This journey of recovery, wherever it takes me, is definitely a holistic approach. I’ve kept in touch with a few people who have been through the treatment, and it seems pretty clear that there’s a few basic themes for those doing well. Not everyone reacts well, and there are non-responders, so please be aware this posting is just my musings on the areas that have worked for me. Medically, there are so many factors on who will react well, and who will not respond, that no great conclusions can be drawn.
Food – I always feel so much better if I eat well. I’ve heard this from a few people, and it’s always about lots of fruit, vegetables, unprocessed food and not too much sugar. I’m not strict, but do try to follow those guidelines. A great meal on Friday where I definitely didn’t follow any guidelines ( pork belly starter, brocollini, awesome chips with Parmesan and truffle oil, grass fed steak, followed by creme brûlée) meant a pretty healthy Saturday for food although the chocolate mousse may not have helped last night !
Rest – a big one. While my energy levels are slowly getting better, and I need less sleep, this is still an important area. I can manage way more activities, and for a couple of days, but then I’ll need to rest for an afternoon or a couple of evening as a minimum. The idea of going out on a Thursday night (I don’t work Fridays) after the week of work remains a dream.
Rehab physiotherapist – these are very specific exercises to increase my core strength. A month in the hospital followed by around three months of major convalescence has impacted my strength way more than I’d realised. A structured exercise program, very much tailored to recovery, has certainly helped me, and I know others have used neuro physiologists and similar with great success. I’ve just been given a new program, each time I get a new program it’s a stretch effort, but then I do notice the improvements in strength and general mobility.
General exercise – Dr Federenko’s advice is to do the exercise you love, and do whatever it infrequently but never to the point of exhaustion. That rang really true to me, for me that has meant walking, swimming and kayaking. General exercise of whatever type is so valuable and complements the physiotherapist very structured type movement with functional movement, that aligns to the way we move every day. Gradually, I’m walking, swimming and kayaking further, and I am sure the structured physio exercises help greatly. I’ll put massage in this category, to release tight muscles massage has been invaluable for me.
Most importantly – Time – this is a long journey back to whatever level of health and function I achieve. Already I’m winning with where I’ve reached. Even if I have to spend today and maybe tomorrow on the sofa with a sore throat, that’s a minor blip in the process.