Saturday, 17 December 2016


Managed a little walk (just to the end of our road) at the expense of my back, and (already troublesome) hips, but it was worth it.

Perfect walking weather - if there is such a thing! Refreshing, but not cold - (or too warm). Either extreme causes problems.

Saw the little black cat at the end of the road, but he ran away from me - (A wise move, hubby says because said cat is likely to be catnapped by a certain Mrs Sims, who misses feline company)!
Ran into a neighbour on her way to the shops.

If I had been in the wheelchair, I would have been perfectly happy to stop and talk to her.
As it was, I thought 'Oh please, nooooo', and then felt guilty, especially since every year (even since her husband's death), she makes sure the 'neighbourhood Christmas Tree' still gets its lights, and that makes me happy.

We did say 'hello' but luckily for me (and my hips), she seemed in a hurry. Even so, by the time I got back down I was in agony and my breath was a bit raspy. It isn't usually that bad, but I had to use my breathing technique for the last little bit, to minimise pain.

It's a technique we were taught in hospital (when I was learning to re-walk). 2/3 normal breaths and a few more shallow breaths, and then a large exhale, and so on. It takes a bit of practice to get right, (and it doesn't always work), but I find it helps me - even if it is just because I'm so focussed on breathing that I'm less aware of the pain. It could easily be that.

We were also taught 'ways to fall' in order to minimise damage, which I almost do automatically now. Although it doesn't always work, because things happen in a split second. Making sure you let your hands (rather than legs/body) take the impact isn't always possible.

When you re-learn walking you have to focus on every step, and there is a part of me which still does that now too, and that is how I manage not to fall often. You become conscious of potential obstacles, different floor types, ground types, and distances.

All of these things I have to think about while I'm walking, which is why I find it difficult to walk and talk at the same time, and why I get so tired, not just physically but mentally too. My mind has to be in so many different places at the same time.

Over the years I've become better at making those judgements, so that I can count my steps as well. Although I only do that on familiar terrain! Counting steps is useful for forgetting about distance. If I focus on the count, the distance is less significant.

One more thing I do, is to mentally divide and mark the ground, (especially if the pain is extra bad). I will aim for the end of each section and not think past that. It's a bit like identifying landmarks. In fact that's exactly what it IS.

Aim for a fence post, the end of a car, a manhole cover, a mark on the pavement or a piece of rubbish, anything like that. It is all second nature now - but as I'm losing what little mobility I have, many of these things won't be as necessary...
Anyway, that's how things are.
Today has been good, and it is Saturday. You know what that means?...WINE!

(Image: Google. - I thought pictures of walking aids were a bit obvious. I prefer the cat)! 


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