Back from the brink

I’m so happy! Running rocks! Today I made up my mind I was going to the track instead of the gym, mainly because the weather is gorgeous here in Western PA. Crystal clear sky…50 this morning…just a little foggy…but that lifted quickly.

I was able to run to the track, partway. I noticed a had run a good .25 mile with no lung attack whatsoever, but I was going downhill, with gravity on my side. Still, I kept wondering why I wasn’t breathless or feeling like I had to stop.

At the track I immediately started off with a run. Today I brought water with me just in case. I couldn’t have gone without it but I’m scared at this point to go without it. I left my water bottle by the fence outside the track. Yes, it’s safe there. I love being the only one on the track. It really isn’t used that much considering what a fantastic resource it is.

I was able to run an entire lap, which comes to .25 of a mile. That is certainly progress over the .06 mile limit I had yesterday. I didn’t notice any lung or heart issues. I did not stop but went from a run to a brisk walk.

Now when I say run, it is really a very slow run, because right now I don’t want to push it. Just a little…not a lot.

I walked a half lap, then, I ran a lap and a half. That’s .375 of a mile. Again…progress. I noticed no lung issues either while running or while slowing to a brisk walk. I kept at it, running a full lap, then, walking a lap or half a lap. I’m not sure what my total was on the track…likely 2 miles but I didn’t count.

Then, I ran/walked home. I had to go up a steep hill. Two days ago I could not do this and had to stop on the hill several times to catch my breath. Yes, it was concerning because that’s not normal for me, first of all, and secondly, it’s not a very good sign health-wise. Today, though, I had no issues. None!

This is what I think happened. I think I ended up with edema in my lungs due to inactivity. I also think my heart wasn’t working right. I say this because while I was on the treadmill yesterday (I used to accurate one!) I noticed I couldn’t get my heart rate up very fast. It seemed to get stuck in the 90s and struggled to go fast enough as per my running speed, and that was exactly when the trouble started and I ended up gasping. So I think basically I needed to train my heart to do what hearts are supposed to do. As of today, I think I’m in the clear.

Yes, this kind of thing really makes you think about your own mortality. I told myself my life is in my hands and I can overcome this challenge…and it’s not even that hard because somehow, I have had an attitude flip.

This is what happens when you leave psychiatry, but it doesn’t happen right away. First there’s the grieving and anger part you have to get through, although I must say some people go through this worse than others. The thing is to get through it. I respect any and all methods for doing this! I think some people go through it earlier, while they are still in the System, and others go through it after they leave. Maybe it depends on circumstances. I am not sure.

I feel like I have some wonderful things in store for me. I keep saying that, and this keeps me going no matter what. While I was in psychiatry I didn’t have this ability, this future-orientation I now have, because psych kept telling me I was incapable, stupid, and lacked insight.

The very thought that I might not make it to 65 didn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to die in a few months or even in a year of something that I can actually prevent or stop.

I’m so proud of myself. I got very aggressive with the herbs that I use as diuretics, knowing that I needed to reduce the fluid level in my body. I started getting more mindful of how much water to drink and made sure to have it handy and not wait to get hydrated. Right now I am not too worried about protein but usually I am. I actually increased how much protein I was taking in. This was kinda instinctive, I must admit. I also ate a lot of berries (blueberries, strawberries, black raspberries, etc.). Since while I had my fracture and got my BP taken at the dr office and at the ER, I noticed I was using my BP meter wrong and my BP was actually high. I did not admit this to the docs but told them instead that “this isn’t normal for me. Likely it’s due to the level of pain I’m in.” Yeah, bullshit, but I didn’t want them thinking I had yet one more disease.

I have been taking herbs to lower my blood pressure, which also have been amazing to help me sleep. I have been making an herbal cocktail (sorry!) and drinking it as a smoothie periodically during the day. I have noticed that the smoothie is so helpful to help me sleep that I am going to keep it up.

I am now completely off pharma sleep aids. I can’t believe it! I did not “taper” as that wasn’t working for me. Rather, I concentrated on blood pressure and have managed to lower it, which in turn has improved my sleep dramatically.

I don’t think it takes much effort to become resilient. I think it happens naturally. I have seen it in others and I didn’t believe it was possible until it happened to me, too.

If you are struggling, know that you have something amazing ahead of you. I don’t want to promise something unattainable, which is likely what it seems like right now. It seemed that way for me, too. But I was wrong.

Feedback and comments welcome!