To get round the problem of not being able to work off my fug through exercise, Tom came up with the ingenious solution of a turbo trainer and bicycle. Obviously, I am unable to ride a bike ‘normally’ at the moment — I can’t balance, and my feet won’t stay on the pedals — but with the fixed trainer and Tom’s road bike, I can secure my unruly foot with clipless pedals and cleats and be at one with the machine.
Yes, those are my feet in Tom’s cycling shoes!
The turbo trainer is quite a discovery: there is the delicious (albeit illusory) sensation of moving at speed — something I’ve not felt for many months — and I can actually work up a sweat! I have really never been more excited by perspiration. . . The cleats mean that my foot is fixed in place, and they also help my leg to learn to move bilaterally. When I first sat on the bike, my weak leg simply did not know what to do, but because it was fixed to the pedal, I could let the strong one do the work while the other learnt how to rotate without resisting. And, after just a few rotations, the left leg began to figure things out, and tried to join in. The leg goes round and round – amazing! At the moment, of course, the trainer is so tiring that I can only get on it for a few minutes at a time, but I am enjoying it immensely, and am sure it is doing my leg the world of good.
I really wish that I had tried this before. Getting on an exercise bicycle had crossed my mind, but I just thought I would be too lopsided and unbalanced to do it. I have noticed that there are adapted bikes at the place I go to for my outpatient physio, but their use has never been suggested to me. Physio appointments are short, and their recent focus has been on my assumed need to relax, which I frankly find a total waste of time – I do far too much of that already. And while we are on the subject of wheels . . .
. . . this is my new shopping trolley. I still find it difficult to carry anything on my back or shoulders, and even a small handbag can knock my gait out of kilter when I’m walking along outdoors. But this wheely thing is brilliant – it is extremely light, yet sturdy and stable. I can pull it about with me, pop into the shops, load it up, and wheel it home. It folds up small when not in use; can be hooked over the back of a supermarket trolley; and gives me added support when moving. It also comes with a stylish tartan stripe — I shall be the envy of every Edinburgh octogenarian.
I’m also enjoying working on a new design
I like to fancy that there is something of the architecture of early skyscrapers in those slipped stitches, but we shall see how it turns out.
All of which is to say that I am doing ok, and keeping my head above water. Your supportive comments and messages always buoy me up and help me to keep things in perspective — thankyou, as ever. I am trying to get on with things, as you can see. And next week’s exciting project will be to try to learn to swim again, as we are exchanging our local beach at Crammond. . .
. . . for one in a much warmer location. Some sun and heat before Autumn sets in is probably just what I need. See you in a couple of weeks.