I am a HUGE advocate of exercise for those people who are on the waiting list, as well as those that are post transplant. For some reason, I don’t write about this topic very often. Regardless, this post is dedicated to EXERCISE.
Let me preface all of this by saying that I wasn’t a fitness “freak” before or since my heart transplant, but I always have exercised or fitness walked in some form or manner.
What made me a believer was this time-line ……
- April 27th – walked 18 miles at work & during the day
- April 28th – major heart attack
- April 28 thru May 20 – bi-pass surgery, coded a 100+ times, heart transplant ~ was flat on my back the entire time, in a coma for a majority of this period.
- May 20th ~ 9 days post transplant, two therapists come take me for a “walk” ~ THIS WAS A VERY HUMBLING EXPERIENCE, my legs were GONE in 3 weeks. Was like trying to stand up on rubber bands, I almost went head first into the wall.
I promised myself that I will exercise, exercise, exercise just in case I ever land back in the hospital for an extended period again.
Beyond learning how to walk, I did take a “Cardiac Rehab Phase II” class. and I joined a gym to get my Phase III rehab …….. I still belong to the gym and workout 3 or 4 times a week. last week I was away, and I really missed my workouts. Granted, a couple of kids, 2 and 4 years old, can give you somewhat of a workout, but it’s simply not the same.
I do cardio every visit, and also do some lifting on the Nautilus machines. I continue to wear a pedometer every day and track my mileage. Granted, I don’t do 18 miles a day any longer, but I can walk 7+ miles in a day.
If you are on the waiting list, or if you are post transplant ~ PLEASE EXERCISE AS MUCH AS YOUR BODY WILL ALLOW YOU. It will help in the long run.
Don’t become a “Couch Potato”!!