The Most Horrendous and Painful part of Exercise after Open Heart Surgery

I was terrified before going in for my open heart surgery.  I had visions of waking up with searing pain in my sternum.  I had vivid nightmares of even breathing being painful.  I saw my ribs that were sawed in half and wired back together expanding and contracting in slow painful motions.  I could not fathom taking deep breaths after having such an invasive procedure done, nor could I imagine that I would ever be able to exercise again without some sort of residual pain due to the surgery.  I couldn't see how it would ever be possible to exercise without having some sort of pain.

I'm here to tell you, that just the opposite is the case.  My heart, and everything associated with the open heart surgery feels perfectly fine.  I do not have any pain in my chest, nor do I have any pain on the incision or where they wired my ribs back together on my sternum.

The rest of my body on the other hand has been ridden with aches and pains during training.  All of the places where I have had aches and pain in the past have returned.  The tight quads and hamstrings, shin splints, and calve strains have all returned at one time or another in the past few months of training, but one thing is for sure; they are easy to accept.  Open heart surgery sure has put them in perspective!

I did 4 miles tonight and strained my left calve.  It was screaming after mile 3 and I had to nearly walk to finish.  I thought to myself how ironic and silly the situation was.  I had my entire chest cavity out on an operating table less than a year ago, yet this stupid tight calve was impeding my run!  Cardiovascularly and mentally I felt like a million bucks on this run.  I was so annoyed about the strained calve.  This is going to setback my training.  I guess I need to worry less about my heart and give my body a little more TLC or it's not going to make it 26.2 miles on November 7th.  I am ecstatic about how good I feel cardiovascularly.  No pain or shortcomings.  If I can get the rest of this 38 year old body to keep up with the repaired heart all will be good!


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