Healthcare (and actually life in general) is not a finite, my way or the highway, practice. There can be quite a bit of flexibility, within reason, in care although you should always use your doctor as a point of contact in any modifications and obviously take your medications as prescribed. That’s my disclaimer. Now on to the good stuff.
When it comes to most things medical, I am the queen of playing Let’s Make a Deal.
Depending on the doctor and the patient, some are more than willing to play. I’m not sure if that makes me the worst patient ever or only borderline worst patient ever since I am 100% pharmaceutically compliant; I just opt out of most other instructions.
For example, I played college lacrosse after having my spine fused with Herrington rods for scoliosis despite being told not to play contact sports ever again.
I quit occupational therapy post last relapse after two sessions. I was MISERABLE and could do better on my own and I could make it productive. So I went back to crafting and creating. I started loom knitting on wide boards and worked my fine motor skills back to crocheting and beading and sewing and silk flowers and more; so much so that I opened the Hazina Safari store to unload much of what I was mass producing at that point.
I did spend just over a year in physical therapy but that was mostly for the massages and another case of Let’s Make a Deal. If I did my exercises and everything he needed me to do regularly at home then he would stretch me and fix my neck and back for me during my appointments instead of making me work. He’d ask if I did me clamshells and core work and I’d tell him the truth, “I went to barre so yes.” He also bribed me with foreign chocolate.
More recently, I’m playing a game of Let’s Make a Deal with myself. As I train and over train to climb Kilimanjaro in January, I’m walking as much as I can, everywhere I can. That’s not too hard to do in NYC but it does start to get monotonous after awhile. The main logic is that all of these fitness classes and gym sessions are great and all but I’m going to be on a mountain for SEVEN days straight, not an hour and a half in a hot studio or gym. I need to make sure I have the stamina. And I love walking to and from places vs marinating in the summer subway tunnels but what do you do when you have nowhere to go? You just make yourself walk. You turn on your music, call your parents, take a business call and walk. I was walking myself insane.
So again, I have gone back to my roots and started volunteering with animals again. I started with a few small shelters and hospitals right by my house but soon realized that the ASPCA was next door to one of my doctors’ offices and I was sold. I went through my hours of training and a few hands on tests and now I socialize with dogs and cats, I walk dogs and I CARRY PUPPIES! Yes, you read that right, I CARRY PUPPIES. How better to train for hiking with a day pack than hiking around NYC while carrying puppies, I mean besides actually hiking with a day pack of course but that is not the game.
So what deal are you going to make with yourself today?