Monday, 24 June 2013

Walking the thin line

I have tested my body to the limit this week, emotional stress, physical stress, and time pressured.  In general I've coped well, but since Friday I have really felt that I was in danger of an enormous crash and have been worried by that.  I didn't go to the hydrotherapy pool on Saturday this week knowing that I had an extremely busy day ahead, infant I had to go to bed on Saturday afternoon.  I stumbled on, the thought of a forthcoming holiday keeping me going.  Sunday was equally as busy, but I foolishly thought that squeezing in a Sunday afternoon yoga class might help make me feel a bit better...WRONG!  My baseline heart rate was already raised and anything requiring me standing or using muscle strength made it shoot up.  I couldn't do much and didn't feel good.
After yoga (4pm) I wanted to go straight to bed, but other commitments meant it was 7.45pm before I got there.  These past few years have made me very good at listening to the subtleties of my own body and knowing when it's not happy, and although I have without doubt improved in this area I still struggle to just STOP when I really should.
The next few days are still busy but better than last week and then on Tuesday evening I can relax completely.  I then intend to do nothing for 4 whole days, a very well deserved (if I say so myself) and needed break.

Feeling good

It's been a really good week this week, just a small blip on Thursday, but the rest of the week has been fine.  I had a Perrin technique appointment on Friday and heard the results of the second questionnaire I had completed.  Apparently when I filled the questionnaire in at my very first Perrin appointment I scored 84 points.  This time, a year later my score was 42 and a half points - a 50% decrease.  This is encouraging.
I had another trip to the hydrotherapy pool yesterday.  It was a bit harder this week as my heart rate was higher.  I had to wait longer at the end of each length for it to dip back down under 100bpm before starting the next length.  I persevered and did my 10 lengths of backstroke and a couple of front crawl and then my leg kicking exercises before getting out.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Swimming with a heart rate monitor

Today I went for my second swim at the hydrotherapy pool.  It went very well.  I did 10 lengths of backstroke today followed by some leg kicking.  Having my heart monitor on whilst swimming is so helpful, it keeps me in check.  My natural instinct would be to try and keep ploughing on up and down the pool and then suffer the effects later, but with the monitor I wait at each end until my heart rate drops before starting off again, it slows me which is a good thing.  The positive thing from today's swim was that my leg muscles seemed to cope with it better than last week.  They weren't all shaky and weak feeling so I am very pleased.
The best thing about all this is that at last I feel like I'm doing a bit of exercise (gentle though it is), it's a start, one swim a week and I'm just about to start a second yoga class a week too.  I feel like I'm on the up again....hooray!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hydrotherapy pool visit

Today I took my first visit to the local hydrotherapy pool.  My doctor referred me back in April, but I haven't had a weekend where i've felt I had the energy to go or wasn't doing something else until now.
I arrived there for 9am and was glad that i did as it was empty at that point.  After speaking to the lady who was running the place, I went to change and then went in.  The water was like a warm bath - very nice, although apparently not as warm as normal as they had had problems with the boiler this morning.  I started with a few lengths of back stroke, then some widths of front crawl and then some walking in the water, finishing off with some leg kicking whilst the rest of me was supported by a toggle float.  The pool was getting pretty busy by the time I got out.
I wore my heart monitor the whole time to try and keep my HR below my anaerobic threshold and help to reduce strain on my body and minimise symptoms.  I was pleasantly surprised by my heart rate.  It peaked at 131 when I first got in, but then averaged 110 for the whole time I was exercising.  I would swim a length then look at the monitor and if it was going up I would wait a short time for it to come down again and then swim again.  I generally didn't have to wait long.
Anyway, I didn't hang around and was probably in and out of the pool within 15 to 20 minutes.  My thigh muscles were trembling a little and felt very weak, I was a bit concerned I might have overdone it, but knew I had a pretty quiet day ahead so wasn't too bothered.
It's the evening now and as yet no adverse reactions.  My thigh muscles have been tired and achey all day, but I think it might just be that they've done a different sort of exercise, that their not used to.  The best thing is that I haven't felt ill all day.  I know that I could still have a reaction tomorrow or even Tuesday, but I am feeling pretty positive about the whole thing.  This could be a good way of exercising my muscles and keeping my heart rate down which will eventually hopefully mean I can increase the time exercising as my muscles get stronger.