Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Sirens are Calling, but I Can't Go

I've been a bit quiet, I'm sorry. Mostly this is because I've been overwhelmed with work, and partly because I've been a bit miserable too. You see, just as the mornings are getting lighter, the sun is beginning to generate a few nano-therms, and I'm planning how to spend a delightfully inappropriate amount of money on new walking kit for this year, my doctor says I have to stop climbing mountains. Just a temporary precaution, I'm told, until they work out what's wrong with my heart...

Yes, I thought I was better too; but just as I had written the post telling you so, the 'indigestion' I had on the way down Braeriach, turned into palpitations and wayward blood-presssure, and more recently into fainting fits. It's this last symptom that concerns the doctor. He's promised me I'm not about to drop dead, but he doesn't like the thought of me losing consciousness half-way up Coire Raibeirt (see photo).

This hasn't stopped me training; I realised it's no good spending the first three days of a five-day trip getting fit (only to revert to lard within a week of getting home), so, as the doctor hasn't said I can't exercise (and I'm not asking the question), I've been spending thirty minutes a day on Jane's cross-trainer (treadmill-cum-step machine). And I feel fine. (Okay, that's a lie, but I'm bored with feeling ill.)

Am now champing at the NHS waiting list. They've done all the blood tests, and the 24h ECG - next comes the scan and an appointment with the cardiologist (who I just know is going to tell me to "rest"). I suppose I can rest in my local outdoor-equipment shop, can't I? While I try on new rucksacks...

Cross your fingers for me, Dear Readers. I can't live without mountains.

25 comments:

SpiralSkies said...

Oh my, that doesn't sound so good. I do think (she said, putting on a her sensible head for a rare moment) that you should 'ask the question' about exercising.

You mustn't push yourself until you break. The world wants to read your words. Can't you just engage in extreme writing instead?

TOM FOOLERY said...

Oh Leigh, I'm on a vow of silence at the moment, practising to become a Nun! ;-) So I'll keep it short and sweet. Take care, look after yourself

Bernadette said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, Leigh. I do hope you can get the tests you need soon.

I do agree with Spiral though - please ask the doctor about the exercisisng. It may be that some things are better than others and you can find out the best thing for you while you wait for news.

Good luck - I'll be thinking of you.

Queenie said...

What Spiral said. I hate to nag... but I don't let that stop me. I'm really sorry to hear you're feeling miserable, and I completely understand why, but is there also a slightly bright side for you to look on? More time to write? A chance to try a different kind of walking holiday: Norfolk coast, canal towpaths, that kind of thing? I know that when you crave mountains, it feels as if nothing else can take their place - but maybe, this year, something will have to. Best of luck with the NHS waiting lists, I hope they nail it very soon. (Not literally, obv. That's only for Jesuses.)

Leigh said...

Spiral - I like the idea of extreme writing- you mean putting out words in place of steps? I was kinda hoping to do both... but you're right; I mustn't break myself.

TF - Thank you. You're a love.

Bernadette - I promise I won't do myself in - I'm told I have an electrical fault, and that it won't kill me. But I will take care. Promise.

Queenie - Sadly, unless there are multiple pubs involved (rather negating the point of the walk) the idea of towpaths fills me with horror. But I know what you mean. Am consoling myself with plans for a particular three-day hike on rations (and lots of new kit). That's doing quite nicely for now!

womagwriter said...

The doctor would have told you if you were to leave off all exercise, I would have thought. And usually, the right exercise is a good thing for any condition... I will cross my fingers for you. Mountains are necessary - I am with you there.

Get well soon, hun.

Debs said...

I'm not surprised this has made you feel miserable. I do hope they let you know what exactly is wrong, and soon.

Denise said...

Hope you get your appointment quickly. I had similar tests a couple of years ago when my heart started racing all the time, and it turned out to be a virus. Messed up my heart rate for about a month, but then went. Apparently very common, although they don't tell you this in casualty when you're scared stupid! Hope yours turns out to be just as simple.

Troy said...

Oh, that is bad news but hopefully the NHS will get you back into peak condition soon.

Rebecca said...

So sorry to hear you're unwell, Leigh. Scary stuff - and horrible for you if you can't climb - but I think Jen is right - maybe you should take up extreme writing while you wait for some kind of diagnosis??

Take care!

HelenMHunt said...

Maybe you should join me in the 'remedial exercise classes for the irretrievably unfit for exercise' that I hope to take up soon.

JJ Beattie said...

Oh sweetie, I'm sorry about it all and I have been a bad communicator. Hmm, I do really empathise with the 'if I don't ask the question, I can't hear the answer' approach... but I do think you NEED to ask this question.

Big hugs to you and yours from all of us here. JJxxxx

liz fenwick said...

Hugs.
lx

Leigh said...

Womag - Thank you for the support, and the empathy. Much valued.

Debs - I don't have long to wait, which is partly reassuring (part not!), and my doctor makes me feel like he cares, so I have faith in the system thus far.

Denise - I'd never considered a virus! Thanks for the reminder that not everything has to be complicated.

Troy - Ha ha ha! It's nice to know I can rely on you for a laugh, even in times of worry!!!

Rebecca - Writing doesn't seem to be working just now. Am currently involved in extreme tidying instead, which is dull, DULL. Am thinking of putting in a case for extreme time-off.

HelenMHunt - Ah, yes. I vote that we form a club, and meet monthly to discuss potential remedies over a bottle of wine and a DVD. Do I have a seconder?

JJ Beattie - You're not a bad communicator - you're busy, and half a world a way. And I owe *you* an email anyway. Hugs back, and thanks for the care.

Liz - Thanks, honey.

Captain Black said...

As another mountain nutter, I can fully empathise with you. You know, if doctors had their way, we'd all stay indoors in bed and never do anything fun or risky. It'd make their job easier you see. One pessimistic doctor once told me I might never walk again. What does he know, eh?

I hope you recover very soon and are back in TGO.

Leigh said...

Captain - Never walk again? What was your time in the Aviemore marathon last year? Ha! Thanks for the support. You're an inspiration!

Carol said...

Oh hon I'm so sorry to hear that news!! Am keeping fingers crossed that it's nothing serious and you'll be half way up a mountain in no time (It's making typing tough but I'll persevere!).

I'm afraid I agree with everyone else...ask the question!! You don't want to do yourself any damage by not asking!!

*Hugs*

C x

Carol said...

There is an award over at mine for you :-)

C x

Leigh said...

Carol - Thank you for your perseverance! And I share your sentiment! (Thanks also for award - watch this space!)

LilyS said...

I hope you get some news soon. I'd hate the not knowing part. Keeping every crossed.

Karen said...

Just make sure you stick to very small mountains! More seriously, do take care and let us know how you get on xx

sheepish said...

I do hope you have got some better news by now. Thinking of you as I know how important running is to me so I hope you will be back climbing mountains soon.

Alice Turing said...

My grandfather just died at the age of 100, and his wife - my grandmother - is still going strong at 96. Both of them lived in the countryside most of their adult lives, and got as much exercise as they could. In their 60s and 70s, their friends and relatives started using increasing infirmity as a reason to get less exercise, not get out so much, etc... and my grandmother was always exasperated with them, being a firm believer that maximum physical activity would keep them alive longer.

Now I'm no doctor. So actually you shouldn't heed my advice, based as it is on not much more than a feeling... but I can't help thinking your zest for mountains must be a positive thing, health-wise? I would fight to keep it if I were you.

Leigh said...

Thank you, Alice, for your comment. I have a friend, (aged 81), and I want to be her when I grow up. She's still hiking in the mountains, and proper long hikes too (the kind that would flatten your average 20yo). She broke her femur last October, but was fit for a bike-a-thon this summer...

All strength to your grandmother. We're singing from the same hymn sheet, she and me.

Alice Turing said...

Yay! Good.