Friday, April 19, 2013

SPINE SURGERY - what I regret, versus what I hope you do

What I regret:

1.  When my younger daughter once told me I looked good except "you lean too far forward when you walk. . ."
I regret not learning that the muscles that make me stand straighter could also protect my spine.  That holding my stomach in could also make my torso stronger. 

2.  When the damaged chair dumped me on the concrete floor at the computer school, I regret not marching right into the doctor's office, instead of believing the nurse' suggestion that I probably broke my tail bone. I could not climb stairs for many weeks.

3.  After a friend said he was too old to move his own furniture so he paid someone to move him to his new place, I regret taking apart that heavy drawing board that pushed my spine over the edge, instead of paying someone.  At any age, dumb reaches for heavy things are just dumb.

4.  After I was diagnosed and temporarily stablized, I regret I didn't walk farther, bend less, watch my posture every minute, rest more.  Okay, and pay the $50 for workup for the nurse-led exercise program near the airport.  And Rest. 

5.  I regret every time I didn't speak up louder and again and firmer in rehab about what I needed and what was causing me pain.  And I regret I didn't insist on a patient feedback form.  (I still could ask for one.)

What I hope you do:
When I got the walker, and in rehab; later when I got the cane:  I got very complete and specific training on what posture is safe when using them.  I see too many people leaning at amazing angles on small walkers.  I hope you will check with a great physical therapist (or read the directions) to be sure your cane or walker is adjusted to promote healthy, strengthening posture.  Please. 

I hope you stand tall and sit straight and speak up and speak up again.  Please.

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