Walking

Hello everyone. I am a new member!

I had a stroke in June, but I am one of the lucky ones. Even though it has robbed me of a lot of my peripheral vision and consequently I am unable to drive, had I not had it the 2nd aneurysm would not have been discovered and that could have been fatal.

I am a very positive, independant and determined 64 year old. At first I was continually bumping into things I just simply hadn't seen (especially high cupboard doors in my kitchen!!!!). I was so scared to go out, but I live on my own and was determinded not to become a prisoner in my own home. I enlisted the help of my 2 granddaughters aged 5 and 7. We only walked round the block, but that gave me such confidence that when I needed to visit the local shop, I felt able to tackle crossing a fairly busy road with them. 

I have slowly built up my walk from those tentative steps in July to walking 8 miles most mornings. I feel so much better. I actually feel that I achieve something every day and I know that my general health is reaping the reward and I will be in a better position when I go in to have my 2nd aneurysm clipped in December. It's also a great way to pass a couple of hours, especially as 'time filling' hasn't particularly been fun since Covid hit us. 

I have also disocered 'socially distanced' walking!!!!!!

I appreciate I am one of the lucky ones, but whether you are a stroke sufferer or a carer, I cannot tell you how much of a positive effect walking and being outside has had on my mental health.

 

 

Lovely story, so glad to hear this positive approach, long may you succeed. Good luck and best wishes. Jane.

Thanks Jane.

You have chosen a great name - you certainly are "The Walker" managing such an impressive number of miles per day!!!  I try to walk between 1 -2 miles a day with my husband if he can manage it, sometimes it's just finding time in the day, or avoiding the rain!!  You have definitely taken charge of your recovery, and I'm sure you will be so strong when you face your surgery in December.  Keep up the excellent work, and please keep posting, it will be good to hear from you.

xx

Dear Walker

I mainly come on here to try and support/help others, in the way that I was helped in the early months.

But you have cheered me up a lot. I really should walk more but I have let the walking slip. There are nice walks in and around my village and I really must start up again. I have a very long garden and walk many hundreds of yards pottering out there, but its not the same as a proper walk. I had managed one mile walks but now slipped back.

So thank you for your post. I shall think of you as I reach the first quarter mile this afternoon.

Colin

Hello Walker,

You started as a walker and now to me, appear to be a rambler with eight miles under your belt. I miss going for long jaunts and try to make an effort every day, as you did, to walk a little each time outside. I am hesitant at first but when I return from a walk I usually feel very good. Thanks for your encouraging story.

Oh yes I so agree with you. I had a stroke in May of last year and the consultant asked me what exercise I got, so I said walking the dogs.  He said well keep on with the walking and I did, right through the fatigue stage (when I walked less) and I still walk every day, several times.  Right through lockdown too because I live in a rural area so I don't see many folk.  The 'only one walk a day' at the start of lockdown was really frustrating!

Recently I have bought myself a tricycle and I am also going out on that too, it might be an alernative for people who find walking a struggle?  I have pedal assist and it surprises me that other tricyclers are also stroke survivors - can't beat getting out in the fresh air and enjoying life 

Joan

I'll second that!  Walking is also great for the mind too.  Exercise generates energyyes. I can feel rubbish some mornings but as soon as I get to the gym, I lose myself in my routine.  My hourly session is over before I know it and I feel so much better and it lightens the mood no end.  

I shall be delighted if I have encouraged you to walk again. That was the reason for my post. I have derived such a lot of pleasure from my morning walks, my mental health is improved and Covid seems a long way away for a few hours!!!!

Like you I potter in my garden as often as the weather permits but nothing beats being out in the countryside, listening to the wildlife.

I hope you managed to walk this afternoon .. it rained here!

Hi Joan

I love the sound of your tricycle. I've never enjoyed biking but that sounds like fun. Although I think cycling in any form wouldn't be wise in some of the places I walk ... too many divots, rubble and tractor tracks!!! ha ha

But as you say ... can't beat getting out in the fresh air and enjoying life.

Take care

Angie

I totally agree with you, the more I walk the more energised I feel. My sleeping has improved too.

You're welcome. But my 8 miles took a long time to achieve. There were many days when I felt that I couldn't/wouldn't ever walk for more than half an hour again. But I just kept repeating the same walk every day and then slowly added a small amount at a time. I'm still adding little bits and some days don't want to stop! I genuinely don't believe the distance is important. It's how you feel when you walk back in to your home.

Keep walking, Angie

Thank you. But as I said in a different reply. The 8 miles didn't come easy. I seemed to be stuck at 3 miles for ages. I just kept repeating the same walk over and over until I felt I could add a little bit more. I try and walk as soon as I have had my breakfast, but it is going to be a tad difficult dodging the raindrops now we are entering November.

I don't think the distance really matters, I think it's just getting out and enjoying the walks

Angie x

Thank you Jane. In June I decided I could go one of two ways ... be positive or negative. I decided that I didn't like the idea of being negative, so I worked out what I could do to keep positive! It's just grown from there!!!

Angie

Dear Walker

i failed to walk friday afternoon. The greenhouse required my attention or more to the point my wife wanted the last tomatoes.

But you really have sparked off my recovery. Of course my lack of walking is crucial. In fact, i have followed up on stroke by needing life saving open heart surgery, so on 2nd May i had the essential valve replacement, in what appeared to be the only hospital in SE england still wiiling to do the op.

they drummed in to me that walking was the utmost number one rehab. A major reason is that they dont want me lifting anything for the first three months. Well nature hadnt finished with me and i got the most frightful gout flare up, which persisted for five weeks. Rehab in meltdown. And of course no rehab centres were running, so it was down to me and my garden. Luckily i didnt tear out the internal stitches.
 But enough of the woes. I determined that walking comes first and i did walk to the shop and back this morning (saturday) I still havent done the other heart rehab for today, nor the garden, that will follow. But i did do the walk. Just under one mile, very slow walking, with breaks. The elation and pleasure hasnt yet arrived. It was dismay and agony. I cant believe how disabled i have become.

the shop will get another visit tomorrow. And soon it will be the church and village hall, which is a little over one mile. And the elation. And the pleasure.

what a twit i have been. Trying to do far too much other stuff whilst assuming i could walk  whenever i chose.

I have a big battle to win against ocassional gout flares, flat feet and a badly warped centre of grounding.but i am no longer hiding from these problems, i am facing up to them. 
 

In 1962 i walked London to Brighton, i wont quite get there, nor will i manage eight miles for quite some time. 
 

Again, its you that set me off. Bless you.

colin

just wanted to say thank you for your post 

 my stroke was nearly 5 years ago now and walking is still a struggle. it was always a great love of mine and I feel the loss keenly. the stroke affected my left side, so my left leg is very weak and does not function properly. I had an FES device for a long period to help with foot drop it hasn't fully solved it but I find I can walk ok without it now and have decided to train without it. I have no function in my left hand yet but live in hope. I decided a while ago to focus on improving walking. I am not yet able to go out and enjoy a walk but you have inspired me to keep at it. so thank you. just before the stroke i had the pleasure of completing the Cleveland Way in Yorkshire, with my son, who was only 13 at the time. we did 110 miles over difficult country with full campinggear

now I know that's not happening again. but my ambitions are more modest now. I can manage a 200 metre walk across the road to our local woods. I havethe good fortune to live very close to woodlands in spite of living in the big city. so little by little i will build up my strength and stamina. I can't walk fluently andneed a stick. i don't mind the stick but the limp is very tiring. I have had good physiotherapy advice which I continue to follow. occasional fatigue prevents me from getting out to  practise 

but it isn't as bad now as it used to be. I am generally a positive 62  year old but the grief of the loss gets to me at times still.  but as you say it isn't the distance achieved so much as just being out that iss the pleasure.. one day I hope hope to get up in the hills again. but for now my little trips across the road to my local woodland is as much as is possible, and gives me pleasure. 

thx again for the little encouragement and keep on going 

best wishes 

TONY 

Well done to you, its hard to stay positive, so congrats to you!!!!

Jane.

Oh Colin I am so pleased. The delight and elation will come in time. But it took me ages to build up from just going to the shops. I did become dispondent at first when I couldn't simply put on my boots and go but I have persevered. You'll get there. Keep me posted with your progress. But honestly I do think sometimes you need to be able to share the woes. Makes sharing the good bits even better! And you have made a start. That in itself is worth applause, so well done you

I cut back my cucumber and tomato plants last week, so my greenhouse is now empty. I decided I wasn't going to lose sleep over failing to make green tomato chutney this year. I made lots of jams post stroke with fruit from my garden so I see that as a win ... no negative thoughts allowed ha ha ha.

Golly though you have had it tough withyour health. But the only way is up now. And you have started and completed the hardest part ... the first walk. 

Take care and happy walking (and walk round the inside of your house if it's raining ha ha ha)

Angie

Hi Tony

You cannot know how happy reading your post has made me. I think part of my own 'rehab' has not just been physical but mental and I totally understand your comment about the grief of the loss. I have a painting of Tryfan above my fire. In my younger days I regularly climbed and walked it. Even though it is a constant reminder of some extremely happy times, I sometimes think it is also a reminder of what I maybe won't do again. But it's a goal and as you say 'my ambitions are more modest now'. I needed to read that so thank you!

I don't walk with my poles on my morning walks, but I started walking with poles a few years ago after my friend broke her wrist walking down a slippery hill. I think using sticks/poles/whatever is necessary is no problem at all. If it means you can get out and walk I am all for it. 

Keep me posted on your progress and happy walking ... although listening to the rain lashing down outside I fear we will not be walking so much over the coming months. 

Angie

PS The Cleveland Way was the first long distance walk, I completed in the late 70s!!!!

Oh thank you Jane. It's comments like that from people which make staying positive easier.

Angie