My Recovery Plans Come to the Rescue
If you happened to read my column last week, you’re probably thinking I’m writing this while sitting on a sunny beach, gazing at the ocean, and sipping a tropical drink with a little paper umbrella in it. That’s because I wrote about my busy month filled with ALS-related events, from getting bloodwork at my local lab to a long afternoon at my ALS clinic.
I also shared how after each event, I’d be depending on my recovery plans to help me feel refreshed and renewed. While there’s no ocean view in front of me and I’m doing my relaxing at home, I’m glad I built this downtime into my calendar. It’s given me valuable time to reflect and set new goals.
How did the clinic visit go?
It’s been six months since my last trip to the ALS clinic, so when all was said and done, I felt relief when my neurologist announced “no change.” In ALS-speak, no change is a good thing. My high scores, along with her assessment, meant the past six months of my daily exercise and self-care were worth the effort.
Plus, since this is my 12th year of attending these clinics, I was looking forward to seeing the familiar faces of the staff. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know one another, and we’ve enjoyed discussions about all sorts of things and shared many humorous moments.
But time marches on, and I found a few new clinicians there as well. It seems the pandemic has motivated several of my buddies at the clinic to opt for early retirement. Others simply moved on to employment elsewhere.
While trying to remember the new names surrounding me, I made an effort to let each one know I was an ALS patient who came with an open mind and a positive attitude. I was there to listen and learn.
What am I doing now?
The past few days of self-imposed R & R have been good. Besides letting my muscles recover from all the push-pull and lift-and-lower tests at the clinic, my mind is busy reviewing all the suggestions the clinic staff gave me. I’m also setting new goals.
For example, I have several new exercises to improve my hip strength, specifically my gluteus medius. I have yet to figure out how to incorporate these exercises into my current routines. Plus, I need to be more diligent about doing my breathing drills.
Hey, let’s agree, those breathing drills are boring! More than once, just before dropping off to sleep at night, I’d think, “Whoops, forgot ’em again.” But I’ve made a promise to myself to do them as directed — I promise.
It’s a good feeling to have these major events in my rearview mirror. And although I don’t have an ocean view, I can pretend. I’ll just click on the tip I shared in this column and enjoy the view from someone else’s window. It’s one more way we can learn how to live well while living with ALS.
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