I was admitted to the hospital in September of 2006 when I attempted to walk a short distance from the courthouse in Middletown to Russell Library - a grand total of 0.2 miles, though with a slight incline. I experienced an extreme shortness of breath and barely made it. Prior to that, walking in a straight line without some sort of support was an issue.
In the hospital, I was immediately put on a corticosteroid similar to prednisone and issued a pair of red socks - the steroid was used to reduce swelling and the socks indicated that I was not allowed to walk without assistance (they were afraid that I would fall and hurt myself).
The prednisone-like steroid caused me to gain a lot of weight over the almost 5 months that I was taking it. While steroid helped me in one aspect, it hurt me in other aspects. After coming off of it, I had odd issues - super-sensitive teeth, no appetite at all (just the smell of food made me sick) - in addition to the problems that go along with obesity.
Prior to October 2008 (you may recall from previous posts that this is when I started taking VIDACELL), my walking was limited to flat surfaces with hand rails for support and then only for short periods. Grocery shopping with a shopping cart to lean on was a decent option. After October 2008, walking became a regular part of my journey to wellness.
Walking for fitness and walking for mobility are two different entities yet very similar. The first is something that we all should do more often yet it seems like a chore for many of us. The second is something that we easily take for granted.