So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
I had a nice long phone conversation with a good friend of mine. About 6 years ago he had a massive stroke. For a time he was completely parallelized and was unconscious. Later, he came out of his comma. Speech was difficult and he'd often be lost for words. Doctors put him in a nursing home.
Over time, with some physical therapy, he was able to regain the use of his left side. Eventually he was able to move into an assisted living apartment. That was a big step up from the nursing home. His physical therapy stopped, which is normal in these cases. It's expensive and they only expect improvements during the fist year after a stroke.
That's where things stayed for a while. He didn't get any better, but didn't get any worse. He could watch TV, but struggled with reading. Anything longer than a short magazine article overwhelmed him. Reading was slow and he could not retain what he'd read.
Then he decided to do more about his health. He lost weight -about 100 pounds. That got him off insulin and most other drugs. An “energy worker” did some procedures on him. He started going to an acupuncturist on a regular basis.
One day he noticed some feeling in part of his right leg. It doesn't sound like much, but to him it was a big deal. Instead of just being something dragged around, his leg felt like his again. He has no control over it, but at least there's some sensation.
Life got busy and I hadn't heard from him in a while. We talked on the phone last night and he'd made another big improvement. Suddenly he got the urge to try and read a book. He was able to read, comprehend, and retain what he read. Now he's on his third and truly enjoying himself. It opens up a slice of life that had been closed off.
He didn't do alternative treatments instead of regular medicine, but when conventional treatments come to their end, what does one have to lose? The effort paid off for him.
It had also paid off for me when I was trying to recover from lung injuries from firefighting. A martial artist taught me exercises to strengthen my lungs. I learned how to breath all over again. In my case, conventional medicine had actually made matters worse for a time. Once they cut me loose from the system, I started to slowly improve.
The nation is struggling with this whole Obamacare thing. We talk about insurance, but not so much about health. If I've learned anything about health care over the years is that we are responsible for our own. Blindly listening to doctors is a trip to an early grave.
I'm paying more attention to my health as of late. For a time I was so sick that just feeling Okay was wonderful. Now that I've been enjoying sun and salt air and exercise, I see that I can feel even better. Talking to my friend has inspired me to do more.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.