What a day! Well so I went to Neuroworx for my weekly work out. I mostly am working out posterior shoulder muscles, but I do some biceps too. My biceps are already pretty strong though so we want to catch my other muscles up.
Three random thoughts from today. My experience there today.
#1. The last two times I went I was the only non-staff there (It’s an after-hours program). But this time there was a guy named Barry(sp?) who I actual met way back five years ago when I went for a short while. Barry is on his 16th year as a quad, making it over half his life now. He is pretty much the same muscle picture as me, except he’s actually got a small functional bit of triceps now. But anyway, he has been independent with transfers (before he had trace triceps) since about five years out. Which means, if I’m understanding all the relevant factors correctly, I could be too.
Me and Barry were talking afterwards, and he asked if I’d thought of getting in a manual chair. Let me back up, five years ago when I first went to Neuroworx for a while, I was struggling a ton with orthostatic hypotention (low blood pressure, particularly while sitting up). I had a chest binder and tedhos and everything we could think of, and if I tried to exert myself physically even for like two minutes, I’d get super lightheaded and my muscles would burn from lack of oxygen. Now, my blood pressure is MUCH more stable. Today I went and did 15 minutes of cardio, and three sets of five different exercises all of which made the muscle in use burn enough that I couldn’t do another rep. My blood pressure is definitely more stable now. So when Barry mentioned a me being in a manual chair, this is the first time the thought entered my mind in a “you know what, that’s actually a possibility!” way.
However, I asked him what the benefits of manual chair vs power chair are, and he basically said “you just get to move more, keep your heart going, better quality of life.” I still am a bit skeptical about the worth-it-ness of the manual chair. I have experienced first-hand how exerting myself physically does just seems to release feelings of happiness and usefulness. And so if wheeling around all day just that effect as a bi-product I can see the appeal. I guess I’m just a bit skeptical about the consistency of that, or the potency. I feel like sporty people just seem to get more a sense of fulfillment just because they’re doing something physical in general. As a non sporty type, working out just for the sake of working out doesn’t make as much sense. Although as mentioned I have been experiencing the appeal, and so it’s making more sense. Part of my mind just isn’t convinced that making my life more difficult in various ways, on purpose, would “improve my quality of life”. However, I am, for the first time ever I believe, open to the idea, because I see it as an actual possibility at this point. Something it never really felt like before.
#2. (yeah, that was just number one.) I now know where to find the wheelchair meat-heads haha. Apparently, the wheelchair rugby group does all sorts of other biking/rafting/high adventure activities. Once again those activities in themselves still have a moderate appeal at best. As a social person, the biggest draw for such an activity in my mind is it would be a great date activity haha. On the social train of thought though, it would be a place to actually interact with other wheelchair guys/girls. This is all sorts of wrong of me but I still somehow don’t associate myself with “that group” in my mind. I see myself as not in the “normal” group either, I love all the wheelchair jokes and uniqueness of the whole thing. But I somehow don’t see myself as one of the wheelchair people either. Two tangents on this, A) it’s surprising it doesn’t make me feel terribly lonely feeling like I don’t fit in either group. B) Probably the real solution is I shouldn’t differentiate either group, we should all just be people wheelchair or no, oh well. Anyway, it might be good to participate in other quad friendly high adventure things. Definitely open to the possibility. Definitely going to need some more toning to get there haha. I’ve only been at this Neuroworx thing for three days over three weeks! Oh full time jobs get in the way of EVERYTHING.
#3. I found out today that there’s a procedure they can do to attach tendons from muscles I do currently have use of to my fingers, so basically I’d have some semblance of grip and release. It would be all gripping and releasing at once, so not individual use. And it’s still not like “normal”. But it’s definitely a conscious grip and release, how cool is that!? I asked if Barry could think of any reason not to, and he was like “no, but don’t rush into a decision”. So that could be very interesting. It’s also like a 6-8 week recovery though, which doesn’t mix well with working haha. Totally going to research further though!
So, in short, going back to Neuroworx to see what I can learn? Totally worth it! Learning tons for now J so much to explore!