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Persevere! ;)

Last week, I asked for opinions about whether I was doing the right thing to force myself to walk a "challenging" distance, or whether it might even be counter-productive.

I've been walking daily since the New Year - except for Saturdays, when I reckon I get enough exercise doing the shopping.  Usually I do about a mile, occasionally more.

But I was getting a bit depressed with the lack of results - my left leg still protesting at the exact same point of every walk, with no sign my range was improving at all.

BUT, I'm happy to report that yesterday and today, the leg has been a lot less whingey!  Yesterday, I managed a mile-and-a-half, and today, two miles.

Of course, there's more than one possible explanation for this.  Could it be that the last couple of weeks, I was having an unacknowledged relapse, and that's what was causing the problem?

Or is it that my leg is finally - after more than a fortnight of repetition - understanding what's expected?

Anyway, I know it's early days, and I'm not yet in a position to say the improvement is long-term.  But two days in a row of not as much grumbling and complaint has definitely given me hope my efforts are not all in vain.

Yes, I did still find my walk tiring - more so than a "normie" would, I'm sure.  But I didn't find myself cussing and swearing at the same place as usual, and didn't come home feeling depressed it's all pointless.  I know I've definitely gone further than recently, and my muscles didn't make as much hoo-ha.

So at the moment, frustratingly slow though it is, I feel as if I do eventually get some payback if I tax myself.  I think I've probably been comparing it to the old days, before I got ill, when it was so much easier to improve!  I have to accept it's a lot slower and harder now.  But still not bad.  It's only just over a fortnight since I began making a conscious effort.

Don't quit! ;)

Tina

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That`s brilliant news Tina. Good for you!

Sorry if my initial reply was down beat, but you just take a day at a time and try not to plan too far ahead.

Afterall, MS does seem to be in charge most days. If there are days when you feel better and have beaten MS, then that can only make you feel good.

Great stuff!

luv Pollx

Thanks Sunset,

The reason I question whether I may have been having a relapse is that unless you put it to the test once in a while, you don't really know how far you can walk.

So although I struggled the last couple of weeks, I didn't know whether I was relapsing, or whether that was the new "normal" for me.  I hadn't tried walking that far in quite a while, so it might have been like that for ages, only I hadn't noticed.  Hard to tell if something's a relapse, if you didn't have anything to measure it against, if you see what I mean.

So, it's possible my improvement isn't all down to practice, but because there's been a relapse I wasn't fully aware of, from which I am only now recovering.

Still, I prefer to think it's the practice that's helping, and that I wouldn't have improved anyway.  It definitely takes away some of the incentive if I think I might have done just as well sitting at home with my feet up!  I have to believe it's the effort that has made the difference.

Tina

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Well done, really pleased you are able to improve your walking distance. That is one of my goals for this year. I have 2 dogs and used to walk about a mile each morning with them but my right leg has been playing up abit and my walking has suffered in terms of distance. I am now seeing a physio who has given me some good exercises to improve my posture,stamina so I'm hoping to be able to take the doggies on some longer walks in future and it will help me lose some weight too.

Keep up the good work

Cathy

Well done Tina, it sounds like you are doing really well. It sounds to me like your perseverance is paying off. I am impressed! As you say it is possible that you had been having a relapse and it has eased now or it could be a combination of a relapse improving and you getting better by walking but tbh it sounds to me like you are improving because you have been persevering so keep up the good work.
Cheryl:)

I was thinking about this the other day. I decided I was going to walk the kids round to soft play, it’s a 10 minute walk and I usually drive cause I kind of feel I have x number of steps a day before I become worn and sore, so I tend to try and conserve my steps if you see what i mean. But I did that walk, and it was fine, I was a bit more tired that night, btu I’ve not done it for a while so thats to be expected.

I can’t get my head round it doing you any harm to keep up your activity levels. I have just joined a gym and go three time a week now BECAUSE of my MS, not despite it. I need to make sure I’m working the best I can!

Well done on your walking, keep letting us know how you are getting on xx

Hi Amylou,

No, I don’t reckon it does me harm, either. I was a little hesitant at first, because there’s so much advice about not tiring yourself out, and STOP when you get tired, and all that kind of thing.

But with me, if I’m honest, if I stopped when I got tired, I don’t think I’d ever even get started! Unless I intentionally do things that are a little bit difficult, I don’t see how I can ever build my strength and stamina.

Like you, I don’t think I’d be doing it at all, if it wasn’t for the MS. Walking a mile, in all weathers, on my lunch break, never would have been my idea of fun.

It’s only my concern that things are deteriorating that has given me the motivation to try to compensate.

And I was very disillusioned at first, that it didn’t appear to be working, but now I think perhaps it is, a little. Just needed a bit more patience than I had shown, apparently.

But it’s much easier to keep going if I do believe there’s improvement. It’s hard to carry on with something you don’t much like, if you don’t even notice it helping. I don’t know how much longer I would have continued, if things hadn’t started to buck up.

Tina

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What good news Anitra, its good to hear your really challenging your ms and seeing results.  I do that too but like you say it creeps in when least expected and we sometimes feel we are getting nowhere when in fact our whole physical health must be improving - vascular and mental outlook.

 

I too love the parks and try push myself.  Besides its good to get out and about and socialise.  I think mental welbeing is just as important.

 

Pat yourself on the back, your experience teaches us all never to give up when determined to improve our lot.

 

bren

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Hi Tina

Well done you!  I refused to give in when I had a biggie relapse 3 years ago during which I could barely walk.  For the first few months I could barely walk 20 metres without needing a lie down and it was very frustrating.  When I took my son shopping I had to potter from bench to bench and sit and rest while he looked in the shops - I despaired of ever improving.  Each day I took painkillers and pushed myself just a few steps further and was never sure whether I was delaying recovery or helping!  Eventually 6 months later I walked over a mile along the beach where I live and a mile back with my friends.  Of course we stopped to look at nature and have a rest and a drink along the way so that helped but we were all amazed that I could do it.  What is it about a good walk that makes us feel so much better mentally, you just can't beat it, can you?

I now find that if I don't get out and walk or go to yoga at least once a week, my legs soon start to get a bit achy so, for me, the worst thing I can do is rest too much.  I need to keep active to keep the muscles from seizing up.

Personally, I think that my stubborn streak is what helps me get through and I'm relying on it for any tough times that might lie ahead!  I hope you enjoy many more walks and your legs continue to improve.  Please keep us updated.

Tracey

Well done I wish I could do that my left leg has a mind of his own 1min it’s fine the next min it’s completely numb, started to take a new treatment good on you.

Ditto on the left leg. Have the feeling almost of Sunburn at the moment! Do not give up on the excersize! With that, am fortunate to be able to get out once a week for a 3-5 mile run, slowly, with running club mates which makes it social and worth while. In fact, did a semi-speed session last Monday but now suffering from it! blush

Hello All!

Vince, I know that sunburny feeling!  It was one of the things I went to the doctor's about, ages ago (before I was diagnosed).

I was concerned, because it obviously wasn't sunburn (this was February, in England), and there is some family history of blood clots.

GP unfortunately thought I was depressed and paranoid, and didn't exactly tell me not to be so silly, but along those lines.

In fairness to her, she was very upset and apologetic when it turned out, some time later, that I had MS.  She said: "Oh dear!  Yes, you came in with that thing with your leg, didn't you?"

But I can't really blame her, because seriously, what would you think, if somebody came in with nothing more specific than: "My leg's a bit sore; I'm worried it might be something serious"?  It's not exactly a red flag that the person has MS, is it?  You'd have to have a rare flash of inspiration to even consider it.

Anyway, I've been out for my walk again.  Not a very nice one today, because it was really damp and blowing a gale.   Yesterday, dog-walkers were out in force, but today, I barely passed another soul, and had to keep putting from my mind the thought that "Here is just the sort of place I might get raped and murdered".

But anyway, when I wasn't checking to see if a potential attacker was trailing me, I did make time to watch and listen to the birds. 

I think I saw at least half-a-dozen blackbirds.  Some of them let me approach very close before flying away, so I take it they are not used to being interrupted there - or is it that they're very used to it?  Is it too early, or are they already pairing up now?  I thought that I saw several couples, which is good - a good year for baby blackbirds, hopefully.

Then I heard a lovely song, and looked around to see what it was.  It was a robin, perched on a branch.  Again, he didn't mind me getting very close.  I stopped for a while to listen.

So there were a few nice things on the walk, even though it wasn't really a very nice day for it.  I intentionally didn't go as far as yesterday, but still quite far - more than a mile.

Tina

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