Levine's POTS Exercise Program: April 2017

Hi there!  I have a number of things to catch everyone up on and possibly not enough brain capacity to do it so *stretches fingers* here goes!

Last I blogged was in early April (hahaha... remember when I said I'd try to blog at the end of each week? That was a good one, right?!) and was coming down with a cold. As suspected, my conditioning changed a bit while I was on bed-rest and my body spent its energy on getting better. Luckily it didn't knock me out of commission for too long (I believe I missed only two days of rehab) and it only bumped me back a few days on my progress, which was pretty exciting. I made sure to take it very easy my first day back and not to push it, as it was difficult to gauge when I felt well enough to resume again vs trying not to hop back into it too quickly. I'm happy to say that it took me a week or so to get back to where I was prior to getting sick, which was far quicker than I expected.

Later in April something remarkable happened... I did a huge crap-ton of things in 5 days and I didn't turn into mush! The setting: me in my fantastical, wonderful, amazing, beautiful cousin's wedding which was close enough for me and Mr. C to drive to. The plot-twist: His work blew up before we had to go which means a lot of the prep work fell onto me. The result: (are you ready for this jelly?!) Wednesday I ran errands for about 5 hours or so...Thursday was spent cleaning the house, packing, etc. etc., literally an all day kind of deal. Naps were included obviously, but relatively short ones...Friday we drove 7 hours, hit the ground running for rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, got to bed late after visiting with family...Saturday was the big day! Hair-did, travel to the wedding venue, hustling around to help the bride, getting dressed, going off to take pictures. Ah! I almost forgot! I had to run half a mile in flip-flops to get my cousin Peptobismal. TRUE. STORY. (And yyyeeeah, sorry to share this with the world, Trish. Loveyoumeanit!). Anyhoo, back for more photos, lovely wedding walking and standing and happy tears, food, dancing, maybe a glass or two of alcohol (I'm not at liberty to say) before staying up late talking to my brothers and then—boom—Sunday, which included waking up early for family brunch, then driving 7 hours back home AND I DIDN'T DIE.

Seriously, how the hell was ANY of that possible?

Now, I was pretty pooped the Monday we got back, and still a little bit on Tuesday. But it wasn't a crash. It felt like... an appropriate response or something. It was WEIRD.

However, I still have trouble attributing this to the program. Like, I keep thinking, "Well, maybe I would've been able to do it months ago anyway!" But I just don't think that is the case, nor do I know why I'm so hesitant to attribute my improved condition to the exercise program. I think I've probably become a skeptic—maybe even a cynic?—about anything related to treating POTS (shocking, I know...) Plus, it's just hard to see potential changes when you're inside of them, especially if they're happening incrementally. Of course, I don't think exercise has been the "cure-all" for me. Not by a flipping long shot. All two of you that read this blog will know there's a lot of stuff I've put into motion to increase my quality of life—things I have found to be just as important as the rehab. But, that said, I have to add that the effort and dedication I have put into this program has, I think, definitely paid off.

Of course, that's the kicker though right? Being able to stick with it? To find that middle road where you're pushing but not too much? To be able to understand your body enough to know if all the struggle is actually benefiting you after a couple of months or not. I know when I put myself through my own "program" 5 years ago (again, don't be stupid like me and do that) I felt like shit but, to a degree, I was able to start feeling myself getting stronger. And maybe that's the good thing about this program. Maybe I haven't been able to feel it as much because I have been doing it more slowly and more responsibly. And then it's like one day I wake up and do crazy superhuman wedding shit for 5 days that would've normally turned me into a little Carson blob on the floor.

So, that's April for you. May brought along a lot of changes as well. More specific data type ones if that's your thing. And, hopefully, it won't take me another two months before I sit down to write about it.

I hope everyone is doing OK, that there is at least some helpful information you are finding in these ramblings. And if there are any questions I will definitely do my best to answer them.

Be well!

Sarah