Update from the swimming pool

Its quite cold in Hyderabad these days. The minimum temperature touched 11 degrees centigrade a few days back. Generally, when I get up in the mornings, it is quite cold. It is another matter that I am waiting to get out of bed because I am unable, for some reason, to sleep beyond 5:30 and I try to make sure that my dialysis finishes at least by 6 so that it is only half an hour of waiting! It is funny how half an hour can become such a long wait.

Anyway, once I finish my morning routine of Darjeeling tea followed by checking emails, Facebook, Twitter, some dialysis related forums and the newspaper, I go to the swimming pool for a swim. On the way, I invariably see almost everyone on the road wearing a sweater, a muffler or one of those ear pieces every second Hyderabadi has these days. It sits tight on the back of your head and its two arms cover the ears securely. I wonder whether I am being foolhardy swimming in this weather when everyone else seems to be trying to escape the cold in some manner.

When I reach the club, I amble along from the parking to the pool, almost limping due to the bone pain in my feet. There usually are less than two people in the pool. Mostly there is no one. The water is crystal clear. I change, take a hot shower (this, I believe helps me bear the cold water in the pool) and then dive into the pool.

My diving has considerably improved over the past few months. After I learnt the knack of diving from the coach, Irfan, I have consistently improved. For a long while, I would always land on my stomach or below and get hurt in the process! I persisted however. Today, I can dive reasonably well, head first, at a good almost 90 degrees and within a couple of seconds almost touch the floor of the pool. I have also realized that focussing on the dive helps me take my mind off the cold water. It is really cold!

Quickly I swim a couple of lengths in the pool and this helps a lot in adjusting to the cold water. I used to put in about 14 lengths a couple of months back. But ever since this damn bone pain has started, my capacity has reduced. Today I just did six.

Swimming is important for me in may ways. One is it helps me stay in reasonable shape. My body is slowly beginning to resemble John Abraham's. Ok. Ok. That's not true. Let's just leave it to "stay in reasonable shape". Another thing is swimming is said to be good for the bones. So, I'm hoping it will help limit any damage to my bones that is due to the 'effects of long term kidney disease' (oh, how much I hate that term the docs use to describe everything that happens to my body these days!). And most important of all, I really enjoy it.

So, you see, it is good in all ways. I really hope I am able to continue swimming for a long, long time to come.


Saimanohar said…
Hi Kamal
Swimming is a physically demanding exercise I believe..how have you been able to pull such a thing..After my transplant, my doc told me not to go 4 swimming and stuff.. take care bye
Kamal D Shah said…
Swimming is only as demanding as you want it to be. You can vary the length and the stroke according to your capacity and slowly increase it.

Also, I think docs in India are a little more cautious. I know that people are encouraged to exercise (including swimming) after a transplant in the US.
Shan Chelliah said…
Hi Kamal,

I understand fully how you feel about swimming. I enjoy very much going to the gym and working out on the weight machines, treadmill and elliptical. It feels good and sewating profusely is also a means control weight gain due to fluid intake :) .....

The Nephro at the hospital where I did my dialysis for the first months is also a member of the gym and once saw me working out on the weight machines. He just smiled and told me to be careful of my fistula.

Must learn how to swim .....
@ Which pool you swim Kamal?