How time has flown by since having my defibrillator implanted in June this year. What has amazed me is that my running, cycling and swimming is faster, stronger and more consistent than it was this time last year.
When I was initially fitted with the defibrillator I was very anxious on so many levels – Would the defibrillator kick off? Would I be able to get back to swimming, running and cycling? Would I feel fully comfortable and confident with having this alien device under my skin?
I had no need to worry. I was amazed, as well as relieved, that after six weeks I was competing in my first event since the operation; the Salford Olympic distance triathlon. Not amazingly fast but what a confidence builder it was.
Then came the Windermere 10.5 mile open water swim at the end of August. Unfortunately, this year I was only able to complete five and and half miles due to the extreme cold I was feeling but what another confidence builder.
The check up with my consultant in September went so well, that he no longer needs to see me until September 2019 and have been given a bluetooth machine at home, so the data from my ICD can be downloaded to Helen at Bolton Royal every two or three weeks. I am pleased to say that no issues have arisen.
This is particular good news considering what I have been doing up to now – two half marathons (Manchester and Conwy) at a comfortable 1:45 finishing pace, three and a half days in Spain with mates covering nearly three hundred miles with over eight thousand feet of climbing.
On top of this, during my present autumn and winter base training, I am have been able to cover, between sixty to a hundred and twenty miles of zone two cycling each week, between six and ten thousand metres of swimming each week, between fifteen and twenty five miles of running each week with eighty percent at zone 2 pace. I feel that this has been possible with my focus on my recovering and listening to my body more, as well as my nutrition. Also, I am very privileged to be able to do all this training while doing a job I love -coaching a wonderful team of club members at Tri-Rivington.
None of this would have been possible without the expertise of Dr Scott and Dr Dunne along with their incredible team at both Royal Bolton Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary who I can’t thank enough. On top of this I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of friends who have gone to the trouble to visit me and send me messages throughout which has had a big impact on my speedy recovery
Finally, having Tricia with me throughout has contributed massively to my consistent and fast recovery. The number of times Tricia had to visit me in hospital, go to the supermarket for fruit, more fruit and then more fruit was a call beyond duty.
Why am I sharing my story with you?
So as to reassure you that if you should find yourself, or a member of your family or a friend being fitted with a defibrillation it’s not the end of an active life but rather the beginning of finding a way back to be being as active as they were before. Of course this will be so much smoother with the professional support of a great team of consultants and their team, as well as your friends and family.