Location: Pocatello, ID
No, not exercising. But, as a result of consistent exercise, I have experienced a return of some strength, which led me to over-do-it yesterday.
My wife went back to work last week to make some money to cover back-2-school supplies and christmas this year. Once her training is over she will only work 20-30 hours, but training is 40 hours a week for the first 5 weeks. After watching her get up at 5 a.m., work til 3, then come home and dust, vaccuum, do laundry, cook dinner, and do dishes, I decided to surprise her and help out around the house.
I did dishes twice last week. This is a lesson in adaption. It involves, me, a bar stool, the dishes and the sink. 1) I fill the sink with soapy water. 2) I put a bar stool in front of the sink. 3) I sit on the stool. 4) I put the dishes into the soapy water. 5) I rest my forearms on the counter. 6) With butt securely on the seat and arms supported by the counter, I pick up one dish at a time, wash, and place in the rinse sink. 7) When rinse sink is full, I get up off the bar stool. 8) I move the bar stool a couple of inches until it is in front of the rinse sink. 9) Reposition myself as described above, rinse the dishes and put them on towel to dry. 10) Repeat until all dishes are washed. 11) Take some Ibuprofen and sit in the recliner to rest.
I also did laundry twice last week. This is also somewhat involved. 1) Have child(ren) carry full hampers downstairs to laundry room. 2) Carefully navigate down the stairs, securely holding railing, with other arm braced on wall, and forward foot firmly on lower step before lifting rear foot. 3) Direct child(ren) to put different colors of clothes into piles. 4) Direct child(ren) to remove clean clothes from dryer and take into family room 5) Move clothes from washer to drier. 6) Have child(ren), hand me clothes from one pile to put into washer. 7) Add detergent. 8) Turn on washer. 9) Shuffle into family room. 10) Sit on chair in front of TV, because remote is lost. 10) Turn on TV. 11) Change channel. 12) Move from chair to couch. 13) Place clothing on couch and fold with minimal lifting of arms. 14) Rest and watch TV until drier stops. 15) Call 16 year old son. 16) Have teenage son help pull me off the couch. 17) Repeat process until laundry is done.
So, Shanna worked on Monday, then had a meeting from 6:30 - 8:30 Monday night. No dishes or laundry got done. Tuesday, I saw all of the work that she would have to do when she got home. So, I decided to do the dishes and with the kids help, the laundry. I also decided to have my 16 year old son dust, windex, and vaccuum the living room. Then, grandma called and invited the children to spend the day with her. Needless to say, I was then left with a dilemna. There was not help in the house and all the work was still left to be done. And, with pride swelling greatly, I jumped in. It took me 4 hours to do what would have be an hour/hour and a half tops for my wife (I take a lot more breaks), but I did it all! And then while showering afterward, I cramped up! It felt like every muscle in my body was rebelling! I dried as best I could, went to my room and fell onto the bed in one, tight, painful ball. Thank heaven for Icy/Hot, body massagers, and heat pads. Needless to say, last night was a crampfest also.
Also, needless to say, my wife was not pleased to come home and find me that way. I was not pleased to have let my pride push me that hard. And I have humbly promised not to "help" anymore.
I wonder if I can keep that promise.
Jim, that is an inspiring story. I admire your courage and determination as you battle against this disease.
I hope your wife appreciates the help too! (lol)
One last thought, about the cramps. Have you talked to your doctor about whether there is some medication or stretching program that might help? Elsewhere in these forums, I have read about quinine, GABA, and gabapentin which some people use to relieve cramps and muscle pain. For my part, I have found that stretching and avoiding salty foods both help a lot in avoiding cramps. Your doctor might be able to connect you to a physical therapist who could teach you to stretch safely and effectively.
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614