Page 18 - Family Help
P. 18

Life after an oesophagectomy or gastrectomy

               For the non-swimmer (though it's never too late to learn!) walking is a good all-
               round exercise as long as you walk far enough and at a fair pace. Cycling and
               dancing are also suitable as they need not be too strenuous, and as you become
               stronger any sport that you enjoy can be added, but don't start with competitive
               games like squash and badminton and avoid lifting weights. Sports like running
               can be added later (up to marathon standard if you are really determined).

               Activities which involve bending down may cause acid regurgitation. This would
               apply to some yoga exercises and to gardening (usually weeding) where it can be
               avoided by squatting or kneeling and using long-handled tools.

               Back to work
               When you go back to work is entirely up to you and depends on a number of
               factors: your age, type of work, effort put into regaining fitness. In any event, it
               may be some months before you go back to work. Heavy work makes more
               demands and might in fact not be suitable if much bending and lifting is involved.
               It is always helpful if you and your employer discuss your immediate future with
               the company and how you can use alternative skills until you are fully fit again.
               Maybe you could discuss a phased return to work, slightly shorter working day
               initially, thereby avoiding rush hour traffic. Also, if you ordinarily drive or work with
               machinery, you could tire too easily so this should be avoided. Finally, always
               remember to plan your meals when you need them – little and often.

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