It’s actually very, very simple, and takes a commitment of just one hour of my time each day.
This is what I have set myself to do:
Exercise – at least 50-60 minutes of reasonably strenuous exercise every day. A lot of days Malcolm and I are going out for a 10 mile cycle ride early in the morning (before it starts to get toooo hot out there). Some days I go for a swim – I’m aiming for at least 40x25m lengths (so that’s a kilometre). I’d like to build the swimming up to a mile, which would be a stretch for me but very satisfying. I learnt to swim properly relatively late in life (early 40s), and still class myself as an improver. There will be occasional days when I walk more than usual and that will be my exercise.
Weights – I’m lifting my arm weights every single day, and intend gradually building up both number of reps and the weights I’m lifting.
Diet – (and by that I simply mean ‘what I’m eating and drinking’ – I definitely do not mean I’m following some kind of prescriptive weight loss or other diet). I’m just eating generally healthy food (by which I mean lots of fresh vegetables, some fresh fruit, not much sugary stuff, lots of unprocessed grains, very little caffeine or alcohol, lots of water). I’m also drinking a small amount of home made (and therefore unsweetened) milk kefir every day- the amount that fits in an espresso coffee cup. This has definitely grown on me – at first I didn’t like it at all, finding it much too sour. Now I actually love it, and look forward to it.
Lymph leg care – I’m spending part of each day with my leg elevated, and doing some self-massage to try to help get the lymphatic system moving. Astonishingly (to me, at least), when this works I can hear and feel all sorts of gurgling noises in my lower chest. I need more tuition in this, and plan to watch some online instruction videos this week. I’m having a MLD massage each week, and each time I learn something new. Once my pressure stocking arrives, I’ll be wearing it every day. In addition, I’m trying to be mindful all the time of how my leg (particularly my ankle, foot and toes, which are very badly affected at the moment) is, so I learn what helps and what makes things worse and so can make any adjustments I need to make.
Other stuff – I’m trying to find positive ways to carry on ‘being me’ and not morphing into being ‘a patient’. For me this means looking for good-looking shoes and clothes that fit with my style and lifestyle – I’m not ready for the track suit bottoms and velcro slipper look yet (nor ever will be, I hope!). I had a really encouraging experience yesterday at the small anti-Trump demo I joined in Bath. A woman about my age (I guess), slim and attractive, wearing really nice clothes, had on a full hand and arm pressure garment, and seemed to be very comfortable about it. I wanted but didn’t quite pluck up courage to ask her about it, but just seeing her was a real inspiration for me.
So – that’s it. That’s all there is to it. Very simple, not over-demanding, and I’ve managed to follow it all so far. It’s Day 11.