We all have encountered a friend or loved one going down a path we wish we could correct. Our responsibility is to try to steer that person in the right direction with good advice.

But what should you do if your friend will not listen to you?

I experienced this during the fall with a woman with whom I have been friends for about 20 years. She fractured her ankle from a seemingly benign fall on the beach. She required an operation, with plates inserted to hold her steady.

Two weeks after the operation, she called me, and I could tell she was upset and felt traumatized by the event. I wanted to help.

Vera Koo Recovering ACL Replacement Carlos Koo photo
(Carlos Koo photo)

I gained experience recovering from injuries throughout my shooting career. Notably, I suffered a spiral fracture in my leg when I was 66 years old when I fell after practice at a range in Columbia, Missouri.

I had a rod inserted into my tibia and needed six screws. The recovery was not easy, especially at that age. By dedicating myself to a combination of Chinese and American medicine, I recovered well enough to compete at the Bianchi Cup the following year. [Note: You may read about Vera’s recovery plan here.]

Good Advice: Chinese Medicine and Healing

Throughout my recovery, I followed some principles of Chinese medicine.

The Chinese ways of healing focus on eating, sleeping and medicine, in that order. I did precisely that. I stayed focused on my recovery, refusing to wallow in self-pity.

Cooking steak

I would consume several thousand calories each day. My diet included eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, fruit, leafy green vegetables, steak and cake. I did not worry about gaining weight – I went up a size or 2 during this time – because I knew my body need the calories to help me heal.

I consider my body to be the vehicle that gets me through life. Much like a vehicle, our bodies need fuel in the tank to run. This is especially true when you are recovering from injury.

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