Friday, June 11, 2010

18 months to goal!

Today was my annual echo. For those of you who don't know, it is essentially an ultrasound of the heart and in my case it is used to measure the diameter of my aortic valve. Once the valve gets too narrow it will mean surgery to replace it. It is huge surgery (though becoming more and more common) and will result in a one week stay in ICU and potentially 6 months off from work.
I am very scared of it and not ready.
I was born with a malformed valve and there is nothing I can do to prevent or delay the surgery. All I can do is be in good physical shape for the surgery to make my odds of survival better.
I have known about this for 10 years and have yet to get my shit together enough to get in shape and get ready. The more I think about why that is, the more I have come to realize that it is precisely because I am not ready that I have not gotten ready. I feel like if I get in shape and am ready for surgery then I have to face my fear of the surgery and of not surviving it and I am not ready to do that.
The lunacy of the whole thing though is that I am not in control of when I will need the surgery. My valve will continue to narrow over time and surgery will need to be done at some point whether I am ready or not. And so, rationally, I need to get in shape now so that my body is ready for surgery whether I am emotionally ready or not. My body needs to be strong enough so when that day comes it will go fine.
I begged the technician to give me my results which of course she couldn't do, but she did tell me that she didn't think there was any major change from last year. That's HUGE! If the valve is essentially the same then I have at least 18 months before surgery.
So, 18 months. I want to lose at minimum 106 pounds before then, but really more importantly I think, I need to be in much better physical health by then. I need to have much more stamina, much more cardio capacity, much more strength to get through the surgery itself and then to be able to come off the heart bypass machine and the respirator.
So I have registered at the Gym and I have my diet plan and I will continue to lose weight. If I continue to lose 1 pound per week I will have lost 78 pounds by then. At my current rate of loss, it will be 102lbs gone. Hopefully, with increasing exercise I will blow both of those numbers out of the water.
I will do this, I will.

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