Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Can Run!

So I will!

I was told I couldn't run.
I was told I was a good candidate for heart surgery.
Unrelated to my heart, there was a period of time where I couldn't walk.
I couldn't get up from the lying position.
I even had a catheter.
Never in my life would I have thought that I would be a runner, and even more- LOVE it!

I'll come back to what happened with my spine in another post, for now lets talk about the main issue I had been dealing with my entire life- my heart.

Up until 2011, I had problems with sinus tachycardia. My heart rate was consistently between 95-110 bmp, but was even recorded at 180 bpm resting rate. Basically my heart rate would instantly go fast with no given warning. The worst part? I felt like I was dying, which led me to have panic attacks. Sadly, this condition was unknown until after secondary school and I had a few attacks that left me in the  hallway crying, sweating, hands cold and curled up on my chest. Hyperventilation even made me pass out a couple times where the EMS was called, but by the time paramedics came, my heart would be back to normal, and the whole ordeal was diagnosed as a panic attack.

It didn't stop at these random attacks. I'm pretty sure my PE teachers thought I was one of those kid slackers. Skinny kid who clocked in last on the track, and asked for too many breaks/rests. I really wanted to be athletic. I enjoyed how it felt after a good sweat. I was on a soccer team, I tried my best. PE? I flunked it in middle school. Made up mandatory credits from being in marching band, thankfully that was something I could physically do.

First time I went backcountry hiking was when I was 19. It was just a small island in northern Michigan  But I feel in love. I love nature, and camping. It was a workout that I could handle and really enjoy the serenity of nature and great views.

Then I went to the Smokey Mountains.  I had gone with a friend of mine thinking things would go just as they had on that island I had hiked. Let me tell you, that climb- was not forgiving! My friend  had taken the slowest hike of her life. She would hike then stop and wait for me to catch up. I felt like I was dying, but I didnt want to give up because I truly was loving the wilderness and views! (dont ask about the bears- I am terrified of bears!)

I must just be out of shape.

 So what do I do? I purchased a gym membership, that included a session with a personal trainer. When I told him that I couldn't run he put me up to the test.

I failed that test. My heart rate was too high.

I would go to the gym and work out, doing things my heart would allow. But I couldn't help but look over at those treadmills and see various sizes and shapes running for much longer then I ever could.

My desires to be fit seemed to be shot down.  That was the point where I decided to see a cardiologist.

I was put on a heart monitor for a month at which they clocked me in at 180 bpm. I went on various tests and was sent to a heart specialist at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. They had discussed going in my artery with a wire and taking it to my heart and giving it some electrical shocks that would 'diminish some of the electricity' that was making my heart jump start to the horse race.

Well, I dont think I'm going to die in the next 10 years, how about we wait a bit and see how medical advances are then and go from there. Yep, that is what I told them. Thank goodness I did!

It was 7 years later I would become a mom, and my life would change in more ways then imaginable.

What does motherhood have to do with my heart? Keep reading!

My daughter was not the typical sleep-all-day newborn. She was diagnosed with 'colic' and 'eczema' and 'acid reflux'.  She cried inconsolably for eight hours at a time, the poor girl was hardly getting any sleep. This mom wouldn't stop until I got the right answer. I knew she was in pain and that I had to keep trying to figure it out.

My very amazing doula had mentioned to try the Dr. Sears total elimination diet. My daughter was exclusively breastfed and any proteins I ate went to my breast milk  The diet started out with just a few least-likely allergen foods and after two weeks added one food at a time, waiting three days for reactions. It was a tedious and both mentally and physically challenging diet to say the least. But sure enough, in two weeks my daughter was gradually getting better. Eventually I remember sitting there crying watching her coo and smile, I was so happy that diet was the answer. A mom wants nothing more then to see their child happy and healthy!

During this time I started noticing changes with myself. I felt more energy for one. My heart felt MUCH slower. I was so concerned I had asked my doctor if 70 bmp was normal.  He chuckled and said it was perfect, an athletes rate. Athletes you say? Which got me thinking...

I took the stroller out that evening for our walk. But I decided to do more then that- OH MY! I'm running and my heart was not pounding out of my chest, I didn't feel sick, I could breath. The only beat I could feel was my feet on the pavement, and what a glorious thing!

It has now been almost two years, and I have found a new passion. My passion for running has been combined with my love of nature. I'm now running trails any chance I can. I feel I've been given this wonderful blessing; the ability to run and even signed up for my FIRST RACE! I will be doing a 10K trail race June 9th, 2013. And my ultimate goal for now, to do a half marathon trail run this Oct.
I CAN RUN! and so I will!

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