Tag Archives: surgery

Are you fit enough for surgery?

I have written a lot of words on the benefits of living a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly. We have the opportunity to live long healthy lives with our mental abilities functioning as well as our bodies do. We need only follow a few simple rules of good health. Our bodies are organic machines that need proper care and maintenance or they will fall into disrepair just like our inorganic machines, autos, refrigerators, etc., do.

Now the Wall Street Journal illuminates another aspect of fitness. The other side of good health, namely hospitalization and surgery.

surgery-banner
“In health care, we often bring patients into surgery without fully addressing their chronic medical conditions,” says Dr. Solomon Aronson, executive vice chair in the anesthesiology department at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. By improving their health before surgery, he says, “we can significantly diminish the risk of complications.”

The item cites a seriously overweight man who had a knee replacement in 2013, but the hardware began to come apart leaving him hobbled and in pain. The failed knee had to be removed. The patient was warned about the dangers of his being overweight. “No one had ever mentioned to me that this might be a problem…”

“The reason many patients don’t do well is because they are already deconditioned as couch potatoes, and then they get a big operation which makes them even more frail,” says Michael Englesbe, a University of Michigan transplant surgeon and associate professor who led the study and directs the Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program. Dr. Englesbe says that the program “empowers patients to have control over their outcome,” and recommends all patients train for elective surgery, much as they would before athletic competition.

Maybe this will be the final reminder for folks who are currently letting themselves go physically. There is always hope. It is never too late to improve your physical condition. Your body will respond to good behavior and nutrition and you can begin to flourish again on your own and before you need medical intervention. The choice is still yours.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, fitness, fitness facts, Wall Street Journal

What About a Bubble on my Elbow?

I woke up from a nap on Sunday and it felt like my shirt had bunched up around my elbow. No amount of straightening seemed to help, so I took the shirt off to see if something was stuck in the sleeve. Nothing. However, when I felt around my elbow I found the problem. I had an almost golf ball sized bubble on it! The bubble felt like it was filled with fluid as it was very flexible. I experienced no pain of any kind.

Although I did not remember banging my elbow against anything, as a regular bicycle rider, I am forever knocking my shins on the pedals, skinning my knuckles and generally banging my limbs against the bike not to mention nearby objects . If I don’t draw blood, I don’t give it a second thought, so it is possible that I bumped it and forgot.

I couldn’t even figure a way to look it up on the web. How do you say “I have a bubble on my elbow?” So, I didn’t.

My version of Popeye’s elbow

My biggest concern was not that I had injured it, but that something had gone awry in my body. That was scary. I couldn’t wait to call my doctor on Monday.

My doctor said for me to come in and see one of her colleagues if she wasn’t available. That is one of the benefits of living in a big city and being affiliated with a major hospital. I live near Northwestern Memorial Hospital which is a fully staffed teaching hospital. I have written numerous posts about their wonderful “Healthy Transitions” program for us folks over 55 explaining the physical changes we can expect as we age.

I showed the nurse who took my vital signs my elbow. Before leaving she laid out a little place setting with a big needle as well as bandages and cutting instruments for the doctor. Not promising. My imagination kicked into overdrive ….

For the first time I realized that there might be some surgery in my very near future.
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Three Weeks After Skin Cancer Surgery

I went back to the doctor this week to have the stitches removed from my back. That pretty much brought my third surgery to closure (pun intended).

To summarize, this go ’round with skin cancer was much stronger than my previous one, two years ago. In each instance I had a basal cell carcinoma removed. Two years ago, I had one growth cut out and ended up with about 15 stitches in my cheek. This time I had one removed from my cheek and another from my back. I had 15 stitches in my cheek again, but more than double that in my back. The facial scar is about 1.5 inches long while the one on my back extends to three inches. So, there was more cutting this time and as a result my body had a lot more healing to do.

Blazing+Hot+Sun

Two years ago I was riding my bike within five days of the surgery. In contrast, this year, I did not have the energy to ride for two full weeks. Then, when I returned to riding, I felt a lack of power in my legs which tired easily.

This year, I napped nearly every day for the first two weeks. Good naps that extended an hour and sometimes two. Clearly my body craved downtime.

In my third week, I have commenced riding again, but can feel limited by my condition. I am taking it slow. I rode around seven miles the first day and went up to 10 on the second. At the end of the third week I managed 20 miles today, but it was in two rides. I don’t think I could have done it in one bite. The good news is that I didn’t feel the urge to nap today. Last, but not least, I added one and a half pounds in the past three weeks with my sedentary recovery. I have no worries about burning that off going forward.

I feel that my life is coming back into its own now in terms of energy, if on a slow pace.

Since my first surgery I have been amazed at how many people I know have suffered from skin cancer in one form or another. If you would like to learn more about this important subject, I just put together a Page recounting my surgeries as well as general facts about it. Check out Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular.

Remember, as my dermatologist said, “There is no such thing as a healthy tan.”

Tony

 

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Filed under skin cancer, Skin cancer surgery, sunburn, sunlight

What About a Bubble on my Elbow?

I woke up from a nap on Sunday and it felt like my shirt had bunched up around my elbow. No amount of straightening seemed to help, so I took the shirt off to see if something was stuck in the sleeve. Nothing. However, when I felt around my elbow I found the problem. I had an almost golf ball sized bubble on it! The bubble felt like it was filled with fluid as it was very flexible. I experienced no pain of any kind.

Although I did not remember banging my elbow against anything, as a regular bicycle rider, I am forever knocking my shins on the pedals, skinning my knuckles and generally banging my limbs against the bike not to mention nearby objects . If I don’t draw blood, I don’t give it a second thought, so it is possible that I bumped it and forgot.

I couldn’t even figure a way to look it up on the web. How do you say “I have a bubble on my elbow?” So, I didn’t.

My version of Popeye’s elbow

My biggest concern was not that I had injured it, but that something had gone awry in my body. That was scary. I couldn’t wait to call my doctor on Monday.

My doctor said for me to come in and see one of her colleagues if she wasn’t available. That is one of the benefits of living in a big city and being affiliated with a major hospital. I live near Northwestern Memorial Hospital which is a fully staffed teaching hospital. I have written numerous posts about their wonderful “Healthy Transitions” program for us folks over 55 explaining the physical changes we can expect as we age.

I showed the nurse who took my vital signs my elbow. Before leaving she laid out a little place setting with a big needle as well as bandages and cutting instruments for the doctor. Not promising. My imagination kicked into overdrive ….

For the first time I realized that there might be some surgery in my very near future.
Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under aging, Popeye's elbow