Fitness with a chronic illness

February 19th, 2016 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Fitness with a chronic illness, I didn’t think that was an option!

I took almost a year off from Just Mildly Medicated. I posted occasionally on the FaceBook page and kept active on Instagram, but not the blog. I’m not sure you missed me, sometimes when someone stops showing up that happens and it’s okay. I am going to be back. There are multiple reasons I am coming back, mostly because I still need to share my journey.

When I left you I had started cardiac rehab. I was a reluctant participant at the beginning and was frustrated when I would really try only to be hailed down by a nurse and told my heart rate was too high and slow down, but I kept showing up. In my last post I said this to you on the concept of exercise making me all better.

“Unfortunately eating mostly whole foods, exercising, and loving the heck out of me, as well as everyone around me, is not going to cure any of my medical issues. I’d be wary of people who claim any differently, and they’re out there. My own cardiologist is convinced cardiac rehab is just going to zap my autonomic system back online. The truth is I am just trying to work WITH my body, and its issues, instead of fighting my body or hating it.”

That is all still holding very true. I am happy to report that I am still working out just about every day. If you have been following on Instagram you’ve seen the time I am putting into this. Here is a before and after. The blue dress photo was from March, pretty much when I disappeared from the blog-o-sphere, the pink top is from a few weeks ago.

March 2015 January 2016

March 2015                       January 2016

No, working out is not going to fix chronic illnesses that are not after effects of poor health choices. Yes, working out can make you stronger and more secure… and I mean literally more structurally sound. I wasn’t doing myself any favors, physically or mentally, by being afraid of moving. Starting was so slow it was nearly embarrassing. Who am I kidding, it was embarrassing, but progress was made.

Is my blood pressure not dropping from Orthostatic Hypotension? Well, yes, but less frequently and the strength I now have in my muscles is very helpful in keeping me up a little longer and getting to the ground slowly. Is my heart rate normal now instead of jumping all around when my I stand up (POTS)?  It can still be unpredictable but the work I have put in has made the overall time for it to return to normal much shorter and overall it happens less often.

Am I saying working out will “fix” you? No, because truth be told it just isn’t. Am I saying working out can help you become physically and mental stronger? YES, yes I am.

I believe this so much that I am currently enrolled at the National Academy of Sports Medicine so that I am able to help others by being a personal trainer. My local gym has shown specific interest in my progress physically and throughout my course. They are excited to potentially have someone on their staff who, quite literally understands, what it is like to balance health and illness.

It isn’t often that I am all positive mushy mushy, but exercise has made a huge positive impact and I just want to pay the fitness forward. If you have been thinking about trying cardiac rehab I urge you to go, it literally changed my life.

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Twitter is beyond me so we’ll just skip that one

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19 Responses

  1. Myria says:

    You are definetly an inspiration Carrie! You look amazing and I am happy to hear you have had some improvements on your quest!

  2. Stacey says:

    I came across your blog several months ago when I was researching Dysautonomia. Glad you are back! I have found exercise to really help me with my journey. I look forward to your postings! :)

  3. Rach says:

    I’ve been watching your pop ins with great excitement Carrie! How awesome to see your tenacity and dedication. I’m so excited you are back!

  4. I’m so happy for you Carrie. I love that you’ve seen effects and can start this new chapter in your life. I’ve loved watching your progress on Insta and appreciate your honesty about what it has and hasn’t done. I’m 3mths into physio and while I’m still snails pacing things it has helped a little in my endurance and my decline is slowed, although not stopped. It’s hard but I’m glad I made the choice and part of the was also from watching you and your progress. I think we can have health in the context of illness, by doing all we can to maximise things and better manage our bodies, even if it wont entirely cure the underlying issue. You’re awesome and I’m so glad you’re back blogging :)

  5. carol says:

    glad to see you back posting.

  6. Venus Algus says:

    Carrie you are an inspiration to me . Know i am going see a good car accident chiropractor near me .

  7. Venus Algus says:

    Carrie Thats very nice to see that you are doing a great job there and nothing can stop you.

  8. Thats a very good article of hope don`t lose hope trust on yourself.

  9. Rachael says:

    Exercise is so hard with chronic illness! Thanks for posting so much about dysautonomia…it’s blogs like this that helped me find out I have POTS. I created a blog of my own:

  10. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

  11. Edward Morea says:

    Carrie your ruthless honesty scared me, I was expecting to read a fairy tale where some dietary discipline and workout regimen completely drove away all the symptoms of the the illness and that you are living happily ever after, but you did well by stating the truth and message is clear that by opting for a healthy life style, you will not be cured but yes will definitely learn to cope up with it in a much better way.

  12. David Morea says:

    Cardiac rehab and doing physical exercises is always beneficial, I am happy that it has helped, though not cured you of the ailment but gave you greater strength and motivation to march on with your life.

  13. thomas says:

    Great one! Thanks for sharing such a nice post. Really its a very good news.

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