Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I got some ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops. They come in a blue bottle. I usually get them from VitaCost because they are not cheap. However, when I get charlie horses AND crazy cravings, I am in a hurry to make them go away so I'll get them from a health food store and pay a lot more for them. (I used to buy them regularly. I'd stopped and wished I hadn't!) In addition to having charlie horses, I've also been having weird spasms from elbows to fingers and from hip to knee.
Anyway, these minerals don't taste spectacular by themselves. When my husband takes a dose, he mixes it with fruit juice and drinks it down as fast as he can. I mix it with a couple ounces of black coffee and 20 ounces of cold water and it tastes like a Japanese tea I used to get when I worked at a restaurant in Washington. I love it, but my husband thinks I'm nutso. I drank some yesterday afternoon and some this morning before going to the gym.
I got on the treadmill and I had a little extra determination to undo my peanut butter binge (probably five tablespoons). I also remembered how well I had done on the elliptical 2 days before. I feel like my body made much more obvious visual changes the first month, because I went down a pants size almost immediately. Now nothing seems to be changing in my shape, but my endurance really seems to be improving. A LOT. So I was giving myself this pep talk as I was warming up, from speed 2.0 up to 3.5 up to 4.0, which is where I usually stop and race walk, so I can read my Mental Floss Magazine, or whatever I've brought with me.
Today I kept pushing the "speed" button. I had to jog to keep up. My right ankle, which I did something bad to in January (I didn't have it x-rayed) started to hurt almost immediately so I slowed down to 4.4. I jogged there a little while, slowed down to 4, raced walked a while, slowed down to 3.7, took it back up to 4.7, slowed down, took it back up, and did that interval walk/jog for 50 minutes (including warm up and cool down).
This is a BIG DEAL. I am not a normal girl. I am the girl who was in "special ed" gym during public school for physical problems. I was literally in a class with people who were pregnant or had leukemia or had such severe thyroid disease that their hearts were affected. Why was I there? Because I was volatile. I was having too many grand mals, too many episodes of unexplained runaway tachycardia, too many unexplained asthma attacks. No one knew what triggered me at that time or how to keep me out of the hospital, so I stuffed envelopes for the school administrative office while other kids were playing basket ball. No kidding. The last time I ran around a track was in 6th grade. Until recently, I was pretty thin, so no one knew how unhealthy I was. In this culture, we judge health according to weight!
Two years ago I took a couple of college classes that were about staying fit throughout life; one of them really motivated me because it showed major improvements in the mental and physical health of people even in nursing homes. They tried a wide variety of exercise options, including balance, weights and mild cardio. They measured muscle mass and were astounded at the improvement. They were likewise astounded at the improvement in lung function.
I had come to that class feeling very bad about myself. I had suffered unrelenting tachycardia and terrible angina with no definitive cause (one clinic said this; another said that...) and the only thing that was clear was that my lung function had a definite relationship to my heart health. (Now, after studing anatomy, I understand why, even though none of the doctors or nurses were able to explain it to me, strangely enough!) I felt old. I felt worthless. I didn't have a college degree and had lost a good job and a good house when I moved west. What was an old unhealthy person like me going to do to start over?
And then I took that class and the wheels started to turn. So I started to take anatomy courses and I started working on my own health again, which had been on a downward spiral. And I walked around my first track a year later with a class at the college. I was one of the slowest ones, but I did it.
I got a "clean" stress test. I watched the sonographer, who showed me that several things that had repeatedly been printing out on my EKGs for 30 years (and which I had been accepting as truth) were flat out WRONG. An EKG makes interpretations based on electrical activity and it can be thrown off by conditions like poor oxygen exchange and a rapid pulse with resulting poor ventrical fill. So I DON'T have a regurgitating pulminary valve and I DON'T have an enlarged right atrium. My pulmonary valve is snapping open and shut like jumpy little frog legs, thank you very much. And my atrium is perfectly proportioned as it should be. I got on the treadmill and we took me up to 188 bpm before I started having a series of PVCs, at which we stopped me, because that's the rhythm that leads me into trouble. But otherwise, I was fine.
So I was cleared to exercise, so long as I kept my inhalant with me and my heart rate down. Since I start at a higher heart rate than most people, I have to monitor myself very closely, and adjust constantly. I may never run any kind of marathon with the goal of finishing in the top 50%, because I will have to adjust my speed up and down to adjust my heart rate. But I may run one just to run it. For the pride of having done so.
After jogging a very little, I'm feeling very, very fine. Like the Dr. Seuss book says, I'm in pretty good shape for the shape that I'm in.