If someone would ask me the secrets to a good life, I would say the following: go to school, get a good woman and marry early, father your children early, travel and get good health care through work or privately, get a trade or profession early, get an annual medical check-up, know your numbers (blood pressure, blood sugar level, cholesterol count) and follow your doctor’s reasonable instructions. Don’t drink or eat to excess. Know your weight and body mass index (BMI). Find an exercise program or sport and practice it.
I am discovering that my health depends on me. I do my exercises daily, see and do what my doctor says and ask my wife how I am doing with my medicine. If she says “ok”, I keep doing it. Over the years, she walked with me and played tennis with me. When our boys were still at home, I would play basketball with them in the backyard. My wife and I would play with them in the swimming pool, in the park, on the swings or on the school playground. Today, my wife and I still walk together, through our aches and pains.
I am discovering that Black men don’t take care of their health because they have other responsibilities that they think come fi rst. A day in the park means a day that you don’t have to work or to go play basketball with the guys or to the movies with a girl. If you go out to eat, you have to choose what to eat, and think about whether it’s good for you, even though you know it tastes good.
The consequence of not taking care of your health, not eating right not getting the right health care is bad health. The consequences of not enough exercise and not following the doctor’s instruction and long term bad health and a short life.
I learned about the value of physical therapy during my recent illness. Physical therapy can help you move your recovery forward. If you fi ght the therapists and ignore what they tell you to do, because results are not instant, it will take you longer to recover. It takes a while to work through it but it is designed to get you better as soon as possible. Don’t give up. Physical therapy is foreign to most of us, as it is not what you want it to do, but be patient. It works.
I had a stroke and was told by the therapist that I needed to develop alternative paths for my nerves and muscles to work. Well that didn’t work for me. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but I can walk. I can talk, and I can use my arms. I’m still a work in progress. I had to learn, therapy works, whether I like it or not. It’s like practice for football, everybody wants to play in the game, but the conditioning and practice is just too much work. It takes time to work up to where you want to be.
I know of one person who physically fought the therapist. Therapists aren’t required to take abuse. The therapy ended. The patient was moved from the rehabilitation center to a nursing home. She remained in the nursing home for many years and never walked again, which her was her person’s loss. Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten better, but maybe she would have.
the person’s choice. Everybody has different effects from illness. but you need to try. Another man had a stroke and made some progress with therapy, but he stopped and regressed. As for me, I’m going to keep trying to get better. It’s my new job. Every day! listen to your health care providers. They know better than you.