What I found, going to the gym, is that you start to feel really connected with your body, figuring out which bits do what things, stuff like that. Enjoy!
I often feel a psychological detachment from my body, a sort of disembodiment that comes from a loss of control I feel over my own health and wellbeing
Yes, I relate to that after decades of enduring chronic asthma and eczema.
By the way, most people are deficient in Vitamin D at this time of year when it is hard to get 20 minutes of sunlight on your skin every day. Vit D doesn't cure SAD but it can alleviate it, and lots of other winter conditions.
Thanks Chelle. As a (relatively) healthy able-bodied person, this is encouraging to me. It's interesting how these same things can hold us back, no matter our physical condition. I have a small thing which can cause enough pain and discomfort to make me feel a loss of control over many other things.
Definitely endorse Hilary's comment about Vit-D. Because of high UV levels New Zealanders don't get as much sunlight as they might otherwise, and vitamin D 3 and other sun synthesised hormones are often highly lacking. The further south you are, the more likely this is. Attempting to get sunlight and adding with supplementation is important for anyone, but particularly anyone with an immune condition. Interesting research suggests that depression itself is immune-linked.
I have read and re-read your post to try and extract a line or paragraph that stands out.
Everything you say is right on the mark.
Spina bifida carries with it multiple issues, which left unattended can lead to serious debillity on top of the disability.
For all these issues, regular exercise will be of enormous benefit.
Without causing emabarrasment (I was removed from another disability forum for discussing the 'yucky' issues faced by most with spinal cord impairment) you will find that body systems that have previously been less than cooperative will function (after a fashion) much more efficiently.
This will make you feel physically better, and cheer you up no end.
As the partner and fulltime carer of a tetraplegic, I speak with some authority on this. Lack of physical exertion for any amount of time can be fatal. Peter has always been a fit fellow, and needs little prompting to 'go for a push' to get some much needed excercise...especially after two or three rainy Bus- bound days! My job is to find a suitable environment, so he can waltz off by himself without needing extra help with curbs and the like. At home....no problem. When away in the Bus...we find that supermarkets and big hardware shops provide excellent wheelchair racetracks.
FYI, Kaitaia's main shopping street is the best outdoor wheelchair pushing surface of any town in NZ....no camber on the footpaths.
Peter is a C4/5, and if he broke his neck today, he would probably never have used a manual chair.
As it was, he HAD to learn to push a chair and HAD to learn balance and coordination.
His shoulders are knackered and he now uses e-motion wheels....oh boy, what an effort to get MOH funding for those!
We see people in powered chairs who need to do little to effect motion. All good for 'independant mobility' but absolute crap for maintaining fitness. Even if a manual chair is also supplied....how many actually give up the power chair to get some excercise?
Inertia is probably the biggest problem to overcome.
Overcoming inertia is hard when its cold and wet and the skies are dismal grey.
Just getting your butt to the gym would take serious commitment in the middle of winter.
On the Vit D thing...Peter will go and park with his clothed back to the sun (when its out!) for ten minutes or so for his daily dose. Also warms his muscles and his old bones.
He also spends a considerable amount of time out doors when its not raining, so even on a dull day he is getting a dose.
All the best Chelle....
Thank you. Yes, definitely finding that myself.
Thanks for that. Yes, I started taking vitamin D a couple of weeks ago. Hard to know whether it's helping but it can't hurt.
Thank you for your comment. It's interesting, the more I write about disability, the more I find that those without disabilities or those with disabilities completely different to mine can relate. I like that about sharing my experiences.
Really proud of you my friend! I don't feel so bad about all the times people glared at me for not pushing you up Kelburn Parade now (or for the time we got you up Bolton Street).
Keep on it - at a pace that doesn't hurt!
Thanks but you should still feel bad, Manda. Kidding. People glaring at you for not helping me was hilarious.
It’s interesting, the more I write about disability, the more I find that those without disabilities or those with disabilities completely different to mine can relate. I like that about sharing my experiences.
Its a really cool thing.
Russell, I just tried to 'like' or 'favourite' your reply. I think I may need an intervention. Consider this a cry for help.