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My Walking Progress

November 17, 2013 Leave a comment

friends_walking_arm_in_arm_FAN2016693

(photo credit – www.visualphotos.com)

It’s hard for me to tell just how much progress I have made with my ability to walk. Once I sit down and think over the last several month, I realize I have made significant progress, in many areas of walking.

Walking with others. This is probably the most significant aspect lately. In an earlier post I talked about how I basically just other people’s ability to help me based on their body type and how strong I think they are (wow, I just read a bit of that post, and my mindset has changed drastically since then). That’s very bad on my part. I talked about how I needed to trust others more, and trust myself more. I have done that.

Since that post, I’ve had five other people help me walk somewhere. Five! That doesn’t count the chiropractor or assistant #1, let’s call her “D”. I’m now completely confident (more like 90% confident) with Dr. Van Loon. I am getting more and more confident with “D”. I have also had assistant #2 (let’s call her “Y”), help me a few times and am getting used to her. Plus, my niece “K” has been helping me around a bunch lately, and it’s getting easier.

About a week and a half ago, I went somewhere with my “K” and my in-laws. During the time we were out, both my mother in-law and my father in-law helped me. Those were probably the scariest times for me. My judgmental state of mind rearing its ugly head. My in-laws are older, and they both have bad knees and have a hard time walking themselves. I let that get the better part of me that day, so I was more hesitant and unsure of myself. But, it all worked out. I had a few bobbles with my mother in-law, but I stayed on my feet. I did take a Xanax that day, but it wore off while we were out (we were gone a long time). So the walking I did with my mother in-law was without anything in me. Good thing was I didn’t have a panic attack. My heart was racing, but I was able to control everything else.

Think that covers everyone who has helped me so far. And there will be more people in the future who will help me also. The thought of that actually makes me anxious, but it will happen. I need to get used to it. Side note, I went to the doctor for an annual checkup and the doctor and I talked about my anxiety. She says that I need to not be afraid to ask for help. I’m not afraid really to ask for help, but I don’t like to ask for help either. I like to do things on my own if I am able. She said people are more than willing to help others, some actually want to help because it gives them a good feeling. I understand that, and I’m trying to get that in my head. If I need help, ask. I still feel sometimes that I’m putting pressure on people when I ask, or that it’s an annoyance to help me. Need to get that out of my head.

So, I have made quite a lot of progress. I have a ways to go to where I want to end up (totally able to walk unassisted like I did when I was a kid), and I think I can get there. I haven’t fallen yet when someone else has helped me. Came close a few times (once with “K” and once with my mother in-law). But not yet. It’s best not to think about that. I’m not putting a goal date for when I want to walk alone after all I have done that already, little bits at a time. It will happen when it happens.

The major thing I need to work on still is the fear, anxiety, and panic attacks. I did get my own Xanax prescription the other day too. I don’t plan to take it too often, only when I really think I’ll need it.

And that’s that. I’ll be working on all of this forever, so I will send in updates on my progress when ever I think I’ve made more progress. Practice make perfect (except with oral presentations, still going to avoid those like the plague. No amount of Xanax can help me with that, hehe). Walking with cerebral palsy is tough no matter how severe the case is. But, it’s better to walk than not.

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Duro-Med Cervical Pillow Review

July 27, 2013 2 comments

Duro-Med Pillow

(Duro-Med Cervical Pillow – photo credit amazon.com)

I bought the Duro-Med Cervical Pillow about three weeks ago, and so far I think it is helping. The true test will be the next several weeks. I bought the pillow a few days after my last chiropractor appointment, and I think my neck was already starting to shift out of alignment.

Before I got the pillow, I was experiencing neck pain, upper back pain, and shoulder pain. I was warned by the chiropractor that these types of pillows were hard, and it would take some getting used to. He was right. However, when it first arrived, I laid down on it, and my neck instantly released. The stress and tension went away, and it had my head a little bit higher so my shoulder and upper back weren’t being squished.

It does indeed take some getting used to. It is a firm pillow, on the verge of being hard. But I got used to it within four to five days. I wasn’t nearly as sore as I was in the mornings. I used to wake up, and my left shoulder would take a few hours to feel normal, and even then it would ache throughout the day.

I did have to put my own pillow case on it though. It does come with a washable cover, but the zipper is jangly and loud, so I just use my own now. Using my own pillow case did make it a bit softer too.

One side has a larger curve than the other, and I do use the larger curve. I feel like I get more support using the larger side. I would recommend this pillow if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, or have any type of neck, upper back, or shoulder pain.

I will say it again, this is a very firm pillow, so don’t get frustrated or annoyed when you use it. Give it a few days to a week to make up your mind. If you’re a Prime Member on Amazon, this pillow goes for about $20. I got mine for $5 since I had a few Amazon gift cards on my account.

Since it is so firm, I do experience some ear pain (not a lot), so I make sure to turn over regularly throughout the night. That’s the most annoying part of the pillow that I can think of.

Overall I do like mine. The next several weeks will be the test for any shoulder pain. I had a chiropractor appointment this morning, and my neck was actually pretty good. It surprised me, since it’s been a whole month since my last appointment. It barely needed to be adjusted. The appointment did relieve my shoulder pain though. So we’ll see what happens from here on out.

Slow Mileage Monday!

Not many pictures for this Mileage Monday post. I had to take a few days off this week due to a very sore upper back and neck. I have no idea what I did, but it hurt to turn my head from side to side and also to bend it forward. It even hurt to pick up my coffee cup. I remember back before I started going to the chiropractor it hurt to pick up my coffee cup. So, in I went to see the chiropractor. It had been three weeks, so I was due anyway.

Good thing I went. My upper back was way out of whack. He found the trouble area right away, and got that sucker back in place. He asked if I had fallen, and I said no. So we both figured it was how I was sleeping. He suggested a certain type of pillow for me to try, so I’m looking into some. I have a few picked out, but have to make sure they’re the right kind before I buy one.

Normally when he adjusts my neck he does it one time to each side. This time he did it about 4 times to get everything straightened out. All the muscles were tight and did not want to move (even with a Xanax in me; took one this time mainly to relax my muscles, not for anxiety). I was still sore on Saturday, but not as bad. I used my heating pad and ice pack throughout the day and that made it a lot better.

Sunday was a whole lot better. I still used the heating pad and ice pack, but didn’t really need to take any Aleve (good thing since we’re out now). It’s still sore, but bearable now.

Not sure what my plans are exercise-wise this week. I might take strength training off the list and just do my elliptical or my Leslie Sansone dvd. Not sure about that either, the muscle near my rib cage keeps threatening to cramp up. Leslie Sansone might be the way to go and I just skip the arm parts.

OK, enough of me whining about my aches and pains. On to the pictures from last week from the virtual walk site. We’ll see if I have any for next Monday. Take it one day at a time.

Mile 592.2 (watp for 3.1 miles)                                  Mile 593.2 (watp for 1 mile)

592.2 Leslie for 3.1                     593.2 Leslie for 1

Mile 594.2 (elliptical for 1)
594.2 Elliptical for 1

 

(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

Keep moving!

Mileage Monday

Here we go again. It’s Monday. Seems like the weeks are flying by this year. Gearing up for our trip this week. I had a chiropractor appointment yesterday, and it was a good thing I went. My hips were totally skewed again. One hip was a lot higher than the other. They haven’t been that out of whack since I first went in. I’m a bit sore today. I didn’t realize how bad it was until he found all the kinks. He said to come back in Tuesday before we leave if I need to. I doubt I’ll need to, I think it’s just muscle aches. Everything is aligned. Not sure what I did to make my hips go cockeyed, but they’re better now.

I have no doubt I’ll be going back in soon after we get back from our trip. We tend to do a lot of walking on trips back east. Fine by me, but I tend to over due it sometimes. I don’t want to miss out on the fun, so I do as much as I can. Need to remember to stretch both in the mornings and in the evenings. I don’t plan on working out again until we get back. I want to be as fresh as I can be.

On to the virtual walk update. I passed through Elkhorn City, KY the other day, and am now making my way to Ashcamp, KY in Pike county. I’ve got a little over 3 miles until I get there. My total mileage is now up to 572.2.  Here come the pictures.

Mile 547 (elliptical for 1 mile)                                  Mile 548 (elliptical for 1 mile)

547 Elliptical for 1                  548 Elliptical for 1

Mile 549 (elliptical for 1 mile)                                  Mile 549.6 (elliptical for .5 mile)

549 Elliptical for 1                  549.6 Elliptical for .5

Mile 552.6 (watp for 3.1 miles)                               Mile 553.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

552.6 Leslie for 3.1                  553.6 Elliptical for 1

 

(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

Have a great few weeks! Keep moving. I’ll be setting up an automatic post for next Monday, but I’ll be gone by then.

My New Year’s Goals (Resolutions)

January 1, 2013 4 comments

New Year's Pic

Happy New Year blog world! I hope everything went for you all in 2012, and I hope you have an even better 2013. I mentioned in my previous blog that I don’t normally do resolutions. If I think of a goal I want to accomplish I don’t wait for the new year to start. Do it now! I only have two things (at the moment) that I want to accomplish this year. I’m sure I’ll think of other things along the way. I’ve already mentioned some of the things I want to work on.

1. Continue progressing on my elliptical. I made a goal back in March 2012 that I wanted to do a full mile with no breaks. Ha! What was I thinking. Then again, that was before my back had four giant knots. I also said I wanted to do 2 miles in one session. That’s still do-able I think, but it would wear me out. My legs don’t seem to have the endurance they once had.

So, my goal is to finish 1/2 mile with no breaks by summer, and then we’ll go from there.

2. I want to consistently use my walker. I’ve said this before, but I think I’ll be able to do it this time. My back has an absolutely mess for years, but since I’ve been going to the chiropractor, I’ve regained some of my abilities. I still need to work of anxiety issues and my fear of falling, but I am determined this time.

3. Continue with my stretching routine in the mornings and in the evenings. This has really helped my flexibility, even more now that my hips are actually straight.

And that’s about it. The hardest one for me is going to be the walker. I have started on this goal, and it’s been going OK. My fear of falling is making my legs tense up, so my legs are sore today. But I’ll take it a minute at a time. I just have to remind myself that no one is watching me or paying attention to what I’m doing, they’re concentrating on what they’re doing. And I have to remind myself I won’t die if I fall.

If you’ve got goals, go ahead and post them in the reply section. You can do it!

Trust Issues

December 10, 2012 4 comments

Trust

This weekend just flew by. Not a whole lot going on. Had my back adjusted again yesterday, and I feel all shiny and new again. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time, but things were definitely out of whack again. Things shifted too. I had knots on the right side of my back instead of the left. Basically everything that was out of whack on the left side last time was out of whack on the right side this time.

He actually said I had a rib out of place. I asked “Wouldn’t I have felt that? Wouldn’t that hurt?”. He said it sometimes happens when you sneeze or cough harshly, or when you shift around while you sleep. It doesn’t always hurt when it happens. My guess is it happened in the middle of the night. I tend to jerk around a lot. I’ll wake up thinking I’m falling out of bed, and then freak out. I roll over roughly a lot too which is a good time to things to shift.

Anyway, things are good, and I plan to go back in another three to four weeks to keep it that way. I was feeling some pain again when I went in, but it’s better now.

There was a bit of awkwardness, but only on my part, since I’m paranoid. Not paranoid…I don’t know what the right word is. Untrusting is more like it. I don’t think anyone is out to get me ore anything, but I tend to ward off other people helping me. When we go out, I hold onto my husband’s arm. I’m used to it, and it’s what I prefer. When someone else helps me in that way, I panic. It’s my own mind playing tricks on me, and I need to get used to other people helping me like that.

Anyway, my husband had an appointment (with the same dr.) at the same time I did, so he helped me to the first room (with a roller table that I could be on all day if I was allowed. It’s a table with some sort of roller that massages up and down your back, and it feels sooooo good.). When my timer dinged, the doctor came in, and he helped me to the second room. Normally I feel strange when another person helps, but this wasn’t too bad. I was a little unstable, but still fine.

Got my back adjusted, and had the “stim” (tens unit) on for about five minutes. When my timer dinged this time, the assistant came in to help me. Now she’s a super nice lady, but she’s also tiny. She’s about 5 foot 4 maybe, and very small. I felt like I could crush her with my pinky. She helped me out to the other room, but I was very slow, unsteady, and unsure of myself. Then she let go! Luckily we were beside a wall, so I held on there for dear life. She didn’t know, she was just setting up the chair for me to sit in. I don’t think I gave anything away, but I had myself a nice little anxiety attack.

Made it to the chair and all was fine again. Got the heat treatment for 5 minutes, and then I was done. Thankfully the doctor helped me out to the waiting room where I waited for my husband to finish.

All this tells me I need to relax, have other people help me more often, and to trust that they know what they’re doing. What’s the worst that can happen? I fall and have to get my back fixed again. Oh darn. I have to trust people more I guess. I have a certain attitude when it comes to people helping me. I’m not sexist in the least, but I do feel more comfortable when men help me. I just think they’re stronger, and would be able to help me up if I did fall.

So, things I need to work on:

1. Trust others to help me.

2. Trust myself to show myself what I am capable of.

3. Trust my own body to do what it needs to do in a falling situation.

4. Practice (again) walking with my walker.

I believe if I practice with my walker, my confidence will go up in these situations. Because it’s only a matter of time when someone other than my husband will help me out again. I need to be prepared for it.

Well, where did all that come from? This was going to be a mile Monday post, but look at that. I had myself a mind dump of sorts.

Mileage Monday Update

November 26, 2012 1 comment

I feel like I can do a lot more now that my back is fixed. I feel a lot straighter on the elliptical, and I don’t ache at all on it any more. My legs still need breaks, but my back is now not an issue.

I’ve taken the last week or two off from strength training, and will get back at that this week. I should probably ask the chiropractor how much I should lift during my strength training. Might be a good idea. I’m going to drop down to my 5 pound weights this week, and see how that feels.

In the meantime, here are some more pictures from the virtual walk site. Just passed through Hayers Gap, VA today. Now I’m on my way to Rosedale, VA which is about 14 miles away.

Mile 484.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)                              Mile 485 (elliptical for .5 mile)

484.6 Elliptical for 1                485 Elliptical for .5

Mile 485.6 (elliptical for .5 mile)                             Mile 486 (elliptical for .5 mile)

485.6 Elliptical for .5                486 Elliptical for .5

Mile 486.8 (elliptical for .7)                                    Mile 487.2 (elliptical for .5 mile)

486.8 Elliptical for .7                487.2 Elliptical for .5

 

(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

Keep moving!