Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thursday's Therapy - "Are You Exercising Every Day?" "I am now!" ~Tommy Prince

Thursday's Therapy

"Are You Exercising Every Day?"

"I am now!"

~Tommy Prince

There is no better and more natural antidepressant, anti-anxiety, or anger management medicine available than good physical conditioning. Regular exercise has been shown to positively affect mood, memory, anger, thinking, anxiety, work performance, sleep, blood pressure, cardiovascular functioning, and cholesterol. Physical exercise can help resolve depression and improve the symptoms associated with PTSD.

~Charles Hoge, M.D., Once a Warrior Always a Warrior


Lately, I have been able to put together several nights of good sleep. It has been five years since I have been able to get 8 hours of sleep for four nights in a row!

So why is it that something that can benefit just about everything about PTSD is the very thing I have been so late getting to?!

The shock of finding out I am in bad health has created a sense of urgency in me. Before, I rationalized that yard work and other activities I do that involve a lot of moving around "seemed" like they would suffice for the necessary aerobic exercise needed, so I guess "denial" was winning out.

I have been treating exercise like it is an option!

So when I went to the doctor three weeks ago, and he asked,

"Are You Exercising Every Day?"

I suddenly caught on and responded,

"I am now!"

The doctor's blood tests had revealed that I now have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The doctor, like a good coach, said to me,

"There are good hormones waiting to be released into your system to take on your high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but they cannot be released unless you get aerobic exercise everyday. Otherwise, the good hormones are pent up and the bad hormones (like cortisol) will be allowed to destroy your system!"


I dropped by my dad's office today. He is a practicing physician and surgeon. I exclaimed to him,

"Just three years ago, my blood pressure was 128/72, so what the heck has happened to me in the last three years?"

Without a moment of hesitation, he exclaimed back,

"Stress and the release of cortisol through your system!"

After first visiting my doctor in December, I began to exercise a little more often, but after two more visits and tests that revealed my levels of the two potentially deadly pathogens were still high, I started what has, for the past three weeks, been my daily exercise vigil. I used to wake up in the mid-140's (systolic); now I wake up and my systolic is in the mid 130's, with the dystolic being in the 80's the entire time. But my nightly blood-pressure readings have fluctuated all over the place:

148/97, 167/90, 153/84, 137/81, 158/97

So the numbers are decreasing by about ten points in the morning readings, but the night readings are still way too high.

Now my father tells me I also need to watch my salt intake. (Angie's only been telling me this for the past umpteen days, but it somehow didn't seem to register...)

Then he added,

"For every one pound you gain, that's 8 miles of capillaries that have to form, so the heart has to work extra hard for your body to function!"

So this is why I tell everybody,

"Child Loss is not just about the grief, but it is also about the TRAUMA and its assault on your system!"

As I walk through the trauma of the death of my child, unless I keep up this self-care which includes daily physical exercise, it will end up being the early death of me.



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