Preparing for winter

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.

9 thoughts on “Preparing for winter

  1. To fail to plan is to plan to fail! Best of luck with the planning, I too am thinking ahead, worried about nasty colds at my door, loading up on fruit and veg! Here’s to planning!


  2. Ah Nicola, I so related to this. Although I have cerebral palsy on the left hand side of my body, the aches and pains are there, and when it is icy, my job allows me to work from home as there is no way I can leave my flat without doing some damage to myself! ;o) I find massage and acupuncture helps me immensely though.I held a glass in my left hand for the first time in 40 years, a few weeks ago. It was fab. Big fan of acupuncture these days…have you tried it? Anyway…keep going, think I might get myself some wheat bags!


    1. I’m gald that your employers are understanding and let you work from home, it’s simple things like that that make a difference, isn’t it?. I’ve never tred acupunture before, what’s it like? That’s great news about holding the glass. I’m really pleased for you, I bet it felt great! As for wheatbags, I really couldn’t be without mine!


  3. I started to prepare for winter today, I went and bought a sturdy pair of hiking boots to give me more grip in wet and icy conditions ( if we get any dreaded snow! – think bambi on ice!!) I got some heat gel packs too, that helps ease tightness and cold, am going to block book some hydro too.
    Keep up the good work with physio 🙂 I find it really helps in the winter, especially wearing my gaiters while reading (which I do loads in the winter)


    1. Wow, you’re way more organised than me! Hope you found some nice boots. Are heat gel packs good?

      I should dig my gaiters out too and start using them.

      Good luck, let’s hope we don’t get snow!!



      1. The boots I got were ok, more practical than fashionable (story of my life!!) heat gel packs are awesome, they are usually used for putting inside gloves and jackets to keep you warm (they come in all shapes and sizes). I first started using them when I was younger when I would go on the back of my dads motorbike, a family friend gave me one for xmas, and I would use it inside my jacket, but they stay warm for so long I would use it after to put under my knees to try and relax my hamstrings as they hate the cold!!!
        They have gel inside them that when you flex a little metal disc inside, it causes a chemical reaction that turns the gel to chrystals and making them really quite warm. You can ‘re-charge’ them by putting them into boiling water.


      2. OOh I think I know that they are, I have some little hand sized ones because my hands are always cold but I didn’t know they came in bigge sizes. Might be time to invest.


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