Feeling the Benefits

Last night I went out for family meal for my sister-in-laws birthday,  I had been resting most of day as I knew I’d have to use crutches to get in and out of their car and into restaurant.

I’m always worried about falling over in public or not been able to make it to my seat when I have no chair as backup.  I also get anxious about not been able to make it to the toilet so I wear those Tena pants if I’m away from home so I don’t have to worry about going to toilet just getting in and out of car.

It was a long night though partly because Pete decided to order something that would take 25 mins to cook so we all waited for our carvery and in laws went outside for a smoke and also again before puddings,  then they wanted to meet up with other family members at a different pub for last orders before coming home which meant getting in and out car again and carpark was further from door (seating area directly in front of door here and cars weren’t allowed to park there)  we parked as near as possible but it was still further than I’ve attempted to walk on crutches before and I was already getting tired from in and out of car and previous pub. (as I’d also had to get up to go to carvery serving area and as everything was taking so long I’d had to make a journey to loo before coming to this pub).

But I didn’t want to spoil the mood I was really enjoying my night out (they wouldn’t have made it for last orders with her uncle if they’d had to drive me home first) I just worry about falling over on crutches and the walking bits inbetween when I have no chair as backup.

These pubs don’t have space for wheelchairs anyway if I was stuck in big electric chair all day and had no walking ability I wouldn’t be able to come to these places at all.  Unfortunate thing about villages not many places are big wide buildings with lifts,  disabled toilets and good wheelchair access other than the big supermarkets/shopping centres in towns.

Luckily my arms are strong and stronger than I thought it seems and I can swing on crutches but after a guy had previously told me that your brain stops sending messages to muscles if you stop trying to use them I decided to see how far I could push my leg muscles.  After all I do walk about the house with walker and use feet to push myself backwards on walker seat (and use exercises pedaller) it doesn’t seem as far though when you are only walking from room to room and sitting than seeing a car park in front of you to walk across it seems more scary with a wide open space and nothing to grab onto or no seat to sit on halfway.

I thought I’d try and aim for the nearest bench first which looked about as far as me walking from my back door to my rotary dryer with washing basket on rollator, which I have managed. (although if I think about it I actually walk further as I walk from kitchen to back door to rotary dryer and back inside again!)

My brother was just at side at me anyway to grab me if I looked like I was gonna end up in an heap so I gingerly made it step by step across the car park to the seating area then carried on past the seats I felt more confident once the seats were at the side of me so I know I could sit down if I needed to.  But I made it inside and managed sitting on regular seats all night.

Luckily the seats in this pub had backs that kind of wrapped around you rather than been a dining chair so by time my back was starting to feel a little tired it had a bit more support.

I eventually made it home around 11.30pm but it was a great night and whats surprised me most is I’m not as completely exhausted this morning as I though I would be.  I thought I’d be struggling to get up in time to get Inca out and back before vet visited after morning surgery but its only 8.30am and I already got up once made it to bathroom and kitchen for a cuppa and got back in bed for quick cuppa before I get up to take Inca out.

I’m glad I got electric chair,  I be using that to walk her as it has more back support than the scooter and I don’t want to push things too far and plan to rest after the vet has been to give Inca her booster but overall I’m quite thrilled that I managed to do so well on crutches last night so the exercise routine program I am following seems to be making a difference as I couldn’t actually manage that far on crutches previously.

I also actually managed to keep my balance better especially as I had to negiotiate 3 steps into first pub car park which luckily were wide (and long across length of entrance so no way around it) and shallow but with no hand rails.  I think I must credit this to the standing exercises I do every day as part of my vestibular rehabilitation program.

My arms also don’t twitch when they are in that position holding crutches and I’m concentrating on each step.  It makes me wonder about dystonia as I saw a program where a woman had severe muscle twitches until she started either hoovering or playing the flute and they stopped when she was concentrating so hard.

I also managed on second carpark where ground was sloped where cars can go down to another carpark so lifting both crutches to swing on them was a bit risky as the left side was always going to be slightly lower throwing me off balance, so I had to very carefully shift weight alternately between legs and sticks.  It was a real challenge for an ataxian but I actually did alot better than I thought I was going to do. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Feeling the Benefits

  1. I am so impressed Kati – my therapist told me that steps are better than slopes as slopes challenge your balance more.

    Keep up the good work. xx

  2. Congrats on doing so well!!

    Can you write about the vestibular rehab – is this your Wii-based exercises or something else? Now I’m up a bit more it’s really noticeable how hideously bad my balance is, and I think it’s something related to being bedridden for so long – my body’s forgotten how to balance – so I’m interested in exercises. I’ll talk to my own rehab people of course, but it’s good for me to find out what others are doing too!

  3. Hi

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Glad you are able to get up more.

    Yeah sure I will do next blog on it, I’ll need another day to type a good blog cos I gotta go catch up some rest now vet has gone, as can feel back muscles starting to twitch!

    I find if I push too hard I end up spending another couple of days laid on hot water bottles and not able to get anything done so its well worth it to go take a break before the pain and fatigue kicks in really bad. As I live on own I have to get up again later for Inca’s second walk and doing our dinner’s etc so have to factor that into how much energy I got left to do stuff.

    KT X

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