This is a HUGE deal for me and I want to explain why.
I have had heart trouble for many years. It all started while giving birth to Travis where I strained the muscles in my chest and the inflammation irritated my heart causing it to beat far too quickly and irregularly. I was only 23 and each year I got slightly worse. There were MANY hospital runs over the years and as my symptoms got worse with every year that passed. I began to do less and less to avoid another hospital run. Unfortunately this meant that I gained weight and became less and less fit. It became a vicious circle of gaining weight -> more heart trouble -> more fear -> less activity then back to gaining more weight.
For many years (16 to be precise), the doctors would always just blame these "attacks" on anxiety and never looked any deeper in to what might really be the problem. It was exceptionally frustrating. If I am honest I must admit that I was fairly certain it was going to kill me before anyone ever took me seriously.
Then December 17th, 2008 came along and I had a horrible day of trying to control my heart rate but nothing was working. The final straw for me was when I was watering my plants and my heart rate shot up over 240. The ambulance was called and I was taken in to the hospital quickly.
When I arrived there was a male doctor there and he immediately blew me off and said I was being "just" being anxious. I am sure that raised my heart rate even higher! Grrrr!!! Thankfully it was the end of his shift and he went home soon after completely dismissing my issue.
I was blessed next with the sight of a very young woman doctor taking over the emergency department and I just KNEW that I had to get her to really listen to me. I do not mean to sound dramatic here but I really felt it was getting to the point where getting someone to help me was life or death.
She came in the room and asked me what I was having trouble with. Instead of answering about that particular night I begged her (truly begged her) to help me. I briefly explained that this had been going on for YEARS and although the heart racing did make me panic... the panic came after the heart racing began. not before. I also told her how fit and healthy I had been before all this started and how much I had declined over the years.
She listened! Really listened. She ordered 12 hours of tests and found almost immediately that there was a part to my heart that was overstimulated and causing major swings in heart rhythm. I would go from the high 90's up to over 200 every few minutes. No wonder I was so scared and panicked. Who wouldn't be?
The craziest part of the whole situation??? All it took was for this doctor to listen and leave the heart machine on me for an extended time rather than the usual minute. That's it!
It was a very happy yet angering time.
All those wasted (regarding health) years just because no one would listen to me. It made me want to scream yet I was also very happy that FINALLY I had an answer! I was prescribed a pill that is no larger than this "O" and I only take a quarter each day! My troubles began to be solved right from that minute.
The past 18 months have been an uphill battle to regain my strength. Just walking from my house to the next house would cause me to start breathing very heavily and my heart would bang so hard that I could feel it slamming in the back of my head. I was terrified but knew that I had to keep it up. It has been a bit of a longer journey than I had thought it would be but I have never stopped trying and now I need a goal to motivate me to get even stronger.
16 kilometers itself is not all that daunting but doing it with any degree of competence and speed will be my ultimate goal. I will not even try to run it but I will focus on getting to the speediest walk that I can manage. I will spend the next months building up my strength, endurance and speed.
I will time myself and measure my distance achieved once a month until the race.
Just don't expect to see 51:21 on the clock!
To have you supporting me would be great but to see you make a goal of your own and strive to get towards it would be even better. It does not need to be a marathon but it should be something that you can not do now but would like to be able to do in a year.
Join in! We can all do an awful lot in a year!