By Member of the Month
We are so happy to introduce Ron as January’s Member of the Month! Ron is an inspiring member at LIVE WELL White Rock/ South Surrey and we applaud his resilience during his health journey to date! **
My journey with LIVE WELL began in January 2016 when I was 67 years old and in relatively good health. I had battled borderline high blood pressure for years and really didn’t want to go on medication. In conjunction with my doctor, we agreed that a regular form of exercise would be a good option. My first 11 months at LIVE WELL were great. Within the first six months my blood pressure dropped to a level I had not enjoyed for 25 years.
My journey took a sideways turn in November 2016 when I was on a short hunting trip with two friends. I had suffered from vertigo for a number of years, and was always aware of my head movements. While up a mountain with my hunting partner, I became very nauseous and told him I would remain at the truck. While leaning against the truck, I passed out, fell to the ground, hitting the right side of my head on a rock. This was classified as an “unwitnessed” fall and I wasn’t sure how long I was down. When I regained consciousness, I experienced a bout of amnesia, To say this was the scariest point of my life is an understatement. By the time my hunting partner returned one hour later, I was aware of my surroundings and why I was there.
I went to my doctor three days later and was diagnosed with whiplash and a severe concussion. I received a CT scan that afternoon and no major abnormalities were detected. Within two weeks I was experiencing several disturbing symptoms. My memory was struggling, my speech was challenged as I tried to remember words, and my walking became more unsteady. Loud noise and bright lights disturbed me. The week after Christmas, I was told that these were symptoms of the concussion and should disappear within six months. Two weeks later, I knew something was more serious and my wife drove me to the emergency room where I was given a CT scan immediately, where they discovered I had a massive bleed on the right side of my brain and a moderate bleed on the left. I was admitted to the Royal Columbian Hospital “Brain Ward” and operated on three days later.
Needless to say, my classes at LIVE WELL were put on hold. In May 2016, the neurosurgeon gave me the green light to return to LIVE WELL. Keli and Sam set up a program that provided me with exercises to insure that my recovery would advance in a safe and cautious manner. They also had to deal with the fact that I was still recovering from a severe concussion and whiplash. Their programming care and concern were above and beyond - wow, what a team.
After several months of chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy and my fabulous team at LIVE WELL, I was in better shape than before my accident.
Since that period in 2017, I have participated in two Great Pumpkin Walks with several of the LIVE WELL staff and members. I purchased a road bike in September 2018 and got back into cycling which I gave up 20 years ago. My average rides are now 30-50 kilometres. My longest ride in 2020 was 64 kilometres.
In March 2019, I discovered an incredible vestibular rehabilitation therapist. She was able to reposition the crystals in my ears literally eliminating my vertigo. She has changed my life.
In February 2020, with the encouragement of Callum and Sam, I participated in the Wall Centre Stair Climb with several LIVE WELL staff and members. 48 stories in 11 minutes, 14 seconds. Not bad for an old guy!
I can’t express enough what LIVE WELL has meant and done for me for the past five years. LIVE WELL has become a part of my life.
To Sara, her management team and staff at LIVE WELL, my thanks. As a result of your care and attention to COVID protocols, we are all still able to attend our sessions in a healthy and safe manner.
Finally, my fitness and health journey would only have been successful because of the help, encouragement and support from my wife and our families.