Thursday, November 30, 2006

Not Running ; Not healthy; Not Happy

My last post has pleased me enormously for two reasons. The first was the discovery of the poet Donald Justice. - I liked his poem so much I then bought his Collected Works. The other reason was that it gave me a reason to think about my father. I wrote briefly about him but I though much more and it gave me pleasure to think of his essential decency - he was a good man.

However recently I have been dwelling rather mawkishly on a different part of my genetic heritage - my heart. My father was 64 when he died of heart failure, his brother was a bit older and my grandfather was 70. As I get older I become more aware of this brush of the icy fingers upon the shoulder. Mostly I get on with things. I run, cycle, do yoga, and am active. Physical fitness is an important part of my internal sense of identity but at the moment this sense of myself is swaying underneath me.

The problem I had with my heart rate in the Beachy Head Marathon has not gone away. Although I rested for a couple of weeks, when I ran again I still could not keep my heart rate down. So I went to the doctor only to find that my blood pressure was also crazy high.

I have since had various test on blood and urine (all of which have come back negative, apart from marginally high cholesterol) but during the last three weeks the lowest blood pressure reading has been 166 over 94. This is not good and I am now taking pills to reduce it and will be referred to a cardiologist.

Damn I feel low! Taking pills for blood pressure puts me with the unfit and frail - the half well (this is a bit irrational but is how I think at the moment). It opens up my fears and I really have not felt like going outside for a run. Damn!

I must give myself a good talking to, get outside, get out of the slough and remember this line from Theodore Roethke, "A lively understandable spirit Once entertained you. It will come again. Be still. Wait."

There is no reason to be despairing

Actually as one of the reasons for running is to feel part of the landscape the whole of the section of the poem is worth quoting:

It was beginning winter,
An in-between time,
The landscape still partly brown:
The bones of weeds kept swinging in the wind,
Above the blue snow.

It was beginning winter,
The light moved slowly over the frozen field,
Over the dry seed-crowns,
The beautiful surviving bones
Swinging in the wind.

Light traveled over the wide field;
The weeds stopped swinging.
The mind moved, not alone,
Through the clear air, in the silence.

Was it light?
Was it light within?
Was it light within light?
Stillness becoming alive,Yet still?

A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.


Kieren said...

Good luck with the test on the ticker. I can totally relate to what you're going through as I have just had a heart scare myself. Thankfully it seems to have been just a scare & the cardiologist said my heart looked good. Still it's been a worry in the 3 months of tests & waiting I've had to get this far.

Try not to worry too much - you've got a healthy lifestyle & I think it's impoertant to keep tha so go out for that run. An easy run if you like but breaking the habit is no doubt contributing to the low feeling

b-z said...

make sure they have you on pills that dont make you feel worse

Please feel free to e mail me if you need medical advice

i am rubbish at being ill-i always feel like a failure

good luck

beanz said...

hugs, HK

and another great poem