Saturday, 20 September 2014

Pacing and Unpredictable Events.

I was thinking about days when I go "out" and how, some events are more difficult to cope with than others.  I now find a heart rate monitor is useful for helping me to cope with the unpredictability of events.

So my illness level means that I can leave home about 2, or maybe 3, times a week, but not really two days in a row, and generally only for a limited time.  I also rest up a lot on a recliner seat in between times...

Anyway things that are regular, I can cope with as they are reasonably predictable.  For example doing agility training with my dog - I now follow a routine for getting out that keeps my heart rate reasonably low, and this helps me cope.

The most difficult events are those "other" activities. Like last weekend, when the dog club decided to have a party in one of the club members' houses. It was partly a fundraiser for a local shelter, and partly a going away party for my daughter, Shona, heading to Uni.

There were 3 things I really wanted to do that weekend - I chose JUST the party. And it was a great night out!

I was out of the house for 4 hours, and stayed within my step count for the day. My HR was slightly high for most of the evening - probably because of noise levels and the room being warm. I was seated & I felt fine at the time.

Some of my "wee signs" were there 2 days later, so I had obviously been a bit affected by the outing.

However, I think the HR monitor helped, because when I checked it, I could see my HR gradually rising over the evening, and this fact prompted me to suggest we head home at a time well before any symptoms would have suggested problems.

It is for these irregular events that the HR monitor is so useful. That and using it day in, day out, and being aware of my normal patterns, so that I can see when something changes.

Of course, useful as it is, it can only help if I have the self-discipline to take heed of what the monitor tells me!  And sometimes I feel that stopping at the right time, is as difficult as telling a toddler to leave half their bag of sweeties for another day!

Your thoughts?


Things that bring my HR up listed here. A few notes on using a HR Monitor for pacing
Gadgets I use to measure HR here: Rhythm+ and Endomondo: HR monitoring for ME


  1. Glad to hear your heart monitor is such a useful tool!

  2. As usual, I so appreciate your practical, considered approach to living with M.E. - or, at least to how you share about it with us! and admire you for the level of acceptance that comes across in your posts. I was watching a football ( U.S. kind ;> ) yesterday, comfortably in my recliner, and had thr thought, for the first time, that maybe the excitement (home team and all ) wasn't so good for me: adrenalin, racy, heart-thumping, etc. and when I realized I wwas about to cry, which is one of my extreme e xhaustion signs, the lightbulb finally came on enough for me to catch on........This is all by way of saying that I can see how useful a heart rate monitor could be for me. Thank you so much, sjm.

    1. Aw - Thank You so much for that lovely comment about my posts. Sorry to hear that watching your football team is not as relaxing as you'd want though! Unfortunately excitement seems to send HR up!