Gene Kelly....

i think I may be slipping back into the denial stage…

i was diagnosed six years ago when I lost use of my right arm and some use of my right leg etc. I slowly regained a lot of use back but it’s left residual damage. Fatigue, as it is for many remains a big problem. After a week in hospital last year I felt a bit defeated and stopped trying so hard to beat it.

However a new year and renewed enthusiasm to try and get a bit fitter. I use a FES machine for my right leg although after a forty minute walk my core strength starts to go and my foot starts to drags (seeing physio about that soon) and I have to sit down and have a two hour recovery, resting my eyes.

Sooooo I thought I would try beginners Yoga at my sports hall to do some strengthening exercises. However they were fully booked… so having always wanted to do tap thought I would give it a try, as they had spaces. I spent most the session propping up the wall as my balance is awful but I thought it might be fun and good exercise to help me lift my foot. On the plus side I couldn’t be worse (unless I had another relapse). My brain can’t relay the message to my right foot quick enough!

What I guess I want to ask is, do you think it could help my foot and balance, can I retrain my brain…or will it never improve after all this time?

Gene Kelly I will most definitely never be…that I know! Lol​

Thank you x


Interesting conundrum. As is ALWAYS the case, there are no hard and fast absolute answers, it is (in my opinion) all about listening to your body / mind (how you feel and respond). I think it is about making the most of what we have at the moment. I do believe that our brains can make alternate connections and adapt in some cases but we should not expect to fix stuff that has been broken. What I am trying to say (but not doing very well) is that whatever exercise or group activity you undertake will deliver benefits and costs. You need to evaluate these costs and benefits to you. Once again (in my opinion) it is worth trying stuff, if it works stick with it, but if it does not (after a reasonable try) do not be worried about saying “thanks but no more” .

One exercise that I can not do (due to my balance) but which I have heard is valuable for some people is Tai Chi

I now have a passive cycling machine which is making tangible improvements to my strength and flexibility.

In short, I would “go for it” but knock it on the head if the benefits are outweighed by the cost (discomfort / energy budget)

There may also be intangible benefits for you by getting involved with others. Not my thing but some people get a lot from group activity.

Good luck


Hi Mish,

It’s definitely worth exercising and tap is a good idea because it engages the brain as well as the muscles. However, perhaps tap was a bit ambitious.

I got a lot of benefit from tai chi. It’s slow but demands concentration and careful positioning of the limbs and torso, so it’s a whole body work out. Like yoga it’s a discipline that emphasises relaxation.

I believe that Pilates is also very beneficial but I don’t know much about it.

So, less Happy Feet and more Tao perhaps.

Best wishes,


Mish, having done tap “in my yoof”, well done for having a go. I would agree with Mogace, try tai chi, its SLOW and not so hard on the body. Definitely improves balance, concentration and posture over time. At first, I was, oh shiiiiiit, I’m gonna lose my balance here - but with repetition comes improvement. I coul only do half the class at first and every time went home, going “pass the painkillers”, but hey no pain no gain!!

Thank you Mick that made a lot of sense. I guess I know I can’t fix what is already broken, just hoping that I can make some new connections or patch a few bits with gaffer tape, to get it functioning in some way again…even if not good to look at! Lol It’s quite a bit of Jazz music, which I used to sing, so I am hoping my sense of rhythm will help me make the connections to my feet when dancing. Mind you my friends would say I’ve always had two left feet…but now I only have one with a rather reluctant right! X :slight_smile:

Wow I really must type faster there are two more replies. Thank you, maybe I will check out if they do Pilates or tia chi classes as well, although I may give tap a couple more tries before giving up…it was just so much fun. Happy feet…hmmmm…maybe slappy feet! Lol :slight_smile: X

Tap dancing!!! Blimey, you don’t do things by halves Mish.

I’d say, give it another go, but honestly, I can’t see that you’ll be able to improve the rate at which you pick up your drop foot.

But, any exercise that you enjoy will be one that you continue. So, if you can cope with being a bit crap, and can just about do a bit without falling over, then I’d say give it a whirl.

You could try tai chi as well! (Says she from the comfort of her settee.)

Basically any exercise that improves your core will be well worth it. I tried my damnedest to exercise until the relapse form hell. And now I do the tiniest bit I can manage. Even if some days all that gets exercised is my hands (theraputty).

Good on you.


Lol, yes I know! Ah, well see that’s why I think I’m slipping back into the denial stage…my head says yes and my feet say no!

​To be fair I have always been rubbish at dancing, so I guess I’m not expecting to much of myself, just I have always wanted to learn tap. I used to do amateur shows at our local theatre singing and acting but they strangely always kept my dance moves to a minimum! Lol

I think maybe I’ll give it another go or two but won’t worry if I can’t do it. I am trying to get me off my sofa (which I spend a or of time on) I know it’s important to try and exercise so hopefully if this doesn’t work out I can motivate me to try one of the other ideas.

Hope your theraputty works well for you. When I had a major relapse six years ago it took me seven months before I could write again (because my coordination also went) but although not the same as before, I can now, so there is always hope things can improve. :slight_smile: