Walking hard

Yesterday evening proved itself to be one where I was more achy and stiff than I am on an average day. I can’t say I was too surprised though because the weather’s pretty cold, I’m full of cold, and I think I’d probably pushed myself harder than normal on a walk that morning.

Oh well, lesson learned. I think. At the time, I didn’t really notice how tired I was getting at first. Then, I had my first sit down and noticed that I didn’t really feel like doing much more, but I made myself finish the walk I had started, and felt good knowing that I did so.

I could tell that I’d done the exercise by later on in the evening. I sure felt it.

It wasn’t just my legs either, my arms and shoulders knew about it too from pulling my walking frame Martha along behind me too.

I was kind of annoyed at myself for making myself work so hard in the first place, if I’m honest. But at the same time, I was glad that I did, just to remind myself of what my limits are. Although I must admit, I don’t plan on testing them (quite so much) again anytime soon.

After a good night’s sleep I’m feeling loads better.

How much my walking frame helps me

My Nimbo Frame Martha
My Nimbo Frame Martha

Sometimes I think that I take the independence my walking frame allows me to have for granted.

I was chatting to a man in the train station the other day, and he was saying that my Nimbo frame Martha looked really good, and that the little seat on the back was a good idea.

He said that it was great how something like that could make such a big difference to someone’s life, or he assumed that they would. I told him that in my case this was very true because if I didn’t have my frame, I would find it really tough to leave the house on my own.

I wouldn’t fancy not taking my walking frame Martha out with me unless I knew that I had someone with me whose hand I could hold onto. I might be able to walk to the end of my garden, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it to the end of my road without falling flat on my face.  Any unexpected dips in the pavement always run the risk of throwing me off balance. It doesn’t take much some days. I have a knack of falling over even when there’s nothing there to trip on. I know that I couldn’t get up and down the kurbs to cross a road.

Most of the time, I don’t even stop to think about all the things that I can do with Martha in tow that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise because I’m just so busy doing them. It’s only when I have these conversations with people that I take the time to stop and think “wow, it helps me more than even I realise sometimes”.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I don’t always take the time to stop and appreciate the impact that the walking frame has on my life, in a good way. I never really think about it until I explain it to others. I always like telling people about how useful it is, because it always makes me feel grateful.

As I’ve mentioned before, Martha is the first walking frame that I’ve had with a little seat attached. Before she even arrived, I knew that this would be a huge advantage for me, but I couldn’t have anticipated just how much until I started using it.

I’ve used it just to take rests as and when I need them, while stood talking to people in the street. I’ve also used it on the train when there are no other seats (standing up on moving things is always a challenge, even with the frame). There have also been times that I’ve used it to rest my shopping bags on while I’ve reorganised them all because it’s easier than having to bend down all the way to the floor.

It’s safe to say that I don’t think I could go back to having a seat-less frame anymore. Well, I’d struggle with at least. It’s helped so much that I will always make a strong case for having one when I have to get new frames in the future, although I know that this might not always be possible.

I don’t ever remember not having a walking frame at any point in my life, and I really don’t know what I would do without one.

How time flies!

It really does seem like time flies by these days.

I’ve had my serial casting pots on for four weeks now and it’s passed very quickly, which I’m going to say is a good thing.

I’m still not sure when they’re going to be coming off yet, that will all depend on when my new splints arrive, and when the splints ( AKA orthotics department) can fit me in at a time that suits them both. I don’t mind being in the casts for as long as it takes, but I won’t deny that I’m looking forward to them coming off.

As I’m sitting here typing this, I have an itch on my left leg that is just under the pot and just out of reach. It’s been here for a couple of minutes now, and because I’m writing about it, it’s making it seem worse. So I think I’ll talk about something different…

So, anyway, (she says, trying hard to focus on the keyboard and nothing else), I’ve had this current pair of casts on for two weeks and no one has signed them this time. They have been sort of customised by accident though because they are covered in bits of fluff from the slipper socks that I’ve been wearing to keep my feet warm. The bits close to my toes and heels are starting to go pink and black, which kind of makes me smile. I’m pretty sure someone will come at them with a marker pen before too long, though.

Speaking of decorating, I’m already thinking of how I can cover Martha in trimmings for Christmas this year. I was talking to mum about this earlier today and she has a few ideas too, so between us we might be able to come up with some form of festive fun for my walking frame.

If you have any suggestions for things that you think might look good and are fairly easy/cheap that I could try, feel free to suggest and I’ll see if I can incorporate any of them.

Decorating Martha…sort of

My Nimbo walking frame that I call Martha
My Nimbo walking frame that I call Martha

It’s no secret that I love my walking frame Martha. I’m not sure that I could manage to get around outside of the house without her.

The only problem is that I can’t fold the thing up myself because she’s too big and bulky and I’d probably fall over if I ever tried. It’s probably not as hard as it looks once you know how it’s done. Just tip it onto it’s back legs, push the right buttons and it should just collapse.

However, Martha has lots of them on her frame so that you can change the height of each leg invidually, so if you don’t know which ones are the ones you’re supposed to press, it’s easy to get confused.

Martha's new stickersYesterday I knew that I would be taking a taxi, so Martha would need to be folded up to get her in the boot. Mum decided that to make things a bir easier for the drivers (and other people who may need to help me collapse the walker later on), she would put some red tape next to the buttons that you have to press in.

So, Martha has now been slightly decorated beyond all of the things that come stuck on by the hospital and the manufacturers. In the past I’ve covered my walking aids and wheelchairs in tinsel at Christmas time, or tied ribbons to them as mementos of holidays that I’ve taken. I don’t know if this is something that I would carry on with. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

 

Why you probably don’t want to get caught in the rain with me

I’ll admit that I’m probably not the best person to be out and about with when it’s pouring down with rain.

If I’m using my walking frame Martha I walk quite a lot slower than most of the people I hang out with, so can’t dash for cover in a hurry, and I’m pretty sure trying to move a wheelchair at speed with me sat in it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do either. And if I just so happen to have an umbrella, my designated driver for the day usually gets hit in the face by it a few times (unintentionally, I promise.)

I know that Martha and my callipers don’t really like the wet weather all that much either, because they both tend to develop, high-pitched squeaks of protest and everyone around can hear us coming for miles. It’s bad enough when it’s just one of them, but when they both start kicking off, it gets really, really annoying.

And yet, despite all this, my dear mother has still offered to take me, along with Martha and my callipers to the shops today when it eases off a bit.

Thanks, Mum 🙂

Progress and success!

Today I have some exciting news for you all. Well, it makes me really happy, I’m not so sure about the rest of you, but I’m feeling really quite proud of my little self.

Those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while now will know that I used to have a lot of fears about taking my walking frame Martha on the bus by myself, because of access issues with getting on and off them, the amount of space she takes up while I’m on there, and my worries that there wouldn’t be enough room for her later on in the journey.

This had been a problem for me for a very long time and I was often too afraid to take the plunge to go in alone without an help because, let’s just say I’ve come across a few people being quite rude and being really quite unhelpful even I’ve had someone there with me. Thing is, I’m 22 now and I knew I had to shape up try face this sometime. So I did. It wasn’t easy. In fact, I found it really stressful. Sometimes I’d have to try really hard not to cry out of fear and relief at different times.

My mum would always ride the bus with me when I was going into town to meet my friends, then walk home again, only to walk back to town to pick me up again and take the bus home with me. As much as I appreciated her doing this, it wasn’t fair and I knew it had to stop.

Slowly, I began to feel more at ease if I timed my journeys so that they were evening ones, when the transport is quieter, but after doing I didn’t feel quite so uneasy, got excited and wrote a post about it telling you all I thought that I was maybe making some progress.

Well…

Fast-forward a couple of months and I honestly can’t remember the last time that anyone got the bus with me unless they just so happen to be heading in the same direction! I know now that if the bus gets too busy while I’m halfway through the journey I can just get off and wait for the next one if they’re regular enough and it doesn’t bother me now. Mum still walks me as far as the bus stop near my house, and meets me at it when I get back off, but I’m not going to turn having company to walk home with.

In fact, I was on a bus just yesterday and someone I’ve noticed a few times asked me if I was by myself. Not in a rude way, but in a pleasantly surprised one. I don’t know if it’s because this person recognised me too but had only ever seen me with someone else. A small, self-centred, part of me hoped that this was true and that they were, in a way, recognising my achievement without really realising.

I’d still rather take the train given the chance, but if you had told me at the start of the year that I’d feel so relaxed about buses I’d probably have laughed and said “not likely”.

This accomplishment may seem small, but I have surprised myself and managed something that I’d begun to doubt I ever could.

With that, I am happy.

Going Framelss

Yesterday, I did something that I hardly ever do.

I left the house without my walking frame OR my wheelchair. Get me, huh?

It’s not as impressive as it sounds really. I’d been out with my walking frame Martha at the weekend and accidently left her in the roof box of my mum’s partner’s car. That he’d just so happened to take to work with him.

Neither mum nor I realised this when we arranged to go out, but she said that it wouldn’t be too much of a problem because I could either walk around holding her hand or take my wheelchair. At this point I’m sure you’re all scratching your heads and wondering why I didn’t just take my chair right? Well, I’ll tell you.

To cut a long story short, my dear mummy hurt her shoulder quite badly a couple of months ago. Although it’s on the mend now (I think, in my non-medical, not being the one in pain, opinion) but she still has some bother with it and I was worried that her trying to get my wheelchair on and off the bus might make it worse again, which wouldn’t be good for either of us.

At first I protested that we wouldn’t go at all because I didn’t want to put too much weight on her either, then she pointed out that I could use the other one (seems so obvious now) so I gave in. On the condition that I try and do as much walking without her help as possible when were in the main shopping centre and I’d just hold her and when we were on the pavement and crossing any roads because I can’t get up and down the kurbs by myself.

It’s been so long since I walked anywhere like that without holding on to something at least it was so strange. As stupid as it sounds the shopping arcade seemed bigger than it had done in years because of all the extra space around me in Martha’s absence, and it felt a bit like I was walking around in a dream.

There were a few wobbles and Mum stayed a few steps behind me in case I decided to topple over backwards, offering advice on what to do if I felt like I was going to take a tumble. “Tuck your head in and roll” was one and “maybe I should take you to a soft-play area and push you over for practice was another. She was joking about the last one, obviously. I managed to stay on my feet. In a way, I’m glad I did it but it’s not something I fancy doing again in a hurry.

In case you’re wondering, I got Martha back in the end. I’m hoping it’ll be a while before she decides to have her next sleepover.