Reasons to get moving!

Whilst flicking through a supplement from a well-known newspaper, I came across a fascinating article about a man who had a hand transplant.

One day,  having suddenly been struck by a mysterious illness he ended up in an intensive care unit. He was now in a great deal of pain and advised to contact his loved ones as he was not expected to make it through the night. Fortunately, he did survive but was in septic shock with the blood not circulating properly, therefore, depriving extremities of blood supply. Gangrene then set in. During the weeks that followed, he was treated for every possible illness even using chemotherapy.

Fortunately, against all odds, he survived. However, he was forced to lose a hand, part of the other and a leg below the knee. Although devastating, it was remarkable he survived. When he had suitably recovered strength a pioneering hand surgeon carried out a tremendous operation, a hand transplant. He is shown using this new hand drinking, gripping and lifting his mug.

I am sure you are wondering, although interesting – what does this have to do with stroke? As you might recall, I wrote I had been fit and healthy prior to my stroke, so had this man before his illness. He didn’t drink or smoke and had been told he had the cardiovascular fitness of a top athlete. One of his doctors said to him “The reason you took such great care of yourself was not to avoid this, it was to survive this”, this struck a chord with me.

Had I not been as fit and healthy, would my body have coped as well with the demands following stroke? Would I have managed to retain such tenacity? I very much doubt it.

Yes, we all know that a healthy lifestyle has benefits and helps prevent many illnesses. But sadly, there are some, including some forms of stroke, that can strike anyone, no matter how healthy. However, a successful recovery partly depends on how healthy the person was before they had a  stroke.

Also as highlighted in the news articles only this week, exercise in the over 50’s helps ward off dementia. This beneficial exercise that counts so much, is walking, as the pounding of the feet on the ground increases circulation, which will increase the blood flow to our organs of which the brain is one. Even if you can only manage a few steps daily, every little helps, so make sure that daily you push yourself, for your benefit, do what is possible for you. Help yourself my making this become routine for you.

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