To see the pain, agony and frustration on her face is not an easy sight to bear. It is especially difficult when everyone says how good she looks for 77 years old. If they only knew how she felt mentally, physically and emotionally.
For many years I tried to get her to stop smoking. Whenever I found her pack of smokes, I would throw them away. This only caused her to resist quitting even more. I don’t throw away her cigarettes anymore.
I tried pleading with her…. discussing the dangers of the chemicals they use in the manufacturing of tobacco and how it is the number one cause of lung cancer.
I tried to make her aware of her “smoker’s cough”. She said she did not have a cough and there was nothing wrong with her lungs…. only to cough a minute later.
Why did she have frequent colds where she could not get out of bed for days? I knew why, but I guess she was in denial. She still gets pretty bad colds several times a year.
I could not scare her or make her realize the truth.
She tried quitting several times but each time losing that war. I finally gave up trying to get her to quit smoking. She did agree to cut down to smoking only three a day.
I believe what has really helped her all these years is that she has been taking Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals for many years now.
Her weight has been another issue for most of her adult life. She was very overweight for many years but did manage to lose some weight over the last decade or so. Unfortunately the damage had already been done.
It did not help that she had a terrible car accident when she was in her late teens. That accident left her with an ankle surgery which resulted in her right leg about an inch shorter than the left leg.
This leg imbalance which caused her to have a slight limp coupled with being overweight caused a deterioration of her right hip that eventually led to a hip replacement. Fortunately, she did well with that surgery. It did not get rid of the pain completely, but it relieved quite a bit of her pain.
Her weight problem also contributed if not was the cause her high blood pressure, for which she has been taking prescription drugs for a few years now. The doctors also wanted to put her on Fosamax. I explained all the terrible side effects so she asked what else could she take for her Osteoporosis.
I recommended Active Calcium supplement from Usana Health Sciences. She replaced the synthetic cheaper vitamins she used to buy which contained formaldehyde, talc, carnuba wax and artificial colors.
Mom also had two shoulder replacement surgeries. She is so fortunate to have had good outcomes with three major surgeries. But her pains have not entirely disappeared.
Why? For one, surgery is no guarantee that all will be well afterwards. There are always risks of infection, blood clots, embolism or other complications. Most people who have surgery do not have a perfect outcome.
Second, she did not follow through with her rehab. As a result of that, her range of motion is limited especially in her right shoulder. Why did she not do her rehab as instructed? I explained to her that the rehab would hurt some but to take it at her own pace and that it was very important for a good recovery. She did do some exercises but she did not complete all the exercises like she was supposed to.
Exercise has never been a priority in her life. She has worked since she was very young and into her late sixties, but I guess she never made exercise as a regular part of her life. It was never a habit that she developed.
Since I became a Chiropractor almost twenty years ago, I have tried to get her to make exercise a healthy routine in her life. I purchased a really nice recumbent exercise bike for her house. She used it for a little while but that did not last very long. She has always loved the water so she would go to the local YWCA and swim there. It did not become a healthy habit so her swimming was sporadic over the years. I am happy to report she has now gone back to swimming several times a week.
The scientific literature is full of articles that tell us our lifestyle habits have a lot to do with our health. If we have healthy lifestyle habits we can avoid most of the diseases that people acquire and die prematurely from. In chapter 9 of my book, HANGING OUT FOR THE HEALTH OF IT(coming soon!), I discuss The Seven Healthy Habits. If you practice them you will definitely see a huge improvement in your health within a matter of weeks.
You really can prevent a lot of health problems. I’ve been practicing for nearly twenty years and have seen thousands of patients during that time. I can honestly tell you the people I see most often are the ones who do not have a healthy lifestyle.
If something as simple as walking is not part of your lifestyle, I encourage you to start. If you have bad knees… how about a stationary bike, swimming or some floor exercises. There really is NO excuse except the one(s) you make. You will begin to feel so much better. Your energy will increase. You will feel good about yourself. You will sleep better. You will prevent many health problems. Not to mention all the risks, money and time spent going to see doctors.
Isn’t your life and health worth 40-60 minutes of doing something healthy for your body every day? You know it is. I do too!! What are you waiting for? Go get your walking shoes and go for your walk.