Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Stroke Recovery: Walking Outside

I have done it - I am walking outside. Only slowly, and not far, but I go every day, and as my legs get stronger, I go further. Apart from the distance, something people may not realise is that it is dangerous. What you take for granted, for me, after walking on carpet, the ground outside is very uneven. My toe catches on the slightest thing, even indoors, and I am liable to lose my balance.

Anyway, I am doing it. I have got up enough confidence, and my balance and walking have improved to the point that I decided to give it a go. I live on a street of terraced houses, so decided to count gates to measure the distance, but Michael paced it out and we think one gate is about five yards (or metres). In addition I walk from the living room to the front door and down the path to the street, which is another five yards out and five yards back again.

The first day I had no idea how far I could go, so Michael walked behind me with the wheelchair. I walked six gates before I got tired and sat down. Michael wheeled me back again and I walked into the house. Total distance about 40 yards. The second day I walked three gates out, turned round and walked three back, and into the house. Total distance 40 yards without a sit down in the middle. Not only does it make my legs ache, my arm aches from leaning on my stick. Goal - not to lean so heavily or so long.

Then I did four gates on two days, and today I did five. Distance today 60 yards. When I was in hospital learning to walk, Michael used to joke with the physiotherapists that he was going to put my name down for the Swansea 10k race (which is next Sunday as it happens). Well, by next year I might surprise him!

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