I didn’t hesitate for a moment when Greg called and asked me to go with him and Miles to the second baseball playoff game (many more games to go) for the Minnesota Twins. After it was all set, I realized this could be a walking nightmare when my legs don’t work well.
There are several reasons my legs are weak and painful when walking. One, I have a terrible spine with herniated discs, for which my low inflammation diet controls back pain. Both my legs had two operations when they became infected after open heart surgery in 2019, damaging nerves. Three, after having COVID-19 in April 2022, walking became all the more difficult.
I try to walk to strengthen my legs, but I can’t walk often enough or long enough to effect any change. It is a fact of my life I’ve had to face as it’s worsened considerably since COVID-19, during and after which I started having Afib (rapid inconsistent heart rate), pain in my left sinus causing face pain and headache, and the awful leg pain when walking more than short distances.
Of course, I am worried about this, especially with the upcoming hiking in the Galapagos. Our hiking boots arrived yesterday, and I hope wearing them will aid my walking. We shall know soon enough.
But attending the baseball game yesterday required a considerable amount of walking and climbing up and down stairs, and I did the best I could. Greg dropped us off at the closest location to the section with our seats at Target Field, and Miles and I began the trek while Greg parked the car.
It was much harder than I’d expected. Not only did we have to climb several flights of steps with rushing crowds behind us, but we also had to walk a long distance and then climb more stairs to get to our seats. When we sat down, I was relieved but felt fine a few minutes after sitting. It isn’t that I get out of breath. I don’t.
Greg arrived at his seat next to me about 30 minutes later, having parked almost a mile away. The game began, and we enjoyed every moment. When my kids were young, we attended many baseball and hockey games in Minnesota. I managed to get World Series Tickets in 1987 and 1991 when the Twins won on both occasions, and we have fantastic memories of those games.
The Twins haven’t made it to the World Series since 1991, although fans have remained loyal and supportive. What a lively crowd there was last night, although it was cold and, at times, it drizzled a little. Greg brought an umbrella we never needed to use.
When the game was over, Greg took off to get the car while MIles, and I made our way to meet him at the intersection of 5th Stree and 5th Avenue. Fortunately, we could find a ramp that took us down to ground level, but the walk was long and difficult for me, and I felt my pulse rapidly increasing the longer we walked.
About 25 minutes later, we spotted Greg and couldn’t get into the car fast enough. It was windy and cold, and we were both shivering, looking forward to the warmth of the car. Once situated and on our way, my pulse, over 100, wasn’t settling down. When Miles asked to go home instead of out to dinner since he wanted to meet up with his friends, Greg and I didn’t complain.
I didn’t want to tell them how I was feeling. Instead, we made our way through traffic, and by 8:00 pm, after leaving the hotel at 2:15 pm, I couldn’t get back to our hotel room quickly enough. At that point, my pulse was 140 and not going down. I didn’t panic but instead called my sister, Julie, in California, who also had long COVID-19 and Afib, and she walked me through some breathing techniques she learned when she suffered the same Afib symptoms.
In a matter of minutes after starting the diaphragmatic breathing technique, my pulse dropped to 65, and I was feeling so much better. She suggested I practice this breathing technique several times a day. Her Afib eventually went away entirely. I am hoping for the same. I am doing everything I can to stop these awful episodes, but I realize strenuous exercise is a trigger. Thus, I am concerned about how I will do while hiking in the Galapagos. I can only do my best to try to control it.
Nonetheless, I am not sorry I went to the game with Greg and Miles. We loved every moment during the exciting game, well-played by the”Twinkies,” their popular nickname.
Tom is up north with his daughter Tammy and son TJ until late tomorrow afternoon, when I hope to meet him at Billy’s in Anoka for the final family get-together before we depart. I will drive the rental car to Anoka since he won’t have a ride back.
Tonight, I will spend the evening with Madighan, who’ll arrive at the hotel around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. We will do some crocheting, watch a movie, and have dinner together.
Photo from ten years ago today, October 5, 2013: