That Post-Workout Ache: Running a New Liver

Two months ago Ellie suffered unexplained acute liver failure and had an emergency liver transplant. This blog follows her efforts back to running and competing in middle distance events at the British Transplant Games. Which are at the end of July…this July…gulp.

My three attempts at jog-walking ended in disaster (rather intense muscle pain) that, two weeks later, still hasn’t improved, argh. But fear not (I know you were fearing), I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself, have capped the amount of rich tea biscuits I’m consuming to six a day (yes this is progress) and last night, I braved the gym. It’s taken me the night to recover emotionally before I could write this 😂

Paul and I had planned the gym session since the day before. Going to the gym used to be something I quite enjoyed (any excuse for a Bounce Ball), but I’d been panicking about this all day. When I used to go I could hold my own on the treadmill and bike and I wasn’t too laughable at the weights. I had some balance, some, when doing my floor exercises. And now I genuinely can’t do one sit-up, I can’t run on the treadmill, I get out of breath on a walk, my strength is laughable. But I channeled the Transplant Games, looked at the size of my thighs, donned a baggy t-shirt and got in the car (I’m allowed to be driven to the gym, I’ve had a liver transplant guys, geez).

Sweating like a…oh like a transplant patient


Cracking hunched form there Ellie
Set to the lowest weight :/

Forty minutes on the bike, 30 at considerable sweating effort while breathing so questionably people chose to move to bikes further away. But boy oh boyo (we live in Wales now) did it feel good to sweat. The weight machines were less exhilarating. I don’t know the names of them but sitting on the arms-out-and-up-and-pulling-them-forwards one, with the weight on the lowest setting, still struggling, I felt a bit sad. I’ve never been the worst at anything physical, I am a solid middle of the road performer and being the worst feels poo. I know I’ve had an operation and can’t expect to feel how I felt, I know I know. But I still can’t quite connect my new body with my old brain. Mind you, the stabbing pain in my abs is trying its best to get the message across.

A New Day (that means another six rich teas)

Regardless of all that self pity, today I have that wonderful post-workout ache that I’d forgotten about. I’ve got my positive mindset on. I’m off for blood tests and question-bombardment later today with my doctors and I’ve decided to no longer be middle of the road. No sir, I’m going to boss the Transplant Games…never thought I’d say that, I hate the word “boss”.