My friend SlugMom walks. I've always sort of envied people who exercise everyday and enjoy it. Not just because they enjoy it, but because they can.
I've had a minor disability for most of my adult life that causes me moderate to severe pain when I walk. I've had 13 surgeries to try to correct the issue, and I'm not in any hurry to jump back under the knife again to make it "better" when all the previous attempts have just made it worse. I even had one doctor tell me I had a finite number of "steps" left in each leg. So I have contented myself with doing whatever I could whenever I could and rejoicing in that ability. But part of me has always wanted more.
My disability has waned in these last few months. I've been getting around the house without my cane for the first time in at least 10 years. I've been off the triple-punch meds (NSAID/SSRI/pain med) since December, only taking the pain med when it gets bad.
We cleaned out the garage last week. We gathered up all the moving trash to put in one area for junk pickup. Hubby decided he wanted to junk his recliner because it's broken and getting dangerous to sit on - it tends to fall to pieces when reclined! So we moved that down to the junk pile as well. With the reorganized living room, we decided to bring up the treadmill.
That single action might have saved me from a heart attack.
We've had the treadmill in the garage for a very long time, but I haven't used it. But up here in the air conditioned house right there in front of the TV, it's too convenient to not use! I've walked every day but one in the past week for at least 30 minutes each time. Friday's walk was fast and a good portion was uphill and boy, did my lungs burn!
But, after walking for 30 minutes, I fall asleep for almost an hour. I did some research and discovered that means my heart is not in good shape. Dangerously so. I haven't had a single symptom that there were problems. I have a good resting heart rate, great BP, low cholesterol, all the "numbers" are good. That really lit a match under me.
Of course, knowing that tends to strike fear in my heart, and I certainly don't need that. Because, predictably, last night my legs rebelled against walking. I didn't start hurting until the last three steps, and quit immediately, but within 30 minutes of being done I was in such pain it took two pain pills to get me where I could sit still and relax and not writhe in pain and cry. And the crying was only 75% from the pain, the other 25% was the fear "What if that's it? What if I can't walk anymore? What if I can't exercise anymore and my heart gives out and I die and leave all these little sweeties without a Mom?"
I hate fear.
And I'm NOT going there again. I'm not going to get all hyper-spiritual here, but I believe that God has a purpose for my life and won't call me home until His purpose for me is fulfilled. If my job here is done (even if I think it's not) He will call me home and it will be fine. If He wants me to stay, I'll stay and it will be fine. Either way, I'm going to trust His plan for me and my family and not worry about what I can or cannot do to save my own life. Sure, I'll eat right and exercise when I can, and do what I know to do to take care of this body, but no more fear.