I had periodontal surgery yesterday. The procedure took just short of an hour and I left the office with stitches inside my mouth and packing over them. I also exited with a full page print out of “Post Operative Care Following Periodontal Surgery.” The operation was over, but the experience will extend for at least a week. The number two instruction on the sheet read, “Avoid strenuous activity, including aerobic exercise for the first few days…”
I know that a lot of people don’t exercise on a daily or even a weekly basis, but exercise in the form of riding my bicycle is a part of my daily life. I am sitting here, granted I am low on energy, but I just looked out my window and watched my fellow cyclists riding on the bike path below. I could feel a void in my day.
When I saw the restriction on aerobic activity, I thought it would be a good day to catch up on my yoga, but that seems to qualify as strenuous activity, so that is out, too.
While bike riding is aerobic exercise, that is not the reason I ride every day. I look forward to my daily rides because they are fun. I love to ride. There is a sensuous thrill to the wind blowing over my face and the sensation of rolling across the pavement driven by the strength of my legs. I have included the picture of Albert Einstein riding his bike because it is one of my favorite posters. It hangs in my living room and demonstrates exactly how I feel when I ride my bike.
It’s not just that I can’t exercise today. I can’t enjoy the fun of riding today … and maybe tomorrow, too.
Besides writing this post, I have some housekeeping projects I can tackle and there is always an errand I can run not to mention several books I have been meaning to dive in to over the past month. If I walk at a reasonable pace on the errands, I can enjoy that without breaking the stricture on aerobic exercise. Indeed, I consider walking to be the ugly stepsister of the exercise world, so all is not lost. You can read my post on Why you should walk more.
The old ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ adage pops into mind. I will certainly fully enjoy the feeling of mounting my bike and taking off over the smooth pavement when I am free to ride again, possibly as soon as tomorrow.
Until then I will make do with the possibility of a walk later and other projects.
Count your blessings. Eat less; move more.
Post Post Script: After a light breakfast with my girlfriend, I walked the dog and wrote this post. Then I lay down and slept for two hours. I think the Post Operative Case sheet could have said, “Try and do aerobics or something strenuous …” because there is no way I had the energy for either.