Monday, January 30, 2017

A baby visit and a (re) birthday

A little experiment with my blood pressure monitor shows the effect that reading about politics, and the opposite, sitting quietly, has on me  (and probably on some others).

 When I took it after glancing at all the bad news on Twitter this morning, it was 154/77. I took it about five minutes later after closing the cover on my laptop and sitting for about five minutes, and it was 103/78. I don't know what to make of it when the upper number is high and the lower number is normal, but in any case in looking at the top number I could see the difference.

I'm sure it was fine on Friday because I had such a good time when Nell and Ben came to visit. We took a little walk with Maddie, but it was too cold and windy, so we had lunch and played inside. She enjoyed sitting at the piano that my parents gave Ben on a day that seems like yesterday. I sent it home with them to go with the other instruments in her "band."

She also liked "talking" on two old remotes. I'm not sure why I'm keeping them. Maybe for nostalgia because I don't like the new system with the blue talk-to-me button. Or because they're good pretend phones.

As I've gotten back to exercising, I can feel the repercussions of the three-week gap the most in yoga.

On Thursday after class, I knew that my arms would soon be sore from doing down dog and plank. On Saturday as soon as we did the first pose, I realized how sore my forearms were. I thought, maybe I should leave. But of course I didn't, instead doing child's pose when I needed a break.

I also did legs up the wall when they did box pose for handstand preparation. Way back before leukemia, I had been able to do this with help from my teacher, Erin, who had me put a strap around my forearms to provide a sense of stability.

I am better at acknowledging without judgment "that was then, this is now" with yoga than I am with tennis or running, when I sometimes compare what I used to be able to do with what I can do now. The metaphor of the yoga class is one of sticking around and doing something that's good enough for that moment even if not as advanced as before.

In any case, today at tennis I hit some pretty good net shots and had some long rallies. This is a lot better than I could do eight years ago, when I could only walk around my hospital room or the nurses' station or sit in my chair or lie in my bed while awaiting my new stem cells.

They arrived eight years ago tomorrow.

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