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Meg O. of Stoddard, Wisconsin, was inspired to get her Endless Pool while nursing a long-term injury. She shared this story of her ongoing recovery and how the Endless Pool gave her "a new lease on life."
In 1996, I broke and dislocated the two ribs that the diaphragm anchors on in the left back of my chest. I didn’t know that they were dislocated for six months, and by that time, the muscles that were supposed to hold them in place had atrophied. As a result, it hurt to breathe, and even if they were put back into place by a chiropractor, they didn’t stay for more than a few hours.
I tried every treatment known to medicine and alternate medicine and got no permanent solution. When it hurts to breathe, the autonomic nervous system adjusts your inhalations to make them shallower so they don’t hurt. As a result, I couldn’t exercise, and I had to sleep with oxygen on.
Since hurting the ribs, my chiropractor had been telling me that he believed the muscles might come back if I could swim four or more times a week, focusing on the breaststroke to target the weak intercostal muscles. For most of those years, I had no way to make that happen and still work full time.
In 2012, I had surgery to lose most of the excess weight I had accumulated from not being able to exercise, and my husband and I decided to have an addition put on the house and purchase an Endless Pool. We were hoping that using the pool regularly would have a positive impact on my rib issue, and I would not need as many pain killers to function.
I had some complications from the surgery and wasn’t actually able to start using the pool regularly until the fall of 2013. Since that time, I’ve aimed for every day, but actually swim four to seven days a week. My workouts started at five minutes and now alternate between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. About a 1/3 to 1/2 of the workout is aerobic; 1/3 arm, shoulder, and chest exercises; and 1/3 stretches.
My ribs have not dislocated in several months. I no longer need to sleep with oxygen. Having this pool has changed my life for the better. I have a new lease on life. It’s tough to explain to someone who’s never had broken ribs and had it hurt to breathe, but I had that pain for 16-1/2 years. Not having it is such a weight off of me emotionally as well as physically. The Endless Pool is wonderful.