Well, I haven't been able to keep the positive vibe going. I vacillate between more bad days than good. On the good days I try to do pre-cancer activities--with whatever limitations I now have. For instance, EVERY day up until 9/27/16, the day before my mastectomies, I had a few daily rituals. I used to do splits--forward and to each side, 50 sit ups within a minute, 50 push ups (military style, up on my toes, no knees touching the ground)-not timed, and my favorite, a 10 point balance routine I learned from karate (I have a black belt). From a defensive stance, every move is made on one leg. First on one leg, then the other. The routine involves lifting one leg up and into a precise position, holding it at least ten seconds, then moving that leg into a different position and holding at least ten, pivoting on the foot on the floor while putting the in-air leg into ten different positions and holding it...and so on, without wobbling, and all on one foot, of course. Obviously this involves incredible balance, control and strength in feet and legs and buttocks, and core ab strength.
These things were done every day and not considered my exercise for the day. To actually burn calories mostly I chose between kickboxing or an hour-long fast walk with a neighbor.
So, I used to do all these things, and as of a week ago I could do none. I was afraid to even try splits, as I wasn't sure I'd be able to even get up off the floor afterward, due to the GBS. When I was in the rehab hospital we practiced putting me on the floor and seeing if I could get up by myself. I couldn't. But I've been out of the hospital 4 months now, and have improved so much from the GBS, I decided to try all my previous daily rituals I detailed in the paragraph above.
I started with splits. I couldn't get down anywhere near to a full 180 degree split. Maybe 90-100 degrees, and it hurt. I used to get into that 180 degree split and bend and reach forward until my stomach was flat on the floor and stay there 30 seconds. Now, with my limited stretch which really pulls in both legs, I can barely lean forward at all. Then I try to reach my hands to my toes and lay my stomach on my leg, each side. I can barely reach my toes, and and I can't get my stomach down much at all. I go through the motions of the side splits with the same type of limitations. I've been doing this every day and it hasn't gotten any easier and my splits haven't gotten wider. I do remember from years ago, getting up to the level of full splits that I finally got to, took a LONG TIME. And once I got there I had to do it every day in order not to regress.
To get up to doing 50 ab crunches in a minute didn't take long at all in the past. When I was at my fittest I could maybe do 65-70 in a minute. But when I tried my crunches last week I could do only 5. FIVE. But I've been doing them every day, and pretty quickly got to 20, and yesterday I got to 35. I'm not timing myself--that will come later. My goal is to do one more than I did the day before. It is VERY hard. I am groaning and really working to get through the last few sit ups.
So I've made no progress since I re-started my splits/stretches, but I continue to do it and I presume I will slowly be able to get to the 180 degrees, and stomach to the floor level EVENTUALLY. Like it could take a year...... or more! But I am determined to get back to that level.
The ab crunches I am certain I will get back to my previous level within another month or so.
Now for the push ups. I can do zero. I figured this would be hard, since my chest was operated on from armpit to armpit. Twenty years ago, when I first started push ups I also could do NONE. Not even girl style, with my knees on the floor. I remember back then I just tried every day and suddenly one day I could do one, then another, and eventually built up to fifty, no knees on the floor push ups. I think it took nearly a year to get to that level. I think now I can do ZERO for many reasons.....one, they are naturally the hardest exercise I ever did, period. Two, I've not been in an exercise program for almost a year now. Three, the cancer surgery. And four, the GBS. I hadn't realized how having numb fingers and feet would effect doing a push up. But when I tried doing that ONE last week, I wobbled and fell to the floor immediately, and I realized that since I can't feel my feet, and I lost my proprioception, my mind really couldn't tell that my feet really were holding up my legs... I couldn't feel WHAT my feet were doing......they could have been off in space somewhere. All I felt in the half-second or so that I was in the push-up position was that my stomach muscles couldn't handle it, my arms wobbled on my unfeeling hands, and I experienced fear as to what my feet were doing.
I'm ashamed of myself for not trying again since that failure last week, but I AM going to begin trying again, today.
My last and favorite of my previous daily rituals was the 10 point, one-leg balance routine. It had taken years to get to the level of doing that, so it is no surprise that I could not do it at all on the first day. I have continued to try everyday, and I can get into the first position for a few seconds until I lose balance, and strength, and have to put my foot down. But I keep at it and go on to the second position, and I get to it and wobble, then have to either put my leg back down, or have to reach my hand to a counter not to fall. I proceed like this through all ten positions, and I fail at them all, every day. But on most days I can see the smallest of improvements in some aspect or other. Maybe I can hold a position for another second or two before I wobble and put my foot down. Maybe I can do the pivot without holding onto furniture --for a brief second. Maybe I can extend the lifted leg higher. Overall, it's a complete failure of balance and strength and flexibility for my 10 point routine. But I am so happy that I am doing it again every day! I really used to love doing it. For some reason I would always do it in the kitchen. Whenever I'd have to be in the kitchen for a few minutes or so, probably waiting on the microwave, I would use that time to do the routine on each leg, and I loved it. I loved knowing I had the control and balance and strength and flexibility to do this. Soooooo, as pathetic and wobbly as my routine is now, I do actually love going through the ten points and at least TRYING them, and seeing some improvements. It will depend on my GBS whether I will ever be able to do it as perfectly as before.
While I am trying these various exercises, that is when I have my positive vibe going. But that's a small part of the day. Mostly I still feel like I'm in a holding pattern, and that is an unpleasant, depressing feeling.
PS-- has anyone heard from Susie/Straydog, since Hurricane Harvey? I am worried.
Post Edited (exqualls) : 9/4/2017 8:29:38 PM (GMT-6)