This year, I plan on starting to prepare for winter early. No, I don’t mean that I’m going to pretend that I’m a squirrel and bury lots of acorns and nuts in the garden; nor I am going to be like a bird and fly south for the season (although, I won’t lie, a holiday would be great right now). Ah, a girl can dream…
No, what I mean is that I’m going to try and get into some habits now that I’m hoping will stop the cold weather from having such a big impact on me this time around. I’m not a professional doctor or physiotherapist, nor do I pretend to be, so I’m not sure if making an extra effort this my physiotherapy now will make me less achy in the winter, but I figure it’s something that I should probably start doing anyway, because as I’ve said time and time again, I know I don’t do as much as I should.
The end of last year things seemed a lot worse than normal because it was far more bitter than I remember it being for a long time. When I get cold, my legs get tight and my muscles ache more than usual. I tend to spend a lot of winter using my wheelchair rather than my walking frame because it’s more comfortable that way. Plus, if we have snow, there’s just no way that the tiny front wheels on Martha will cut through it all, and I don’t want to risk slipping on any ice either. This just means trying to do as much more physio as I can at home to make up for the shortfall in exercise.
At the beginning of this year, things started bothering me enough for me to give my physiotherapist a call and make a set of appointments. I had around six spread out of the course of the next few months and she finally discharged me again a couple of weeks ago. More on that later.
So, it’s only September but there’s already a chill creeping into the air, and I’ve noticed that my legs and hips are already starting to show their dislike for it, especially first thing in the morning and the last thing at night as I’m trying to drift off to sleep. I’ve decided that if I start working hard now and paying more attention to my stretches sooner rather than later, I’ll, (hopefully), have got into the habit by the time the worst of the cold hits so having to work harder might not seem like such a chore.
Although I need the help of another person to do some of the bigger ones, there are lots of little things that I can do for myself that I’m hoping will help, like spending more time lying on my stomach for half an hour while I watch TV or read a book get a good stretch out, and it feels like my wheat bags barely have time to go cold before I’m reheating them again (I’m sat with one under my knees as I type). This is to help keep me warm as much as it is to sooth my muscles. Oh, and I’m going to have to remember to keep on to top my physio too. I’m pretty sure that will do me some good, no matter what time of year it is.
I am aware that wheatbags might not be suitable for everyone to use, or help everyone. I’m not a medical professional so I can’t offer advice on when a person might like to use one or when it might not be suitable for them. This is a reflection on how they help me personally only.
Feel free to help keep me on the straight and narrow by leaving me note in the comments section, or on Facebook and Twitter, from time to time.