At 16 and 17 and ’18
Monday September 03rd 2018, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I was in a discussion group Sunday where the subject was, what do you do to fight off depressive thoughts?

My rather long answer was this. (In retrospect, hey, it wasn’t even about knitting!)

When I was a teen, my aunt had twins. She complained of pain for several days afterwards and was dismissed. She said, But I’ve had children before and it was never like this.

Oh lady you’ve never had twins before.

With the end result that her appendix burst on the operating table after they were finally listening to her. It was a very near thing.

Her doctor then sat her down and told her that he’d seen too many patients with so many responsibilities–she had six kids including those newborn twins–after serious medical circumstances go spiraling downward and downward and downward and he did not want it to happen to her. He prescribed her an hour a day of exercise. Go join a gym. I don’t care how you do it, do it. You must.

Which is how my then-sixteen-year-old sister with the brand new driver’s license got flown out to California for the summer to help out. I was seventeen; I had a summer nanny job I was committed to. I tried not to be jealous, and by all accounts it sounded like Anne had the time of her life. The greatest human need is to be needed and boy was she ever.

But I never forgot that lesson. I was already in the habit of race-walking several miles a day and that cemented the idea for life: exercise isn’t just to stay in shape or control weight, it’s to help a person be in charge of how they feel about their life.

I am typing this just after getting off the treadmill that was a gift from Scrabblequeen Ruth some time ago. (Thank you, Ruth!) I’ve been experimenting: if I hold my right arm by my side will it bother my rib less?

I did put off using it for several days after the break, and rightly so, but when I finally used it again the rest of me felt so much better that it seems to me to be worth it.

We’ll see what my doctor says tomorrow. If there’s a better way to follow my aunt’s old doctor’s counsel, then I’ll do that. But I think we’re good.

3 Comments so far
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Exercise helps, no doubt about it! However, I got stuck on the first part of the story, the part where a woman is told there is nothing wrong with her and to ignore her pain. This happens all too often! We know our bodies and when something is wrong, but I wonder which male medical professional said it was just because she had twins?!

Comment by Joanne 09.04.18 @ 9:33 am

My mother was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, must be 40 years or so ago, when treatments weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today and she had two young kids. She was told that the best thing she could do for herself (other than her insulin shot) was to take a 30 minute nap every afternoon. She still does and her diabetes is still very well controlled – coincidence? 🙂

Comment by Deb 09.04.18 @ 4:56 pm

And what did the doctor say? 🙂

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 09.11.18 @ 6:20 am

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