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Marilee J. Layman

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07:57 pm: Treadmill Walking!
Okay, sidestepping at the slowest it goes, but it's the first time I've ever been on a treadmill. I got lots of exercise outdoors before I got sick and this is the first time someone pointed me at a treadmill.

I took recycling out on the way to PT. The therapist was pleased with two of the exercises (I'd added reps myself) and made one more difficult, but the balance one was still off. So I got three more:

1. Feet exactly together, arms crossed over chest, eyes closed. Try not to fall (do in front of wall).

2. Heel-toe back and forth, do in hallway in case of wobbling.

3. Walk sideways on the treadmill as slow as it will go. I had to lean way forward to step up, but that turned out okay and then I faced to the left and side-stepped for a minute. I was frazzled after that and I realized it was because I was too far from the side handle that I needed to hang on to -- I was leaning over while I did it. So I moved as close as I could (occasionally putting a toe on the non-moving part) and that worked better, but it was my right shoulder that hurt, not the legs or balance. Clearly, I can't do this at home.

I felt fine when I left there, but am slightly sore here at home. I may need a nap.

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[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
Are these exercises to improve balance?

Have you ever done any tai chi? I think it's great for improving balance.
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, they're all to improve balance. I've seen tai chi and I think it assumes more balance than I have. I routinely bounce off walls when walking (well, stick my hand out so it bounces) and I think tai chi requires better balance to start with than that.

The balance exercise I didn't do well enough from last time was standing on one foot. I had three seconds at the most -- the rest of the time I kept slapping the elevated mat there, the kitchen counter at home.

Nobody has ever told me before that my balance can get better, so I'm trying hard on these. I was told the balance problems (from the stroke) were permanent. She said I am stuck with the partial paralysis, but she thinks my balance can be trained better.

The doctor sent me to train my abdominal muscles so my back wouldn't hurt, even though I was explaining that the part of my back that hurt was the open kidney biopsy scar. Those "core exercises" are the ones I escalated and she made even harder. I'm pretty good at those. She's using light therapy on the scar.
[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
I think full blown tai chi might assume more balance than you have now, but some of the warm up exercises might not. There is one where you just rock from side to side, shifting part of your weight between your feet, and there's another where you stand with one foot slightly forward and rock back and forth, again shifting my weight.

But I'm sure that you're getting good help from your PT.
Date:November 21st, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
I like your therapist more and more the more you write about her. She really sounds good to me. And so do your exercises. They will leave you sore for starters but in the long run it'll all help. And you are so much more disciplined than I am.
[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
Yes, I think I'm very lucky to have gotten her. I don't know that I'm more disciplined, I think it's that these will make a big difference for me in how I walk and get around.
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