Well, I guess it wasn’t no good, since I did have good company. I ran with my friend Darla and she stayed with me through the hard parts and that means more to me than gold.
In all seriousness though, today was one of the hardest runs I’ve had in a while. Yes, it was very windy out, so I’m sure that played a role. I just never felt great though. First it was my left leg (the one with all the swelling) just felt like it was heavy and having a real hard time getting going. It felt that weak/fallen asleep kind of sensation and I just felt like I wanted to take my arms and grab it and pull it along! Yes, I can get frustrated when things don’t work as they should, even when I have a great reason for it (like carrying a baby that is possibly putting pressure on my veins restricting blood flow). Then it was my bladder area…it just felt like it was bouncing for a while. It didn’t feel too full or not full enough like before…it just felt uncomfortable in a new way. Then it was my lungs. I just could not seem to suck in enough air and I found it hard to talk and breath at the same time as we were going up a hill so I walked up it and caught my breath again before continuing.
I felt ok for a while, though the effort still felt much harder than it should have, but then the really concerning thing happened. My heart started to feel like it was skipping beats or really thumping in my chest and when my chest started to feel pressure/hurt I stopped. I was also feeling slightly dizzy/lightheaded. This is all new. I haven’t felt this way yet and it scared me. I started to worry about passing out or something else way out there. Thankfully, as I said, my friend Darla was there and walked with me until I felt ok enough to try jogging again. I did and we made it back without further incident.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning so of course I will telling her about all of this. The leg/bladder thing I can deal with but the heart and dizziness feeling really scared me. I’m not planning on running or working out at all tomorrow. Some may question why I wouldn’t just call it quits now and spend the rest of the pregnancy just swimming and walking. I do have to accept that that MAY be what I end up having to do, but I’m not there just yet.
This was the first time I felt like this. Even just yesterday, my run was difficult but not like today. It was warmer today than its been, it was windy and I really think this swelling in my leg is caused by or is causing a bigger issue. I had the swelling before and as mysteriously as it came on, it went away. I feel like if I can get the swelling to go away again, maybe that will fix everything. If that doesn’t make sense, here’s my line of thinking:
The swelling is obviously caused by something. If you read the pregnancy literature it says that some 75% of pregnant women experience normal swelling and its mainly due to your body retaining more fluids and they think it may even serve a purpose to help with labor and delivery and also with breast feeding. Most of the time thought its in both feet and ankles or in the hands. When its only in one side of the body, they worry about a possible blood clot. My doctor wasn’t concerned about this because I didn’t have pain or discoloration, just the swelling, plus I have low risk factors for blood clots since I’m so active. The other possible cause is that the baby’s position is putting additional pressure on my vein that is responsible for returning the blood back to the heart. This compression causes water to leak out of the veins and into the surrounding tissues. This seems to be what is causing my swelling. Perhaps the swelling went away when the baby’s position changed and has now returned as the position changed again.
My working theory is that when I run, my blood obviously has to pump harder to support the large muscles in my legs. So the blood gets pumped there, but is compressed on its return, which means less blood circulating throughout my entire system and being pooled in just one leg. That would help explain why my left leg feels so heavy when I run and like its got that feeling of having fallen asleep. Obviously less blood circulates less oxygen and your heart has to work harder to try to keep you going.
That’s my theory. So tonight, I want to try to do everything possible to get this fluid back into my veins. Maybe I shouldn’t walk the dog tonight, maybe I should elevate my legs and massage my legs and feet? Maybe I should stick my leg in a cold tub? I’ve also been reading that sometimes this swelling can be related to a diet/mineral/water imbalance. I’m going to try drinking lots of water, but I feel like I already do drink lots of water so I don’t think that’s the problem. Having too much or too little salt can also cause issues. I feel like there is a lot of salt in the foods we eat so I rarely if ever salt anything as a general rule. Unless I were to start tracking my salt intake, I just don’t feel comfortable purposely adding additional salt (or restricting it) unless I know for sure that’s the reason. I could try taking some calcium and magnesium supplements…but again, I get really nervous about doing this while pregnant. The other thing I was reading was about protein intake. Not having enough protein can mess with your fluids too.
I also know that swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia which is extremely dangerous. The biggest thing though with that is high blood pressure and mine has always been excellent. Also, swelling of the face, which I don’t seem to have.
So there you have it. This is what I’m dealing with right now. I really really hope that this will clear up with a little TLC tonight and tomorrow, but if not, I just have to remind myself there are about 8 weeks until my due date and I can make it!