A year ago, last June; I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. In hindsight, I can see that its onset was probably around March of that year. At that time, I was running 30 to 40 miles a week on the trails at a local state park. But I began to notice my usual 6 or 9 mile runs were getting slower and slower. Then my runs got shorter and shorter. By June, I couldn’t climb to the top of the stairs here at the house without getting out of breath.
It’s not certain what caused this condition. My cardiologist’s best guess is a possible viral infection. I seem to have fallen victim to a condition that usually hits younger and healthier people. Whatever it was that damaged my heart muscle, its onset was most likely around February/March of last year. But being in such good shape to start with, it took several more months for my condition to deteriorate to the point that it was no longer ignorable.
On the downside, there’s nothing that can be done to help except putting me on blood thinners and blood pressure medications. On the upside though, as my cardiologist has told me, “…except for a weakened heart muscle, [I’m] as healthy as a horse.” An angiogram showed my heart arteries wide open and clear and I have no other signs of cardiovascular disease anywhere in my body. I guess a lifetime of endurance-level physical activity had left me, at the age of 65, in exceptionally good health.
So the good news was, I can’t possibly have a heart attack. A defibrillator was implanted last November. With that addition I felt braver and started working out again.
Then, just when I thought I was getting better, I had a TIA (transient ischemic attack), a mini-stroke. I’ve fully recovered, but it left me fatigued again. Hence my further delay getting back to blogging.
I’m one of those people that, in order for my brain to work, my body must be physically engaged as well. Some people call this being a kinesthetic learner. When I was a kid, I was just called fidgety.
Making a long story short, finally getting back to being physical activity again is enabling me to be mentally active again, too.
So time to restart this blog, and finish up where I was last February.