Thursday, April 9, 2015

Following Advice

I just saw again a funny video about advice. The woman has a nail in her forehead and the guy gently suggests that she take it out, but she just wants him to listen to her and not make suggestions.

Many of you have given me advice. Some of it is good. The podiatrist gave me very strong advice -- to stay off that foot. I should take it, but you know how it is. It is hard not to try to rush back to normal.

Muffet's advice: Write about it. Just start writing and see where the thoughts flow. They may wind up in a very different place from where you started. So, here goes.

Muffet's advice 2: Imagine a very visual block to your perfect happiness. It should be an image -- maybe a creature, or a black blot. Ask it to please move out of the way. I have tried this kind of mental imaging and it is helpful. The cognitive-behavioral approach is one of the only effective psychological interventions for getting through emotional problems. The VA uses such techniques in stress management of PTSD, and we can use them too.

After going through the mental exercize of picturing each part of your body from feet to top of head and relaxing each -- while conscious of your breath -- until you are quite relaxed. Imagine then that you are on a beach and you came there on a beautiful path through a woods and underbrush. Imagine looking up and down the beach and feeling the warm sun on your heart. "You can come here to your own private beach whenever you choose."

This is a brief description of the exercize we went through in Stress Management #5.

Podiatrist's Advice:

"Stay Off It." That's good advice, of course, but as I am finding through Stress Management, I have a lot of Type A behaviors. We aren't calling it 'Type A Personality' anymore, because that implies some rigid, fixed trait of character. Behavior is amenable to psychological intervention, such as relaxation and Mindfulness practice. In any case, my last visit to the podiatrist showed that the wound has almost healed. We can imagine an orthotic for bike riding which has a cut-out below the wound which will protect the newly-repaired skin and make sure that leg pressure goes to the ball of the foot, right over the pedal axis.

My challange is to deal with "time urgency." I need to be on time. This morning I made sure to get to Panera's to meet Duncan Admanson near 7:00. But I neglected to check the email correspondence which would have shown that we postponed the get-together until next Tuesday because I had an ophthalmologist appointment today. Executive function malfunction. Still, I was on time. "Time Urgent" is a description of another Type A behavior.

As is Shpilkes.

By the end of the Mindfulness session, I had modified my behavior so now I was sitting calmly and relaxing rather than stretching and bouncing around. Maybe I can follow advice once I see that it is addressing a pattern. I always thought I was pretty laid-back, but I do approach stuff in a compulsive sort of way.

Jonna's Advice: Exercizes from the back -- Air Bike and Ab Crunch. (Of course I will complain at the phrase "Lay back...") You really do get a workout with these.

Now I am in the long slog part of recovery and have been for a while; so much so that I haven't felt like writing about it, despite Muffet's advice. But this morning I had a cup of dark coffee, so I feel a bit energized, and here you have the followed advice.


MBC said...

No comment.

kcmaria said...

Dave, I have never noticed the "laid back" part of your personality but trust that you know yourself better than anyone else. Being less active than one is used to is difficult for most of us. Following suggestions from professional caregivers, or just well-meaning individuals, is not so easy either. The one thing that popped into my mind while reading your latest blog post was the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. You've probably read it. If you feel like perusing it again, maybe there would be some interesting little thoughts to roll around your mind while you're waiting for the body to get back to your normal. Wishing for you a rapid healing process and a peaceful mind if the process happens to take a bit longer than you'd like.

dizzy5 said...

Stop being angry about the Expos moving away.