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After yesterday’s appointment with a family practice resident, I have a partial medical clearance to exercise at the Wellness Center. The clearance will be reviewed next month. At that time, I may be given an expanded medical clearance or I may have to wait another month. 

The doctor yesterday wasn’t sure why it was denied last week for the Ehlers-Danlos. But he was concerned that it wasn’t denied or limited for other, more dangerous aspects of my health. Specifically, he was worried about the tachycardia and asthma.1

I will be limited for the next month on exercises I’m allowed to do while there. I’m allowed to do pool therapy exercises and walking. The resident and attending aren’t sure my heart and lungs are healthy enough yet for unmonitored/unguided aerobic exercise. The resident hinted that he thinks I may need to see a cardiologist since it has been so long since I’ve seen one.2 At least the whole your-heart-may-not-be-ready-yet reason makes more sense than your-joints-that-sprain-even-when-you-don’t-move-could-sprain-if-you-exercise. Though I am a lot more aware of when my body can handle exercise than people who aren’t me.3 

Convincing doctors that I know my body and its limits is next to impossible. Another example of this is that the doctor started to tell me the warning signs with asthma. I’ve had the disease since I was around a year old. I knew the mechanics of asthma by five. I literally had a children’s book that explained the parts of the respiratory system, how allergy triggers work, and why I needed to understand why I couldn’t be around smokers, flowers, dust mites, etc. at that age.4 I don’t smell flowers, go in businesses that allow smoking on the premises, or ignore my unique5 symptoms. I also knew, without him telling me, that I was not supposed to run.6 

I don’t want to seem completely ungrateful. I am grateful that I got any release at all. It’s just frustrating to have someone think I don’t get what’s going on. I may seem naïve, but that doesn’t mean I’m not informed. 

Oh, I finally got the inhaler prescription that I’d been trying to get for months. I had tried to get other doctors to understand that I needed an inhaler that hadn’t expired two years ago, but it just went in one ear and out the other. 


  1. Tachycardia and asthma can be complicated by or occur with/as part of hypermobility issues, including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. 

  2. There is no good reason to do so. The cardiologist said he didn’t think there was anything he could do because treating the tachycardia could complicate other health issues, i.e. my typically low-ish blood pressure. 

  3. For example, if my heart is just at 100-115, starting to exercise is fine. 120 is okay if it’s very, very low impact. 130-140 is no exercise, relaxation techniques need to be started. 140+ is hospital-worthy. 

  4. When I was four, I was admitted to the pediatric unit of Huntsville Hospital with my asthma. Lung and allergy doctors, as well as my parents, decided I was old enough to understand my disease. 

  5. I have cough variant asthma, which means I don’t wheeze and may have no other symptoms besides coughing, even mid-attack. 

  6. I’ve never really run in my life because I’ve had asthma since I was a baby

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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