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.