I'm sure many of you will find amusement in this post.
I have started taking some dance/aerobics classes. Two per week actually. One class I take is yoga. It's great for relaxation, stretching and flexibility. I do not perform any moves that require me to be completely upside-down. I have been cautioned against being in a downward facing position for an extended period of time. The blood rushes into my heart and may cause it additional difficulty to pump. I always secure my backpack by the waste band nice and tight so it doesn't hit me in the head when I go into down-dog. And when I lay on my back I just put my backpack flat on the floor beside me. Since I have the LVAD, I am not supposed to lay on my stomach. Luckily there aren't many moves on the stomach. It is very clear that some people wonder why this girl exercises with a backpack but I think I do pretty good.
The other class I take is the more, let's say, exotic-type class. Once a week I take pole dancing lessons. You read that right. Ok. Laugh a little. And laugh a little more.
I will tell you that it is very sexy with a backpack. Ha! Obviously I do it for the exercise benefit. Let me tell you, it is a real workout! I chose pole dancing because there aren't any moves on my stomach and there isn't any jumping. Those particular restrictions really limit the aerobics and dance classes I can be involved in. A friend of mine said she was going to try pole dancing and I said, why not just go and see what it's like. I had so much fun! After three weeks, I'm not too bad. I have figured out how to do some moves and lower myself at a good speed. The first week was rough on my muscles and I was sore for about 5 days. The only other problem is the bruising on my knees. Most spins require the dancer to land on their knees. I was purple and blue for a while. I decided to cover my knees with gauze and tape to reduce at least some of the bruising. It's another class that people wonder why I wear my backpack. They would never guess that I have the artificial heart in there and I'm waiting for a heart transplant. I really enjoy the classes and look forward to improving!
I understand that these classes can be a risk. I have discussed certain limitations and concerns with my kinesiologist. I am aware that if any symptom was to arise to just stop and relax. I take care not to get my drive line caught on anything. I'm not going to wait to live anymore. The LVAD has made me feel significantly better that I want to get to the things I've always wanted to do. It's uplifting. I'm having a great time!