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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.

Summer Vacation 2011: Walking Progress

July 30, 2011 4 comments

This final part to the vacation series I’m doing is about my walking progress before, during and after the trip. I never really know how my walking is going to be from one day to the next. I find out in the morning when I first wake up usually. Every day is like a crap shoot.

Before the trip, my walking was starting to slide into no man’s land again. Very stiff-legged and hard to move. I was exercising, but it didn’t seem to do much for my walking. The elliptical has your legs moving in a different motion than regular walking. When I go from being on my elliptical to walking around on normal surfaces, I unconsciously try to mimic the motion of the elliptical.

The first few days we were in Atlanta, I had a slightly difficult time. Not too bad, but definitely worse than my “good” days. I wasn’t having any of the jerky starts and stops, but I was definitely slower than I wanted to be. Luckily, it cleared up fairly quickly. My husband reminded me to roll my hips as I walked. When I walk and I don’t think about it, I tend not to rotate my hips. That makes it harder to move. But when I focus on rotating my hips as I step, it is a lot easier.

The terrain at Reynolds Plantation actually seemed to help too. At the resort, we were walking from the hotel to the lake and to the restaurant quite a bit. The path we took had us going up and down some fairly steep hills. We took shortcuts here and there through the grass or the sand, and in some ways it was easier, and in others it was harder. Walking through sand is easier on the joints, since your feet don’t impact the ground as hard, but the sand puts more resistance on your steps. The grass is again gentler on your joints, but it’s uneven and you have to watch out for those sticks and twigs that like to “jump up and get you”.

My walking improved so much at the resort, I even let go of my husband’s arm a few times in the hallways of the hotel. I chickened out though as soon as I heard anyone walking behind us. I don’t know why, I don’t really like people walking behind me. Especially kids. I’m always expecting kids to run up and ram into me. I go into self preservation mode and grab onto whatever I can. Need to work on that.

Since being back from vacation, my walking ability is still good. I haven’t noticed any sort of decline at all. We’ve gone to a few movies since we’ve been back, and I’ve had no problems. Went to Costco and wandered around there, and I was a pro at pushing the cart that day. To me, I felt like I was going at a pretty good pace. I was probably going slow in other people’s opinions, but who cares? Now to get me back to using the walker.

So, there you have it. My vacation recap. We had a great time, and are looking forward to our next vacation back east. As always, keep moving.

Read the first two entries of the vacation series. Part 1 and part 2.

Summer Vacation 2011: Reynolds Plantation/Lake Oconee Food and Resort Life

July 29, 2011 2 comments

The first post in the vacation update series was about our outings in Atlanta. This entry is going to be about our birthday bash/family reunion at Reynolds Plantation. Reynolds Plantation is in Greensboro, GA, which is about a two hour drive East of Atlanta. This lakeside resort is a golf resort for the most part, but there are a ton of things to do if golf is not your thing. Water activities are available, including pontoon boats, body boards (where you stand up on a surf board basically and paddle standing up), kayaks and jet skis.

You can also go swimming in the Infinity Pool or in Lake Oconee. Lake Oconee is a 20-foot long lake and less than a mile wide. The interesting and cool feature of this lake is the shape of it. The lake breaks off into finger-like tendrils. If you look at it from an aerial shot, it looks pretty neat.

Lake-Oconee-Map

I didn’t do a whole lot of swimming, maybe a few hours if that in the lake. We did take a ride around a portion of the lake in a pontoon boat. It was very nice just relaxing on the boat speeding along the water and looking at all of the luxurious lake homes and boats.

And I had my first experience riding on a wave runner (jet ski, whatever you want to call it). It was a lot of fun. I rode on the back while my husband drove it. We got it up to about 50 miles per hour at one point and it was great. We went out at a good time too. We went out in the morning around 9 AM, and there wasn’t a lot of activity on the lake. It was cooler at that time of the day too. I’ll definitely get on a jet ski again if I get the chance.

The food at the resort was fabulous. We ate at just one restaurant at the resort, and it was fantastic food. At Gaby’s By The Lake, I had two meals that I really enjoyed. For lunch, there was the Maine Lobster Grilled Cheese. I had that meal twice I think. And for dinner, the meal that stands out the most was the Atlantic Salmon and Grilled Shrimp. I’m not a huge shrimp fan, but this meal was outstanding. I think four people in our party had this meal on the same night, and we all loved it.

I did have a dessert or two also while at the resort. I had a raspberry sorbet two of the nights that we were there. I think that was the only dessert I had. I also had about one drink a night . I don’t normally drink, but I figured I was on vacation, so why not. I had a few mojitos and I tried a mint julep. I’m not a big fan of the mint julep I must say, but I can never get enough of mojitos. I also had a rum and coke the first night were at the resort. I’m kicking myself though now. My husband got a drink called Millionaire’s Coffee. Now that is what an Irish coffee should taste like. Really smooth and creamy. Just thinking about it is making me want one.

I must say that being at a lakeside resort makes me to want to live on a lake. It’s very calming, and you don’t have to worry about salt water. That’s one thing I never liked about the beach, you had to deal with the sting of the salt water in your eyes. A fresh water lake is my ideal place. Pick one of those humongous houses, and I’ll be a happy camper.

The third and final part of this vacation series is going to be about my walking progress while we were away.

If you missed the first part of this series, check it out!

And read the third post of the seres here.