Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 10...getting strong!

I had my follow-up appointment with my surgeon yesterday and he said I was doing well and looking strong. Yeah! I've been progressing my walking distance each day and what's better, my time has been going down, so I've been walking further, stopping less and going faster. Mind you, my pace is still pretty slow. To illustrate this point, read about my morning outing: I had to go to the supermarket to pick up soymilk, so I decided to venture out on my own. I grabbed a cart, flopped myself over the handlebars and pushed my way through the grocery store. I was walking down an aisle and I hear "move it!". I turn around and behind me is a cranky 137 year old man in a motorized wheelchair who was pissed that I was walking too slow. What's most ironic about the situation (beyond my age and fitness level) is that my research at MIT has centered around building an empathy suit, which helps younger individuals feel physically older, and helps them to empathize with their challenges (theoretically, of course...) When we calibrated the suit last summer, we found that when folks in their 20's put on the suit, they are as physically mobile as folks in the 70-79 y.o. range, based on standard norms of physical function. While my research is typically well received, here and there the critics will say "well, you really DON'T know what it feels like". YES I DO!

Anyway, the only disconcerting piece of my recovery thus far has been the dizziness. When I get up from the couch, I get uncontrollably dizzy, to the point where I feel like I am going to black out. This has been happening since I got home, and while I am cognizant that its not wise to get up too fast from a lying down position, I don't think I am getting up any faster than before the surgery. I mean, I can't, I've got three holes in my gut, so it hurts to get up fast! They took some labs from me yesterday to see what might be going on. Hopefully its nothing, but it is something I would like to pass.

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