Tag Archives: multiple sclerosis and exercise

Another Fall, Another Hospital …

Yes, I had another fall, and there was another hospital involved … This time I will be able to remember the date, because it was 10 April 2-21, the day after my 58 birthday. The last time I had to go to a hospital because of a fall was 25 September 2019, AFL Grand Final day.

This time I made my own way to the hospital, because it was my forearm that was hurt, not a leg, so I could easily walk to our car, and be driven to the hospital by my husband. And it was much easier to manage, and was nowhere near as painful as breaking my leg was, back in 2019.

But it was definitely painful enough that it could have been a broken bone, and that means going to hospital to have an x-ray to see the truth. And after a very long wait, and eventually four x-rays, the truth was it was very probably not a broken bone, so no difficult to deal with plaster cast for me, thank goodness.

But after coming home and knowing my right forearm is only sore, and damaged, but with no bones broken doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt! It happened yesterday, and today my husband found some crepe bandage we had stashed away, and I wrapped up mt hand forearm up, and while I’m sure a trained medical person would do a superior job, I think it looks quite well done.

And it is definitely working to relieve some of the pain, which I hope is going to become further relieved as time passes. I’m going to go and see my GP though tomorrow probably, so he can inspect the damage, and not it on my medical files.

So apart from this sore right arm, I also have a bruise on my left cheek, a big spectacular looking bruise/mark on my left hip, and bruises on my of my knees. Quite a haul of ‘treasures’ I’d much not have received, that’s for sure.

Being able to come home again after a hospital visit is much better than having to go from hospital to hospital, and then stay in one for a week, as happened with that previous fall, which was incidentally my ankle that got broken. The stay in hospital that earlier time resulted in the publication of a little poetry collection, titled ‘Angles on Ankles’, which I have for sale, and can be purchased for a low price, plus postage, by contacting me in a comment on this blog post.

I wrote the initial poems for that poetry book in hospital, and finished it off in my recovery period, which was around three months all together. This new ‘trip and fall’ adventure will not need anywhere near as long to get over, but if it does end up as another little poetry book, I already have a possible title, ‘the Grist On My Wrist’.

To be honest though, I’d be happier with no more falls, even if they are common for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis! I have plenty of other things to write poetry about. By the way though, I did write a poem while I was waiting to be seen at the hospital yesterday, because just sitting there, without even really being seen for ages was boring!

And the really funny thing was that when I fell over yesterday, I was busily doing what I name as ‘extra steps’ – walking at home to get fitter, and stronger, in an effort to ward off these falls! From now on, I will be walking up and down and around inside my house, where if I fall over, I will be able to get up again, and I’ll fall onto carpet and not rocks or concrete!

If you have some thoughts about my latest misadventure, feel free to leave a comment here, I love connecting with other people!

Mobility – Use It Or Lose It

Yes, ‘Use it or lose it,’ I will never forget my neurologist telling me that at probably my second or possibly first appointment with him. He didn’t actually diagnose my MS until after I’d had my first MRI, but he had a pretty good idea that was what I was affected by, based on what I’d told him, and how I presented – weak on one side of body, not able to walk at all well.

So all those yeas ago, 11 years in fact, he told me to do my best to use my mobility, to walk, as much as I could, or I might well stop being able to walk much, or at all. So that’s what I do, I walk, sometimes only a little bit, sometimes more, but I walk. It isn’t always walking as exercise, just sometimes parking a bit further away, and walking the rest of the way, sometimes it’s going for a walk (not as often as I should!), sometimes its walking deliberately, as exercise.

And today I’m proud to say was one of those deliberate walking days. I’ve been doing this a bit more recently, using the pedometer on my phone, and keeping track on how far I’ve walked when I deliberately go for a walk. Brisk steps, they are the kind of walking I keep track on, whether inside steps, or outside ones, on goes the devise and away I go, step, step, step!

I walked past this rose bush this morning, when I was doing my extra steps outside – the bush is planted next to our pool, which I walked around twice today, as well as lots of other places outside and inside.

And today I did 2,000 steps, extra ones, just over a kilometre of them, around our yard, inside, out the front, out the back, step, step, step! I care a lot about my mobility, and I’m going to keep it until the day I die, if I can, no wheelchair for me, unless I break a bone again and need it!

If you have Multiple Sclerosis too, have you been encouraged by your neurologist to keep moving, and if not, why not? I realise we aren’t all at the same stage in our MS journey, and I’m interested in hoe other people get on, feel free to leave a comment! Any tips and hints are most welcome.

Impress Yourself First!

Positive Thinking!

If I lose the ability to impress myself sometimes, feel free to slap me! But I’m safe from that right now, I have just done 1,880 extra steps this morning, briskly striding all around the inside of our house, and for many of those steps I had hand weights, making it an even better workout.

So I am mightily impressed, so impressed with myself that it doesn’t even matter if nobody else is impressed! Our dog Missy has done her walk this morning too, with my husband Graham, and I’m certainly impressed with them and their commitment to keeping fit and well!

This is Missy on her favourite resting spot!

Missy watches me sometimes with I’m doing my extra steps all around the house, here and there, back and forth, and she looks like she thinks I’m crazy, but that’s fine, when I see some of the things Missy eats in the yard, I think she’s crazy!

But back to me – My weight in this morning was slightly unimpressive, with an extra 100 grams over my weight yesterday morning, but that small amount isn’t a worry, as long as the weight doesn’t steadily go up … exercise and avoid healthy diet with vegetables, fruit and seeds, a little meat, and dairy, with some grains, yummy – good stuff!

Healthy Diet!

For the past couple of months, Graham and I have been weighing ourselves regularly, in the effort to be healthier, and lose our excess fat, which is definitely not healthy to have. Being as fit as possible, and eating a varied diet with lots of different nutrients is a good plan for everyone, but especially those of us with Chronic Illness, as I have. Multiple Sclerosis has an unknown cause and no known cure at the moment, but keeping as healthy as possible has to help, I’d say!

I have the goal of going on being as fit and healthy as I can, despite current health things … (MS and skin cancers). Nature is smiling, and I’m smiling too!

Having Purpose

At the moment, I have a novel I’m about a third of the way through, and I have a new poetry collection I’m working on as well. I’m also the President of a writing group with several things happening, or being planned at the moment. I have also recently begun being the Writer-In-Residence as a local cafe in a lovely small town, not too far from where I live. I’m there (Gallery 14 Light Street Hamley Bridge South Australia) every Monday except public holidays. I’ve done only two days so far, but I’m enjoying it, and can see it going on for quite a long time, if it goes on feeling this good.

My life is a good one, doing good things and being a good person. The 1,880 steps I walked this morning was almost one kilometre, and I remember a time when I could barely walk fifty metres. With a good life, and a medication that is working well for me, my Chronic Illness has slowed me down a bit, but not taken me down!

Increased Exercise Helps

More exercise means greater ability to do even more exercise! At least that’s my understanding of the whole thing, and I hope it’s correct. My neurologist told me, more or less, this was the case, when he said to me, not long after he told me that I had MUltiple Sclerosis (MS), and that it was important that I make a committment to walking more.

“Use or or Lose it” is what he told me, and at that time, back in 2010, just walking from one end of my house to the other was a difficult task. I managed to do more though, and got through that first collapse, and then moved back to better health. Not perfect health, of course. I will probably never be as physically able as I was back before I was hit by MS, but I am certainly better now, than I was then when it first happened.

I can walk for 500 metres or more, and I don’t get as fatigued in the evenings as I used to get. I can go out at night, and can keep going until I get home again. So I guess I’m getting fitter, and stronger, and I’m glad about that. At the moment, I’m involved with a challenge with the MS Society of SA & NT. It’s an eight week challenge, and people were asked to say what their challenge was they wanted to do.

My challenge that I put up on the MS Facebook page, was to do ten minutes of exercise every single day. At the moment I’m not doing quite as well as I did at the beginning, but I’ve done enough days with thirty minutes of exercise rather than ten minutes, so I’m looking on that as being still in front, as long as I do a little bit of extra moving around. I have to get back to the actual challenge though, and do some proper work outs.

Being able to walk, get from my car to wherever I’m going, and such things are important to me. I don’t want to have to rely on anyone else, I want to be able to take after myself as much as possible. If I do too much in warm/hot weather, I know my body won’t like it and I’ll pay the price, with my muscles giving way, until I can get cool again.
So exercises during the oncoming warmer days, will probably be at home, with the air conditioner on.

Keeping cool and getting fitter, these are both tools to help me get on will with my life. MS at the moment is going OK, I’m looking forward to a time when I can say I’m going extremely well with MS, but I’m not sure when or if that will happen. OK is enough for now, and I am grateful for that.

I’m using hand weights when I do the Wii Fit exercises I do some days, and I hope adding these will help with the whole strength increasing thing, and the extra walking I’m throwing in some days helps too. It all helps, I think. I may not every become extra ‘iron woman’ fit, but being able to get around when and where I want to is enough for now. I hope I can keep going with this challenge, there’s about six weeks to go, and I’m feeling good!

Health Care Plan for MS

Yesterday I checked in with my doctor, to get a new health care plan set for the following 6 months. I saw the clinic nurse there first, and we got some numbers and thoughts organised. The scariest number was my weight, where the scales at the doctors confirmed more of less the horror of our family Wii Fit machine told me about a couple of days before. I could blame winter for my increase in weight, but of course, it’s because of me.

Yes, winter is a time for staying inside, and for eating comforting foods that often have more calories in them than are useful if you want to stay slim … Salads are summer food, cakes, muffins and fat-laden main courses are winter food. But it isn’t winter now where I live, it’s Spring. and salad, warm salad, can be eaten at any time. So yesterday, when I went to my fave cafe (Poetic Justice, in Gawler), I had a small warm salad, and only looked at the yummy muffins and cheesecakes in the display cabinet …

But Spring weather, when it’s as lovely as it is today, that’s good weather for getting outside and actually doing things, physical things. So today, that’s what I did. Before I did that though, I did something even better. Today I began, yet again, my Wii Fit exercise program. I’ve said I’ll do it so many times, it’s beginning to bore me to write the words. But this time, I’ve told the clinic nurse and my doctor about it, and it’s written down on my notes at the clinic.

So this morning the machine went on, I weighed in, cringed a little at the result, and then did 31 minutes of exercises – Yay to me! It wasn’t the hardest workout I’ve ever done, but it was a good workout and I sure knew I’d done something! I burned 74 calories in that time, and that’s certainly more calories than I would burn sitting on my bottom and typing a little bit!

So that’s today done, except that because it’s Spring, and a lovely Spring day at that, I went outside and actually did some things, as I wrote before. I did one of the Wii Fit Yoga exercises ‘Salute to the Sun’. I did that about five times, and it felt good to be stretching my muscles in the sunshine. After that, I went to the dog run we have, and I pulled up some weeds. This is another bit of a bend and stretch type of exercise, and it’s always good to get rid of the weeds I was focused on, with is the oxalis, which has seeds that are a menace for anyone with animals that have long hair, as our schnauzer does …

So my health care plan is under control, my mind is in a happy place, and my body, even though it doesn’t work as well as it could, still works well enough for me to do everything I want to do – my Mind, Body and Spirit are all going good!

The Things You Do

When you have a chronic illness, sometimes you feel there’s nothing you can do about it, beyond taking the medication prescribed for you to take. I take my medication (Gilenya), but I’m certainly not leaving it at that. I have my own ways to keep the multiple sclerosis at bay.

My many-part process combines a good nutritional diet (vegetables and fruit, not too many saturated fats, seeds and nuts, some grains, enough dairy). I also stay happy with my life, active in my community and doing lots of things that bring me satisfaction – writing, being with my family and friends. While I don’t have a belief in a god, I believe in doing good for myself and others whenever I can, and I have a faith in the ability of Nature to keep things going. aleppo pine

I also work toward a good level of exercise. Our family has a Wii Fit machine, and I use this machine to help me do some active things, well, I try to anyway. It’s one of those things that I do in fits and starts. Some months are better than other months …

Today, after a 13 day absence, I switched on the Wii Fit Machine and did the dreaded weigh in. Hmm, I really haven’t been over indulging in cakes and things when I’m being the Writer-in-Residence at Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery in Gawler, honest. But the scales hint at the opposite. It’s muscles, it must be the muscles. Even though I haven’t done the Wii Fit, I have done my hand weights almost every day since I got them on my birthday earlier this month …
So some of that unwanted weight is actually muscle, which is a good weight to have. Right? My weight is still within the ideal range, according to the Wii Fit machine, but it thinks my BMI should be lower. Stupid machine.
Anyway, I did 30 minutes of Wii Fit exercises today, as I said, after not doing any for 13 days. I am pleased with myself for that, and hope to continue it more often. Three times a week would be good, four times a week better, and at least once a week should be the absolute minimum. So it didn’t happen the past fortnight, obviously, but I will try to make sure it does happen this time!

Do you have MS, and have an exercise program that works for you? I’d love to hear about it!

Book Launch – Memoir about My MS

Image Well, starting today, the word is out. I was at the PwMS meeting today, and let those present know the date and time for my book launch. It was something I needed to do, as these people are certainly people I wish to get word out to. The PwMS group are people who have MS and are there to give feedback to the board of MS Society SA & NT.

The person who edits the Network (newsletter for MS Society SA & NT) was there, as was the CEO (who is launching my book for me). Obviously, I want these important people to know the details.

So what are those book launch details? Well, my book “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS” will be launched at the Tea Tree Gully Library in South Australia on 28 August, 3.00 pm.

This library does terrific book launches, and I’m looking forward to it (as well as being a bit nervous!) So, this is my first memoir, and I put a lot of myself into the writing of it. It’s the book I wanted to read when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2010. But that book wasn’t anywhere. I’ve written it now, and I hope my memoir can help other people with MS.

So, do I think I know everything there is to know about MS? No, I certainly don’t think that. My memoir is simply MS from my own position, and including a little research about this crazy chronic illness. Everyone with MS can be different. It all depends on where in your Central Nervous System your immune system has attacked. It also depends on how much of the damage your body has been able to repair.

I’m fortunate – my previous medication helped a little, and my current medication is helping a lot more. I know of other people who have had a similar medication regime who are finding it difficult. There’s no way of knowing how each person’s body will react…

I’ve been trying to help my body out by eating relatively well, and increasing my exercise level. I hope these things, coupled with my medication (Gilenya), will help me to continue on at least as well as I’m going right now. I’m glad that I can honestly say this: I am Living Well with MS!

I will be donating $2 to the MS Society SA & NT for every copy of ‘Mick, Jane and Me’ sold. Cost is $20, plus postage. If you are interested in having a copy but can’t get to my book launch, contact me by email, and we can work it out.

Re-starting my Exercise program

I had a 12 day holiday, but yesterday I switched on the family Wii Fit machine and got back on track. I have MS (multiple sclerosis) and have been told, by several people well learned in such things, that I should exercise.

So, that was three years ago, that my neurologist advised I should try to exercise more, to help with my disability from MS. “Use it or Lose it” is what he said, meaning that if I don’t move around more, I may lose my ability to move around.

So since then, I’ve been working out with our Wii Fit machine. I began just trying exercises out, to see what I was capable of doing. I’d certainly used the Wii Fit machine before I was struck down with MS. I wasn’t able to do as well as I have previously, but I could steadily improve my scores.

Life gets in the way of my exercises sometimes, I lose interest, or as now, cold weather makes me want to just curl up somewhere warm. I live in Australia, where we are in our last month of winter. It seems to have been a cold winter. I’ve seen many people in Australia who have MS say the same thing. I’m not sure if this winter has been colder than usual, it just feels that way.

But, cold weather or not, I should do my exercises, for my own good. So, yesterday, as I wrote, I switched the Wii Fit machine back on. I did 10 minutes of exercises yesterday, and 20 minutes today. I have a weight loss target that I set a while back, when I was regularly doing these exercises. 

The Wii Fit machine seems to thing I can still meet this target, but I’m not so sure. It won’t matter if I don’t make the target – getting fitter is my goal, rather than losing weight. I also do the Daily Challenge at this website, well I try to do them every day. I consider that every little bit I do is doing me good.

Some people with MS need to use a wheelchair to get around. I’ve needed that only once so far, and that was soon after I first collapsed with MS. I feel much better now than I did then. I’m hoping that a wheelchair is never needed again!


More to Life than Food

Today, for me was a day of feeding my soul more than my body. My body did some work, but so did my brain, my brain and my imagination.

I live close enough to Adelaide to be able to get there in only one hour, and today my husband (Graham) and I visited the Waterhouse Art Prize exhibition at the Museum. This event is an important one in the art world, occurring annually. Graham and I have visited it for the past three years. Graham has been there in earlier years, but 2011 was my first time, and I’ve loved going every time since then.

We seem to be building a collection of Science/Nature related art, having purchased paintings in the previous two years, and another two paintings this year. It feels good to be the owners of some interesting pieces of artwork.

Going to the Museum meant I had to do a bit of walking, and then obviously I had to walk around the gallery to see the art. I found it a pleasant way to get exercise…

I did my Wii Fit exercises this morning too, 33 minutes worth this time. Some of the exercises are harder workouts, a couple are more fun, and easier. I’m glad that my Wii Fit program is back on track, and I’ve been posting details on my Facebook page, so that my friends can see what I’m doing, and so I know they’ll notice if I don’t do my Wii Fit!

Testing my body and my brain both feel like excellent things for me to do!