There have been times where I never thought it possible that I’d be able to start restoring good health or be able to get on the road to recuperation after illness. It felt like the good days were behind me and from now on I was going to fight a losing battle with my health generally.
This in itself got me down. After all our health is one of our most valued and prized possessions. If it isn’t for you, it needs to be. I can assure you bad health is devastating, life changing, and not for the better.
Without good health, there’s no way we would be able to achieve the things we want to in our life, go places we want to go and do things we want to do. During my illness life seemed to completely stop. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Even though I kept a smile on my face, and told the world ‘I’m ok,’ in truth there were days where I was very down. I felt 20 years older.
What is health? Stupid question I know, but let’s look at a definition.
‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ World Health Organisation, 1948
If like me you know the dam cost of ill health, but these statistics show it in another way.
The Costs of Ill Health
• 175 million working days lost to illness in 2006 (= 7 days per person)*
• £100 billion per year (>Annual NHS Budget)*
• £666 per employee per year
The mental scars cost even more. After long term illness it’s natural to feel down, but how you deal with this is essential in determining how quickly you bounce back from your illness. You have to get yourself in a mental mindset where you decide, and commit to the road to recuperation after illness, because if you don’t nobody else will, so you can’t expect to ever get better.
For many years, I had been interested in healthy living and as a gym instructor I pretty much know what needs to be done to get my body back into a good state and functioning properly. I just hadn’t been in a position for a couple of years to put my knowledge into practice for myself.
Since my last retinal detachment in November 2014 things have been pretty downhill when it comes to my health. I had gained over 5 stone in weight, lost most of my hard earnt muscle, and seem to have collected a beach ball inside my stomach, that’s my way of admitting I’ve got way to big a stomach. With the inactivity my eye problems created I found that I had problems with my back, blood pressure, testosterone levels and then an inactive thyroid.
But now things seem to be improving. I’m back in the gym. 14 workouts already in 2017. As it is only January 18th I’m doing well. I also ran, on a treadmill, and admittedly quite slowly, for the first time in years. My diet is spot on and I’m drinking lots of water. Results are beginning to show. I’ve lost 8lbs in weight, find at long last I am feeling more energised, sleeping right through the night getting my 8 hours.
I smile at writing this because only a few short months back I’d never have thought this possible.
It’s possible for you if you having suffered from illness, and are now ready to get yourself going again and take the road to recuperation.
We can all take the road of recuperation. You just have to want to enough!
These are steps on the road to recuperation after illness that you need to take.
1. FEELING UP TO RESUMING NORMAL ACTIVITIES
You must make the decision that it is now time to turn things around. To initiate lifestyle changes that will make the difference. You have to believe you’re ready, be willing and do your best to bring changes about. It isn’t going to be easy and you are going to have to be strong, show persistence and expect a few setbacks. I know how hard it is to get yourself to this point. It seems your illness can take over every breathing second. It’s a balancing act. Too rapid a return may precipitate a relapse, but too timid a return can delay — or even prevent — recuperation. I know a week into it I started feeling better about myself, amazed at the things I was doing, and determined to keep going. Good luck with your journey.
2. GETTING YOUR DOCTOR’S OK TO RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES
When you feel yourself ready to begin your recuperation after ill health it is best to check with your doctor and get his permission. After all you’re going to be stepping up your activities and you just need to make sure this isn’t going to make you worse. Many doctors will be able to help you create a plan and give you advice on the best things to do. Mind you many doctors alas don’t, they leave it totally to you.
3. RESUMING NORMAL ACTIVITIES
Even if you’ve been given the all-clear by the doctor, that doesn’t suddenly mean you’re fighting fit again. Recovering takes time and rehabilitation. You’re not just going to be better in a day. So please take things carefully particularly at the beginning. Take one step at a time, and slowly but surely get things back to normal. Less time in bed, more time moving around, doing things. You know those things you’ve stopped doing, well get doing them again. It’s time to step up in all departments. Remember, really important, take the time to work your way back up to normal activities and not trying to do too much too soon
4. CREATE A PLAN
Once you know you actually do want to invest time, energy and resources into taking back control of your health and getting on the path of recuperation, it’s important to plan out what you’re actually going to do and include some specific goals such as daily calories intake, amount of exercise, litres of water, distance to walk etc. You should set action items that reflect your goals, and then adopt measurements for seeing how you’re doing.
5. KNOW YOUR REASONS
If you’re looking to get healthier, fitter and look younger, then you’ve got to know your reasons as to why you want to become healthier. The more reasons you have for achieving it, the more you’ll convince yourself of wanting to achieve it and you’ll stick to your plan. Why is it you want to get healthy now? How will this change your life? And how committed are you?
6. START EATING RIGHT
Many of us when ill start eating terribly. We just can’t face healthy food, and need the crap to comfort us through our time of need. If you’re single and live alone perhaps you didn’t have the energy to prepare and cook healthy meals, living of takeaways and ready meals. Well this is the key 1st change. You’ve got to start eating sensibly and healthily. Eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood and go a long way to supporting your recuperation.
7. THE DREADED EXERCISE
It’s amazing how so many people dislike this thing that is so good for them. Just getting back into the gym has done so much for my positivity. Working my body again, although so difficult when I started, now is just helping in so many ways. You don’t have to go to the gym. Walking is great exercise. It’s said, I believe by the Heart Foundation that you should aim to do around 8000 to 10,000 steps a day. If you do you’ll be really helping yourself in a great way. Again you have other alternatives such as swimming or dancing. The important thing is do something, get exercise into your life. Aim for between 30 to 60 minutes daily. But if you haven’t exercised for a long time, build up to that slowly.
8. OBVIOUS ADVICE – KEEP TAKING YOUR TABLETS
Don’t get complacent or forgetful. You’ve been prescribed your medication for a reason. Keep taking it until your doctor tells you otherwise. Of course by living a more active, healthy life you are doing the best possi9ble for yourself and may well find your medication being reduced in the future.
9. HAVE HEALTHY HABITS
What do I mean by healthy habits? Well if you’re going to turn the tide, go from illness to wellness, and you’re either a smoker or drinker, guess what, stop these habits is going to go a long way to helping you. Sermon over. Also you must be aiming for 8 hours sleep a night, and drinking no less than 2 litres of water every day.
So there you have 9 important steps, I could have added loads more, but these implemented are going to help you on the road to recuperation after illness. As I said earlier good luck with it, and I assure you the benefits are so worth it. Illness, particularly long term is bloody awful, good health is simply brilliant.
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