We don’t wanna work!

Do any of you find that your arms/legs/insertotherbodypartshere just don’t want to work when you’re tired?

I get that with my legs sometimes, (it happened on Saturday), and it’s so weird.

I make all the movements that I need to make, and I can feel thee muscles flickering and doing their best work, but my legs just don’t want to work how they should. Sometimes they will move, but a lot slower than I want them to and other times they just will not do what I want and do a much small movement.

I get it a lot after long car rides, which makes getting out of the car again all kinds of fun. but on Saturday night it was just because I needed to get to bed after a long day. I was out at a friend’s birthday party that night and I only have my walking frame Ivy with me so I left early so that I could make the five or ten minute walk from my friend’s house to my  boyfriend’s flat before I got too tired. I know that I could have just ordered a taxi but I didn’t want to do that because I wanted to see if I could wake my legs up a bit. They felt really heavy and I knew I’d get a better night’s sleep if I made them work a little bit first.

Do any of you get this sometimes? Does it feel strange to you? How do you explain it to to other people. I guess the best way that I can think to explain to other people is that it’s like there’s a fault or a time delay between my thoughts and my muscles.

Walking makes me feel good

I can’t recall if I’ve said this before or not but I love walking and knowing that I’ve done as much walking as I can. By this I mean walking around town or to people’s houses rather than going on a 10 mile hike, but I like to think it still counts, you know?

When I don’t do very much of it it gets me down because I worry that I’ll lose my stamina and stuff. Basically, I like to push myself when I can.

Continue reading “Walking makes me feel good”

Walking in the wind

For me, walking in strong winds with my walking frame is not an easy task.

Occasionally, the wind has been known to push me along at a faster speed than I would like, or I struggle to walk against it. Whenever it’s possible, I try and stick to using my wheelchair if it gets to the point where I start to find things difficult, but sometimes I have no choice but to go out with my walking frame Martha.

In cases like this, I always try and take someone with me who can help me if I get stuck, or  at the very least try to set off earlier than I need to so that I can still get to where I need to be on time, and still be able to sit and take rests, or wait for the winds to die down a bit if I need to.

The main thing I worry about if these kinds of conditions are falling over and not being able to pick myself back up again.

I remember an occasion once where I had no choice but to go out on my walking frame when I thought it was quite windy. A lady who saw me struggling to walk in it asked me if there was anything that she could do to help, even though it looked to me like it was taking her a lot of effort to walk too.

I couldn’t think of a way that she could have given me a hand, but just the fact that she asked cheered me up a lot. I was really grateful for the offer and put me in a better mood as I carried on.

Many of you know that, given the choice, I would much rather use my walking frame Martha than use my wheelchair, because I do really enjoy walking, but I know that I have to choose the option that I feel most comfortable with on the day. When it’s really windy, I usually feel a lot more comfortable in my wheelchair.

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.

A surprising shopping trip

It was my birthday earlier this week, and it was a really lovely day for me.

The weather was quite kind to us too on that day because it was dry instead of rainy, and I went out for a shopping trip with my friend. I decided that I would take my walking frame Martha with me instead of my wheelchair like I might choose to do if I was going to be out for the whole day.

I haven’t walked as much as I would have liked to over the past couple of weeks. I didn’t really leave the house all that much in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas, and when I did,  I mostly used my wheelchair because of the wind and rain that we had.

When I went out, I was expecting to need to take more rest breaks than I would usually have needed to because of all of this, but actually, I surprised myself by not needing as many as I was expecting to.  I think that this is mostly because I took advantage of the seat that my walking frame has on the back of it. I could just unfold the seat and use it while I was waiting for my friend when she stood in line to pay for her things or use shop changing rooms to try things on, so I think I took most of my walking and standing breaks in more frequent, shorter bursts throughout the day. I think this probably made a huge difference. Don’t get me wrong, I still had a couple of long sit downs, but I’m still quite proud of myself on the whole.

A couple of years ago, I really don’t think I would have been able to handle walking around the place that we went to because of the size of it, and so I always used to take the wheelchair with me. I still do go there in my chair if I’m having a bad day, but I like to think that me being able to use my walking frame there now, even with lots of breaks scheduled into the day, is a sign that the effort I’ve been making in recent years is paying off.

While I am feeling rather tired today, I think that has more to do with the fact that I don’t think I’ve quite managed to catch up on my sleep from the past couple of weeks just yet. I think a couple of early nights are in order from now on.

The Surgery Dairies: walking unaided again

So guys, this is the last posts of my surgery diaries! Thank you for sticking with me.  Today I’m going to talk about finally walking unaided again, and having the metal plates taken out of my hips. Ready? Let’s go!

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I think it was the following May after my second surgery in November 2007 that I began to walk alone again. My family and I had gone on a caravan holiday to get away for a week or so. By this point I was pretty confident with the front-walkers that I’d been using to get around the house so these came with us for inside the caravan, and I was now able to walk holding on to someone’s hand, although I was still using a wheelchair quite a bit too.

On the way back home from our trip to the seaside, my family stopped off at a motorway service station to use the facilities and get a stretch of legs. Rather than drag one of my walking aids out of the boot I’d decided to just cling onto my mum and off we went.

We wondered inside and headed towards the bathroom. As we got a little closer, she suggested I have a go at taking a couple of steps without her,

“You feel strong enough, my hand’s still here if you need it, and I won’t let you fall.”

If I’m being totally truthful, I didn’t really want to do it. I was scared and didn’t feel ready. I knew I had to do it sometime and it would make her happy so I let go.

Then it happened.

I put one foot in front of the other. I wobbled slightly, but I recovered and didn’t fall.

I put one foot in front of the other. I was doing it.

I picked a spot on the wall next to the toilets and I kept going. I didn’t stop until I was close enough to reach out my hand and touch it. I’ve never been really good at standing still on my own once I get going so I didn’t want to break the spell or risk hitting the deck.

I touched the wall.

I looked at mum, she looked at me. We grinned. We’d made it, we’d finally made it., all of us. She showered me with praise and admitted that she’d only expected one or two shaky steps before I grasped her hand again. “Me too” I told her.

We went back out to the car, and when we got close enough a took a few more to show my dad. He was happy, my sister was happy.

It was still a while before I was walking as much as I had done before the surgery, and I still carried on using extra frames for a bit, but now I’m back to only using Martha and I do even better than before.

A couple of years later in 2009 I had another operation to have the metal plates removed from my hips because they were giving my some discomfort. I was expecting it to be like my first hip surgery in August 2007 all over again, but I was up and around (not quite at full strength) with a couple of days and it didn’t take long at all before I was back to normal, which was a very nice surprise. Later than summer I packed my bags and went off to university.

No one has mentioned any more surgery since, so I’m hoping that I’m all done. For the foreseeable future at least.

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So, there you have it, we made it to the end of my Surgery Dairies series of posts. Writing them has been more emotional than I was expecting, but I hope you’ve enjoyed them and that I’ve managed to make you laugh somewhere along the way. Thank you for sticking with me and reading them.

Having a great weekend guys, and I’ll be back with some non-surgery themed posts next week.

Nic