My Role as a Physical Therapist

Personally, I have never been good at exercising.  I hate it.  I might feel much better if I stayed with it a while but I’m so out of shape that I feel awful doing it.  Not so, for Lynn.  He has always been good about doing some type of exercise almost every day. The major difference now is that I have to help him with it. Therefore, one of my many roles in caring for Lynn is to be his personal physical therapist.
For anyone, but especially people who have conditions that produce fatigue, keeping conditioned is essential to conserving energy.  If the muscles don’t work efficiently, it takes a lot more energy to do the simple tasks of everyday life.   Lack of stimulation to the muscle groups causes them to become de-conditioned which require more oxygen and other support from the body to make them work correctly.  When Lynn was in the hospital so much in 2010, he was told that for every day of inactivity (i.e., being confined to bed) he experienced, it would take approximately a week to regain what was lost due to deconditioning. He found that to be true to a large extent.  It has taken him years to build back up much of the strength he lost during those three hospitalizations and some of it has never returned to the same level.
There is not a whole lot you can do to prevent the progression of MS; however, if you keep fit you’re more likely to be able to maintain greater strength and endurance than if you are out of shape.  Lynn does not want to give up and let me do everything for him.  He wants some control over his condition so exercising is both a mental triumph as well as a physical one. Here’s some of what he does.
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2 thoughts on “My Role as a Physical Therapist”

  1. Each of us does the best he/she can at the time. You cannot second guess what might have happened either way. He’s well now and walking fine. His earthly limitations were just a temporary inconvenience in the overall scope of eternity. Take care, Abbie.

  2. Bill and I had the same problem with insurance that you and Lynn have as far as physical therapy is concerned. When Bill reached a plateau after his strokes, and his therapy was discontinued, his occupational therapist gave us some exercises we could do together at home, but he didn’t seem interested. In the bathroom, he used a pole to support himself by holding onto it with his good hand while I pulled up his pants after he did his business. The pole was against a wall so I tried using my body as a standing frame to hold him against the wall, but he couldn’t stand for more than a minute and eventually gave up on that. I now wonder if I took more time to push him, he might have maintained some of his functionality and might still be alive today, but I still believe I did the best I could, and I have to believe he’s in a better place now where he can walk and do the things he used to do before his strokes.

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