Thursday, March 20, 2014

The post about a broken body, my resting heart rate and a medication consult

My therapy homework from this week. 

  • I have been slacking big time in my therapy homework. So I decided to do it earlier in the week and did back to back postings. I tried to look deeper at myself and not just come up with the same lame things I say about myself. So in the photo on the left (taken Monday) I said I liked my dimples. They only showed up after I started losing weight. I like the shape of my face. I look much different than I envisioned myself when I finally reached goal. I thought my face was naturally rounder.  I liked the mole on my left cheek. It was a pimple that I picked at relentlessly when I was in  my 20's. I slept well the night before and felt pretty on Monday. The photo on the right was taken on Tuesday. I was waiting for a client during a medical appointment (1.5 hours) and made use of the bathroom mirror at the doctor's office. The photo's grainy, but I wanted a full body shot. I  like the shape of my body. I like the shape of my legs. They look strong. I like the shininess and healthiness of my hair. I don't colour it and I barely have any grey.  It's still not easy to say nice stuff about myself, but I think I'm getting better and at recognizing my positive features. 
  • I woke up Monday morning and felt like I had been tackled by a bear. And not Pooh, but a Polar or Grizzly bear.  I had some of the whiplash going on, my arms were sore and my knees and hamstrings? Achy. I felt like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz when he was rusted. I was not in good shape. I felt broken. I went to have a quick drink with my girlfriend Elin for St. Patrick's Day, and she reminded me how lucky I was to have not slammed my face into the pavement. Not only would I have smashed my nose, but possibly my teeth too. Instead I just ended up with dirt on the tip of my nose and some in my mouth. Dawn kept telling me to spit, I swallowed.
  • I ended up working from home on Monday (thankfully). My right shin and fibula were achy. My shin was still swollen. Swollen enough that I couldn't zip up my riding boot on that calf. I wore them yesterday, so the swelling has gone down. I was supposed to run yesterday morning, but my neck was still stiff and my back and arms were achy. So I reluctantly took another rest day. While beating myself up over this decision, one of my Tweeps reminded me that elites (world class runners) view rest and recovery as important as training. And since elites are the big kahunas of running, there is a lot of merit in that statement. Thanks for the sound advice RS:)
  • I did run this morning. I was going to try and belt out an 8K, but I was sluggish and it was slippery out. Although it was drizzling, with the temperature hovering around zero, it made the sidewalks slick. I managed a 6.4K run with a 6:37/K pace. I was also running in shoes that are dead. That means that they have too much mileage (900+K) on them to be effective runners anymore. I'm broke for a couple more weeks, but after the Bay, I am buying myself 2 pairs of new runners. The Running Room has a warehouse in Toronto, so I am going there. You can get shoes for 50% off. 
  • While running today I noticed a lot of aches and pains emerging. Some are from the fall for sure, but my right hamstring has been acting up. Even before I fell. I think I am going to need physio again. I'm going to wait until after I run the bay. Starting Sunday I start to taper my runs. I only have 3 runs next week leading up to the race. I honestly just want to finish it upright. And since this is my first time running a 30K race, I'll get a PB (personal best) regardless:)
  • Today I got a phone call from the service that provides my therapy and they told me that my therapist is sick this week and won't be able to see me again until April 2nd. I got real emotional when they told me that. My first session was 2.5 weeks ago, she was 20 minutes late and cut my session short.  By the time I'd get in again a month would have passed. How is that helpful to someone who needs to talk to someone and work through issues? So I was assigned a new therapist. Which means I get an appointment much earlier (Monday), but also means I have start all over again. Not impressed.
  • So I had my medication consultation with Dr. Pitt today. I last saw him in the fall after I broke my ankle.  He walked into the examination room, apologized and turned to leave. I called him back and he chuckled saying, "I didn't recognize you for a moment".  Now Dr. Pitt has known me my entire adult life. That's like 24 years. And he saw me very frequently when I was morbidly obese because I was always seeing him for my blood pressure. So I said, "You still expect to see me overweight". And he admitted that that was the image he had of me in his head. Fair enough. That's the image I have of me in my head too.

  • First the good stuff. My blood pressure is 126/64. That is not too shabby considering 2 years ago I was on 2 blood pressure medications. And my resting heart rate is 55. That means I am an athlete baby! But I already knew that my resting heart rate was nice and slow. It's just not as good as it was. When I went to urgent care for my broken ankle back in  September 2013, my resting heart rate was 49. That was awesome. Perhaps once I join the gym, I will get back there.
  • Right now my body is achy. But not achy from the fall or being over worked. It's achy from tension. It's a strange sensation when I touch my chest, stomach or middle back. It tingles in a painful way. I mentioned this to my doctor today and he said it is from feeling so anxious lately.  Depression and severe anxiety can cause this type of painful sensation.
  • Dr. Pitt and I discussed my anxiety/depression. He said that I was likely suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which causes the anxiety. I was not too keen about going on an anti-depressant and we agreed I didn't need one at this time. He said that my demeanour was much different now than when I suffered from depression in the 90's. Then I couldn't even get myself out of bed in the morning. I'm not that incapacitated with the depression right now. I just know that I don't feel happy. But when I have an anxiety attack? Those throw me right off. So he did prescribe me Lorazepam (.5mg) to be taken only if I have a severe attack. They are addictive, but he said if I only take it a few times a week, that is fine. I'm hoping I won't need to take them at all.
  • We also discussed my therapy through EAP, and he said that if it didn't work out for me, I could access Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). It is offered through his office and covered by our health plan. I explained to him how I still view myself in my mind as being morbidly obese and he said that this type of therapy is helpful in dealing with anxiety and stress. The thoughts of my body image racing through my head cause me lots and lots of anxiety and stress.  I may just refer myself anyway. I have the signed referral from Dr. Pitt. I just need to fax it. It certainly can't hurt.
  • This week has been better for me. I had a panic attack on Sunday, but have been pretty good since. The sun was shining Monday and Tuesday. Today it was raining but mild. The temperatures, although still below seasonal, are getting warmer. It's a definite step in the right direction. I feel some stress and anxiety from the upcoming 30K race on the 30th. I think once the pressure of that is gone, I'll be able to relax and refocus. I'm going to fill the Lorazepam prescription and keep it with me in case I have a panic attack while with a client. That is the only time I'll take it. I don't like the idea of addictive medication. But I dislike the idea of being completely incapacitated while with a client more. 
  • Talking through a lot of my issues is going to be the most helpful for me. That and running/exercise. Although my sleeping is still a work in progress, every day gets a bit clearer. I need to recognize my own value and stop over extending myself to others who don't deserve me. Helping others is what I do for a living and I can't help but fall into the trap of being a serial "people pleaser". It's what I've done my entire life to keep "friends" when I was morbidly obese. Instead of focusing so much on what others need, I need to focus on what I need.  I deserve happiness. So that is what I shall have.