The Rehab Saga: Bendie Knees, OT’s and Carrot Cake.

I’m going to start this post with something from last night. I got chatting with the lovely lady in the bed next to me last night, we got on well so we added each other on facebook. After a little bit of snooping she realised that we actually have 5 friends in common! Not (as you might think) friends with similar medical issues but the members of the East anglian Parkour, Bocking, Gymnastics scene! Turns out she used to hang out with (and train with) my future brother in law and she’d even met my boyfriend before! How random is that!!

Anyway back to this morning, I was up bright and early this morning, I felt pretty good so I got up and dressed and had breakfast (I brought my own cereal this week, GF cornflakes get really boring really quickly!) I got dressed and packed up my essential stuff before self propelling down to outpatients for the morning stretch class. I made it down with a few minutes to spare so I chatted then started working on waking up my muscles. After some gentle stretching I was feeling pretty damn good. My second session was with my OT, we went over my concerns about this afternoons cooking session and talked about my return to uni and what my timetable is going to be like etc, she offered to write me a supportive letter for uni, hopefully I won’t need one since all of my lecturers are OT’s too!

My next session was physio, we looked at proprioception today. I’m not very good at it! y first exercise was looking at my knee hyperextension, using resistance bands I’m learning where to stop so I don’t hyperextend my knees when standing.  I also spent some time sat on a gym ball so that my physio could have a look at my ankle stability and proprioception. When sat on a gym ball with my feet on the floor, the main reason I wobble is because my ankles are so unstable, I really thought I’d end up on the floor when he asked me to close my eyes and try! I didn’t luckily lol!

I’ve got a few more exercises to do and I’m planning on getting a gym ball at the weekend so I can continue my core work.

Session number 3 was back on the ward so I whizzed off down the hills back to Jubilee. The session was an introduction to relaxation. I didn’t think I’d learn much if anything since I lead relaxation on my last placement and I use it regularly anyway. The session was actually very good and the review of the ”flight or flight” response and how the autonomic system works (or doesn’t work in some cases!)

We finished with time to spare before lunch so I spent a while with one of the other ladies on the ward. She’d been having some trouble with her manual wheelchair so after she’s whizzed up the hill in my chair to try the power assist wheels I looked at her chair and got out my tool kit. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at wheelchair tinkering now and my OT training helped. We adjusted her chair to fit her postural needs much better and she’s doing really well self propelling now 😀 *High Five if you’re reading this my lovely*

After some wheelchair tinkering and racing around the ward we had lunch and I gathered up my cooking stuff. I headed down to outpatients with a lap full of cake ingredients and managed not to drop anything lol!

I used to bake a lot but since developing PoTS (over a year ago) I’d basically given it up, the combination of heat intolerance and not being able to stand for very long made cooking very difficult. I now have a perching stool and my PCM cool vest but I still didn’t feel like I could do it and worried I’d get half way through a recipe and flop.

I decided to challenge myself so along with one of the Therapy techs I set out to make my GF Carrot & Cinnamon cake 🙂

She helped remind to to pace and to change positions, alternating between sitting and standing and taught a nifty trick for using a perching stool up against the counter, open the bottom cupboards and put your legs in the cupboard! none of that awkward sideways perching!

Anyway after some faffing I made it! (well two small cakes as supposed to one big one) I also whipped up some Cinnamon butter icing for the top. I ended up spending a few hours down there chatting and waiting for the cake to cook, then cool enough to ice it. The end result is pretty good is I do say so myself! I’ve shared pieces with a few people now and the feedback is overwhelmingly good 🙂 I’m also not too knackered so I think I’m going to be making more cake from now on. Mission Accomplished.

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The final session of the day was ‘Pain’ and we looked at the differences between chronic and acute pain as well as the reasons for pain in general. We looked at what can happen when the body becomes caught up in a pain cycle and covered the basics of ‘Central Sensitisation’ It was a pretty good session, very informative.

By this point I was pretty knackered and a little PoTSy so I flopped out in bed until dinner time. After dinner I adjusted the breaks on my wheelchair and then nattered and chatted to various people on the ward. I’ve had a shower and washed my hair and that’s quite enough activity for one day!

Ciao for now folks!

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