It turns out, my doctor knows something about his specialty. A few weeks ago, I had an appointment with him. (I know, I have been holding out on all of you who love the doctor stories.) In advance of this scheduled visit, I prepared a list of all the physical activities I was going to get his clearance to do, as well as tactics for how to get him to say yes. I figured that between my lobbying skills, eyelash batting ability, and very tender emotional state (read: tendency to cry at the drop of a hat) I would walk away getting what I want. Which is essentially to exercise again.
After all the “hi, how you feeling, what is your pain level today on a scale of 1-10?” stuff was out of the way, I went down my list.
Me: Can I take spin classes?
Me: Can I do the ballet barre class I was doing before the procedure?
Me: Can I swim?
Doctor: No freestyle. No butterfly. And be careful with breaststroke too. Modify it to look more like side-stroke.
Doctor: If you have the instructor call your physical therapist and get a briefing on your procedure and what you can and cannot do, then you can take Pilates.
At this point, my eyes swelled with tears, as if on demand. This menu of options is not exactly going to get me back into all the nice clothes hanging in my closet waiting for the return of my pre-Beatrix figure. But he was not swayed.
Me (batting eyelashes): But doctor…
Doctor: Listen, I gave you Pilates and swimming…
Me: I don’t consider your description of swimming to fit in my definition of real exercise.
Doctor: I don’t want you putting too much pressure on your back and swimming can do just that. And I feel like if I leave an appointment with you having given you less than 50% of what you want, then I have won.
Well this morning, I went to the pool for the first time. There were a few other swimmers. I sized up the competition. I planned on swimming for 30 minutes. I made it for 20. I did manage to “beat” those swimming in adjacent lanes (not that they knew they were racing) and I did not modify my breaststroke. I tried one lap of freestyle, and it was, I hate to admit, uncomfortable.
I guess on this point he wins. But I am going to redouble my efforts for the rematch.