Sunday, February 14, 2010

Walking

Ah, I'm still nauseous off and on. I think all of my symptoms of this post-viral syndrome are intermittent. Sometimes a symptom will only last a few minutes once a day. Other times a symptom will be pretty much constant for a week or months. The Dandy Walker symptoms are intermittent too, but they are really only a problem when I'm on my feet. The pain, fatigue and unsteadiness aren't great incentive to walk, but I walk anyway. I love to do it! Between my classes, I almost always take a walk around the floor. I am happiest during a walk when I am asymptomatic.

I loved walking around downtown Toronto in summer 2008 after a day of work at the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario. My favourite span of the walk was from Bathurst and Queen to the Eaton Centre mall. So many cute shops and packed restaurant patios to look into. It was always fairly crowded, but there were few enough people that I could walk briskly without having to slow down to get past people. Almost every day that summer it was sunny and hot. I loved wearing my light, flowy dresses with nothing on my shoulders unless it was windy or rainy. I felt beautiful like a movie star.

I walked for an hour and a half nearly every day after work, usually past the hospitals and into the University of Toronto as well. It was often taxing physically because the combination of heat and activity was hard on my inadequately medicated heart. I walked even when I was dizzy or weak because I loved it so much. I felt that if it was really bad for me, I wouldn't be physically able to do it. I knew my heart was strong and there was no irregular rhythm, so I felt kind of invincible.

My current situation is also not life-threatening, but I don't feel invincible like I did then. I think it's because I knew I could ease my arrhythmia by increasing my medication. In this case, there is no treatment. Maybe the long duration of this illness has prevented me from feeling invincible. I've become jaded. Over these past eight months I have spent a lot of time reflecting on previous illnesses and symptoms -- some mysterious, some explained by my variety of conditions. I just feel like, why should I bother getting excited about getting over the future end of this? I'll still have to deal with everything else.

I hope I learn to feel invincible and undaunted by activity again.

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