Monthly Archives: December 2019

On Being Kind To Myself

At the moment, I am on an exercise program, an at home thing, with input from both the surgeon who operated (and fixed) my broken ankle, and from the physio I have seen twice since getting the OK to get moving again, and going to the ‘full weight bear’ stage of rehabilitation.

I am very grateful to both Dr Gayle, and Mark for their input into my vast improvement in ability regarding movement. The ankle I broke (right ankle), has a reasonable range of movement now, although it isn’t as good as my left one (unbroken ankle). But my ankle twists and turns how and if I want it to, and there is absolutely no pain, just a little discomfort, which stops as soon as I cease the movement the ankle had to work at.

I also thank the podiatrist I see regularly, and much appreciated their concern, and also the gift of some moisturising cream that seems to have helped to keep my ankle moist and the scars on both sides on my ankle reduced on what they may otherwise have been. Life with experts who do their job well, and offer more than just the basics? They are treasures!

But to the point of this blog post. I wish to make exercise a regular part of my life now, working on increasing my muscle strength, and my balance. My concern, obviously, is that both of these issues quite likely are to blame for the accident that led to my broken ankle, and other falls I’ve had in the past.

I’ve done some training in falls prevention, and after the Christmas Season silliness is all over, I’m going to take a good look at the details I still have from that training, and I’ll look into incorporating some of it into the rest of my program. Doing all of these things is being kind to my body, even if my head would much rather I sat around writing creatively …

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But it’s one of those cruel to be kind things – cruel to my mind perhaps, but definitely kind to my body! And another being kind things is that while I want to make this exercising regularly thing a habit, I’m not going to blame myself too much if I slacken off a little, if I feel I have to. Yesterday was one of those slacking off days, I have to admit. I did some of the exercises I’ve been doing, but only half, completely leaving off one part of my exercises.

That’s OK though. Yesterday was a stinking hot day, and even though we had our air conditioner on, until our electricity was cut, I just couldn’t convince myself to do the Wii Fit part of my program. This exercise program is new to me, although I’ve done Wii Fit at various times, since we got the game, many years ago. Incorporating exercises given to me by a physiotherapist is definitely new.

Habits take time to make, some say ten days, others say 21 days, but I suspect it differs for everyone, and depends on what the habit is. If I was to try to get a habit of patting my dog every day, that would be simple. Missy is here in the house, I talk to her, and give her medicine, it would be simple to make sure I give her a pat every day. Exercise is definitely more difficult than that one.

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I was able to both do simple gentle movement exercises, and write creatively, while I was laid up with this broken ankle, and the book above “Angles on Ankles” was written, submitted and published in record time. It is a chapbook with poems written all about my broken ankle, doing it, having one, dealing with it, thinking about it, and so on. I think it’s a great little book, only $5 plus postage – if you think you’d like a copy, leave a comment and we can sort out the details!

Anyway, back to exercises – I know why I didn’t do the full range of exercises yesterday, I also know, because I looked into these things, that habits take time to set in place, and missing doing that thing you want to become a habit, works better if you stick at it totally in the beginning stages. I’m not stressing myself out about this though, I’m being kind, and both rational and reasonable.

Today I have completed half an hour of Wii Fit exercises, including some that gave me a harder workout than usual, and I will complete all of the rest of the exercises before I head off to watch some of the lawn bowls being played today in Mallala, where my husband and son both are members, and I’ve been a member there too, in the past. When I’m watching lawn bowls, it’s like I’m working out a bit too, because I’m sending down those bowls in my head, and my muscles get an invisible workout, for sure!

So tomorrow is Sunday, and I expect the whole exercise program will happen, and again the day after that. But on the Wednesday, hey, there may not be any exercises because Wednesday is Christmas Day, and the only exercise will be giving presents and hugs to people! So I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Things Repeated Become Habits

Yes, if we do the same thing over and over again that thing can definitely become a habit. Both good habits or bad habits can go like this, so it’s probably a good idea to work at making our habits good ones, because those bad habits, can lead to unwanted circumstances.

For me, one of my habits is to have a cup of coffee with my breakfast, every day. That’s not a good or bad habit, but simply a thing, so I’m OK with that habit being there in my life. The caffeine helps get my brain going, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

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Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

A bad habit might be to begin a day with a shot of whisky, and that is definitely not a habit I’m ever likely to get, I don’t like the taste of it, and I know it will do bad things to my brain, not good things!

The habit I most want to get is something I did again this morning – exercise! I broke my ankle a few months ago, and have been given some exercises by the surgeon who operated on my right ankle, to help fix it up. It’s going well, and part of the reason, apart from the surgeons good work, is because I worked on doing the range of movement (ROM) exercises regularly as I was lying, or sitting around, unable to put my foot down, because I was at the no weight bearing stage of my recovery.

It was tedious, but the exercises gave me something to do, so I was happy enough to do them. I hoped they would indeed help me to increase my range of movement, and it seems like it has indeed done that.

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I’m in the full weight bear stage now, so back to my new normal, walking, with or without a mobility aid, when outside (usually without from now on, I hope). Things are looking good. I’ve seen a physio, and he told gave me some standing up exercises to do now, standing on one foot, then the other, stepping sideways up and down the passageway, standing up on my tippy toes, doing lunges, and sit up/stand down exercises to work on my abs and leg muscles.

I spoke with that physio about Wii Fit exercises and he said yes, for sure, to Balance exercises, for sure. I like Wii Fit exercises, so I started doing them again, after seeing the physio. I’ve been a bit slack lately though, and not done any exercises really, but I’ve decided to get over that, and try to make doing all of my exercises a  daily habit. This is what I wrote on mt Facebook page today:

“Have completed half of my exercise program, will turn off computer and complete the rest of it next. Exercise helps my poor ankle become stronger and better, and it helps my muscles and my balance, and so reduces the likelihood I will fall over and damage myself again.
That’s the theory anyway, and it’s unlikely to hurt me, but help me instead, so I’m really, really going to work at making this a daily habit, no matter what …”

So that’s it, I’ve done the first half of my exercise program, and yes, I will turn off the computer and switch on the Wii Fit machine to complete the program for today, and be back to it again tomorrow, over and over until it is a good habit that I do daily!

Doing Balance Exercises

Human Beings are creatures that predominantly stand on two feet, rather than four, as animals do. Humans have hands and feet, two of each, while animals have four paws. This isn’t all animals, but lots of them.

We’re born, learn to crawl and then to get up and walk on our two feet. But sometimes things can go wrong, and you call, strain or break a leg, and you need to heal and get back to getting up and walking again.

Walking is a matter of balancing on on foot, then the other, lift foot, balance on that foot, step with other foot, place in down, repeat with other foot, lift, balance, step, one foot after the other. So, for some of that time, you are balancing on one foot, followed by balancing on the other.

After you’ve been damaged by having a fall or other kind of accident, you may need to go through some form of relearning regarding how to walk, and regaining your balance. I’ve been through this, after breaking my ankle in September, and through physio, and walking again, and working to improve my balance.

Falling over is what caused me to fall and break my ankle, and I don’t ever want to do that again, so obviously, I have a good reason to work at better balance, and no more falls! The surgeon who operated on my ankle gave me some ROM (range of movement) exercises, which I did a lot. I want as full a range of movement for my ankle as possible!

I’ve seen a physio, since who gave me some exercises to continue improving my ROM for my ankle.. Since that initial appointment, I’ve see the physio, and now have some balance exercises. On consultation with the physio, I’ve added a few Wii Fit balance exercises too, and I try to do at least some of these exercises every day.

Balance is so important in life, falling over is never a good thing to do! The surgeon, as well has giving me exercises to help to keep from falling, has also told me to wear lace up shoes, whenever I am up and going. This is inside and outside, and even though it makes sitting on the sofa less comfortable, it will help me keep upright.

I had to buy a new pair of shoes for this, and I’m very happy to have a great new pair of running shoes, which offer support to my ankle, and which help me to keep on moving! The shoes I bought have been approved by my physio too, so it both of my ‘experts’ are happy with the shoes, I am too!

Having to put on and take off my shoes a couple of times a day only takes a minute of so, so I’m OK with that. For the Wii Fit exercises, it’s no shoes, but I take my shoes off close to where I do the Wii Fit, so safe as houses! I’m not an overly ‘physical fitness’ kind of person, but I find Wii Fit exercises are a fun way to exercise, and I like the way the machine keep a track on how I’m doing.

This morning I wanted to make over 100 points for the exercise the Physio had suggested, Penguin Slide. It took me a few goes at getting there, but I eventually actually made 104 points, so I could stop that exercise, and move on to another balance game. The top score for our household for this exercise is 114 or something like that, so I still have a fair way to go.

I can’t remember whether it was me or my husband who made the top score for this game, but every time I do Wii Fit games, I’m trying to get a new top score! It brings interest to the game, and having fun as you exercise, well that has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?!

Balance in life comes in many forms, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and surely a balanced life is a good life! I’m laced up, balanced, and ready for whatever is next!

Changing the Exercise Program …

Today I certainly did my exercises given to me to do by Mark, my physio, but I didn’t do the Wii Fit exercises I’d begun doing as well, a couple of days ago. Does this mean my program has failed? No certainly not!

I have more things to do today, away from home, and there will  be a lot more walking than I’ve been doing. Given that my walking has been very much limited, since I broke my ankle at the end of September, this isn’t surprising, but today. I’ll remedy that to some extent, by doing more walking than I had been doing.

I’m not exactly sure how far I’ll walk today, but if you add up the smaller bits, I’m sure it will be more than 500 metres. That may not sound like much, but when you’ve been doing practically zero walking for two months, 500 metres sounds (and feels) like a lot of walking! Small steps, one after the other …

I have my walking stick in the car, (Jane the Cane) and as Mark the Physio’s instructions, I will be walking with my walking stick when I’m outside. Walking inside without the stick is going well enough, and I suspect by the end of two weeks (one and a half weeks to go), I’ll be happily and successfully walking with Jane the Cane, or Mick the Stick!

The important thing about recovering from a physical injury, I think, is to work on it, but don’t overdo it! So walking 500 metres, that is my way of not overdoing it. I will definitely go on doing Mark’s exercises every day, and the Wii Fit exercises too, when I have the time, particularly on days with little planned involving physical activity.

Tonight will be the Mallala Christmas Party too, and there will definitely be walking around involved in taking part in this fun event! My husband and son are both involved in the organisation of this annual event, put on by the Mallala Lions Club, and they’ve done a great job again with rides and other fun things to see and do!

Exercise is great when you have fun as you’re doing it!

Continuing the Physio Program

I’m pleased to say that this morning I have done my Physio exercises, as advised by my physio, Mark, and did exercises for longer than I did yesterday, Hooray to me! I definitely believe in celebrating every victory, especially when the victory is one that is doing me good, and will encourage me to do more into the future!

So this morning I did the 5 actual exercises Mark gave to me, and then I went on the Wii Fit machine, and actually braved the horrors of the weigh in! The great news there was that I was actually 1.5kg lighter that I was the previous time I weighed in, which was a bit over three months ago. I gave myself the challenge of losing .5 of a kilogram in a fortnight’s time.

I am now within the ‘ideal’ weight range, and I’m happy with that. I certainly don’t want to be the weight the Wii Fit machine thinks I should be – I’ve been at that weight before and it was too low, it made me look sick!

I’m well aware that Christmas is approaching fast, and the exercises may not happen every day, but lots of tasty food may be happening a lot more often. This means any weight I can lose now, will be helpful to make sure I don’t give myself a tubbier body for Christmas!

So with my Wii Fit exercise this morning I focused mostly on the penguin catching fish exercise, hoping to get my score up to or even over one hundred. I didn’t get there, unfortunately, but I got close. I could feel this in my right foot, but it wasn’t painful, just there, if you know what I mean. I was conscious of my right ankle, but not in a bad way, just aware of it. I’m not worried about that, after all, there is a lot of metal happening in that ankle!

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Anyway, life is going well, I’m about to get my car fixed, so that I won’t need to worry when I go on a road trip, which is happening soon. A car that goes well, is an asset for a road trip, one that won’t start isn’t! So as I said, life is going well, and I am doing all I can to make it go even better!

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As I move on from the operation that fixed my broken ankle, I think of things I could have written poems about to put into the poetry collection I wrote about my ankle, “Angles on Ankles”. But that was about the break, and now I’m in recovering from the break, so perhaps that will be a new book, another poetry collection, to be written at a later date – after all, life is a moving, living thing …

 

 

First Day, New Physio Program

I am working to help my body mend, after breaking my ankle, and having surgery to fix it. I have had a period of resting, to help the swelling in my ankle lessen, and to rest and rehabilitate. Now I am at another stage of my recovery from breaking my ankle, a more active stage, and it feels like the time is right for this.

I have seen a physio, Mark,  at my most recent visit, after having seen advice from the surgeon who operated on my ankle, that I could so more exercises now, now that I have advanced to full weight bearing, with less of a need for mobility aids. So Mark gave me five new exercises, which involve me standing, and working at strengthening my muscles.

When I saw him, I asked about whether he thought doing Wii Fit exercises might be a good idea. I very much enjoy doing Wii Fit exercises, but I get slack and stop doing them, even though I like them, and know they help me with my fatigue from Multiple Sclerosis. Mark said yes, do them for sure, focusing on the one where you have to catch fish, it’s a good balance exercise.

So today, my first day of this new exercise program, I did  most recent the most recent exercises, plus 15 minutes of Wii Fit balance exercises. It was more exercise than I’ve done for a long time, and I’m happy with my efforts! I focused the most on the penguin exercise, and did it I think three times, maybe four, my highest score was 91, and I want to beat that! I also did heading ball, tightrope walk, the leaning/sending ball down holes game, and the floating bubble game.

When I started the Wii Fit game, it told me it had been 100 and something days since I had logged on. That’s OK, but it would be better if I did it more often. Who knows, maybe if I were more Wii Fit fit, I might not have fallen over and broken my ankle? It’s definitely a thought worth thing on, for sure, because I certainly don’t want to ever do it again!

I didn’t come close to breaking records in any of these games, but given the circumstances, that’s not surprising. If I keep in with doing this program, as often as possible, both physio’s exercises and Wii Fit, that should definitely help me, with both strength and balance. While I was talking to Mark, the physio, I gave him a copy of my new poetry book all about my breaking my ankle, and he was thrilled with his signed copy!

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This afternoon, I also walked a lot further than I have for a while, perhaps 500 metres, I’m not really sure about the distance. I was glad I had my walking stick to help me do it, Mark has told me I don’t need the walking stick inside any more, but should use it outside, for at least 2-4 weeks longer. By that time it will be nearly time to see my surgeon again, and find out how my ankle is going now. (I’m getting an x ray the day before I see her again in mid January)

So with all of this moving around (comparatively speaking), I feel very tired right now, and I’m glad of this sit down on the sofa. I may stay here for quite some time!

And So The Healing Goes

My broken ankle is now going into a new stage again, with rehabilitation becoming much more ‘active’. I saw my physio again today, and he has given me a new program to follow, with 5 exercises that involve me actually getting up and doing things, instead of twiddling my ankle in a seated position …

I now have to do squats, walk sideways, rise up on my toes (calf raises), do lunges, and stand on one leg then the other for 10 seconds each leg (aiming for no hand to do it). Some of these exercises aren’t too onerous, the standing on one leg one though, without touching anything, that might take some time.

I’m happy to be actively working to make my ankle better, and my leg muscles stronger, in the interests of making myself more able to not fall over again! Falling over is never a good thing, and this most recent time I’m been dealing with has been my worst fall yet.

I fell and broke my right ankle nine weeks ago, and from what I understand, my recovery so far has gone well. Some people in similar circumstances are still in a moon boot, and unable to bear weight. I am walking normally, except for a limp, and I no longer need to use any mobility when inside the house.

If I go outside though, I will need to use my stick, and I’m not upset about that, my walking cane, Jane the Cane, is beautiful! I’ve had Jane the Cane, and her partner, Mick the Stick, ever since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, nearly ten years ago. I haven’t needed either of them for some years now, but I’m happy now they were available for me when I needed them!

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I’ve had a good team of helpers since I broke my ankle, family, friends, and medical people, as well as the providers of the various aids I’ve required since I came home from the hospital. I’m glad that soon these things will be returned to the businesses we have hired them from, and I hope I never need any of them again!

It’s been an interesting time though, a new experience, and as a writer, any new thing happening in my life gives me new insights and ideas for my writing. My blog posting rate has certainly increased, and I’ve written and had published a new poetry collection, “Angles on Ankles”, all about my time with this broken ankle.

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So even though a broken ankle isn’t a thing I wold recommend to anyone, well, it could have been worse, and I’m eternally grateful for the people who have helped my healing process go so well!