Getting Fit On My Recumbent Trike!

I’ve officially had my new Terratrike Rover 8 (sounds like something from NASA huh?) recumbent trike for over a week.  I’ve officially been riding since this past Friday.  Why the delay in getting out there?  Adjustments!  I needed to take my trike back in a couple of times to have things “tweaked”, added/subtracted, etc to get it “just right” for me.

So this past Friday (5/23/14) I started marking down how far I’d gone & how I felt.  I decided, since many stroke survivors face the decision to try and “get back out there” and get fit, I’d keep a mini log for myself & for you too if you’re interested.

I will start here with Saturday as that was the first day I made notes:

5/24/14:  Rode 1.5 miles today.  Played around with seat arrangement & finally feel like I have it “just right” for me 🙂  Not too hot, but won’t be going far after 9am.

5/25/14:  Rode 4.2 miles today!  Felt great.  Got out by 8am.  79-80 deg already so will have to be up earlier to go farther.  Was amazed at how good I felt.  Could have gone farther, but didn’t want to push it!

trikecartoonBTW:  If you are curious about recumbent trikes and/or bikes, I have found a wonderful website called: Bentrider OnlineThis site has more information on recumbent bikes and trikes than any other.  Their forum is a wealth of information and the members are very supportive and happy to help you out.

 

It Just Sucks and It’s Not FAIR!!!!!! (Rant warning!)

My husband is asleep upstairs after a bitter augment we had.  Was he right?  Was I?  Nope!  We were both right.  We were both wrong!

Stroke takes a lot away from the patient, but also from the family, especially the spouse.  At some point the kettle blows off steam, as it did tonight!  My husband let it be known, very loudly, that he’s tired of taking on such a heavy load.  I have no room for debate.  I play the “negotiator” at that point because I know how burdened he is.

But I also know that some of the argument is not my fault!  I wake every morning with a mental list of what I know MUST BE DONE.  And with all intent, I pursue those tasks.

Before my stroke, I could easily make a mental list of things that needed doing and getting most done (hey I had two boys to upset the schedule).
But my stroke took my mental organizer away.  And this is something that is harder than hell to explain to someone who has never gone thru this.  I will awake and tell myself, “Self, today you need to clean up the kitchen, do two loads of laundry, and go buy cat food!”

I will get to the kitchen, and rinse off the dishes to put in the dishwasher.  I look out the window and realize the cat needs to be fed.  So I go to feed the cat, forgetting we are out.   While I’m outside, I realize the hose needs to be rewound.  So I do that.  Then the dogs are scratching at the screen and need to be let out.  So out I let them go.

By the time I get them back inside,  I look over at the bills and think, “Gee, do I need to pay any bills today?”  I look them over and pay a couple that I see.  By this time, I need coffee and sit for a few.  As I’m sitting I realize I need to do laundry.  So, because it take two trips on my stair chair, I head up to get the laundry.  While I’m up there, I realize that my husband’s Nook could need recharging, so I plug it in.  While in the bathroom, I note we need TP, so I go downstairs and bring some up.  Then one of the dogs has followed me up and I think, “I need to get cat food later.  I better get the kennels downstairs.”  So, completely forgetting the laundry, I get the kennels downstairs after herding the dogs with me.

I get the dogs in the kennels, and take my scooter to the store and get cat food.  I get home and realize that it’s almost time for everyone to get home.  I look around.  One load of laundry still awaits being put in the dryer (while the other load is still upstairs).  The kitchen still looks like a bomb hit.  And, though I bought the cat food, I’ve completely forgotten to fill the bowl to feed said cat!

So when everyone gets home, they see me sitting on the couch and think, “My God!  She hasn’t done anything today!”  To look around, it looks it.  But I’ve spent the day running around doing “little things” as I see them.

It’s not just the memory that the stroke screws up!  It’s the mental organizer!  Late paid bills even though you looked at the calendar, but were looking at the wrong month!  Dinner at 8:30 because it’s getting dark later and it doesn’t make sense to you!  And on, and on, and on!

The caretaker, or spouse is ticked off because they have had to take on most of the mental homemaker organization.  The stroke survivor because they feel guilty for missing things that should be sooooo simple!

It just SUCKS!

 

 

Exercise Pre & Post Stroke!

Before my stroke, when I exercised, I would “work past the pain”, so to speak.  I didn’t think twice about sweating, heavy breathing, etc…. I knew it would be fine.  It was exercise after all.  My husband & I used to hop on our cruiser bikes and hit the bike trail.  We’d think nothing of riding 10-15 miles in a weekend.

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Terratrike Rover 8

Since my stroke, I haven’t done much, if any regular exercise.  When I exercise now, I am “fine-tuned” in to every little pain & uncomfortable feeling.  I get nervous and scared thinking something will happen.

Last Saturday I picked up a recumbent trike. After researching, I found these trikes to be of great benefit to people with disabilities, balance issues, knee/back problems, etc..  They are surprisingly adaptable to the person riding it.

Anyhoo, all excited to ride, I set out with my husband on Sunday morning about 11:00.  I expected it to be hard, but what I was surprised about is how out of shape I really have gotten.  My leg muscles felt like Jello, and my right arm/shoulder were burning.  Added to the equation that is was HOT (Yes, I had water!) and I didn’t do well.

We stopped at a convenience store to get something to drink (water was gone), and I felt truly sick to my stomach, flushed, and dizzy.  Mostly, I felt embarrassed.  Embarrassed because I felt like I had left my husband down, and myself get to that point!  Yes, I know I had a stroke.  Yes, I know I needed to concentrate on “more important things”, blah, blah, blah!  I joked with my husband that for a while, he may need to ride for an hour then come get me and we’ll go from there just so he feels he’s getting a workout in, lol!

If I could give any stroke survivor “words of wisdom”?  It would be to try everything in your power, to get ANY FORM of heart pumping exercise as often as you can.  Even if its just sitting on the couch raising hand weights up/down 100 times.  Or walking from the front of the house to the back 5, 10, 15 times a day.

Now I am back at square one.  I know I will get there.  Maybe not that exact place, but I will get to a better place!  I’ve started eating better again by adding more veggies to my diet.  My husband & I each got a Britta hard-side filtered water bottle.  This enables us to fill up anywhere, all day, without having to stop and buy bottled water.

And, there is my new trike!  While I am still getting adjusted to the reclined position, and we need to make one more modification to the handlebars, I love it!  Except now, in Arizona, you have to get your exercising in early in the morning before it gets too hot.  But that’s ok too.  My husband keeps telling me the Arizona mornings are beautiful.  As long as he has the coffee ready, I’m game.  Just don’t talk to me before that first cup is empty……..Ok? coffekill

 

Mobility Scooter For Sale So I Can Buy a Recumbent for Therapy!

It may be weird to use my blog to post this, but I am in the process of trying to sell my mobility scooter so I can use that money to help me buy a recumbent trike for outdoor exercise/therapy.

The scooter is a Pride Victory 9 3-wheeled model and it comes with a custom ordered sun shade/canopy that easily attaches/detaches.  This scooter is in EXCELLENT CONDITION.  I am in the Phoenix, AZ area.  I am asking $650.00/OBO  for the scooter & the custom ordered sun canopy.

I have more photos if interested.  Anyone interested, please email me at: tiniree2@msn.com

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Making Progress On My Own

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After, it seems, the doctor’s have set me adrift, (with prescriptions mind you that necessitate a  paid visit every 6 months) I am taking my recovery into my own hands!  I am selling my mobility scooter and will be using the money to pay for a TerraTrike Rover 8 (pictured above).  We have a neighbor who was in a horrible skiing accident four years ago.   They didn’t expect him to survive.   But he did.  And now he exercises using a recumbent trike!

It may take a few months to earn the cash,  but I will have this bike!

If Only I Could Fall Asleep This Easily…..

When I went to pick up my last Rx of Baclofen, I noticed the first couple days I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was waking up with leg cramps, and once awake, I couldn’t fall back asleep.  After two days, I played detective and discovered that although my last Rx bottle said Baclofen and so did my new bottle, they were each made by a different manufacturer.  I called the pharmacist at Walgreen’s and asked if the two different meds were the same.  He said, “Even though they both say Baclofen, their formulas could be slightly different giving your body trouble.”  I phoned my Dr. and he said, “Just give it a few more days for your body to get used to it!”  Just love the medical profession!

Found this video and thought:  “Wish I could fall asleep this fast!”