2010-02-26 / Columnists

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

Be Patient
Commentary By Steven McCartney, IPO, HSW, MS

Whether or not your childhood was full of play, you’re still a child today. The question is: Are you patient? Life changing events such as Arthritis can present challenges that test your patience. Unlike a child you cannot be impulsive or defeated because of the journey that you have to face in order to first determine what is happening! The term Arthritis represents over 100 types of pain. Overload is normal (look at all the many gadgets available today; cell phones, blog, tweeter …). However, to shut down in the face of adversity is unacceptable. Understanding and patience are what the world needs more of and it begins with every day, minute and second. It’s hard to say you are rational if your pain is distracting you from participating in your physical, mental and social well-being. Remember it takes a village to raise a child. Benefits from learning and play will help you with new ways of approaching activities of daily living. Be patient!

Becoming engaged and challenging your thinking in active learning is an appropriate way of developing vital skills, knowledge and a positive attitude. Spontaneous, planned, purposeful play, investigating, exploring, events, life experiences, focused learning (“I can do” objective), and teaching promotes vicarious learning (participating in the experience of others), self regulation and actualization (becoming everything one is capable of becoming).

Infancy can describe lower levels of logical reasoning. In education one learns that there are six levels of mental learning (Blooms Taxonomy: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor domains). Lower levels of learning are simply: knowledge (recalling information, memorizing facts…), comprehension (understanding, being able to give examples or paraphrase in your own words), application (ability to apply learned information), analysis (ability to sort or organize), synthesis (recreate learned information), and the highest learning level evaluation (determine the value, worth or assessment). Being patient allows you to practice reflections and become resourceful.

Individuals who are patient are (1) Successful learners because of their imagination and creativity, tackling new experiences, learning from them, developing important skills including literacy, numeracy, from exploring and investigating while following their own interest. (2) More confidence from succeeding in one’s activities (step by step) having the satisfaction of a task accomplished, learning about bouncing back from setbacks, and dealing safely with risk. (3) Also, become responsible citizens through encountering different ways of seeing the world, learning to share, give and take, learning to respect themselves, others, and taking part in making decisions. (4) Finally, patient individuals are effective contributors through playing together in leading or supporting roles, tackling problems, extending communication skills, taking part in the process of talking, thinking, and respecting the opinion of others.

Being patient with the condition of Arthritis and any chronic disease will require you to take P.A.R.T. an acronym meaning: Prepare a list (helps you stay focused when visiting your doctor; also mention main concern at beginning of any visit and give feedback), Ask Questions (how may it be prevented, test, treatments, follow-ups and take notes), Repeat (reduces misunderstanding), Take Action (get instructions) and if needed get a second opinion (when confused or uncomfortable about treatment). Your doctor should be able to provide you with someone to consult.

When evaluating treatments you need to be patient; here are some concerns you may ask (reflect); is there proof? If from a study: What are the control group characteristics? Were the conditions similar? What else caused results? How old or long ago? Does treatment require change in diet? Can I afford it? How expensive? What are the dangers and long-term effects?

Responsibilities when taking medication (check expiration dates) requires patience. Inform your doctors of all medications (dosage) prescribed (keep list including over the counter), determining needs, selecting appropriate medication, using as prescribed, and reporting effects (side effects if any).

Best practice for being patient is to use your time wisely; have a short story, short list, write down refills and avoid chatting (stick to the facts). Remember sorting over 100 forms of Arthritis is not an easy task for anyone: This requires patience and a support team.

Today the National Institute of Health (visit www.nih.gov) and Department of Health and Human Services gives you 12 good reasons to be patient (Patient Bill of Rights). The rights and procedures that provide an awareness of medical choices, risk, and consequences participating in research (protects you when you volunteer in clinical research or receipt of medical treatment). The United States “Patient Bill of Rights” protects you concerning: information disclosure, choice of provider plan, access to emergency services, participation in treatment decisions, respect, nondiscrimination and confidentiality of health information (healthcare reform needs to sustain patient rights).

Other areas that you will need to be patient (open minded): learn how fluids are absorbed and replace body fluids (rehydration), improving eating habits (add variety and sources for nutrition), adapting your work space or home to be user friendly (ergonomics and stay creative), staying physically active (commitment and balance in recreation and routine), allow intervals for rest and sleep (recharge), form support team (ready preparedness), communicate any changes (self talk “yes I can”), pain management (listen to your body). Benefits from learning to be patient and play (cooperation) will help you with new ways of approaching activities of daily living and become an active manager of Arthritis. Next Issue topic “So What’s Your Action Plan and Problem Solving Techniques.”

I will be instructing at York College Continuing Education Spring 2010, “Walking Class - Introduction to Walk Zone 1 Mile Synchronize Walking Protocol” April 10 – June 19, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturdays (must preregister). Also, I am presently presenting Arthritis Yoga Workshop at Young Israel of Wavecrest and Bayswater Senior League (2716 Healy Avenue) every Tuesday at 11 a.m. This is being co-sponsored by Healthy Lifestyle Changes, Inc. For questions or concerns, e-mail me at steven_mccart ney@walkprograms.com

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