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Those Inexplicable Instructions!
Your doctor will understand that
chronically ill patients (and their caregivers) need to
lead their lives as normally as possible. That includes
maintaining the ability to be physically active to the
maximum degree reasonable. Discouraging normal physical
activity leads to loss of muscle and bone mass,
diminished ability to perform normal tasks of daily
living, and a growing sense of personal disability and
ineptness which limits attempts to perform even further.
So, it's in everyone's best interest for your doctors to
encourage you and your loved one to be as active as
possible for as long as possible. If you find yourself
being cautioned about a planned activity, ask your
follow-up questions, and listen carefully to the answers
then decide how much change in your plans may be needed.
It may be, "None." But at least you will have a fuller
understanding of the risks involved and how better to
choose activities for your loved one.
Take proper care of your loved one, and yourself, as
caregiver. Arm yourself with information. Then make your
Barry S. Tepperman, M.D., M.B.A.,
F.A.C.R., co-Director of Radiation Oncology for Memorial
Healthcare Systems, Hollywood, FL.