Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You want me to exercise how often?

I had my first non-evaluation physical therapy appointment today, and it went well until I asked my therapist of the day (I have a different one each of the first three appointments) how often I should do the exercises.

I was thinking every other day. She says: You need to do them at least twice a day.

It is not that they are hard and there are only six at the moment. But four of them require me to lie down on a flat surface. A bed works but a mat is better. Mats have less traction and I am sliding my feet around.

Even if I do the exercises in bed, I need to take my shoes off. I would say then that the six exercises that I need to do twice a day will take a minimum of 20 minutes to do once. That doesn't sound like a lot of time, but you also have to count recovery time.

When I get tired, my movements become jerky and rapid to the point that I am sort of a danger to myself.

And then there is the unexpected, which you can't plan for, but is expected with Friedreich's ataxia.

I think some of the issues are because the therapists are all 20-somethings who have not done much work with permanently disabled people who still work full time.

My physiatrist who retired in fact thought exercising was a bad idea. Maybe one exercise a day, she advised. She had plenty of experience with people who are disabled yet have full lives.

Of course, maybe I am just trying to wuss out of exercising.

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