I have been going to the gym since about 6 weeks after my transplant, but I have only been walking on the treadmill and not lifting any weights. This past week I was cleared to lift weights and started to lift again. I had not lifted at all while I was on dialysis because any isometric sensation in my fistula would make it move and then I wasn’t able to hit my vein when I was putting the needles in for dialysis. The doctor told me to start with very light weights, but apparently his idea of light and my idea are very different. I started with like 1/3 of the weight I was lifting prior to my kidney issues and had significant trouble lifting that amount. Also I could really feel my fistula reacting to the isometric of the exercise. After having difficulty with the first 2-3 reps, I reduced the amount of weight even further and that seemed to work better for me, though it made me feel slightly like a wimp. I have managed to get in a couple of days of Chest/Triceps, a day of Back/Biceps and the dreaded Leg Day. Upon Doctors advice I am not doing anything having to do with my waist or abs, so as to not damage my new kidney since that is where it was put. I have kept the weight very low and will continue to do so for the first few weeks of doing this and then gradually increase the weight. At the same time I have been increasing my walking, both the speed and the amount of time, on the treadmill. I am trying to push myself for a couple of reasons; #1. I need to lose some weight – since my transplant the prednisone causes weight gain and I want to get back to my pre-transplant weight, and #2. I am trying to push myself to see if I can handle doing activity for an extended period so that I can return to work.
I am very nervous about the prospect of going back to work. I really want to go back to work at the BSA, but I don’t know if I will be able to physically work an 8-10 hour day, and there are many days that exceed that requirement. It is hard to explain, but I don’t know if I want to know the answer that question. I am afraid that I won’t be able to work or at least I won’t be able to work at the level that I worked prior to my Kidney Issues. Not knowing is somehow better than knowing if the answer is no – if that makes any sense. I talked in my last post about not wanting to relocate and how I may not have a job with the local council that I was with prior to dialysis. That is a concern and is kind of always seeming to be on my mind. I am hoping to start in October part time and see how that goes before going back full time. I have 28 years working for the BSA and need to make it to retirement and I would have no idea how to go about looking for a job outside the BSA. I expect to be finally cleared to go back to work at my September appointment with the transplant center.
The coming months should prove to be a busy time. This coming weekend we are planning a trip to Waltham, MA, with Carolyn, to visit with Kate and Kenny. We hope to go to Providence for the WaterFire on Saturday evening and then return to their apartment in Walthm. Carolyn goes back to Ithaca the following weekend and moves into her apartment on August 22 and Meg goes back to work next week (Wednesday, August 19th) but her students don’t come back until Aug. 24th. In September I have a lot of Doctor visits scheduled including; Yale Transplant Center, the Cardiologist, the Dentist, my Endocrinologist & my primary care physician. I am also suppose to have a biopsy on my new Kidney at the 6 month mark, but that has not yet been scheduled but should happen in September. We are also planning a weekend trip to Ithaca for the first weekend of October for the Apple Festival. We are hoping that Kate & Kenny can come with us to Ithaca. October is also Meg and my thirtieth wedding anniversary! It is over a long weekend so I am hoping that we can get away to somewhere for a couple of days.