Tag Archive | Keep moving forward

Having Hope in Trying Times

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

During these trying times it is difficult to always stay positive. When you are dealing with any chronic illness on top of the “Social Distancing and the Stay at Home Orders” it becomes harder to see the positive in life. As someone who lives with chronic illness and pain, I know first-hand how difficult it is to stay positive when you are separated even further from the things you cherish most like visits with your mother, holding and hugging on your grandchildren , or just having a family dinner with all of your children and their families. When you already deal with so much it appears this could be the final straw, but there is HOPE. There are ways to combat the negative vibes and help you to keep moving forward.

Finding things to do when you are isolated can be a bit daunting but start discovering the things you enjoy that you never thought you would have the time to do. For example, if you are crafty come up with some new projects like make an iron-on with a positive saying for yourself, a family member, and/or a friend. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to make and embellish cards so why not have some fun and learn. In this era of computers there are hundreds of how-to videos your can learn from.

Just one of many beginner classes online

Another great way is to stay as active as possible. Get up and get outside there is so much you can do such as go for a walk, sit outside  and have your morning coffee, start a vegetable garden or take pictures of all the beautiful flowers that are in bloom. You can also keep active by using your computer and finding things like yoga online or work with a yoga instructor of your choice via skype or zoom, this can be a win-win because you get exercise while employing a yoga instructor that is out of work. Right now, is would benefit all of us to get creative with ways to stay active. Staying active also has a positive affect on pain. It has been proven that exercise helps to reduce pain while keeping us in better shape and I know this firsthand. Plus, it gets the blood flowing and oxygen intake up which helps boost our mood. We can all use a boost.

Yoga- Cobra
Heading our for a walk

If we stop thinking of this “quarantine” as a punishment and reframe our thoughts, we can all benefit from this “negative” situation. One positive of this “quarantine” is we get more time with our families which allows us to slow down and reconnect. Have movie nights, play games together, or watch a concert together. Get the dialogue going. We can also learn to use different online apps such as Skype, Houseparty, or Zoom to connect with our friends and family. It is a fun way for everyone to come together. You can even celebrate birthdays and anniversaries this way. We recently did this for my granddaughter who turned 8. My family all got on Houseparty via their phones and/or computer and we were able to sing Happy Birthday to her. We also got to see her blow the candles out on her cake and open her presents. She was so happy and was excited to see everyone. It was a great way forher everyone to still get together and make her birthday special. We all would benefit from finding new ways to stay connected.

Staying upbeat and joyful is not possible if we loose hope. God does not want us to be unhappy and lack hope. Nope, He want us to seek Him so that He may bring us joy and fill us with Hope. He wants us to keep moving forward so that we may share with others what a wonderful loving father we serve. He wants us to tell a better story. By His grace and mercy, we are saved!

Trying Yoga

About a month and a half ago I found a yoga instructor that gives private instruction which was a must for me. I had been wanting to try yoga but knew I could not join a traditional class because of my deficits plus I wanted to make sure that I was being watched carefully to make sure I am performing the moves/poses correctly to prevent any injury. I currently practice yoga with my instructor twice a week and I incorporate many of the stretches into my daily exercise routine (I only perform the ones I know I can do safely on my own).

Warrior pose-It was scary the first time I let go, but over time I have taught my body that I have legs that can hold me. Loosing proprioception has been extremely difficult to deal. I have to reteach my body to know where my lower limbs are in space even when I am not looking at them.

This exercise continues to be a challenge. Not being able to see my legs is difficult. Because I practice and work at it my proprioception has improved over the last 2 1/2 yrs since my injury.

Working to eventually do this without any devices and lift my knee higher. But not bad for only doing this for a little over a month.

This my first time attempting to do this core exercise. I have since been able to do this for about 20 seconds. This was an exercise that was fairly easy for me prior to the injury. Now it takes total concentration. I will conquer this!

During this time of uncertainty, it is important to find a way to relax and destress. Why not try something new such as yoga? If yoga is not your thing then find something that you enjoy doing. Start slow and in no time, you will find that you are doing things you never thought you could. God has blessed us all with special talents/gifts maybe now is the time to discover them.

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Not ready to quit

Having hope and believing that God is healing me has continued to give me the courage and strength to continue moving forward. My hard work of going to the gym and working with a trainer at least twice a week, continuing to stretch and crawl as much as possible, and recently adding in the use of the Bioness L300 Go system are paying off . My walking and balance have improved! I am hopeful that I will eventually be able to walk device free again. I have also recently begun to get more feeling in my right leg. Six months ago, my right leg was mostly numb only having feeling in the ankle and behind the knee. I am beginning to have intermittent feeing at the back of my thigh and along the inner and out areas of my leg.

This was 6 months ago in June. My walking is clunky and stiff. It was difficult to control my especially if I wasn’t looking at them.

This was yesterday morning. My walking is still stiff, but it is smoother. My knees don’t snap as often. I also can walk without looking down at my feet all the time. God is good and He is helping me get through day by day. I refuse to give up. I will dance freely again!

Working to heal my body

As I go through this journey, I have to remind myself of where I have come from. Two years ago I was in a hospital recovering from 4th surgery in less than a month. I could not feel much below the waist and I could barely take 20 steps without being totally exhausted. My pain was much higher, and I had to take higher doses of medications on a daily basis. Through a lot of physical therapy and working out on my own I am making progress.

As you can see in the videos, I still have difficulty and need assistance to complete some of the exercises. But does that really matter? No, the important part is that I am at the gym and I am doing things I never thought possible. Our bodies are amazing, and I truly believe that as I exercise, I am helping to create new neural pathways

My Rt ankle and leg/glute continue to give me difficulties. Even with my foot strapped in my foot wants to drop forward. My knee also wants to turn in.

My left leg/glute is stronger, but still requires my foot to be strapped in.

My knees continue to have the problem of hyperextending. This is why I do not straighten my legs completely.

Exercises that require me to know where my leg are when I am not looking at them (proprioception) are super challenging and often require my trainer to assist me. Although this true, there have been vast improvements like; I can walk behind my walker or a shopping cart without having to look at my feet continually, I can stand and give someone a hug without falling over, I can stand and cook a meal without having to stop and look at my feet every 10 to 15 secs., and I am beginning to be able to take a few steps without using any devices. Pain or no pain, I am grateful for every day I am given. I have been blessed with an amazing family who stand by me each and very day. It is my duty to Keep Moving Fortward!.