When Walking is Just Too Much
When you fail your walk test by passing out colder than a wedge on the concrete floor in the hospital hallway after a mere minute and a half of brisk-paced walking, it will rattle you a little bit.
I told Brad that morning, "I really don't feel like walking," but that probably had more to do with the fact that it was early and I was awake than anything else. Though I'm normally pretty competitive with how much distance I'm able to cover within the six minute walk test and always try to beat my previous record to feel good about my disease's progression (or hopeful lack thereof), when I started the walk test last Monday (July 2nd), I knew better than to walk as fast as my little legs could carry me. I tempered my pace a hair, but it was certainly faster than I move to do my normal activities.
I rounded the cone at the end of the hallway for the second time, and I knew at that point I couldn't sustain my quick pace and needed to slow it down a bit. The nurse called down from the other end of the hall where she was monitoring my oxygen and heart rate with an iPad that was synced with the pulse oxymeter dangling from my finger, "Are you doing okay? Your heart rate's really jumping up there." Hmmmm. There was a scientific reason for the fact that I didn't feel well at that point.
"Yeah. I'm good," I huffed back as I slowed my pace. I made it several more steps, rapidly feeling less "good."
She called out again, "Are you sure? Your heart rate's really spiking."
"Yeah," I took a couple more steps and then embarrassingly decided I needed to do something I'd never done during a walk test before. "Actually, I'm going to sit for a minute," I replied as I perched myself on the ledge that was cut out of the brick wall.
I don't remember anything else, not even ringing in my ears, blurred vision, numb hands, or any of my other near syncope typical give aways.
I was awoken from what felt to me like a deep sleep, dream and all, to someone shaking me and speaking loudly to me over and over again. I don't remember what she was saying, but I was so confused.
"Where am I?"
The nurse explained that I had passed out during my walk test at KUMC. The fog lifted, and I remembered not feeling well and perching on the ledge.
I'm sure my next thought was, "Dr. Williamson is not going to be happy about this," and we were scheduled to see him next.
An entourage of medical personnel showed up as standard procedure to check my vitals, blood sugar, and see if I needed further examination. Aside from a head that felt like it'd been met with a sledge hammer, I felt pretty good. My legs were still oddly stacked underneath me where I'd gone down, and I later discovered some tender bruises on either sides of my knees, but it turns out passing out on cement is a lot better than passing out on a treadmill. Lol.
Dr. Williamson increased my IV meds, and since there were no openings for an echo that afternoon decided he'd be okay with checking that during the follow-up that he pushed up to a three-month appointment instead of the six month checkup I had gotten away with before.
Meanwhile, this was the push I had needed to finally get serious about losing my baby weight. I can't control the narrowing of the blood vessels in my lungs or my heart's response to working harder to compensate for that, but I CAN choose to maintain a healthy weight and do what mild or moderate exercise my body can handle. I was 24 pounds heavier than before I became pregnant with Jameson, and when I weighed Jameson last week, he's hitting the scales at 24.2 pounds. The realization that my weight gain is the equivalent of my body carrying around a Jameson 24/7, 365 convinced me that I could walk a lot easier without all that extra fluff. I can attest to how tired my arms and back get carrying around our little sweetheart and how much it causes me to slow my pace.
That was it. The motivation I needed. Our first day back from our trip, July 4th (a terrible day to start a diet), I started a diet. This is day six without so much as a sip of the sweet, sugary goodness of Coke. I quit cold turkey (and popped Tylenol like clockwork to avoid the caffeine headache that I was sure was to follow since we had a wedding to shoot Saturday). It totally worked by the way - no headache at all. From four Cokes a day to zip, just like that. When My Fitness Pal suggests intaking 1,200 calories a day to lose a couple pounds a week (at my age and body weight) and you realize you're drinking 520 of those, something's got to give. Lol.
I'm back to saying no to snacks while we wind down with our evening shows. I've watched my portions and avoided desserts (except for a few Starbursts and a chocolate parfait I couldn't pass up at the wedding), and hey, five days in I've lost 2.4 pounds of what I'm positive is pure water weight. I don't care. It's the motivation I need to proceed on this 25 pound weight loss endeavor. Insert inspirational quote here, such as "Every journey begins with a single footstep."
I haven't drank Coke for nearly a week. Brad is still alive. Jameson is still asleep and it's past 9:30 this morning. Life is good.