Agoraphobia

Hi, I have been house bound for circa 3 months and in hospital for 3 months prior. I go out for hospital and physio appointments.

I am scared of going outside as I am still physically impaired and weak. My wheeled walker came last week and I went out with the physio, only got about 5 yards and had to turn back as legs were tired.

The reason for the post, does anyone else fear going outside on their walker or wheelchair?

3 Likes

Hi welcome to our forum. I cannot help but someone else may be able to. Best wishes Loraine :blush:

1 Like

Hi. It’s very hard at first. Remember we all have struggled but try to walk a few steps further next time. That way you will soon conquer your apprehension… Best of luck Lilian

3 Likes

@a.clare71 welcome to the forum. Sounds like you’ve had a difficult time over last 6 months.
The fact that you managed a few steps outside is a great achievement & you should celebrate this. As @l_platt suggested try building it up a few steps at a time. It will become easier as you go out more & realise that nothing bad has happened.
Good luck xx

3 Likes

Hi @a.clare71 welcome, as the others have said, build up gradually, a few steps further each time, to build your strength as well as your confidence.

Best wishes, take care

2 Likes

Without doubt one of the biggest hurdles one has to face after a stroke is being able to handle the world on ones own, its a big dangerous place out there in ones imagination!
The suggestion that you just take it one step at a time is logical and possible, the fact that you have done a few steps outside is to your credit! Please remember that thousands of survivors in the past have faced the same problem and most of them have succeeded.
Deigh

4 Likes

Shwmae @a.clare71, mindfulness teaches stepping stones. Tackle one small step at a time and progress when you feel comfortable with the last step. I recall the first jaunt I had in a busy environment, it was chaos for me. I’m still not totally comfortable on my tod when navigating social spaces but I call upon my inner Viking and grit my teeth. My first triumphant walk was around my garden. You will get there just don’t overthink it or let unnecessary anguish dictate your movements. Easier said than done.

3 Likes

Thank you. I will only do something I am comfortable with at the mo. even though parents are trying to get out and about. I have refused.

3 Likes

Welcome @a.clare71, I’m sure they’re coming from a loving place, but and this is just my opinion … just do what you feel comfortable with. No point forcing yourself setting goals too high then having a setback, although it’s important to build up muscle strength again, of course.

Maybe just draw a up a gentle ‘rota’ of what you’d like to achieve, and if you don’t reach your goal for the day then just start afresh the next day without judging yourself. Gradually build up if you feel up to it.

Could you practice around the house? Again, all this is just my opinion, I’m not a Physio or anything … but you can build muscle strength up again just lying on your bed … your Physio has told you about this I’m sure. Simple leg lifts etc, check with your Physio.

Visualising yourself using your Walker might be helpful, if you’re into that. Relax, close your eyes whilst lying on your bed, in a quiet safe space, and just ‘see/imagine’ yourself walking around at a level you feel comfortable and safe. There’s lots of info online re Visualisation and Mindlefulness.

Anyway, hope this helps, take care of yourself

You’ve made a start and that’s fantastic :sparkling_heart:

Good luck! :sparkles:

Anne

2 Likes

After my first ‘fall’ and still in hospital I was met with looks of horror, strict admonishments to be careful in future, dire warnings and overall a very negative response.

A young doctor stepped in to check me over, I was bruised, both in body and my pride. He took me to one side and told me something very valuable. You’ll live, he said and if you are going to make progress this won’t be the last time something like this occurs.

Don’t live in fear, be brave and wear the knocks as a badge of your resolve.

Good luck and keep smiling.
Bob

3 Likes

Hi Anne

Thank for the advice which is all excellent.

Yes, I have a long list of exercises off my Physio to do each day to build up muscle strength and balance as I have no core balance and have fallen a number of times - once I broke my back and then fractured my pelvis. This all has resulted in me being petrified in falling over again.

The walker was ok, a bit wobbly and went too quick which panicked me. I will persevere a little at a time when comfortable. One needs to keep moving forward and progressing.

1 Like

Hi Bob

Good advice. Yep I have had knocks, some serious but push on. Scared of falling but just need to be extra careful. slows progress down which seems to frustrate family.

I try to keep my glass half full.

1 Like

@Bobbi I think that dr gave some good advice. To progress we have to push ourselves & that will inevitably result in some accidents. Hopefully not too serious ones. It’s about finding the right level though. I used to fall over before my stroke…have loads of scars to show for it :rofl::rofl: find I fall a bit less now. Probably because I’m not running around like an idiot all the time. :grin:

2 Likes

Hi a.clare–Five yards and feeling tired is very normal at first. Every week, add just a few more steps. You’ll be amazed how your stamina and strength will build over time-- even though you may feel tired, you’ll be able to do more. No wonder you are afraid, you’ve been in a hospital or housebound for 6 months. Do it in spite of the fear. As you venture going out more and more it will feel more right and normal, and the fear will ebb.


:slightly_smiling_face: :heart:Jeanne

2 Likes

Thank you Jeanne. The exercises my physio are helping. She advised it takes about 3 months to build up the muscle wastage

I am also trying to follow the advice my Doctor gave me - every day at least do 3 things - take tablets, do exercises and do some thing you fully enjoy, I enjoy gardening so I have planted some seeds for the bees and started my crystal art.

3 Likes

a.clare-- You sound like me. That’s what I did. I love gardening too. During those first months when I could begin to do things, I planted some annuals. It was exhausting, but it made me happy. Doing the things you like kind of helps you power through, because you want to do it. And by doing is the way we get stronger. --So I’m glad you planted the seeds. :slightly_smiling_face: :heart:Jeanne P.S. What is crystal art?

1 Like

Hello @a.clare71👋. It is normal to feel scared of a situation you have been out of it for a long time and especially if you know you are weaker than before so you feel vulnerable. I certainly did. I walked with a stick to start with and was afraid to go out alone as the fear of either running out of energy or falling was there. Due to muscle wastage and general weight loss I was so weak and looked like a different person. As others have suggested little by little, a gradual building up of strength and importantly confidence will happen. The seeds are a great start. I am lucky enough to have a greenhouse and I knew I would have to go out daily to check and water the seedlings and it was a commitment. Actively seek out things which bring you joy and purpose. All the best and keep us posted on how you are doing, Julia x

2 Likes

Hi Jeanne, I love all wildlife too. When I see someone stressed I say for them to go and feed the ducks!

Crystal art is basically paint by numbers using tiny plastic coloured beads. I did a Santa Clause one for Christmas, he looked great. Takes patience but I find it therapeutic. I am about to start a sunflower picture.

The seeds and art help, puts some structure into my day

1 Like

Hi Julia, thank you. I have fallen so many times due to weakness on left and no Core balance, so scared to fall again - broken back and then fractured pelvis.

The exercises the physio has given are really helping and building up my wasted muscles and weak joints. She is really good.

I wish I could see my garden, I am staying with my parents at the moment and can’t. hey ho.

Yeah running out of energy is a worry too, it hits me and I need to have a lie down.

1 Like

@a.clare71 Go steady girl. It’s good to take risks but you mustn’t hurt yourself. Your confidence must have taken a huge knock after your experiences. It sounds like your physio will help with the pain both mental and physical. Those small steps are slowly taking you back towards the garden you miss so much. You gotta work hard, then rest and be patient and you will get there.

A little luck will help too, so here’s good luck to you, Clare :smiley:
Bob