Sunday, April 02, 2017

Helping Joe By Helping Me

I'm glad I started weight lifting.

Now don't think of me as anything more than a sit in the wheelchair and lift 25 pound dumbbells 30 reps, 10 at a time, in 8 different ways kind of guy. That's for me, weight lifting. But besides the benefit of being able to push myself further and further and up steeper ramps, there's another benefit.

A few days ago Joe started to complain about pain in his shoulder. He's got a doctors appointment all set up to check it out, but until then I decided that he would no longer load my wheelchair in or take it out of the trunk. I would take over that duty.

We arranged for me to do this in an underground parking lot with no one around. I didn't want to fall or look foolish in front of an audience. I needed to learn how to pick the chair up, how to position my body, how to get the car from trunk to ground and all without falling over myself. The first time wasn't pretty. The second time still wasn't pretty but it was effective.

So it's been a few days now that Joe has been able to completely rest his shoulder and that I've been getting the chair out of the car. I'm still a bit clumsy doing it, but I do it. The strength isn't the problem, it's the ballet movements involved in positioning and lifting, that's the issue for me.

Today Joe said his shoulder was feeling slightly better. I was so pleased. He's still going to see the doctor to check it out, but I felt that I was actively helping him to heal.

He does so much for me, it's nice that in doing for myself I'm doing for him.

It's nice to have the strength to make this an option.

Balance would be another thing, but there aren't weights to lift for that!


Glee said...

Keep practicing that crip ballet Dave. Practice makes perfect and eventually easier too.

Unknown said...

Great stuff Dave and I'm sure helping Joe and doing it for yourself was a wonderful feeling of achievement.
When I saw you in March, I had just completed a six week balance class. I'd been referred by my Neuro Consultant. The other 2 participants were recovering from a serious stroke. At the end of the 6 weeks I had a programme to follow. It has helped........

Unknown said...

Good on you, Dave. And glad that Joe's shoulder is healing.

Shan said...

Good stuff, Dave & Joe.

I've got shoulder problems (and now, carpal tunnel syndrome) from overuse and I can tell you (though I realize you know this), the pain is pretty severe.

I recently saw a therapy video on YouTube and the presenter remarked that when people experience hand pain, it very often translates to reduced activity and a downturn in fitness...very much the case for me, as I haven't been able to grip anything or hold anything heavy (i.e., over a few pounds) in several years...I pushed it too far and didn't rest it at all, when it first started happening, and now the smallest "work" can result in such agony. Like the other day I was putting my toothbrush down on the counter, and I swivelled my wrist the wrong way, I guess -- oh, the pain. Threw me off for 12 hours. I can't believe how much this shoulder, wrist, and hand pain has affected the rest of my life.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're able to do that, Dave. Nice to help with what you can. And, yes, in all likelihood, you'll get stupidly good at getting your chair in and out of the trunk.

About once a month, I get an infusion at a hospital with a valet service. I've taught many a valet that, while loading things for patients may generally be part of their job, some prefer to load their own things and those people are going to be much better and quicker about it. In my own car. Easy loading was a major factor when I got my PT Cruiser (low, lipless lift-gate with mostly vertical storage) and I'm extremely practiced with her -- so if it comes to loading my chair in another car, I'm little better than a novice!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It's wonderful to be able to do something you couldn't previously. I have read about studies that show that strength training actually does help with balance, though, so perhaps your weight lifting will continue to have effects beyond the anticipated.