I always feel crazy when I achieve a milestone, in my world, like my 2.95k walk and feel this is mad, some of the Carnivals I walked were way longer and I would be drumming and walking backwards while leading the band, but Brenda always reminds me that 5 years ago I could barely walk 100m.
So occasionally I do look at how far I have come.
Six years ago is when my troubles started. Arthritis flared up in my knees which is obviously what affected my walking and then my heart problems started, well we thought it was my heart it was actually my Pituitary gland that had stopped working and that affects everything including the heart.
I had unstable angina and was taken into hospital to have a stent placed in my heart, the surgeon said that because of where it was I would need to have a bypass operation in 5 years’ time. This does still worry me but I just remind myself that my heart is not the problem.
After my heart operation my quality of life was zero, I struggled to do even the simplest of tasks. I went to cardiac rehab and would be lapped by people twice my age, I was determined to beat them but it just wouldn’t happen, I was not getting my life back.
I had to stop working and it was heart-breaking for me, not only my livelihood but also my passion in life.
I found it really hard to look forward in my life. I tried to go out for walks and do things to keep active but it wasn’t easy and I would usually come home deflated because I couldn’t do anything. With that my self-confidence and self-worth also went away.
Even at home things were hard, if I did a little bit of housework it would wipe me out for the rest of the day or I would save my energies so that I could cook dinner. Brenda was and has been amazing during this time and so supportive, not once has she made me feel as useless as I feel myself, she has always been there for me. I did used to feel what is the point, it is not like I am actually living a life.
Then during a routine blood test it was noticed that I had no cortisol in my blood and that was the beginning of my true diagnosis, Panhypopituitarism, and the start of my road back to the living.
It wasn’t a straightforward take these and you will feel fine, it was coming to terms with living with a chronic illness that could potentially stop my body working at all.
It was a very slow process of getting the right combination of meds but 4 years later on I have a much better understanding of this ever changing condition.
I do like to be active and would do what I could but it always took it out of me. I would have to plan activities so that I would have at least one or two days of rest before I had to do anything else, at least I was getting out and doing stuff.
Just over one year ago I started taking Human Growth Hormone ( HGH) and my life started to change again. I started wanting to have a life again, I found a new drive to do things and with my fifty things it gave me a project to channel my energy in to.
Now my focus is on achieving my fitness goals, by setting myself challenges that even 1 year ago I could not have even contemplated. I can’t believe we both agreed to sign up for a Supernova 5k, are we mad! I am nervous about it but surprisingly do feel it is achievable and am keen to give it ago. I am going to need to get a whole lot more training to get my distance and speed up.
When I think about this I can’t not think about where I have come from and marvel at the difference. I don’t like to look back too often though because it does get me down when I think about everything that have I lost.
I am happy with my life now and am much more accepting of what each day brings, as each day is different and brings me new challenges. My challenges now are different from the ones I was used to but that does not lessen my achievements and I will remain proud of my 2.95km walk, only 2.05km to go! Continuing to strive forward….
Here’s to living the dream,