Paul Makepeace ;-)

May 27, 2005

Woohoo, a shower!

Posted in: Injury Time

As it approaches the two week anniversary of my injury I have finally been out of bed! Not only that I was fortunate enough to have a proper shower! Each day I wash myself with these "semi-disposable" wipes, a dishbowl of warm soapy water, and a fair amount of contorting. Today Azar (fast becoming my favourite nurse) and I braved the shower...

This involves getting into a sort of wheelchair called a commode which also doubles as a portable loo. She wheeled me into the shower room and then we had to perform this complex manoeuvre to get out of the wheelchair, onto a padded stool in the shower up a step, shift along on the stool to the shower itself, then onto a chair in the shower itself down another step, all while of course taking care not to slip.

Let's put it this way - I think without a fair bit of upper body strength and the bit of static gymnastics I've done it would have been much harder. As it was it was fairly tricky, and slightly tiring. But god sooo worth it! I've been using this dry aerosol shampoo, well really only a couple of times, and it's mostly worked. That, being in a clean environment, and not exercising's meant my hair's actually pretty presentable, not at all obvious it hasn't been washed in two weeks. It makes ya think how much skank is in the city air.

What would've made a huge difference would have been having rings or bars to hang from. I wish there were rings/bars above my bed, not just for exercise (a luxury) but to simply move around and turn. It is amazingly difficult moving about on an air mattress when you can't use your feet as pivots.

The other advantage of from having a shower it turns out is it gives the nurses a chance to properly make a new bed rather than this fiddly poking sheets around business while I roll back and worth.

Sun's out, bed's fresh, and I'm all clean! Woohoo!

Muscular atrophy

Another first in two weeks was getting to myself in a full length mirror. Mostly it all looks pretty intact, apart from one obvious change: my calves have become really wasted :-( It seems like even with minimal stimulus the muscles around my body are retaining shape and size, but for the one set that get to do nothing at all all day, my calves, they've dramatically shrunk.

So I have to figure out some way of getting them to do something but so far with my stretch bands haven't managed it. All I've seemed to have achieved is tensing them while I'm lying in bed (can't tell for sure how much is soleus and how much gastrocnemius?). I guess that's better than nothing. I wonder about those electrical stimulation devices? I asked the physio about them but she was quite cagey, to do with if she gave me one everyone in similar situations would want one. That's encouraging I suppose as it at least tacitly validates their usefulness. I think you can pick up a basic set from Argos...

I've started doing other exercises, crunches, pushups (tricky on an air mattress!), shoulder presses with stretch bands, leg raises, leg drops against stretch bands, trunk twists. Kind of hard to be motivated to do this when it's 25°C and you end up lying in your own sweat after. Generally keeping it light for that reason, just enough to remind the machinery what it'll be up to properly when I'm up.

I'm hoping like crazy I can put serious load on my feet and ankles in the not too distant future. I really really miss heavy weights leg work *pout*.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at May 27, 2005 11:31 | TrackBack

when you're better, look into pilates for isolating muscles and see an active release therapist to make sure your ligaments/muscles dont atrophy in the wrong position.

Posted by: k0re at June 1, 2005 21:57
Post a comment

Remember personal info?