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Friday, June 05, 2020

VENTING IN THE WEE HOURS

I have another trip up to Mount Sinai this morning, this time for a thoracic echo stress lab, and I have been unable to sleep because of it. 
The other day my vascular surgeon noted that I need to be hooked up with a new cardiovascular doctor, as I have not had a proper seeing to by a specialist in that department since about a year after I had my stent implanted, so I have been without for six years. When I left the care of the cardiologist who did my stent surgery — and a damned good job he did, too — I was let got because I had done everything right when it came to post-op care and working on diet and weight loss, but not long after that my mom suffered her car accident. While she was first in a coma and then in months of physical rehab, I was back and forth from my home in Brooklyn to her house in Westport, where I took care of her bills and other issues related to getting her affairs sorted after the accident, so much of the work I had done to fix myself was undone by nervous comfort-eating. 
The stress of all of that plus her subsequent lung cancer diagnosis, alongside my own ongoing and sometimes quite severe health issues, led to long periods of personal physical debilitation, including close to two years of self-isolation due to the shocking state if my skin and the attendant damage that my compromised epidermis was wreaking upon my entire system. I became so weak that I had to borrow a pair of crutches to get around, provided I was feeling well enough to physically get out of bed (let alone even sit up, or crawl out of bed to use the toilet). Once Dupixent healed my skin and allowed my system to rebuild, I felt well enough to enroll at the gym and train in order to regain some semblance of mobility, and once that got started I fell in love with the exercise and became more fit and energized than I had been in decades.
Then the pandemic hit and the nation went into very sensible lockdown, so I was stuck in my apartment for just shy of three solid months without proper exercise. At Christmas I contemplated buying some kettlebells for home use but nixed that idea due to the gym being just down the street and around the corner, so I saw that as an unnecessary expenditure. I greatly regret it now, because kettlebells became scarce as people acquired them early during the pandemic, and my place is simply too small for much by way of the kind of workout, including weighted cardio, that I need in order to achieve the desired regular fitness benefits.
While I have not actively suffered chest pains or shortness of breath during the lockdown, who's to say what the state of my heart is in the wake of all this inactivity? My ancillary stress over the impending kidney transplant and the ongoing concerns about my mother's health are certainly not doing me any favors, and while shlepping to and from Mount Sinai this week I have found myself quite winded. The blocks and avenues in the low-100's on Manhattan's Upper West Side are long and the sidewalks are not necessarily level, depending on where one walks, so getting to and from the hospital from the 116th Street subway station utterly kicked my ass. Thus I am concerned that there might be issues with my heart again, and if so more stenting may be needed. All of the hard work possibly undone by necessary diligence during a pandemic lockdown, and I would be lying if I said that the better part of this week has found me unable to sleep while contemplating all of this. 
As stated before, I am not scared during all of this, but what I am is beyond worn-out from years of never-ending medical shit. I'll butch up and endure whatever I have to, as that has become my way of life since 2013, but the prospect of yet more to deal with is simply crushing.
Anyway, I'm going to try to close my eyes ahead of my alarm going off and once awake I will gird myself for today's gauntlet. I'll be back with an update in a few hours.

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