The answer is “yes”

The question, for a frightening amount, is in the “Exercise” category: “Is it possible to overdo exercise during post-surgery recovery?”

I walked something over 8 miles yesterday; the last walk was fairly late and I felt a little achy towards the end, but it was nothing that acetaminophen couldn’t cure. Or so I thought.

I slept pretty well, too – until I woke up at 5:30 with a very sore back. No matter how I moved, I could’t make it feel better, so I finally got up along with Diane at 6am. A hot shower and breakfast helped a lot, too – enough so that I made a pie for the Oneg Shabbat tomorrow. I even remembered to take care of some reimbursement paperwork from IBM, too (we’ll see if they consider golf classes to be “retraining”).

But around 11:30, my back started hurting again. I had to go pick up lunch, but that was a short walk to Safeway (very slow, though). I took a Tramedol with lunch, and felt a little better. But it didn’t last, and the back pains were soon accompanied by an achy chest.

All of my doctors’ offices were closed for lunch, so I couldn’t call right away. When the cardiologist opened, they said it soundled like musculo-skeletal problems and to call my family doctor or visit the ER. I didn’t want to visit the ER, but I had no way to get to the family doctor, so I decided to wait.

But it kept hurting more and more. I had been planning to go out for a long walk with a doctor friend, so I called him – when I described my problem, he suggested calling 9-1-1!

In the meantime, Diane had come back to her office – she said she’d come home and take me where ever I thought would help. And by the time she got home, I was convinced that I needed a trip to the ER.

Off we went. As soon as I got to the triage window, I used those magic words: “chest pains”. Someone was helping me in a minute, and I was given a bed in ER right away.

They strapped me to an EKG – normal. They took X-rays – normal. They gave me pain killers (morphene for sure, possibly other things), which made a big difference – my pain level dropped from 6 (higher than it had been at Sequoia, even right after the operation) to 3. And they took a CT scan – also normal. By this time, I was dozing off, and my pain level was down to a 1 or so.

When all was said and done, the doctor decided that the problems were almost certainly from overdoing my exercise earlier this week. He increased my aspirin prescription to a 325mg pill (up from 81mg) for the next few days, and urged me to take Tramodol if I hurt. And if I don’t feel good on Monday, I need to visit my cardiologist.

This turns out to be a good weekend for doing less, anyway – we’ve got Shabbat services, a play, and the Superbowl. I see lots of sitting-down time – just what the doctor ordered!

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