Today I did 2.5 miles of easy run this morning. I wanted to do more, but honestly it was FREEZING and I’m going to attempt to run a half marathon tomorrow. Then later I did a 40 minute ab workout at the gym. It was a superset of seven exercises, and I did three sets. I worked it, but it wasn’t heavy lifting. The third session was rough.
I know I’ve lost muscle tone and strength. Part of it is lack of energy from lack of nutrition from the combination of lack of eating earlier, which caused the weight loss, and lack of absorption. I’m eating a lot more now, but not really gaining (although I was up a few pounds this morning). But this afternoon I am so achy I feel like I ran a marathon or I ran a marathon and I’m coming down with something.
This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that my workouts are taking a toll on me that they shouldn’t be. I talked to my doctor about it yesterday...oh it’s been a few days. More on that in a min. She suggested I run no more than 3 miles a day in order to limit muscle breakdown and calorie burn.
So, my plan now is to take myself on as a client and work on a plan that builds my muscle without burning too many calories, since I can’t afford it. I am going to the half marathon tomorrow, but will listen to my body. It is five loops, so I can do as much or as little as my body wants to do, so I’m not going to do more than I feel I can.
So the last few days...The day after Christmas as part of my gift, Roy took us to Seattle for an overnight. It was nice! We got a room at the Hotel Theodore and didn’t do anything special; just saw a movie, had lunch together, saw the JDRF Gingerbread Houses and enjoyed each others’ company. We needed it!
The next morning we got up, went to breakfast at Top Pot and then went to the Market. For some reason I started feeling stumbly, very woozy. Not dizzy, but like heavy fatigue just took over. When I thought about it later, it was like I hit a wall during a marathon. I tried to just stay close to walls so I could grab something if I stumbled, but then I wasn’t feeling well all over so I asked Roy to hang onto me and told him I wasn’t feeling good. We started walking back towards the car, and it just kept getting worse. Suddenly I needed to sit down so I did, and it wasn’t a sit “lower myself” down, but when I let go of Roy I hit the bench so hard it hurt. I felt better so I said maybe we could go home and if I still felt bad, go to urgent care. We got up, and immediately I felt sick again. We walked, I blacked out but just for a second....happened again. Then we were standing on the street corner and I could think and see and read, but I tried to say something to Roy and couldn’t get my words out. Maybe only every 3rd or 5th word would come out and it sounded garbled and distant so I think I got out “Maybe...hospital...best...” so that was that. We went to Swedish ER.
They got me right in. I failed the first FAST test (for stroke) but not the second. Still, they continued on as if I might have had a stroke (I hadn’t, don’t worry...but honestly the not being able to talk thing freaked me the fuck out). Within 90 minutes I felt normal, though. They wanted to keep me overnight, though, just to make sure. I was put in the Telemetry ward. They put me in a room with a nice view and, eventually, a roommate (who had chest pain, but blessedly it was not a heart attack).
Swedish has amazing beds. I want one of their beds. When you get in it like “envelopes” you like a hug. I want that bed.
So I was there. While there they did a zillion tests and concluded nothing. One doctor (neurologist) thought it might be dehydration (I was VERY dehydrated). Another doctor thought it was my very low blood pressure. I have BP so low that it set off the alarm every time they took it. I also had low Potassium. Plus the day before I really hadn’t eaten much. One very interesting impact of EPI, I have discovered, is that if I don’t smoke weed I generally have no appetite. So if we’re out busy I don’t even think to eat. And if I’m not hungry it’s rarely even a “I’m not hungry, but I could eat” not hungry. It’s more like, “I don’t know how I’ll react if I even smell food.” It’s made it really challenging, so I’ve honestly had to use marijuana to stimulate my appetite or I won’t eat anything after breakfast.
So I think it was a combination of all of them. When I think back to what happened I can’t explain the slurred words, but I think my glycogen stores were depleted. Even though I had just eaten and had some coffee, I didn’t drink it all and it wasn’t enough to fill me up. It was only enough to click it up to under the E mark. Probably my blood sugar spiked with the carb breakfast (there was little fat and no protein) and then dumped. I actually had dumping syndrome when I first had the Whipple and it would feel like that...just a quick drop of feeling like complete shit. How embarrassing to tie up medical resources because I didn’t eat or drink enough, but with the verbal problems it made sense to go.
When I got discharged they told me to follow up with my doctor, but they were adamant about it because they didn’t find the cause. (They did a lot of tests, even an Echocardiogram and had a dietitian come and talk to me.) Roy was insistent that I go in as well, and I lucked out! My doctor who is a Naturopath and an MD, is impossible to see in less than 8 weeks. She had had a cancellation for the next morning! She is amazing. So in depth and she KNOWS me. She took one look at my weight (she hasn’t seen me in over a year) and had all sorts of concerns. I had already emailed her a few concerns (I had an appointment scheduled for January), so she was already on those. She got me set up with a decent electrolyte, a protein powder to take every day, she limited my exercise (and I agree with her...shut up about tomorrow I will start with the new year), and a short term something to deal with my depression.
She treats me like a whole person!! I am so thankful for her!
End of my workout at the gym. I petered out after 2.5 circuits, but I finished the 3rd. I can’t believe that!
My three running buddies giving me the hairy eyeball during the Magic Mile.