(This was a previous guest blog I wrote for my friend Dr. Kristin Prentiss Ott, MD on www.kristinprentissott.com October 2015)
My past work experience has included years working in the hospital including the surgical wards. Now, I specialize in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. I see mostly patients who want to avoid surgery. I am a proponent of keeping the body intact whenever possible. However, there are times when accidents happen or it is necessary to have surgery in order to get back to living life.
Sometimes it happens.
You take good care of yourself and exercise regularly, but then you fall skiing and tear your ACL. Often, to keep up that same level of activity, the ACL will need to be surgically repaired.
Or you may have been a college athlete that played football and now have severe hip arthritis in your 60s that requires a total hip replacement.
Like I said, sometimes it happens. And if you are going to have surgery planned or not, here are a few tips to help you to optimize recovery, not faster, but optimally.
When you are grocery shopping for a family, sometimes it is nice to find a few pre-packaged items that may make life a little easier. Over the past few years, I have learned though, to be very careful to avoid the “booby trap” of marketing on packages.
“How you think about something can transform its effect on you.” – Kelly McGonigal PhD
When you think about stress, what do you think? Do you think, “I have too much of it and it is causing me to be sick and tired?” Or do you think, “Stress is the ability to adapt to change and I acknowledge it when I see it?” Which is the right answer? The answer is that both are true, if that is what you believe.
Upcoming Speaking Events:
September 26, 2015 5-7:00 PM
with Katie Coombs
107.3 FM local
Available to listen after at
October 7, 2015 7:00-7:15 PM
"Inflammation: Two Sides of a Coin"
Active Physical Therapy Clinic
3594 W Plumb Lane
December 1, 2015 5:30-7:30PM
Kaiser Health and Wellness Symposium
Webinar for rehabilitation physical therapy specialists
A few years ago, my husband and I were traveling via Southwest. You know that magazine on the airplane? Well, I have a crazy story. We got some very useful and life changing information from that magazine. I know, I can’t believe it either.
Ok. I did it….well sort of. I have had many questions related to how much I spend on groceries for my family of 5 since making the paleo inspired, whole foods eating transition about two years ago. There are many arguments that this lifestyle is expensive. Well, it may or may not be depending on how you look at it.
First, we eat out much less, so we actually save money in that regard.
Second, we eat just about EVERYTHING I buy, so there is much less wasted food. So we save again.
This past weekend my husband and I had a rare morning solo. We decided to use our time to do something we aren’t otherwise able to do with 3 kids in tow. And a 10 mile round trip hike up to the peak of Mt Rose sounded like a great idea.
We headed out early….5:45AM….no sleeping in. In part it was because we did have to pick the kids up by noon, the other part was to try and get it done before the crowds.
It was a cool and brisk morning and perfect for exploring our local natural beauty; Mt Rose. We made it to the waterfalls at 2.5 miles and planned on a family hike later this summer with the kids and dogs. We were only 2.5 miles from the summit from what we had read. Right on time.
We continued thru the meadow and enjoyed the wild flowers. Then we started climbing a rocky mountain. We stopped and asked, “Is this the right way?” But we didn’t see any other way to go and felt like “going up” seemed like the correct direction.
Ripple Effect: a spreading, pervasive, and usually unintentional effect or influence; a situation in which one event causes a series of other events to happen – merriam-webster.com
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” - unknown
This past weekend I attended my niece’s high school graduation and my cousin’s
beautiful wedding. At the last minute, I got to attend these milestone events without my children. Although I missed my family, the time allowed me to witness and experience lots of ripples and blooms that I may have otherwise missed with distraction. Let me explain.
Life is busy. Work. Family. Friends. Obligations. Grocery shopping. Paying bills. School activities. Eating. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat. You don’t feel your best, but you don’t know where to start. The pain in your knee makes it hard for you to exercise. You are working too much so you don’t have time to eat well. Sometimes acknowledging that you are not satisfied where you are is the first step to moving in a healthier direction.
It doesn’t matter which direction you choose to go, but go somewhere. You can always change directions if it isn’t the right way. But start somewhere. Begin anywhere.
Start committing to sleeping more, because adequate rest is critical to recovery. Pick a consistent bedtime and stick to it. Don’t worry about the rest until you are ready. Or if the knee pain keeps you from exercising, then let physical therapy help you understand the pain and improve it in order to be able exercise. If optimizing your health and well being is your goal, then begin somewhere…begin anywhere.
Special thanks to Grant Korgan, founder of Choose Positivity Now, and his book “Two Feet Back” for solidifying this idea for me.
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.