Monday, April 12, 2010

Exercise and Doctor's visit

First, I have been exercising regularly (but not quite daily) since March 1st. It has been pure torture, to be honest. I wish I had a gym available to me, but I certainly can't drive to one right now, and I don't belong to a gym, much less one that's open at 10:00 at night, and I don't have a personal valet to drive me to one, anyway. So I'll just have to deal with that. That means that I don't have a recumbent bicycle for cardio (or the seated elliptical trainer from PT). So, I have two options, depending on the day: take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or climb up and down the stairs in my house. I hate the stairs, but it feels like good exercise. My best is up and down 40 flights in about 20 minutes. It hurts my joints and I have to monitor my heart rate carefully. Every time my heart rate surpasses 170 bpm, I sit down. It happens pretty frequently. I break out a good sweat. I can't describe how horrible it feels, but it's what I'm trying right now.

That's cardio. For strength, I do weight lifting with a 5 and a 10 lb. weight, and I do various core exercises. They feel terrible, as well, but what are you gonna do?

Easter week, I was feeling quite a bit better. But I think it was just a fluke. I'm definitely back to where I was, if not worse. I can barely move most of the time. It seems like I save up all of my energy for exercise, and then I suffer for it the rest of the time.

There's a study taking place right now by a research team in Texas on POTS and exercise. It has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Cardiology. I will link to the findings when they become available. From what I've learned so far, I may be going about this exercise all wrong. This team advises only sitting standing, or you will "overtax your system and setback your recovery." Maybe that's what I'm doing right now. They advise the use of a rowing machine or a recumbent bicycle for cardio every other day. No walks! Certainly no stairs. That does sound more manageable. I will have to consider this more. I look forward to the research being published. For more information, read here:

I have an appointment Wednesday in Toledo with Dr. Grubb to discuss my POTS treatment. I plan to ask him for his advice on exercise, although I know he generally advises leg strengthening the most. I don't have a leg press machine at home, so stairs are probably the best thing I've got, along with ankle weights. (I wish I could still go to the gym!) I don't have any other specific questions, so I will just see if there is anything else the good doctor has to offer at this time.

I have more on which to update, but it will have to wait until after this trip to Ohio.