For years my chiropractic neurologist husband has been telling me about the importance of movement. And I am not talking about the bit about being physically fit -which we all know is a requirement for overall health. And yes, I workout quite a bit, keep active and reap the fruits of that every day of my life...
I am talking about the effect it has on our nervous system, the housing of what gives all your organs and muscles direction and power.
All this time I have followed his advise -it made total sense to me. But it wasn't till a few months ago that I really, really understood what he was talking about. Can you imagine? Yes, it took THIS long to make sense to me.
Right after my 'Eureka' moment I felt the need to share my experience, in the hope that next time somebody talks to you about the importance of movement for the nervous system, it will hit home way faster than it did me....
A few months ago I underwent an O.R. procedure where a surgeon laser treated two nasty varicose veins. But before I did, I put the 'operation' off three times because I was very sceptical about submitting myself to general anaesthesia for a procedure that was not going to save my life.
The thought that kept popping in my head was: 'Do I want to shut down my system, expose my body to the 1:500.000 chance of not waking up after general anaesthesia? Just because I have two ugly veins showing in my leg?
(Yes folks! Those are the odds!).
I decided to ask the surgeon if he could do the procedure with 'local anaesthesia'. He hesitated for a few seconds and then he said: "Yes, I guess I could...".
Phew! I decided to have the procedure done.
When I was discharged, a nurse gave me a list of things to do and not to do. She also told me the doctor wanted me to take 1000mg of paracetamol every 6 hours and 2 Ibuprofens before I went to bed. This advise scared me. It made me think I was going to be in a lot, a lot of pain after the local anaesthesia wore off.
Funny enough, after it did I felt some 'pulling' but no real pain, so I took nothing. Also when I went to bed I decided not to take any medication and wait and see what happened. I was in no pain so why take the medication, right? I woke up in the middle of the night feeling quite a bit of pain. So I took 200 mg of paracetamol :-( By the time I walked back to the bed the pain had gone and I remember thinking how miraculously fast the paracetamol had given me relief....
Into the second day the same thing happened... No pain what so ever during the day but oh yes, the middle of the night hit and I woke up with so much pain that I had to talk to the bathroom again and take 200 mg of paracetamol upon which immediately the pain went away...completely.
Next morning I told my chiropractic neurologist husband about the course of events. Smart as he is, he said: "I bet that what is helping the pain is not really the drug, but the movement itself. Why don't you try walking around a bit tomorrow night, if this happens again".
Third night came and oh yes, right around 2 p.m. excruciating pain wakes me up. This time I decide to take a two minute a walk: to the bathroom, the kitchen, back to the bedroom.
I'll be damned! The pain went away, completely, within 2 minutes! I woke up 2 more times during the same night, got up, walked around, and presto. All pain went in a few minutes.
It then dawn on me... What caused the pain was the lack of movement during the night. Pain I would have probably not felt if I had taken all the drugs the hospital prescribed...
I cannot get it out of my mind: why would they advise me to drug myself, to the point that I don't feel my body screaming for a bit of movement to help it heal? Crazy!
I am not encouraging people not not follow their surgeon's advise. I am just saying, think, open your mouth, ask questions and be critical!