Saturday, November 28, 2009

Trying Not to Walk This Way

Quilt Status: 5 squares done. 15 to go.

Two weeks of radiation done. 10 treatments. I was told that I would mostly start feeling the effects after about the 10th treatment. Reall, though, I don't feel too bad. Definite tenderness in the radiated area but very tolerable. Fatigue for sure, which just requires giving in to the feeling. I keep applying lotion.

One thing I haven't talked much about, probably because I keep expecting it to subside and because I don't understand it, is my difficulty walking sometimes.

It started with the edema and so I've associated it with that and, in my mind, the edema explained it. My ankles and legs were so tight with puffiness, of course they didn't bend properly and the veins were probably constricted, explaining the pains and stiffness. So, I thought that would subside when the edema diminished. Not so. And then I thought it was because I wasn't getting enough exercise and my calf muscles had tightened up, so I was very diligent about doing exercises to stretch and limber those muscles. No difference. In fact, it seemed to make it worse. I tried walking more and what I've found (and this seems inexplicable to me) is that the more active I am (and I'm not talking about pushing myself at a gym ... I mean more active in a "getting groceries, walking back and forth through parking lots, doing laundry, sweeping floors kind of way), the more likely my muscles are to seize up by the end of the day. If I take a day and sleep it away (like I did a couple of days ago), I can walk so much better at the end of the day. It's so strange. I don't understand it at all.

Let's say I've had a moderate amount of exercise engaged in nothing more than normal, moderate daily activity. At the end of the day, if I stand up after having been sitting for a short time, I have to stand there for a while before I can even hazard a step forward and then, when I do, I can hardly move at first. It really takes some shuffling and effort to move myself along. I look like I need a walker. No kidding! And it's worse the more active I've been.

Today, I'm wondering if it isn't to do with the neuropathy from the chemo. My feet and fingers are still as numb as they've ever been and I recently read that neuropathy can also include pains in the legs, which I have sometimes and which causes some of my problems with walking. Maybe the problem is neuropathy and maybe it will just take a lot longer for it to subside.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Heather.
    I wonder if your idea that it is linked to the neuropathy is spot on as I think because of the numbness etc. in your feet you are experiencing different sensations and disruption in what feeling you have because the nerve endings are in a state of flux. I think as the neuropathy subsides over time you will find your balance and all these other problems that you mention will improve. In other words when you put your feet down they will feel like your feet and not like something from outer space. Not sure if I expressed this very well but I think you know what I mean. Hope all of this Stuff doesn,t interfere with your Grey Cup plans.
    Love, Syl.


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