Friday, October 22, 2010

Odds and Ends and Movement

Arise, go forth, and conquer. (Be the box turtle, courtesy of Toni McLaughlin)     

I promised exercise today, and I will mention it, but it's been one of those crazy times when life isn't always about the plans we thought we made.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I have been dealing with some Parkinson's [PD] issues, getting reacquainted with an old friend, and heading back to school because Fall Break ended too soon.

Be the Box Turtle is one determined little girl.  You can get to know her better at the web site she herself has created to tell her miraculous story and to provide resources for people who think "owning" a turtle (that's like owning a cat) is easy.  Check out  Be the Box Turtle

Talk about determination.  So I was THAT slow moving today.  Everything hurt from my bad knees to my cranky rotator cuff.  I needed to psych myself to charge into the 2nd half of the semester with all kinds of magic tricks and threats to inspire my students.  But I was literally shuffling this morning, and I couldn't hold my cereal spoon without flipping milk all over our cat Ralph.  Yesterday, I did my 10-minute chunks of movement with resistance bands, weights, leg raises, and my bike pedal thing .  

This morning was one of those  days one doesn't really want to take a walk in this neighborhood (we're talking inner city, but we love it), and my usual getting up time of 4AM is not the best time to be out alone on the dark streets, even with 2 guard dogs. I knew I would soon be schlepping heavy textbooks around campus in the heat. Hey, that counts as exercise, albeit slow walking.  But, even feeling under the weather, I need my early morning peace. So I put on music and warm up on the pedaler. This one came from for under $30, although you can get fancier ones.  I set it on the carpet with something behind the feet. I sit in a straight back chair and pedal as if as if I were on a recumbent bike. I try to make it at various resistances--forward and backward--for 10 mins IF my knees hold up.  Then I put the machine on a flat surface where I can pedal with my hands and work my arms.  I absolutely LOVE this exercise.  Physical therapists made me do this very early into shoulder rehab, and it's good for me for one reason: there's no way to do some klutzy movement as I can and do with free weights.

So that was about it, save for some routine face exercises I will talk about as I research them.  I might even take a picture of myself doing them. 

But other PD issues are on my mind, and I am already getting great tips.  One reader responded to my "Embarrassing Moment" by recommending a Tommy Tippy Cup. Yes!  Excellent suggestion.  At home I mix drinks in an adult coffee mug designed similar to that. But, along with my Sinemet and Mirapex, I should carry that.  Next, my friend Harvey, who has battled esophageal cancer, recommended drinking with a straw, especially when I can't swallow pills.  There's my worry I intend to bring up with my neurologist Tuesday:  Swallowing and talking are becoming harder and harder.  My primary care physician ordered a barium swallow series--gag--and it showed a real problem that the radiologist said needed to be taken to my neuro. OK, I'm scared.  

So now it's the weekend again.  In our Jewish tradition, it's Shabbat, and we don't work again till after sundown Saturday.  I study, sometimes go to temple on Saturday instead of Friday night, and pay attention to what my body and soul need [ice cream].  Lots to learn and share, friends. 

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