Jar Entry #48 – My Health Advocacy Part 3

During the time I was doing my physical therapy, I wasn’t just lying there waiting for the hour to end. I was studying how the machines work and I spoke to the therapists about the rationale for each form of therapy. It may be nerdy, but I wanted to know what I can do in the gym to replicate the therapies as close as possible, enabling me to continue the therapy at a smaller scale on my own. My doctor finally cleared me so I could go back to the gym on the stipulation that I take it very easy and very slow. Argh.The therapies performed on me were obviously to get my back into shape again and to relieve my slipped disc of the pressure. I do recall getting backaches before my injury so I guess it was inevitable.

So when I returned to the gym, my emphasis was on strengthening my back further and also on simulating the action of the traction machine. Rows, leg extensions, hyperextensions, lots of stretching, etc. It was difficult at first, and my medicine came to my rescue more than a number of times. But I soldiered on.

Eventually, the pain disappeared and my back was stronger than ever due to the exercises I performed. I was able to do 200lb rows and extensions without ill-effect, and I also strengthened my core muscles as well, something I definitely neglected over the years. Crunches are so boring!

Exercise became a regular thing for me even after graduation. And when I was taking the U.S. National Board Exams, I would still try to find time to work out thrice a week between study sessions. And for extra cash, I even did some work, first as a caregiver for an elderly lady who had a stroke and half her body was paralyzed. I stayed in a separate room in her house and it’s a good thing I regularly exercised as I had to lift her every time she needed to use the toilet or to bathe. I only did that for a month as it was getting in the way of my review.

Next, I was approached by some people in the gym asking if I was a trainer. I wasn’t certified by any means, but I love me some Baskin Robbins so I agreed to train them just the same, haha! Perhaps I was doing something right because they did benefit from the training, which not only included exercise but also nutritional advice.

I passed the two-part national boards and soon came the time when I was getting ready to take part three of the board exams, the California State Board Exams for Foreign Graduates. It was also the time when 9/11 happened. And my stay in the US, after a year and a half, was in jeopardy.

To be continued in part 4.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

To stick with the jar theme of the site, I’m thankful for today as I was able to treat my dad’s tooth that’s been bothering him for a while, Nixi got to visit and stay with her Mamita and Auntie Jamie, and I was able to get a very good workout in the gym today.

Here’s a video on relatively easy ways to strengthen your core. I hope no one ever has to go what I went through when I had my slipped disc. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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