Exercise and other causes…Why me?…

Tom spotted this giant snail outside his hotel room in Nelspruit while I was in the hospital.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This adorable female kudu  is suffering from TB, as indicated by the tumor on the left side of her face,

As I’ve spent several hours each day resting, walking, and napping, I’ve had plenty of time for serious thought as to why I became a candidate for open-heart surgery.

Was it from the recent lack of exercise since we arrived in Marloth Park over a year ago? Was it the low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet I’ve been on since August 2011 or the high carb, the low-fat, moderate-protein diet I diligently followed for most of my adult life?  Science is confused by these questions.

Over the past several years, we’ve been told by the government what we should be eating and avoiding to maintain a level of health and fitness. These dictates didn’t improve the overall health of citizens throughout the world when many countries followed the American way of eating; too much sugar, salt, starch, and carbs, and still numbers were rising on the scales of poor health.

In today’s medical science, it is still unclear what contributing factors play the highest role in the causality of developing clogged arteries, such as my 100% blocked three of four coronary arteries. Many blame dietary fat while others say dietary fat is not the issue…it’s the cholesterol made by our bodies. What did I possibly do wrong?

It’s sad to see that her days are numbered.

The three cardiac physicians working with me during the eight days I spent in the ICU had no suggestions on what I could do going forward to prevent this from happening to me again in 10 years. That wasn’t very comforting. 

I repeatedly asked, “What can I do differently” and the answer was always the same…nothing. They agreed my way of eating, happy, low-stress lifestyle, and level of activity are commensurate with our life of world travel. They decided upon the deceit perpetrated by my good blood test …nothing appeared to be wrong.

So I’m left with one route to go – to follow the exercise program recommended by the three physicians and worldwide heart health professionals. And, it has begun since we returned to Marloth Path, actually in the ICU unit and the hospital during my many days in residence. Walking. 

Plain and simple, walking. No hand weights, no particular pace other than one that increases the heart rate to a level that allows talking during the process. That’s it. This act continued from my 11 days in hospital.

The walking began within 24 hours of the removal of the intubation tube. Simply walking was laborious to a point beyond my expectations, limited by a lack of mobility with all the tubes, drains, and IV’s still attached.  

Mom and Babies were searching for pellets.

By the time we returned to Marloth Park last Saturday, I was able to walk for 10 minutes. Today, as directed by the take-home instructions, I upped the ante to 15 minutes twice a day. This is not much in the realm of things, but it takes everything I have to get through the 10 minutes, let alone the added ten minutes as of today.

Where do I walk?  I use a timer on my phone in the house, ensuring I don’t quit 30 seconds earlier than required. Eventually, I’ll be able to walk on a road. At this point, I don’t trust my wobbly state of being to venture out on the pot-holed, uneven dirt roads near the house. In due time…falling would be a disaster.  

The goal is to walk for 60 minutes per day in two 30-minute sessions. Knowing myself, once I reach such a goal, I will add my old exercise program to further my strength and fitness.  

There’s no health club in Marloth Park, but hopefully, there will be a facility in Ireland near the house we rented in Connemara. The options look good from our online research.

Today we experienced load shedding for only about one hour. Another is expected at 1500 hours, 3:00 pm, and again tonight at 2330 hours, 11:30 pm to last 2.5 hours. We’ll see how it goes.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, March 2, 2018:
A herd of impalas at the river.  For more photos, please click here.

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