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  #61  
Old 04-13-2016, 03:38 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Just a quick update on my walking. I am post surgery five weeks at this point, still wearing the sling 24/7, and still staying very close to home, with twice weekly visits to PT for my passive ROM exercises of the shoulder, and an occasional dinner out/movie. I'm continuing to do my inside circuit, but at Herb's insistence, I've added additional time outside walking around my complex. It has some gentle hills. I obviously cannot use my trekking poles (which I often use when I'm doing dedicated walking), so this has a very different feel for me. It's a good challenge for me, as I think it's making me work my core more.(Could this be?) Especially the right side which is the problematic side to strengthen. The walking that I do inside is without a cane at all, and I'm beginning to suspect that this also is having me work my core a lot to keep my balance and negotiate turns.

I've been doing the inside circuit now for a few weeks pretty much on a daily basis(one can get very bored being at home for so long!) I think I've seen some improved strength on my core from this.... Very subtle as most improvements are for me, but improvement. My big push at this point is to keep increasing my distance/time when I walk either inside or out as I know I have lost stamina/endurance. When I have been increasing these, my body has, for the most part, favorably responded, so I'm hopeful that I'll continue to gain and not lose. I'm going to just keep on truckin' !
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  #62  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:27 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Walking is a challenge. My office has moved to home because of a hospital merger which meant we lost our office. Consequently, I walk less. I found I had less stamina after a winter of home based work so this year I plan to change that. Even if the weather is inclement, I will walk up and down my hallway. It always is better after a swim so I will incorporate a walk post swim. I started yesterday with 2 times in my hallway and will increase it as time goes on. I also use y pool for water walking.

Any other suggestions?

Teena Marie
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  #63  
Old 09-10-2016, 08:19 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Teena Marie, I was coming on the forum now to make a report on this thread and was so happy to see yours. This thread seems to die off at times, and I think it is just an indication of how walking is such a challenge for so many of us. First off, I have great empathy for you now working from home. It is good news/bad news as I see it, as I also often work from home ( not constantly as I think you are reporting here..) Your plan to walk wherever/whenever you can is a good one, and I think it will help you increase your stamina and distance in time. It did for me when I was sidelined after the surgery. I was strongly advised by Herb to also get outside to walk, as the terrain is varied, and adds a needed challenge. So I would suggest you see about finding a way to do that too, before the weather settles in for winter. Do you walk with an aid? A cane, or trekking pole/poles? I have just realized that I walk much more upright, and seem better balanced when I use a single trekking pole ( I have Urban Poling’s Activators…).

This all just came into my focus this past week when I was on such a wonderful vacation visiting several of the US South West National Parks. I used my cane for the trip out, then had the poles which I figured I would need for any little hikes that I wanted to try. What happened was that I really could only use a pole with my left arm as the right one was triggering the rotator cuff which is still healing. So, I thought that I would suffer using just one, but found that this was the best bout of walking that I have done in I don’t know how long.

Each day I broke a PR here, and was delighted to see the “distances” that I covered at the end of the day. I was able to get on and off the shuttle around the Grand Canyon, and take parts of each trail there, recover, and walk well to and from dinner. We visited Antelope Slot Canyon, and I didn’t realize that (1) outside the canyon it is all very soft sand, and (2) one has to WALK through this narrow canyon. I was momentarily afraid of what would happen if I couldn’t do it, but then just went for it. One of the guides, who I asked how far it was inside, jokingly said “2 miles”, then saw the look of terror on my face, and changed that to “about a tenth of a mile…” With the single pole this was totally doable, and I did not even feel that I desperately needed to sit down. I think I would have been more fatigued with the cane, especially through the soft sand…. I found my walking more stable, was able to continually get good heal strikes, and had a pretty even stride.

There was only one day of the seven total days of vacation when my walking was off. This was at Bryce Canyon, and I was disappointed initially with my just not getting a good stride going, had lots of foot-drop like steps, and just quickly had motor fatigue. Now, the weather was quite hot, and I was attempting a trail that while it was the easier of the two offered, had an incline that just did me in. I thought that maybe that I had reached my peak for the entire trip, but was very pleasantly surprised the next day when, at Zion, I was able to walk on an easy trail with very little elevation change for about a full mile.This included going off the trail over sanding/rocky terrain to get closer to the river. And when finished, I still had gas in the tank to continue to walk around the area, still using good form, and not feeling leg fatigue.

The friend I was traveling with also was very aware of my daily distance and stamina being much more than what I did back home. Now, I credit the single pole with helping me stay more upright, but also have to factor in that I escaped the dreaded humidity of the North East, was drinking water like crazy due to the altitude, had no work stress hanging over me, and had great motivation of seeing such beautiful country to spur me on. Whatever it was, I loved it.

Our trip ended in Vegas, which I didn’t give two hoots about, and was a bit fearful of the long walks within the hotel that everyone spoke of. Well, even THAT didn’t defeat me, but after dinner in the hotel, my friends were going out to take in all the glitz, and I just logged in more steps back to the room where I happily congratulated, and thanked, my dear legs for serving me well. Also kept looking at the total of steps I walked each day and did a mental Happy Dance… Now I have to find a way to keep that step count up!
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Last edited by ActiveMSers; 09-11-2016 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Broke into more paragraphs to make the post easier to read
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  #64  
Old 09-11-2016, 12:53 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Veronica, great news on your walking. I travelled your route for my honeymoon so I know exactly the terrain. It sounds like you did so well. I agree about getting outside and navigating different terrain and that is part of the plan. What I meant was when it is too hot or icy, etc, I would use my interior space for training. I use 2 sidestix crutches for walking. My biggest obstacles to smooth and fluid gait are left foot drop and weak left hip flexor. I will continue to persevere.

Teena Marie
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  #65  
Old 09-13-2016, 01:41 PM
jjmagpin jjmagpin is offline
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Default Walking

Veronica/Teena Marie,

Thanks for posting your conversation.
I am interested in improving my walking. I was diagnosed in 2006 with RRMS and my walking has gotten worse. I used to run marathons and played/coached a lot of hockey. My MS keeps me sidelined from both. What do you use when you walk. (i.e.) what is the most effective brace or assistive device that you use? Currently I use trekking poles/walking sticks but I am assuming that their must be something better. I am going to have an assessment for the walk aid system next week.
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  #66  
Old 09-14-2016, 11:57 AM
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ActiveMSers ActiveMSers is online now
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jjmagpin, your answer is forearm crutches. They work wonders. When trekking poles no longer offered enough support I switched. An amazing difference. I review them here:

http://activemsers.org/gear/reviewforearmcrutches.html
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  #67  
Old 09-14-2016, 12:51 PM
Suebee Suebee is offline
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Default Any retail forearm crutch showrooms out there?

Dave, do you know if there are retail locations to try out these forearm crutches? My PT this year had me try walking sticks to see how I did, and I exerted a lot of energy swinging. Although it helped my balance, my arms got incredibly fatigued and my core started to falter. Also it wasn't able to let me shift enough weight from my hips to pole. PT said forearm crutch allowed for better transfer of weight and would help take pressure of my my weak hip flexors and core but she said they generally don't like to prescribe forearm crutches to someone who can stand unassisted and has leg movement to walk because they think walking sticks are better. I went to medical supply store to try a forearm crutch and all they had was a very clunky utilitarian type forearm model. The sales person adjusted the height for me but it felt very awkward and it didn't seem like it would make me more mobile. Is this a typical scenario for MS patients that can walk but fatigue easy? I can stand unassisted but I walk much less because i tire quickly and my hips will hurt for days afterwards. This has caused a deconditioning cycle for me. It got much worse after my surgery last year, so the person who said walking is important after surgery is spot on. Any ideas?
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  #68  
Old 09-14-2016, 05:03 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Fantastic Veronica, simply amazing! Ive been using a cane more than a pole lately but based on your experience here, I think I'll switch back to the pole more often. Interestingly I can relate to nearly everything you brought up. I also prefer one pole to two on relatively flat surfaces. And I also find inclines are by far the most fatiguing circumstances for walking and it doesn't seem to matter whether it's with one pole or two. The one time I found two poles to be an advantage was on highly irregular ground. Your ability to recover and continue walking is truly remarkable, I need to work on that.

Are you using any kind of orthotic?

Glad you had such a successful trip.

Larry
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  #69  
Old 09-14-2016, 11:09 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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I had a little insight into maybe why the walking was so good on the trip. What fatigues me often when home and working, are all the stop and starts of walking around an office, or home and side steps of preparing meals, cleaning, etc. I didn't have these to contend with during the week, also didn't drive at all ( I drive a stick, so I am using both feet, and I drive alot for work...) And maybe the Biotin kicked in?? Still feeling pretty strong with the walking, but evening leg fatigue has gotten back to what it was before the trip. I certainly kept up my stretching while away, but I do that also at home. So who really knows? I am seeing my PT this Friday and plan on walking to and from his office ( a long walk from the parking garage) with the single pole to continue to test my theory...

And to answer your question Larry, I do not use any orthotic with the exception of a night splint when I sleep.
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  #70  
Old 09-15-2016, 12:38 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Hi all,

Suebee, I use Sidestix forearm crutches. I remember when purchased, there was a 30 day trial with money back guarantee.
Jmigpin, I alsų use musmate to help pull my leg forward and help with footdrop. http://www.musmate.co.uk/index.php?r...tegory&path=33

I am walking more. One good session indoors and another outside. Both felt good. To be continued.

Teena Marie
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