The Couch That Nearly Killed Me

Look at it.  So comfortable.  It’s just sitting there beckoning you into its well worn cushions.  “Come, sit with me.  Be a lazy bum.”

Well that’s what I did.  I listened to it.  I plopped my ever-expanding ass right on it.  Remote control or game controller in hand I spent more time here than just about anywhere in the last 7 months.  Sure, I went to work, did household chores and lived life, but always ended up back here.  I knew that it wasn’t the best choice, but it was the easiest.

We get our post-open heart patients up and moving about on post-op day 1 and many times they are dangling at the bedside 18 hours post-surgery.  We get total hips up in the same manner.  Why?  It has been shown that muscles lose mass within 7 days in a hospital setting.  And we all know that the typical sedentary lifestyle of the American public causes obesity, fecal incontinence, diabetes, heart disease, loss of value on one’s house, cancer, impotence, heart attacks and all sorts of other bad things.

Prior to January of this year, I commuted by bike and train everyday.  It wasn’t a lot of riding, but enough to help me feel better and lose some weight.  I had been doing it for almost three years and was feeling better than I had felt in years.  Then I got sick with a nasty winter cold and worse, got a new car.

I felt like crap and I could drive to work.  How was this a bad thing?  And at the worst part of the year.  No riding in pouring cold windy weather.  Getting home and being in bed by when I used to only get home.  This was a good thing.  I dismissed the idea that this might not be best for me physically, that the riding had kept me somewhat fit.  And as the scale rose with each successive doctor visit, I played it off as something else.  It was the steroids, or the anti-depressants, or the buffet I had gone to the night before not realizing the lack of true physical activity as I drove  everyday.

Today I threw a leg over the old steed to take back a movie.  It was a short easy ride, something I would have done before without any stress.  Not today.  Legs and arms were burning, short of breath, side-ache and plain old miserable.  I could hardly walk upstairs to the main floor when I got back.  And it’s not like I was riding balls-out trying to set records.  I was way out of shape.  Call it an eye-opening moment of realization, self-awareness.

Now I know I need to get back on the bike.  Continuing to live like this will turn me into my father (who looks like Santa) and in the long run, kill me.  I can’t let that happen.  I’m not going to let the couch win this time.


  1. Thank you for the post! Made me turn and look at my lifestyle, and how much it has changed over the years. As a nurse, I need to start practicing what I preach everyday to my patients.


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