This is last weeks program at the Royal Talbot. As you can see I’m kept pretty busy and it is almost like getting up for work everyday.
UL FES – electrodes are hooked up to my triceps, stomach, and lower back muscles while I use the arm cycle. The electrodes contract the muscles helping my biceps and shoulders move the stationary arm bike. The main reason I use this is to try and kick my triceps into gear.
Wheelchair Skills – Do a range of things trying to improve my ability in a chair. We practice going up a 5cm step, going up ramps, opening doors, balancing on my back wheels so that eventually I’ll be able to get my tip wheels off, going down and over curb cuts. Last week was the first time I made it up a 10cm step.
OT Shopping Group – We jumped on a bus to the shops which is an experience in itself. We have a list of ingredients we need to buy for cooking group which we try and get off the shelf ourselves, put it into the basket that is on our lap and then go to the register and try to pay for it.
PT – Physiotherapy. At the moment I am working really hard on tranfering from my chair to bed and back, trying to get my legs up is the trickest part… this is going to take a while to get right but is going to be a big part of my independence. I am also working on my bed mobility and my balance as I have no trunk/core muscles working. Outside of rehabilitation hours Lucy and I are working on my car transfers which is slowly improving. This week was the first time I was able to transfer myself in and out of the car on my own, I hope to get a video up soon.
OT – Occupational therapy. Works a lot on my wrist strength, which allows me to pick things up. Other things I have been working on with the OT is upper body dressing and eventually lower limb dressing, putting washing on, cooking, emptying my own leg bag and writing. The OT will make up all the splints that I need such as the ones Im using to type with right now.
Moving and Transfer Group – Is a group Physiotherapy session working on moving and transfers.
Moving Arms – A group session where we do all arm exercises trying to improve strength, endurance and range of motion.
Weights – My favourite session. My sessions include bicep curls on a cable machine with my hands hooked in, cuff weights around my wrist working mainly on my shoulders, therabands and push ups. I also do dips and shoulder depressions(opposite of shrugs) on a machine which replicate transferring the best.
FES Bike – Electrodes are put onto my quads, hamstrings, and butt muscles, which are then contracted by the electrical stimulation and make my legs ride the bike. Refer to the video titled FES bike to see this in action.
Cardio – Changes every week, but more often than not is a mixture of sprints, suicides and weaving in and out of cones. Its always a very tough session and is just as much a weights session as it is cardio because my muscles just aren’t strong enough yet. The highest I’ve had my heart rate up to is only 101bpm where before my accident it would get to 200bpm, this is largely due to only using a small proportion of muscles.
Hand Cycle – Unfortunately this was cancelled but I was suppose to try a hand cycle for the first time. Hand cycles go out on the road and would be my equivalent of a bicycle. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to try this in the next couple of weeks.
Cooking Group – In the kitchen making some food. Its a really good chance to try and find my way around the kitchen, getting things out of the fridge, cupboards and trying to use things such as the stove, toaster and kettle. We made bacon and eggs and I was in charge of the bacon. I’ve also made a pizza, which was a success (if I do say so myself) even if I did get tomato paste everywhere.
Tennis – I Have a crack at tennis. I try and hit the ball over the net using a racquet that is taped to my wrist. Were obviously not very good, but it’s a good chance to throw around a bit of banter with the other blokes and also get around each other when someone makes a couple of good shots.
Hydro – Just started getting in the pool in the last two weeks. Its good to get a stretch out on your back sculling as opposed to sitting in your chair all the time. Its the first steps to getting back in the water in preparation for one day maybe having the chance to bodyboard.