Tuesday, 5 July 2016

DRIVING away from home.....

Today I did my first driving after the heart attack - I wasn't allowed to drive for 4 weeks, as the DVLA stipulate that after a heart attack, but after that you are fine to drive.  Of course, not doing things by halves, I planned an epic journey to IKEA and Costco to do some shopping.  OK not the most interesting trip but I have missed getting out just to do my own shopping and just generally having a mooch round.  

As is normal for these things, I managed to spend £62 in IKEA on storage boxes, plastic bags, pens and paints (that we didn't really need), and got some Maribou Chocolate, which you seem to only be able to get from IKEA.  I also had some meatballs, but I have to say I didn't enjoy them at all, and I left most of the chips.  I know my appetite is slightly below what it was, which is a very good thing, but I also seem to have developed an aversion to eating really bad stuff like chips and sweets.  

It was just nice doing something fairly normal and boring, and getting myself back (literally) into the driving seat.  Actually I was a bit apprehensive beforehand, but once I got going it was completely fine.  Tomorrow's plan is to go up to York to look for birthday presents for M, he wants a replica FC Barcelona 16-17 Home kit, and some goalkeeping gloves.  

I have started reading a book on stress management - for some reason I'm finding it hard to force myself to try relaxation techniques, like meditations and listening to the cd that the cardiac rehab nurse gave me.  I think that I feel a bit silly doing stuff like that so I feel a bit self conscious, but I guess I need to grow up a bit and realise it is for my own good.  I'm also nervous about exercising - I really need those supervised sessions to get going, but I don't have a date for those as yet.  So far, much of what I have read is about the effects of stress, not really how to deal with it and how to adapt so that you don't get stressed to the point where you have a heart attack!   

I know that recently I have identified two things that I do that could be adding to my stress - one is definitely overthinking things and worrying about what might happen before it happens.  I think this comes from an upbringing where I was always expected to be prepared for every eventuality - a sensible strategy in some ways, but it has perhaps led me to worry about things unnecessarily (and automatically).  The other thing is stepping in when I think my in laws need help - in a way I've got to let others get on with it to some degree, but I find it difficult when I can see things that need sorting.

It is scary how something like this affects your confidence, I find that I'm looking at things in a different light - am I, or will I be capable of doing this?  Like going trampolining with the boys - will I ever be fit enough to do that? Will I ever be able to jog/run?  Do weights? Play tennis?  And in terms of work, will I have the stamina to do my job full time?  Will I need to/be allowed to go part-time if I can't?  It is tricky when you don't really know exactly how much the heart attack is going to constrain things, and also we don't know yet how well things have recovered - I have an echocardiogram and an exercise test on 15th July which will look at how my heart is working - hopefully all will be well and I can get on with things, and putting my life back together, perhaps slightly differently to how it was, a bit more laid back and planned perhaps....

We also need to have a family holiday and at the moment I'm kind of at the mercy of hospital appointments really - I don't want to slow anything down by not being available.  Hey ho, I'm sure it will all come out in the wash... I just feel that a little more certainty in my life would be helpful, and would help me to feel a bit more secure.   

Overall though, today was a good day - I drove, I shopped and I felt fine with it.  I was out of the house for 5 hours and I don't feel too shattered afterwards.  I guess I will have done a fair bit of walking too, but I need to up the pace a bit.  I'll leave that for tomorrow.....

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