Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Everyone Has An Interesting Story. . .

This morning was my 476th exercise session at the Delpit Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center. I started there about 3 months after my open heart surgery in August, 2004. After Phase II (the 33 visits paid for by Medicare), I moved into Phase III (paying for it myself) and I like to refer to the Center as my “health club staffed by cardiac nurses.” Over the past 3½ years I have made some good friends while exercising. In fact, some of the conversations with others while walking on the treadmill help make the time go by more quickly.

Occasionally, after my workout, I will join some of my cardio-friends downstairs in the cafeteria for a cup of coffee and more talk. This morning, as a couple of us were comparing notes, one of the guys said, “You know, everyone who exercises at the Center has an interesting story to tell.” And he’s right. We all have faced some form of heart disease or malfunction; that is our common bond. But we all got there by different routes and that is the source of the many stories. In sharing our stories with each other, we form a strong support group of people who have flirted with death but have survived to regain our health and live active lives. There is at least one in our group who is in his 90’s and still exercising regularly.

The results of my exercise regimen that started with the recovery from triple-bypass surgery are amazing. I am about 40 pounds lighter than I was back then and have better muscle tone than at almost any period of my life. I lost 4 inches from my waistline and my jacket size dropped from a 54 to a 48. And, I am not an exception among those who have survived cardiac “incidents” and decided that there was a lot of life still to live.

I truly value my cardio-friends and the time we spend together. For me, they are as much a part of my ongoing treatment as my cardiologist. They are a truly inspiring group of men and women.

Added Note: I can't figure out why the spacing of this post turned out as it appears above.


Shauna Roberts said...

Congratulations on taking the steps needed to regain a healthy body. I know from my reading of the medical literature that far too many people with heart problems don't. I wish they could all read your story and learn that it's worth the work.

As for the compressed type in your post, Blogger does that to my posts occasionally too, and I have yet to figure out why.

Eric Valentine said...

I learn something every time I come to your site Leon. Congratulations on your recovery from your ordeal, and the steps you follow to keep it that way.

Not too many people have your determination & drive to stick to their programs the way you have.
The will to live can be a very powerful motivating tool my friend.. Well done. :)

Leon said...

Thanks for the kind words Shauna. I may be writing more about with with chronic conditions in a later post.

Leon said...

Thanks Eric. Your use of the term "ordeal" triggers an idea for another post that I may do soon. Yes, at the time it was an ordeal but I am the beneficiary of an extended life that was not possible in my father's time.