I'm off to another surgery...
in about a month. Woohoo. Everyone probably has their own ways and routines for this stuff. For me, they're taking out the rest of my kidneys (finally after 24 years! I've also had a lot of brain surgeries, etc.). But, it's still hard to not freak-out a little and to start getting down on myself. Moreover, I've been on disability benefits -at home- for the last 5 years, so I don't have the same strength, endurance and supports that I used to have! So I look for role models and inspiration to help me get ready.
The VHL Athlete and surgery
“In addition to the careful preparation my doctors and I went through… I trained myself for this even as if I were training for a sports event. I made sure my body was healthy and strong… and that my mind was strong as well. Through meditation and guided imagery, I pictured the surgery going well, the surgeons confident and successful… now on to physical therapy and back to normal life.”
—Jennifer K., Australia
VHLA Patient Handbook, p. 77
Centred through uncomfortable situations
“… One of the most useful and versatile strategies or techniques I have is yoga. For me, it is one of the most flexible and useful tools I have that can be applied to almost any situation, VHL-related or otherwise…
For example, today I was at an end-of-year breakfast for my son. We were sitting in the cafeteria and it was pretty much total chaos. My husband needed to leave to go to work, and my friend, who was driving me home, was not yet available to leave. I found myself sitting and waiting, with no one to talk to and, oh yeah, I am blind. So I realized that I was focusing on my breathing and keeping myself calm and centered with the chaos of all of the 200+ children and families swirling around me. It might have been a very stressful and anxiety-inducing situation. Finding my center and focusing on my breathing helps me keep calm. I find I use yoga all the time. Especially before procedures …”
-Lisa “Yoga and Stress”
Make time, be active and ask for help
“There are many factors that affect a person’s health. Some things, like genes or age, cannot be controlled. Many things, like sleep, nutrition, and exercise can be controlled. A healthy lifestyle will help improve your overall health and well-being...
It is important to live a healthy lifestyle, but being healthy means different things for different people…”
-Living with VHL: www.vhl.org