Sit, Stand and Change…

11 March 2020… Apologies for not posting lately, too many meetings and time spent sitting instead of exercising… But we have reached the middle of the week and another visit to the Leisure Centre for the hour workout that will assist with my recovery back to work mode… A good turnout with a couple of new faces, 12 different aspects to the circuit, similar to Monday’s class. I am managing quite well with the majority of the tasks but I still find the sit to stand exercise the hardest, today was 2.5 minutes of discomfort, got through the exercise before moving on to the next. I am in no doubt it will get easier, time will be the leveller but anyone who has gone through the experience of Cardiac surgery will be well advised to try the rehab and persevere as long as you can… it is beneficial to your own health and recovery and the enthusiasm shown by yourself gives the rest of the group impetus and confidence to continue… Well done everyone today…the next session is coming up soon… I feel the effort this evening…

Early night sir?…

Rest Day… I Think Not…

03 March 2020… Today is supposed to be an easy day, a little bit of relaxation before another fairly crammed day tomorrow… But, it is and was not to be… A visit to my surgery and a visit to the podiatrist, prescription and foot care, one to keep my heart and body in good shape, the other to ensure I can do the steps daily… Today’s tally is nearly 9000 and the day is not over yet… This evening there is a school governors meeting which might go on a bit… late finish probably…​Looking forward to a different day tomorrow…No two days the same…

Rehab Day…

2 March 2020… Start of another week, must be Cardiac Rehab day…my second class of this session, different coach this week, Penny not available so Tracy in charge. 12 different exercises using balls, bikes, rowing machines, step up equipment and various other weights and straps… Warm up first for 15 minutes then complete the circuit by visiting every exercise for 2 minutes then a cool down session for 10-12 minutes… All in all it does benefit and all done with smiles and good grace by all… There is never the intention of turning anyone into an Olympic athlete but there is the emphasis on getting everyone’s health a wee bit better… Below are the group taking part today…

Today’s Pulse Group

St David’s Day…

1 March 2020… Today is St David’s Day, for those that are not familiar; he was the patron saint of Wales… A little bit of history… Saint David’s Day is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, though it is not a national holiday in the UK.  

I am happy to be here on the this day as it marks another milestone in my recovery, last year I was in Southport at conference and turning down the invitation to a UNISON social evening as the walk to and from would have caused some issues with breathing and pain… 7 weeks later I was on my way to Ward 4 of Prince Philip Hospital with issues related to my heart. 7 months later I am recovering slowly from open heart surgery that corrected the problem with a valve in my heart. It has been a long journey but worthwhile as it has extended my gift of life and time on earth… Thank you to all the medical staff for allowing me to wake up on St David’s Day, life will get easier, nobody said it was a race to the line to finish first and break the tape.

A Busy Day…

26 February 2020… Most days at the moment are full of boredom, if the weather is ok, take Alfie the dog out, spend an hour allowing him to sniff every lamppost, every tree and even every blade of grass then back home to the humdrum life of little or no physical activity. Today though was a day that was rather different, out of the door at 09:30 to the school where I am Chair of Governors for a shortlisting meeting, this meeting lasted over 2 hours and the time flew, a lovely change from some as they just seem to go on forever… Back home to change and off to the Leisure Centre for my first session of Stage 2 Cardiac Rehab. Somewhat different from the first course I completed, the exercises required a little more effort but I came through without any issue. Next session is on Monday and I am looking forward to it…At least today has proved to be an interesting day unlike the many days that have passed since they sliced me open, had a rummage, changed the valve and sewed me back up… Hopefully there will be more coming my way in the future…

A Change of Season…

21 February 2020… Friday has arrived and that is another week done, a week closer to my 67th birthday.  The time is flying by, March arrives next weekend, Spring is looming and with daylight hours getting longer nearly time to take off that Winter scowl and put on the Spring face.  My biggest obstacle at the moment is finding things to do, after having a very busy couple of years it is difficult to accept that things are never going to the same again. Do I retire now and do some voluntary work, do I go back to work for 16 hours a week, I am finding it extremely hard to make the decision. I have to listen to my body and it is telling me at the moment it is not quite the time so perhaps taking heed of what the chest, arms, legs and back is saying and staying as I am for the foreseeable future. Leisure Centre activity starts next week so that it something to look forward to, it will improve my fitness and lose some more weight. I can assure you that having this operation is a definitive way of dieting and losing weight. Appetite is gone and now I ensure that I have breakfast but meals during the rest of the day can be put aside, just need to eat enough at evening time to satisfy my medication as most is to be taken with or after food…I am not by the way advocating the operation as an alternative to dieting, it is just how it seems. Life will go on, the rain will continue to fall, floods will find it difficult to recede and householders affected will suffer for many more months trying to put a lifetimes work back to how it was… Life is never easy, and a struggle for many, but kindness is something that is lacking and if we all show a little benevolence and humanity to those that are suffering then the world will be a better place for all…

Cardiac Rehab Revisited…

20 February 2020… After completing the initial Cardiac Rehab program after surgery and thereafter the final assessment to see how it had helped my recovery, I was offered the opportunity to start another program of exercise that would benefit my health and heart. Today I had the assessment to see if I was up to the program and the good news is that I commence next Wednesday at 1pm in the Leisure Centre. 16 weeks of twice weekly sessions of an hour on Monday & Wednesday. Bring it on… It is important to become more active after Aortic Valve Replacement surgery to try and get back to as full a life as possible after a cardiac event. It’s also about support to live with your heart condition, to stay as healthy as possible, and to reduce the chance of another heart problem. I will keep you posted as to how it goes…

Milestone Reached…

16 February 2020… This date was my wife’s 65th birthday… something to celebrate but due to the weather in Wales, a somewhat curtailed celebration. Grandson is skiing in Austria so not all the family available so party postponed until he returns… First meal out for me since AVR operation and I have to say I have not missed the social scene, become somewhat hermit like since being discharged from hospital, rather prefer my own company and pleasant solitude. Too much noise and I have to withdraw from the scene… Life has changed and I am not sure whether I like it or not… time will tell…

Rained and Blown Off…

15 February 2020… Storm Dennis has scuppered the cardiac rehab walk today, strong winds and heavy rain has put paid to the opportunity of getting some fresh air with the wee man Alfie… He is not bothered as he does not like getting wet, but going to be a long day stuck inside the four walls…Transport for everyone is affected so not much use going out in the CAT for a spin as there is a risk of trees and fences being blown down across Wales so here I am at my desk listening to the sound of the vacuum cleaner… Never mind life is full of ups and downs… one of the downs was having the AVR operation… one of the ups was surviving it…

Heart of Valentine’s Day…

14 February 2020… Today is Valentine’s Day which is about the heart…To me it means that I have survived to see another Valentine’s Day after having my heart stopped and repaired. There are individuals with Cardiac illness who do not get a second chance, I was lucky enough to have another go at life so decided to share my journey in the hope that it will help and support those that suffer with issues of the heart…Remember life is a gift… embrace it…Give it a try, you have nothing to lose…