Tuesday, June 2, 2015

There is always hope

... but occasionally even that is challenged

My optimism was tested this spring. For those who are followers of this blog, you know I don’t normally like to write about these things. Yet, these last few months have been another learning experience that needs to be shared.

  •  As I mentioned, in mid-February my neck muscles gave out and with it there was a lot of discomfort. In the 3½ months following, I learned a lot about this new nuisance.
  • Around the same time, I hyper-extended my elbows while performing my long exercise program. I have done it in the past, so I had already modified my exercise routine to minimize the possibility of it happening again. I was wrong.
  • In early March my leg strength went way south on me. I was experiencing days where transferring was very difficult to almost impossible to accomplish and I didn’t feel safe standing. About now, I am becoming worried. My usual overly positive attitude was being tested.
  • Within a few days of the leg strength issues appearing, I aggravated my lower back. I am assuming it is because I struggled so much trying to transfer and stand.
  • Before I could ask, “What next,” my hands went from weak to clubs. I couldn’t hold onto anything. I used two hands to shave and brush my teeth and found even that difficult. 
  • In late April, I woke up to the coup de gras. My upper body muscles also went south. My arms gave out on me while trying to perform my standing exercises. I went down, but fortunately, I wasn’t injured. I had to reduce my long exercise program from 90+ minutes to less than 60 minutes (and even found that difficult).  
  • I found myself learning new ways to use leverage in my daily routines. It was frustrating.
  • Along with all of this happening, the discomfort (I hate to say the words aches and pain) had increased. The cracks in my optimism were now a breach. I don’t ever remember being tested on all fronts at one time.

Then, just when I began to wonder if things could get worse, I woke up to a new day
This slide is over!

  • May 22 - My leg strength started to recover first and, within days, I was back to my full leg exercise program without any difficulties. This change alone turned my waning optimism around. With the improved leg strength, my back problems diminished and are now totally gone.
  • Within days my neck muscles showed improvement. The aching also dissipated. It is not back to what it was in January, but it is something I can more comfortably live with.
  • Then my upper body strength improved. It also feels like they are close to pre-slide levels once again.
  •  Hand strength has improved, but along with my neck, they have seen the least improvement.

It has been almost two weeks since the slide ended and some of the strength returned. I feel like a new man. I am also so thankful for the end of the slide and the partial return of my muscles. 

I have mentioned the blessing of having Kennedy’s Disease over so many other conditions because of the slow progression. This 'February through May' challenge was my most difficult one yet. During the downhill race, I was finding it difficult to imagine ‘living with Kennedy’s Disease’ every day in the condition I was in this spring. Yes, there is still HOPE!

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