the country I’ve never visited before and (most importantly) help spread the word about Heart Defect Survivors. So as we say in the South, I’m chompin’ the bit to go!

When you are out of shape, you have to exercise. Everyone knows that. But when you have a bum heart, it is much more important. I want to get those few extra pounds off, because it causes my heart to work harder, and wears it down faster. And you want your body to be as healthy as possible, just in case you have to fight off a major illness. You have to have the physical reserves to do that, and CHDer’s are starting from a disadvantage.

So send your Cardiac Kid out to play. A lot of us spent our childhood curled up on the couch with a good book – great for school, but we’re awkward and clumsy as a result. So get outside. Toss a ball, play HORSE. It’ll also help develop social skills when they  hang out with the neighborhood children.

As for me, I’ve gone all the way back to the beginning with my walking program. After I recovered from my stroke in 2002, my Cardiologist told me to start walking. Fifteen minutes a day, just around my driveway. That’s all. But I was so out of shape that I couldn’t do it.

And I couldn’t do it yesterday. Nor could I do it today, but I got a few more steps in before I was too tired to continue. But  I’ll keep going. Every day, just a little bit further… and further… and come May, I’ll be ready.


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2 Responses to “Back to the beginning”

  1. carolyn compton Says:

    Clarence is lucky, then that he has his twin boof head brother Fergus to chase around. Clarence is a stubborn kid who doesn’t slow down…sometimes he looks like he’s going to blow a poofoo valve! he goes purple when he is normally a nice colour of pinky-white when he’s sleeping/stationary. then he sometimes gives up and sits in the sandpit doing gross things like putting sand in his ears.

  2. Amanda (Liam's Mom) Says:

    Thank you for taking a negative experience and putting a positive spin and some good advice on it. I’ve always known that family fitness needs to be an initiative with us and Liam’s health. He’s actually been hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park several times (when you’re in our state, if you and friends have time there are some very doable hikes we’d love to catch up with you in the national park).

    I wanted to share this story with you because I thought it might give you a smile. The other day, Liam was running from the W wall in my bedroom through my room across the hall to the E wall his bedroom and back, over and over and over again. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Mommy, I’m running, like in PE.” I told him, “OK, that’s cool,” and he offered up, “Yeah, I can’t keep up with my friends, but my teacher tells me it’s good for my heart, exercise is good for me, so I’m going to keep trying.” Liam’s PE teacher (who I’ve never met but have written to) knows all about his half-heart, but she also understands what you’ve explained so well in your post.

    I’m so proud of his teacher, his school, and most of all of Liam for “keep trying” and knowing it’s good for him. I recently lost 35 pounds because as an otherwise healthy person, it was really WRONG of me to take my health for granted when Liam had to fight just to survive. In honor of all CHD survivors the rest of us ought to take better care of our own hearts and bodies.

    I just love reading your posts!


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