Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo: Winter snow scene in Fairmount Park

Last night we got about 16 or 17 inches here in the city. I cleaned off the front steps and made a path on the walk. Even though I'm 62 I don't fear snow shoveling because the kind of heart issues I have are not the kind that people keel over from while shovelling snow. I have been tested and my coronary arteries are fine. Actually, those with congenital bicuspid aortic valves usually do not get plaque in their arteries for some reason not well understood. Instead we have a connective tissue disorder that leads to aneurysms. That's what I have: a stenotic (calcified and narrowed) aortic valve and an aortic aneurysm. So I can't left heavy objects or do anything that raises my blood pressure quickly or excessively. But things like walking, recreational swimming, light shovelling (I'm careful not to lift too much snow and I take a lot of breaks,) these are OK forms of exercise. Surgery is in my future but I have to be "ripe"...the "numbers" have to indicate that it's time. They balance the risks of surgery against the risks of something happening to me without the surgery. My cardiologists thinks I have a year or more to go yet. I see him again in April and get an echo then.

Actually, I walk four to five miles every day but not now with the snow. So my light shoveling and cleaning off the car are my exercise for today so far. Later we will take a walk over to the grocery store. I cleaned off the car but it will be days before I can get it out of its snowed-in location. And then once I get it out I have to worry about finding a place to re-park it. City Life!

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