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    • #15901
      Kathleen Sheffer


      Recently, I’ve been experiencing symptoms of gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is slow emptying of solid food from the stomach, causing nausea and other digestive symptoms. My gastroparesis is a complication of my heart-lung transplant surgery, but a variety of groups can be affected by the condition, often with unknown causes.

      Moving my body helps to alleviate my symptoms. Long walks and other forms of aerobic exercise seem to help wake up my digestive system and move things along. I haven’t been exercising as much as I should be lately, though. The cold weather and rain have deterred me, and not exercising makes me feel sick, and then I don’t want to exercise when I feel sick. It snowballs pretty quickly and last week I ended up going into my transplant clinic with these symptoms. My team was worried I might have a viral infection, but the tests came back negative. Luckily, I’ve started to feel better.

      I’m focusing on movement now to make sure I stay feeling good and I wonder if you have any tips for this? What gets you out of bed and moving? For me, it’s usually my dog, but she doesn’t require long walks. When it’s raining, she wants to go inside right after she does her business. I don’t blame her!

      Do you set goals for yourself or have other people holding you accountable? I’m signing up for some yoga classes this week in hopes that the structure will force me to exercise. Please share what helps you keep moving in the comments.

    • #15918
      Vanessa Vaile

      Necessity and determination to remain independent keep me active–my feet are my transportation — “mare’s shanks” as Miss Marple would say. Oxygen and improved exercise tolerance with PH meds equal mobility. There is no reliable public transit, common in small rural communities. Yuma is a small town, gradients next to non-existent — walkable for most errands. I also want to get an adult tricycle with baskets to expand my get-around horizons.

      Do you take a camera with you when you walk?

      Then there’s weather keeping you inside. There are “Inside Walking” (in place) programs, complete with videos. Pacing about a small apartment is OK in small doses but doesn’t quite cut it as am exercise plan. I finally got a low end manual treadmill. The manual models are smaller than the motorized ones and fold up to take even less space — more affordable too.

      • #15925
        Brittany Foster

        Your drive to remain as independent as possible is so motivating and inspiring. That’s what a lot of us are after too is keeping that sense of “normalcy” with remaining active. I’m glad that your oxygen and improved exercise tolerance is keeping you as strong as you are. Great idea with the more protable and foldable treadmill! Where do you purchase something like that? I have seen small step like equipment that mimics stepping up stairs (not as high as an actual stair though) and those don’t take up that much room! I used to love going on the treadmill and listening to good music or watching a show while walking to help the time pass. The fancy treadmills even have virtual outside walks which is pretty cool. They have them at the gym I used to go to. I’m looking forward to getting back to more activity when I get my strength up!

      • #15928
        Kathleen Sheffer

        You make great points, Vanessa. I do a lot of walking for transportation here in San Francisco and I’m lucky that we have lots of hills to incorporate cardio into my daily routine. This was not so great when I had PH – it took so much out of me just to walk my dog. Now, though, it’s not quite enough to qualify as a real workout for me.

        I don’t take my camera with me as much when I go for walks these days. One reason might be that my phone camera is pretty good, and much more portable. I took my camera on walks more often before my transplant as an excuse to stop and catch my breath – and take a picture! Do you ever do this?

        I’d never seen manual treadmills until I did a quick search just now. Thank you for mentioning them! It’s nice that they don’t take up so much space – my parents have a huge treadmill that barely fits in their garage. Right now I am using the extra space in my bedroom for my yoga mat…okay, fine, mostly for laundry. But sometimes yoga. I’m glad you found a treadmill that works for you!

        • #15936
          Brittany Foster

          hahahaha Kathleen, your comment about the laundry in your room just made me laugh out loud. Mostly because I’m sitting here staring at the pile of clean clothes on my dresser that I have yet to put away and the laundry basket taking up space on my bedroom floor 🙂 … When I did yoga I usually did it in the living room or liked to do it outside. I totally agree with you that the nicer weather is way more motivating. I LOVED group classes when I was more physically active and if all goes well and I get the surgery they are thinking of for me I hope to be back into doing more group classes in no time ! My favorites were barre classes which actually weren’t that much of a strain on my body and Body toning workouts that focused on smaller movements that toned the body vs a lot of cardio and jumping (I couldn’t do much of that even when I was a lot fitter than I am now!) I don’t know how I ever did hockey for all the years I did it !

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