Excercise intolerance, the invisible vampire


I’ve been walking for 2 1/4 miles 6 out of 7 days per week for a few weeks, and it stopped kicking my butt, woohoo! I could come home and go straight into another task. This took awhile; at first, I had to lie down with my calves & feet up on a suitcase for a couple hours & stay down for hours except for bathroom breaks, then I just had to lie down for hours, then it went down to half an hour of horizontal time, and finally it was fine.

So I bumped it up — like a fairly well-informed patient– by no more than 10%, or a whisker under 2.5 miles. Today was the first day. I had to lie down for a couple hours, and moving at all is brutal. I move like a centenarian who’s been sucked dry.

Dazed looking fellow with fangs
This outstanding cartoon is by JNL and is freely available under a Copyleft free art license

So, after realizing that yes, even though I can walk more than 2 miles, I *still* have excercise intolerance… I decided to look it up and learn more about it.

Further inquiry

You know me: I like primary sources. Doesn’t mean I always understand them, but I can usually glean the right vocabulary from primary science and improve my searches from there.

What a 1 hour scroll through the National Library of Medicine turned up today is that excercise intolerance is usually related to specific kinds of heart failure (already ruled out), certain profound lung diseases (definitely not), certain complications of diabetes (nope, thank goodness), and mitochondrial illnesses usually due to genetic variations that leave them struggling (definitely something I’ll check again, in light of this new info. I’ve got those geneticgenie.org results somewhere…) It can also go with POTS, postural orthostatic tachycardia, which I have a variable case of.

So what is excercise intolerance?

As I understand it currently, excercise intolerance means that, instead of excercise building muscle and oxygen-carrying capacity, exercise chews up tissues and reduces oxygen-carrying capacity.

Much like what happens when the vampires have been at ya.

Edvard Munch’s colorful take on vampiric prey, massively stylish as ever.

It’s very uncommon in the general population, and many people think they know better than to “believe in” it.

No wonder. It’s completely counterintuitive! How can excercise possibly make you weaker, sicker, and more broken-down?

Because some of us are just that lucky. Or something.

That which doesn’t kill me…

Makes me seem weirder and even harder to relate to.

It also generates inflammatory crap much faster than the impaired body can clean it out, which means more pain, more limited range of motion, and longer recovery time.

Yep, it’s fun to have! XD

It used to be that, once I broke the 2-mile mark, the only symptom I’d get after too much excercise was simply feeling like I’d had too much excercise, and a couple of Advil and a couple of good night’s sleep would take care of it. There *was* such a thing as “no more excercise intolerance”, and it was lovely.

I didn’t realize there were also such wide degrees of excercise intolerance. *This* doesn’t feel like I just did too much exercise and all I need is a little time. This feels like I’ve had an inflammatory surge, a mast cell activation episode, like my bones are charring gently, and like everything is about 10 times harder.

Now I know: Excercise intolerance can keep up! (Foul expletives mumbled under the breath.)

In the interests of data collection (and getting physician attention), I’ve pulled out my pulse oximeter and will check my oxygenation and pulse rate before, during, and after my walks.

Data! Yummy data! Nom nom nom nom. It’s not a cure, but it might help in the longer run. — Walk. The longer walk, haha.

 

Share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *