Be gentle with yourself

Here I am, 5 years ago, much bigger.  Note the bandage on my neck; cane in background; neck brace hanging on the tree.  I had just had urgent neck surgery for a herniated disc that was pressing on my spinal cord, making my legs very weak; I was barely able to stand or walk.

I’m smiling in the picture, because I was with my best friend and family.  But I was also depressed, wondering how I’d recover.  Every day I went for a walk, gradually increasing my distance.  My sister helped me walk.

I can do a lot more these days – see video below!

I talked today with a friend recovering from heart surgery.  She admits that, now two months after surgery, that she feels better than before surgery.  I’m glad for that.  She is weak, and she’s gained a few pounds (I gained water weight with my appendix surgery – see the spike in the weight chart below).  No doubt, she’s also lost some muscle.  But tomorrow, she starts with physical therapy and rehab.  I have no doubt that she’ll be even better soon.

One thing I learned in rehab and physical therapy – you have to do the exercises on your own, not just with the therapist.  And continue them once the prescribed therapy is over.  Indeed, a recent study shows that home-based therapy after a stroke is as good as, if not better than going to a specialized clinic.  Bottom line – we’ve got to do it ourselves.

Go, Judith!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

Comments are closed