Senior Health

Working Around Walking Challenges-Senior Health

man carrying backpack while walking on a paved pathway
Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

The other day, after talking to my physical therapist, I was very depressed. I learned that walking may be making my back issues worse. Since walking has been my relief from stress and provides multiple health benefits, even if I only do a certain amount most days, so it was overwhelming to get this news.

Ever since I was a child, I have used walking as my primary means of exercise. Honestly, it was how I got from point A to point B. We were a one car family and daddy was the only driver. If you needed to get somewhere you walked. Well, until I got my first bicycle with training wheels and graduated with those wheels coming off. Then, it rode that bike everywhere, even when I was too grown for it. You did what you had to do, but I digress. Back to walking.

It was nothing for my friends and I to walk miles every day. We saved our bus fare for school and walked so we had spending money for junk at the corner store on the way to school. It was a lot of fun to walk and kid around with friends and we didn’t think twice about the distance or the time. All those miles probably are what kept weight more down in those teen years when we ate pretty much what we wanted.

By the time I reached adulthood, I was well into walking and while it was nice to have public transportation, I still preferred a nice trek. I was 21 before I got my driver’s license and for work, I paid people to take me when I lived too far from the workplace. I did the same for junior college until I got a license and daddy let me drive the car since he needed my help by that time.

Hiking about the town and countryside was my joy. It was my place to commune with nature and release some of those natural frustrations with life. Much of anything that was bothering me got pounded out on the trails. By the time I was approaching 40 I was walking about 5 miles a day. It was an effort to work on physical and mental health, so I had a clear head to handle whatever came my way. It worked. I had energy, weight loss, mental clarity and was the happiest when in this mode.

Fast forward future and now past, when I was about 42, I had my second knee surgery. The first was when I was about 25 and needed to get my knee tightened up from multiple injuries which led to arthritis. The surgery in my 40s was experimental and rather extensive. It was not a joint replacement, but a rebuilding of the knee. It worked, and I could eventually walk again and even dance.

The effects of this surgery lasted for about 20 years and then I had to get a knee replacement. I should have gotten one sooner, but I wanted to be certain before going forward. The reason I say I probably should have gotten one sooner is because they found I was more progressed in the damage and would never get the range of motion that most knee surgery patients get.

What I hoped for was that I could walk more again. I had been doing a lot of swimming and lost weight before my surgery, which helped prepare and sped up my recovery. This was on the advice of a nurse friend who had undergone knee replacement. I eventually started doing some trail walking which is easier on the joints than walking on concrete. As I cannot get to the trails I have walked on the sidewalks in my community and used the gym at the clubhouse to walk, as well.

Last week, I went to physical therapy for an assessment and treatment plan. It is because of neck and spine pain because of arthritis and stuff. What I learned is that I would be better off using the exercise bike vs walking. I have been using the bike, but it’s not as fulfilling or balanced as walking. I spoke with my friend who has the Occupational Therapy experience and she suggested that I could still walk but go back to the trails. While it is more convenient to use the concrete walkways, it’s not helping my back issues because it tears me up and causes great pain. So, I will use the bike, use the gym and perhaps try the malls and do the trails as weather and logistics allow.

Another important fact to note is that I use trekking poles for trail walking, and these have been most helpful. There is an added benefit in workouts when you use these poles. I ordered mine online and they were very reasonable. My walking partner has a set, as well, due to having plantars fasciitis.

It depressed me to give up walking and I am glad I spoke with my OT friend about ways to work around the obstacles. I hope that with these adjustments that I can continue to walk. It won’t be in how I prefer, and nature gets second place, but there are ways around that too. It is more than likely that I will still be able to enjoy the local gardens and arboretums, just at a pace which allows me to enjoy the offerings without doing damage.

Growing older gracefully can be a challenge, but with some tweaking and help from my friends, I believe I can do this. Why not try, right?

I hope you could gain something from this and wish you will in your endeavors to exercise and gain healthy benefits. Perhaps you would like to share what you are doing to help your health and any obstacles which you would like to overcome.

This is based on my experience. For your own situation there may be other variables. It is always a great plan to consult with your health professional before embarking on health changes.

poetry, Poetry Forms

Stairway of Life

stairs grayscale photography
Photo by JorgeArturo Andrade on Pexels.com

Stairs, when young were fun
adventurous as we crawled, then
ran up oh so fast
at four, I tumbled downstairs
it was my first memory

funny thing about
stairs, how they take us up and
down we go again
it’s kind of like life, you know
there are ascents and descents

taking the first steps
is such a challenge to do
also, to observe
cajoling along the way
making sure they climb safely

once they are alone
taking their own steps, choices
going up and down
how we want to be there and hold
hands out like we’re banisters

letting them go free
is one of the toughest things
but oh, so vital
to watch their independence
wishing they would hold your hands

holding them in hearts
keeping watch and being there
just enough to show
they have got this, and they know
you are going to be there

then there comes a time
when you’re not so much around
and they’re on their own
then you trust that all you’ve done
is enough and hope it’s true

and before you know
they are helping someone else
crawling up those stairs
holding hands and guiding them
it’s the circle of dear life

when you are the one
who needs help as you ascend
trusting they will be
holding you close in their hearts
and the world moves at your pace

you will know the life
as the descent comes for sure
where the light still shines
from the glow of your most dear
as you make that final climb

 

TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – December 6

photo of string lights
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

WHAT!!! It’s December already! Well let’s get this decorated with some Thankfuls!!

1. Art – I was able to work on a watercolor at the senior meetup yesterday, while everybody made it to the lunch beforehand, they had other plans or go to chatting long after I left the restaurant, but no worries. I had the whole art room to myself and got some good headway on my secret project.

pexels-photo-1148998.jpeg
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

2. Music – I learned yesterday that signing show tunes could help with Alzheimer’s. While I am a bit skeptical, but I do know that learning new things is great mind stimulation, I am trying to broaden my musical choices. I don’t think this has to be exclusive to show tunes and that’s a good thing because I know few. Daddy sang country music around the house, usually at night, while we were growing up. Later in life, post Alzheimer’s, he was more interested in country gospel and sang with some others at the assisted living. He did not pass from Alzheimer’s, but his cognitive understanding seemed to be later in onset than what you typically see. So, maybe there is something to this.

inktober ring day 1
Prompt: Ring

3. I Write Her Challenge is back up and running, thanks to Susi Bocks, the prolific writer who keeps us going with haiku and senryu ekphrastic interpretations. Here is this weeks: Circle of Life

4. I do not own a car, so therefore the calls I keep getting about my car warranty getting ready to expire are easy to delete from voicemail. I am thankful I don’t have to worry about my car warranty.

5. I also do not have charge cards, so therefor the calls I keep getting about my VISA credit card are not important. Whew am I ever so thankful for that!

6. I am thankful that I qualify for Medicare and that I have this insurance. And I am thankful they never call me.

7. 8. My brain scan came out perfect! And I am thankful that there are shots to help with the spine and I get round two on those this week and that they give me happy medicine to prep.

9. Angel Card Project is going and we have over 30 cards sent so far. Want to help? Go here:Angel Card Project

10. And now it is time for you to join in and share your cheer! Why not jump in?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=d1626941e732cbb79b50

Good Works

Angel Card Project is Up and Running and Needs You

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What is the Angel Card Project?

As quoted from the Facebook page: “The Angel Card Project is an internet wide charity event that allows people the opportunity to give a little something back during the holidays. It’s your chance to make a difference in the life of someone who is hurting or less fortunate than yourself by volunteering to send Christmas Cards!”

Who can participate?

Anyone who has the time to fill out one or more cards to send to participants on the list.

We make it a family, and this year-extended family-event. Ladies are a group home created the cards, we at our home addressed and put messages in the cards and provided the stamps. So far, we are at over 30 and plan to do more today. Cards don’t have to cost and arm and a leg and you can create your own. Who doesn’t like homemade pretties?

Is there any cost involved?

You are responsible for purchasing your cards and stamps. It’s up to you if you want to do anything else for the recipients. There is information about some recipients and you can, but DO NOT HAVE TO respond. We have been doing this for a few years and have send cards and nothing else. The cheer it brings is enough for those who don’t normally get cards and/or are going through hard times.

Where do I sign up?

Right here: Angel Card Project Web Page

You can also join the Facebook Page but don’t have to: Angel Card Project Facebook Page

What happens after I sign up?

Since the lists are already up and ready, you will get an email with the lists of recipients and can get started right away. Before you send your cards send the numbers of how many you are sending to the page. Mark likes to keep track of how many people get cards. He has the whole system set up efficiently.

Thank you for considering participation in this important project.

poetry

Cupids Circling

close up photo of flowers on a person s left foot
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Cherubs run the place, lining up their arrows, careful not to blow their cover.

In total innocence is how they wish to keep their pursuits, sweetly unaware of any shenanigans.

Rounding the globe and looking for ways to reach all who they can in their circuit.

Careful not to split hairs and always looking to make toes curl, knowing life must go on.

Leaving it to chance is simply not any fun and so many depend on more than their common senses.

Easing their way about, the know that in the end, it’s really full circle with the target of the heart.

…..

There you have it! This is my response to the Six Sentence Story prompt from dear Denise. Won’t you join us? Go to the LINK and give it a go!