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Satisfying week - kicking goals and educating others



So it was one of those weeks, I'm a bit tired but feeling very satisfied.


It was a big walking week. I'm getting in practice/training for a mediterainian cruise holiday. I want to be able to make the most of the shore trips, so I've been doing progression walking training for the last 3 months. I pushed too hard early on but we are now getting to the pointy end and I did pretty well with the load this week. And as well as meeting 95% of my walking goals over the week, I did the barbell deadlift with 20kg on the bar, not quite a post stroke PB but getting close.


Using the wrist wrap on the left (bad) hand makes it possible to lift over 15kg safely. I use the spacticity in the finger flexors to hold the bar and keep the wrap tight. Without the wrap the fingers fatigue and by the 8th rep the left hand is not gripping any more so my trainer has to be ready to catch, but with the wraps on that doesn't happen as the shoulder and legs are taking the weight and the hand just has to keep hold of the wrap so it can't slip.


I've been working on hopping and jumping this year and Monday night we progressed to jumping up/onto and down/off the lifting platform. Which is about 2inches (5-6cm) high. It's a large enough area, that I don't have to worry about positioning the landing, just making sure I clear the toes on the edge, and land the weight evenly. When jumping down, we measured distance moved forward and I got just over a foot (30 cms), which is enough that if I'm feeling silly this summer I might even try jumping into the swimming pool from the edge.


Then on Wednesday night we upped my obstacle course to 2 lots of 16 minutes. The obstacle course has been part of my walking progression and trip preperation. The trainers put together a range of things on the floor of the gym studio and then get me to move over around and through them. Testing both my physical and my mental stamina. They use aerobic steps, ropes, squishy mats, boxes, weight plates, tyres, etc. Whatever is around, and sometimes I have to dribble the soccer ball around things and sometimes I have to step over or onto things in patterns. When we started it 5 minutes was my limit. and I got a ful minute real rest between sets. This week it was a 2 minute "rest", but during that rest I was doing hamstring curls lying on the floor. The step backwards from high to low leading on the left foot is by far the hardest, but I can now usually do it.


The other one that felt really good this week was spending a morning with the third year OT students at ACU (Australian Catholic University). Being a practical example for their community neurological assesment tasks. This is part of their practical examinations. They have to do an assesment and prepare a management plan for a neuroligical patient. For some of them it's the first time they meet a person with a neurological deficit. It depends on where they ended up for thier clinical placements. So it's a chance to explain how stroke affects you and to ask for help with particular tasks if you need it. I had to rack my brain to find things for them to work on. But it was good for them to see and feel the reality of a spastic arm/hand. and to show them what can be done on a practical level for living with the dud hand. I think it's important to put real examples in front of them rather than just relying on what the text books say. AS we know the reality of this thing is in many ways not in the books.


So that was this week.



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yep I was at the Melbourne Campus.  It was on the day we had both a tram and taxi driver's strike.  So there were 3 of us that missed the start time and they had to give the students extra time because of the late start.  On the plus side.  It meant I chose to walk home (easier than trying to find a taxi) so that made it easy to meet the walking goal for the day. 

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OMG!  Sounds like a hectic week, Heather!!!  I envy you the Mediteranean cruise.  Last time I was in the Mediteranean was in 1972, when Jules and I spent about 6 weeks on the islands of Ios, Skiathos and Mykonos (nude beaches on all three....but that's another story!) :D .

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