Physical therapy Archive
It seems these days I am going from one doctor’s appointment to the next. It’s like my doctor visits have become my social life. Just like when I’m going out, each and every time I visit my doctors I dress my best. I pick out my cutest outfit and even take extra time to make sure my hair is combed nicely. I always put on a smile and I make sure my scooter is clean which usually receives a lot of attention. The scooter tends to impress others more than me.
Well, this week I was more busy than usual. My appointments were:
Tuesday- Physical Therapist
Wednesday- General Practitioner
Friday – Optometrist
That’s right a doctor’s appointment everyday!
I didn’t even realize this until my husband mentioned it to me. The worse part is, after every appointment, I’m usually wiped out. So much that I’m so tired I can’t do anything else. Done for the day. So my only activity outside of the home everyday for five days in a row was going to the doctor.
The funny part is, when I got home from my doctor appointments I would watch The Dr. Oz television show. I wonder if I was subliminally drawn to watch it?
Content provided by: Black Health Matters
Though it might seem like exercising when you have multiple sclerosis (MS) is an oxymoron, even a small amount of physical activity can provide great benefits. In addition to being essential to overall well-being, exercise may even ease symptoms, and it could help you stay mobile longer than if you are inactive. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program because your workouts should be determined by your fitness level. If you don’t have balance problems and you’re able to ride a bike or run, you should. Here are options if you can’t hit the pavement:
Stretching. MS patients tend to lose range in motion in their limbs as muscles freeze. Stretching your arms and legs every day will help keep them moving.
Yoga. Downward facing dog and the lotus position help relax muscles and keep them flexible. Yoga is also good for maintaining balance. Tai chi’s slow, deliberate movements are another excellent choice for building muscle tone and increasing flexibility. Choose classes for people with disabilities.
Water exercises. Swimming and water aerobics are particularly good for MS patients, especially if your disease is causing increased sensitivity to temperature. And some movements that you’re unable to do out of water are possible in water, where your body is weightless.
Stationary bike. Can’t ride in the next BikeMS event? You can make use of a stationary bike. One study showed stationary bike participants reported improvement in their fatigue symptoms.
Resistance bands. Use resistance bands to duplicate exercises normally performed with barbells. Bands can also be used to assist with stretching.
Though multiple sclerosis may mean a change in physical activity and mobility, it doesn’t mean your life has to stall. If you can no longer continue activities you used to enjoy, talk to your doctor about new ways to stay active or about ways to make your old favorite activities more accessible.
Content provided by: Black Health Matters
The reason for my outbursts of relatively gloomy posts is because I just can’t seem to get a handle on what’s happening to this MS body. I just want some sort of reprieve. Now, I say this fully aware that things could always be worse. I am learning from your comments and my readings that the essence of who I am is still here. It’s perhaps why I continue to blog through this onslaught of “new normals”.
I just don’t know of any of my MS friends who are continuing to encounter decline. Or do I? Please let me know because I’m feeling alone on this one.
One good thing is that I recently started horseback riding. I began the process of registering a while back. There was quite a bit of paper work involved. I refer to it as legal mumbo jumbo. But once I got past that I was on my way to the horse farm.
Basically, the type of hippo-therapy I am doing mimics the action of actual walking. It works my core tremendously and also the muscles used for walking. I’ve been riding for three weeks. I go once a week for 45 minutes. I had to work up to 45 minutes of course, at first lasting for only 20 minutes. Since starting I find getting up out of the bed easier, so I think I may be experiencing the benefits already.
Though, I may be on this slippery slope, it’s so important who I surround myself with. I try to associate with supportive folks that love and help me in all my endeavors. I mean riding horses with spastic legs, minimal core strength and slight cognitive impairment is pretty risky business.
But listen, if you tell me this may move me closer to walking with even a walker then…SADDLE ME UP!
By the way they call it therapeutic horseback riding and it may be covered by your insurance if you get a prescription from your doctor. So far I recommend it. I guess Ann Romney was on to something.
My PT (physical therapist) gave me my dismissal notice today! Which for normal people would be no big deal but for dramatic Dora over here they were harsh words to bear. Apparently, there have been some changes to Medicare. There is now a cap to the number of visits I can have. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy physical therapy. So this hit me hard. My word, there is an entire category dedicated to physical therapy on this website! I’m really about to have a little breakdown.
Well we decided together that August 15th would be my last day. My pride wouldn’t let me cry in front of my therapist, but I sure felt like sobbing. It felt like a boyfriend was dumping me. I guess I’ve grown fond of my time there. I mean I consider it an outing. I buy cute clothes just to go there. Don’t get me wrong I generally get out a bit more than some of my fellow MSers, so I really shouldn’t complain. Plus, this just means I have time to return to water aerobics.
I guess I got kind of attached to the friendly people at PT. But as we know change is always just around the corner. To be honest, therapy was beginning to get a little harder for me. It was especially difficult to see how I wasn’t improving. For example, things I could do in the beginning of therapy I can no longer do, like walk with a cane. For goodness sake, I can barely use my trusty walker. Yep, it’s mostly my scooter these days. Quite frankly, that kind of scares me. At 37 years-old, it makes me wonder, “What will my 40’s look like?”
But then again I guess even abled-bodied folk wonder about things of this sort as well. Nobody knows what the future may bring. There’s really not much I can do about it anyway. Plus, all of my spiritual/health gurus say worrying about tomorrow doesn’t help.
But damn, can I at least get a little preview?
This too shall pass. I know and believe this always. Still I must cautiously scream it because recently, I’ve been feeling pretty stable in this normal of mine. As a matter of fact it resembles the old me I know and love. Now I haven’t gotten any miracle drugs or anything I’m just taking my regular meds including my newest prescription of Amprya. Oh and at physical therapy they’ve started putting me on this Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) device. It basically delivers impulses directly to the muscles bypassing my weary nerves. This assists my legs allowing me to do things I can’t do on my own. My heart accelerates and I even get a bit winded as if I’m exercising. Initially, I was using it while riding the associated bike, they later figured out a way to use it while I stood and held on to something sturdy. I would lift my leg as far as I could and the pulses to my muscles would do the rest. Does that make sense? Well, afterwards I can do movement I couldn’t before albeit slow and deliberately.
Not to belabor the point, but it works similar to the Bioness. You remember the device my insurance company won’t cover.
Lately I’m using my walker more inside the house. No more crawling. Maybe all these things are coming together to keep me in good spirits. And that’s really the endpoint for me. I may look handicapped but I don’t have to act like it. Like I’ve said time and time again, if I let M.S. take my spirit then I’m losing the battle.
Thank goodness I’m not. Losing… that is. I think I’ll just keep riding this wave.
Folks, this is what works for me. My greatest goal is help you find what works for you.
I’ll leave with a quote I just stumbled upon and thought it would was befitting for this post.
“You have a choice. You can live in the No of your life or you can live in the Yes. Look at what is flowing, working, moving. Being in that energy will beget more positive experiences.” – Unknown.
I have physical therapy once a week. There is always a variety of patients represented at different stages of their disease processes. Including those worse off than me. Today I found myself slightly down. Which is unusual because going to physical therapy is the highlight of my week. But as my therapist was assessing me for the new device I mentioned in a previous post, I got a chance to see my progress or lack there of in treatment. I felt a bit defeated because simple walking seemed like a distant dream. Just out of reach yet so far away. It occurred to me in that instant that I’m never gonna be like I was. I’m never gonna walk, I thought to myself.
Immediately I was filled with shame. Because right there, in my midst, were women and men that would love to trade places with me. I’m not paralyzed. My vision is functional. I have full use of both my arms and hands. I have a dynamite support system. This should be enough. I guess sometimes its not. I selfishly want more.
We always want what we don’t have. Never stopping to appreciate our blessings. I’m suppose to hear from my insurance company about that new technology (the Bioness) soon. Maybe too I’m just nervous it won’t live up to my dreams or my insurance company won’t cover it.
MS is suffocating me. I in turn lash out at those around me. I’m noticing that when I get tired my good leg starts dragging too! When will this whirlwind stop? But what I need to appreciate is that even if I could walk that probably won’t be the answer to all my needs. There’s no quick fix for me.
But boy do I hope this new device will at least patch me up!