Recently I received a pamphlet from my insurance company with specials on fitness opportunities, including SilverSneakers, a free fitness program for all seniors, offered through Medicare. I had heard about this program and was eager to take advantage of it.
I have a membership at my local YMCA where I participate in an aquacize class twice a week. This swim class seems to address my health issues more effectively than other forms of exercise. SilverSneakers partners with the Y and pays the Y membership fee with no additional charge to me. (Not all Y’s partner with SilverSneakers but many private gyms do.) The program is available to those who are 65 or older, throughout the U.S. A member can enroll in as many activities as his/her stamina will permit.
A woman I met, Pat, used to walk with two canes due to a chronic back problem that kept her bedridden for several years. After receiving medical treatment, she’s working on her therapy at the Y, thanks to SilverSneakers. She can walk straight and swim laps.
The Affordable Care Act narrowly escaped disembowelment, but there’s still uncertainty regarding the future of health care in this country. It is incumbent upon all of us to insist that forthcoming health delivery provides fitness programs, free of charge or at a manageable fee. SilverSneakers ensures that seniors can improve their strength and agility and minimize the possibility of having a reoccurrence of a disability.
Two months out of surgery and I’m reflecting on my achievements during recuperation.
First of all, I’ve contributed to the economy by providing employment for an army of health care professionals.
Since I was semi -house bound for three weeks, and didn’t do the grocery shopping, I managed to clean out the refrigerator. Marty remarked that he could actually see the back wall of the fridge.
As for personal accomplishments: I read two books. I knitted two animal hats for two of my great -grandsons, a hippopotamus for Uri and a Koala bear for Nakshone. I even wrote two blogs.
With the help and encouragement of my loving family, I am walking straighter than I did before surgery, and with little pain. I have to confess that I was beginning to enjoy being pampered and catered to. However, too much of a good thing is too much. Now I‘m happy to drive and do my own shopping and some cooking.
I’ve resumed participation in the water exercise program at the Y. It’s much better than “4 in 1 Motor Oil” for lubricating joints and strengthening muscles.
About two weeks ago I even traveled to New Jersey, as a passenger, for a holiday dinner with my great- grandchildren.
I can’t ask for much better than that, can I? As my father would say, “Every day is a bonus.”
I bit the bullet and underwent an operation to correct the spinal stenosis that has been plaguing me for a year and a half. I heard mixed results about back surgery and had been weighing the options. I tried acupuncture and water therapy without relief. I wondered: Would it be foolish to expose myself to risk or more foolish not to take advantage of a procedure that would ease my pain and improve my ability to function? If I did anything it would have to be sooner than later, when my recuperative powers are greater. I couldn’t wait until I was ninety for this surgery.
Awakening from the surgery, I relished the apple juice as if it were the finest champagne. Navigating the hospital menu was a challenge. Every thing had a different name than what I am accustomed to. I will say though that there is a greater effort to serve nutritional and appetizing dishes. It was a treat to come home to my children’s scrumptious cooking. I’ve been spoiled with fish, chicken, and pasta dinners, gazpacho, and pies and crisps made with locally grown blueberries and peaches.
At my two- week post-op visit the doctor was optimistic and assured me that the surgery went well and I was on the way to recovery. The only pain that I experience now is the pain from the surgery, which is to be expected and hopefully won’t persist. My motion is good and I have every reason to anticipate a positive outcome.
Wearing my “corset”
Now I’m going for Aquatic Therapy. In November I experienced a bad fall and have sustained pain and fatigue, and have been sapped of my strength and vitality.This is not me. I recently underwent two knee replacements like a trooper. After all the diagnostic tests and treatments, it’s been determined that I have Spinal Stenosis; a condition everyone endures to some degree, when aging. The Stenosis is caused by calcification in the spine which presses on the surrounding nerves. I’m being brief. However I won’t be offended by corrections from the medical professionals. It seems like there is no cure for this other than having an operation. Since the opinions that i get about back surgery are mixed, I decided to resort to an operation only as a last resort, when and if I can’t walk.
Since I love to swim, I decided to try Aqua Therapy. There aren’t many places in my area t with this program, but I did find a small private facility that offers both PT and Aquatic therapy The pool is 15′ by 10′, similar to a Mikvah, the ritual cleansing bath used by Orthodox Jewish people. It can accommodate two people, is equipped with parallel bars and even a whirlpool. Various flotation aids and weights are also available. The exercises are not strenuous, or unusual, but because I am buoyant in the water I have a good workout in half an hour. Exercising will not cure the problem, but I am hopeful that with it, I can strengthen my muscles, increase my mobility, and marginalize the symptoms of the Spinal Stenosis. Who knows, maybe I’ll even lose a pound or two in the process! If only the pool was large enough for a little swim after all that work.
I am not complaining. There is a bowl of Hershey kisses at the desk; a little reward for work well done and a little something to boost my energy.