Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I went for a hike with some friends last week. We probably only walked about 3 miles, but the remarkable thing about this hike was the hills, and mainly, how I didn't migraine myself into oblivion by climbing them.
When we first moved from the city into our little forest cabin, the hills were a struggle for me. We're on the side of a mountain, so the road past our house is an incline, the trails around our house are all fairly hilly, and even doing the laundry involves hauling my butt up and down a small hill.
When we first moved, I was so out of shape that the smallest exertion could flatten me for a week. My head would throb, my body would feel heavy and tired, my mind would become confused and irritable, and I would walk so slowly, the banana slugs were all, "Speed it up, sister."
But I kept trying. In the quiet of the mountain, without cars, sirens, the sun, or strange men to fend off, I found going for walks easier, even with the hills. So, I kept walking, my stamina grew, and my muscles woke back up.
It's taken eight months for me to get here. I can touch my toes, which I've never been able to do in my life, I can hoof it up our road and make it to the top without stopping constantly or feeling like I'm dying from the head. I've been using hand weights, too, and my arms are starting to look like a feature at the gun show. I've lost at least ten pounds, and several inches around my waist, bringing me back to nearly my pre-depakote weight. The progress is visible, and it is encouraging.
So, I went for a hike with friends last week, and it went so much better than I could have hoped for. Sure, I whined a bit, and towards the end, I had to stop every twenty feet to rest on the uphills. My head seems to be directly tied to my blood pressure, and when my blood starts pumping hard, my head becomes difficult to tolerate. But, tolerate it I did, with plenty of help from the old Mary Jane and lots of encouragement and laughter with friends.
When I got home, I was exhausted, and my head felt the affects for a few days. However, I was still able to function somewhat and the expected spike in pain was only about half of what it used to be.
The most amazing part of this bodily turnaround, for me, is that a lot of this progress is taking place in the summer. It's not as hot, and not nearly as bright as it was in the city, which is definitely making it easier on me, but maybe my sensitivity is decreasing, too, and maybe the healthier my body is, the healthier my head will be.