Firstly I want to apologise for not posting before now but it has taken some time to get setup with an internet connection on my computer with the specialist software to enable voice recognition. We are still not quite there as Moni is actually typing for me. We have it all working but it always takes time to setup my working station and I wanted to get a post out so here goes …….
We are now 2 weeks in to Project Walk and the progress is steady. This is exactly what you would expect in an exercise-based program. It is very rewarding to put in the effort and see improvements each day. I have been very impressed with how methodical the approach of the physical trainers is to help me improve. The exercises are aimed at improving what is weak and re-enforcing what works. My left leg for instance is weaker than my right so we have spent a lot of time improving its strength and also in my confidence to rely on the left leg. By the end of the second week I am now able to support my weight thru the left side and take a step with my right . This is all still supported of course as my balance is terrible! This is to be expected as I cannot feel my legs and have no idea where they are … and they certainly don’t react quickly enough if I am about to fall!
We have just started the third week and if we are looking for milestones I managed to do 22 situps today with the physical trainer only holding my legs down. I can remember early on when my abs first started working and I was told that I might get 20% of my abdominal strength back my reply was “I should be able to do 50 situps then”. My reason for this was simple, before the accident I could 250. Only 28 to go!!
In each 3 hour session i usually do about an hour of stretching and mobility and simple strength work or both the legs and arms. This hour is very structured and directed at improving the areas that need it and releasing spasm in areas that i need to help me. It really is about the trainers helping me to do exercise that you would otherwise do on your own …… with one of the key things for me being that they don’t ignore things that ‘don’t work’. The middle hour really is about smashing my legs – we do a lot of assisted walking, squats and work on my balance. I am very proud of a session I did last week where I was balancing on a half-ball and transferring weight from side to side. I was of course strapped by my hands on to a bar so I didn’t fall!! The final hour of each session is generally devoted to my shoulders and arms. They are very troublesome and I know that unless I pay them some attention I will have nothing to support me when I go to fall over!
Aside from Project Walk, whereI ensure i approach each session with energy, we have managed to fit in plenty of family time. This has been wonderful particularly for me as I have missed my girls over the last 9 months. So far we have been to legoland, San Diego Zoo and Sea World. Sea World for me has been the highlight and i think little Ashley would agree. She absolutely loved the killer whale show and I don’t blame her as I also thought it was terrific. I have also been to the beach on a special beach wheelchair that the lifeguard station had available. It was somewhat depressing to be on the beach but not on the sand or in the water but you cannot escape the tranquility that a beach has to offer and it was lovely to be amongst it, particularly as Ashley was playing in the sand right next to me.