GETTING BACK INTO THE POOL (after 2 years away)

SLOWLY LEARNING HOW TO SWIM AGAIN:

First off, I want to thank (again) the wonderful members of our FUD community for contributing to the financial obligations for a YEARS membership to my local YMCA pool.

And in case you forgot who you are…

Elver, T1Allison,Sbee, Tapastry, John58,TiaG, Sam,Tryijng, Carol, JessicaD, Beacher,Jim26,Mariethm, Chris,ClaudeDaye,CatLady,Marie, Millz,bkh,and Eric.

SO, I got the “OK” from my surgeon, my Physical Therapist, and my Pain Management Team that it is fine for me to get back into the pool. AS I have atrophied much since my spinal surgery and only just learned to walk without any assistance and have learned to climb up stairs (still a really tough one), they are all in concurrence with one another. Getting here was no easy task. Having spent an entire month lying on my back partially paralyzed from the waste down in the hospital, to walking with a walker and wearing a back brace, to slowly returning to good health has taken almost an entire year. It is still a great challenge to get dressed, take a bath, sit comfortably, and, I am still on opiod pain medications from which I am weening off of slowly. I am also taking a muscle relaxer for my back which is extraordinarily tight and spasmodic around the area where my spine was replaced with the titanium.

But, I had this HUGE goal to get back into the pool by May, and that was not even close to possible. But June is here, and I am although scared to death, and I am ready to take my first plunge.

Yesterday I went to the Y and I signed up for the year ahead. My hand was literally shaking when I signed my name to the application! Also, I have to say that the amount of stairs that lead up to the pool locker room are heart windding. I felt like I am just ran a Marathon just getting up there. and then, to get down to the pool itself are another two levels of stairs which I would have to navigate in my flip flops (egads ) A little scary.

Now I already know that I will not be expecting to jump in and have a 2 hour swim. And I do know that I am able to walk much faster than I was just a month ago…but there is the question of how well my muscles will work, how long they might work for, and when do I stop working them. I was told that I should definitely NOT swim for any more than a half hour for a while, until my muscles strengthen and adjust. I am hoping that this will only b for about a month or so. For all I know, I may have to rely on a kick board . (however, since I spent so much time without the full use of my legs this past year, I have relied heavily on building my arms’ strength. my upper body is still very much in tact!

Also, I dont know how I am going to navigate my insulin routine for such a short amount of time off of my pump. And what amount of energy will I b burning considering the amount of effort I will b putting into my exercise. what kind of prep will I need to do? Well all of the questions I have, I am putting to Eric, and he will b coaching me with a plan to try out step by step. Holy cow am I nervous.

Also, I am not supposed to carry anything more than 10 pounds at a time. I have a knapsack filled with all of my swim stuff, my shower stuff, and my D stuff. This is gonna b a tricky one. Also, getting undressed and then showered and dressed again after the pool is going to present all of its own problems for me. I am not a gambler, but I am gambling on my self for pulling this off. :wink:

So folks, thats the latest. AS I have always done, and will continue to do, I will keep you posted. but for now…thats all the news thats fit to print.

And I want to thank everyone again for not just the Y membership, but for all of the other gifts that kept coming in the mail, day after day. It was absolutely wonderful. All of the edibles were gone in just a matter of days, I snuggle with my cat Oscar Wilde beneath the fancy blanket in front of the TV, but my favorite gift of all were the cards that you sent me. I kept one attached to my walker to give me hope and strength day in and day out. the others are on my desk shelves facing me every day. You have all kept me going while I was down and struggling. and now as I get stronger, I look back and know that you were with me throughout my entire experience (and it isn’t even over yet!!!)

signing out,

DM

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@daisymae Its wonderful to hear how much progress you have made! You are such a strong, determined person. (And now, the bionic woman!) :heart:

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@daisymae That’s good news, I know how you missed swimming.

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just say’in, now I need to carry a Medical note with me so I can go through security checkpoints!! :rofl:

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You can do it!!! Just remember one step at a time! Maybe at first it will be just getting into the building because of the stairs. But it’s a start!!!

Congratulations!

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Wonderful to hear! :green_heart:

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Way to go, DM! You inspire us all! :two_hearts:

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I was so winded after climbing the first set of stairs, I thought I might need an oxygen mask and an EMS.

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So wonderful to hear! Seriously, one step at a time. We are cheering you on! xoxo

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Great news DM! Can’t wait to hear about your swimming escapades again. You’re truly an inspiration!

:sunflower:Millz

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So happy you are back to your beloved swimming. You are indeed an inspiration!!

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I’m glad you finally got there @daisymae ! I know at times things were bleak, but you preservered and did it! You’re back in the pool! Congrats! :grin:

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@daisymae, it is so great to see you back in the pool! Such a Victory!

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This is exciting!! Hope all goes well.

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just wanted to add:

just to let you know, I am still in an awful lot of pain. My spine, the muscles around my spine, and the neuropathic pain that does not respond to any medication can still be excruciating.

I am just exhausted from “recovering” and need desperately to get on with my life. I really dont know what to expect when I slide into the cold pool water, but I deserve to have that sense of normalcy and wonderment I have missed out on in these past 2 years.

I am nervous about what pains I may experience when I first start off on this new journey whenever I think about it, but my husband has this saying that he says to me like a broken record whenever I indulge in the “what ifs” regarding things that have not happened yet: "DO NOT LIVE IN THE WRECKAGE OF THE FURTURE."

singing out,

DM

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Your husband is a wise man. Love the quote.

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@daisymae at the risk of sounding like the village idiot… To some degree, the more it hurts now (within reason), the less it will hurt later. As you begin to use your long unused muscles they are going to complain. You have made ENOURMOUS inroads in your recovery so far and haven’t listened to a complainer yet. I don’t suspect you will as you start swimming either. Please be safe and listen to your body - don’t push too hard - yet. Time heals everything and everyone.

P.s. YAY YOU @daisymae ! Back in the POOL!

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I’m rooting for ya, @daisymae! Courage and grace are the biggest things I take away from your example!

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@daisymae
I know you are getting ready to go back, and I also know you are nervous about everything and that you wont be swimming very long.

Because of all of that, you need to do something different than what you were doing before.

This is just a starting point, but it’s pretty simple!

  • Turn off your basal 1 hour before you plan on getting into the pool. Not 1 hour before you leave your house! But 1 hour before you are actually in the water. Take your best guess there.

  • Try to swim at a time when you don’t have a ton of IOB. So don’t swim right after breakfast or lunch. This rule is the same as before!

  • Right before you get in the water, test your BG. If you are below 120, take 1 Transcend. If you are below 90, take 2 Transcends.

Very easy, right?

It is not going to be perfect. Don’t stress about it. You have plenty of time to make adjustments. This just gets you back in the pool for a 30 minute swim without a lot of worrying or 2nd guessing.

(PS - I think the Transcends will spike you a little too much. But this is not intended to be perfect BG. Just a very safe start as you get back into it. We can fix it later, okay?)

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FIRST DAY BACK AND I DIDNT SINK:

right off the bat, it was AMAZING!!!

getting there was a little worrisome, but I tried to take every moment in stride and do this thing I like to do to relieve stress: “Self Talk”. I focus on my breathing and I talk to myself (no, not out loud, just in my head). I give myself affirmations. "youre in a safe place, you LOVE to feel the cool water against your skin, you love the glide, you love the feelings in all of your muscles propelling you forward…uh oh, heart pounding again…deep breaths …continue…you’re safe, you’re healthy, youre courageous, youre determined, YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.

so, last night was a bit challenging even though I didnt do anything yet. my mind was just too far into the future. I was overly anxious about my swim, my BGs, my fuel, my breakfast, “fight or flight” spikes…I was so panicy, in fact, that I could hardly sleep. And when I was asleep it was fitful. I sweat through 3 T-Shirts! I had to do 2 overnight corrections to keep my usual tight BG in range (micro boluses). when I woke up this morning, my BG was 94. Not bad at all, although a little high for me. No biggy.

at 8:15am I ate 2 cups of 4% Cottage Cheese.
at 10:45 my BG rose to 110
when I was getting ready to turn off my Basal (no more IOB from Bfast), I had spiked to 134.

What to do? (I called Eric) So instead of turning off my basal, I just left for the pool. 20 minute walk at a fast clip (not so easy in Birkenstocks :rofl: )

And, despite having been at 100% basal, I removed my pump, put on my suit, cap, goggles and flip flops and went looking in the “usual” place for some towels. Uh oh. No Towels. (A New Pandemic “regulation” they neglected to tell me at the front desk when I payed them for my membership, even though I asked a million questions about the pool…cruel and unusual of them, I think!! )

ok…so if ive learned anything from being D, its how to assess, adjust and accommodate. No towels…hummm. AH! Paper Towels! That’ll have to do!

HOW WAS THE SWIM, YOU ASK? :

well I promised myself I would swim for 15 minutes without giving up to unusual pain, muscle weakness, fear of going low (I had Two Transcends, a bag of Jellies, and Gtabs in my bag by the edge of the pool). My doctors were all in agreement that I absolutely should not swim for any more than 1/2 hour.Of course, being the type A personality that I am, I pushed it to that 1/2 hour without pause.

My body hurt. I could feel the titanium in my spine. I felt the tight muscles throughout my back, I felt my lungs struggling a little to take my breaths. I felt that I was lopsided. my right side was significantly stronger than my left side (surgical reasons). I won’t lie. This was hard work! However, as hard as this was, I think that this 1/2 hour swim (and all the preparation that went into it) was the most rewarding time I have experienced since I stopped swimming when the Pandemic caused the Y to close its doors and I had my surgery.

after the 1/2 hour was up, when I wiped my fingers dry with those ratty paper towels and tested my BG was 110. so that was a 17 point drop for a 1/2 hours work on 100% basal. all in all, though, I was off my pump for a total of 45 minutes, and knowing this, I counted on my BGs spiking slightly as I walked home. I just didnt know how much they would spike. But, like Eric has mentioned: I am gathering information now, not trying for perfection.

So, I bolused for my Boost Shakes (32gms carbs and protein respectively) and did a minor correction bolus of .4 units.

God I had forgotten just how much I LOVE those chocolate shakes. I try to pace myself drinking them, but its really hard :wink:

NOW I KNOW I HAVE THANKED YOU GUYS A GAH-ZILLION TIMES, BUT, PLEASE LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN. TODAY WAS ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL DAYS IN MY LIFE IN THE PAST TWO YEARS, AND YOU HELPED ME MAKE THAT HAPPEN!!! :pray: :pray: :pray: :

have a great weekend. will continue to keep you posted.

signing out,

DM

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