What a crazy difference three months can make in one’s life. This is how I looked three months ago today.
As I was getting ready to leave work that Tuesday, I started having several difficulty breathing. I ended up in the ER where I was diagnosed with a bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE). I had multiple clots in both lungs which is pretty scary. Before the night was over, I was in the ICU listed in critical condition being pumped full of blood thinners to try and dissolve the clots.
In many ways, that whole night just seems like yesterday, but in other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. Thankfully, my recovery has been going really well. I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now and have returned to most of my normal activities. I still get tired fairly easy because my lungs are still recovering, and I do have occasional days where I just don’t feel that great. All in all though, things are good and my doctors are pleased with my recovery thus far.
As I was lying in bed in the ICU three months, if someone had told me I would be averaging almost 9,000 steps per day on my Fitbit by now, I would have called them crazy. Yet, that’s exactly where I’m at in my recovery. The image above shows my Fitbit stats for last week. Even more amazing than averaging nearly 9000 steps last week is the fact that number was down a bit from the previous week as indicated by the red triangle pointing downward.
Based on how well I’ve been doing with my walking over the past couple of weeks, I spoke with my doctor yesterday during my latest checkup and we agreed to increase my daily Fitbit goal to 7500 steps per day. As long as I’m feeling good, I’m definitely free to exceed that goal. The 7500 step goal is my minimum for each day, not the maximum.
My doctor told me there are three things I can do to help reduce my risk of future clots:
- Continue losing weight
- Stay active
- Stay hydrated
By sticking with the Weight Watchers program, I have the first one covered. My doctor was very happy yesterday to see I was down over six pounds since my previous visit. He was happy to learn I had lost the weight following Weight Watchers, too. He is a fan of the new SmartPoints plan because of the focus on reducing saturated fat and sugar intake. He encouraged me to keep up the good work!
As for staying active, I’m taking that very seriously. It’s not unusual for me to have a day filled with conference calls at work, so when I find myself with one of those days, I get up out of my chair every hour and march in place for at least five minutes to ensure I keep my blood flowing smoothly. On days where I don’t have as many meetings, I get up each hour and go for a short walk.
I’m doing much better about staying hydrated these days, too. I was technically hydrating before my PE, but was getting a lot of my fluids from iced tea, Crystal Light, etc. I’m drinking a lot more plain water now and really find myself enjoying it more now, so that’s a major victory!
While I would have preferred not to have a PE, in many ways I’m kind of thankful it happened. It reopened my eyes how important it is for me to lose the weight for my health rather than just for vanity reasons. While a smaller clothing size would be nice, being in good health is FAR more important. It’s also motivated me to stick with the program much more than vanity reasons ever did which is also a good thing!
So, here I am, three months out. I can’t wait to see where I am in three more.
Until next time …