It’s been awhile since I wrote a post on here, but it’s not because of anything bad. I’ve just been living my life, enjoying myself, and not dealing with many medical problems.
I just moved back to Vermont where I’m studying physical therapy at UVM. It’s hard to put into words just how great it feels to be back home, which is what it feels like. I missed the people, the mountains, my school, etc. It’s been fun rediscovering my old running routes.
I had another post op appointment with my doctor in Maryland. The bypass looks good. It’s working just like it’s supposed to. Plus, I had some tests done to see if I’m more at risk than other people for developing blood clots after that fun experience of getting a DVT. Luckily, I’m not! I didn’t test positive for Factor V Leiden or any of the other things that were tested. Yay! No more aspirin for me, which means I won’t be bruising as much.
I was cleared to start running 3 months post op, and I’ve been very gradually increasing how long I go for. The farthest I’ve run so far is 30 minutes with a mix of running for around 4/5 minutes and walking for 1 minute. I’ve been going on lots of small hikes and am back biking. The farthest I’ve biked has been around 15 miles.
With that being said, there’s definitely been a learning curve to it all. I’ve had to relearn what my body can handle, what it needs, and what its recovery looks like. I’ve had the vasculature in my legs restructured, some muscle removed, and the nerves fixed in place. My body is different than what it used to be. Plus, it’s still in the process of recovering from surgery. I’m only 4 and 8 months post op from two major surgeries.
I’ve learned that at least for now I can’t run back to back days. Grass and trails are much easier on my legs than pavement. My balance kind of sucks now. I can’t sit cross-legged anymore or else my leg will fall asleep. I’ve also learned the signs that I need to slow down or take a break – my calves will start burning, or my toes will start tingling, or my foot will start falling asleep. If I just stop for a few minutes, though, the symptoms completely disappear.
I don’t know what the future looks like for my running and I don’t really want to put any limits on it for the moment. I will most likely not be running marathons in the future. My surgeons have both told me that that wouldn’t be the best idea. The stress that would put on my calves might cause the bypass to clot up and I don’t want to go through another surgery anytime soon. I’m not sure I’ll be able to really run races again. At the moment, I’m just satisfied with what I can do right now. When I was diagnosed about a year ago I was so extremely limited with just about everything. Walking just a short ways was painful even at a slow pace. The fact that I can now run and hike and bike is pretty incredible. I’m so thankful to have my life back.