In my treatment journey, one of the things that I am very proud is that I have remained diligent about has been my exercise regimen (thru good and bad days). Before this relapse, I was not consistent with any exercise and most times found excuses to not do them. The term ‘Coach Potato’ fit me to a T! Now with a weakened spine, I knew having a weakened core would not work. Also, many exercises would not work especially the upright ones (treadmill, cycling, Zumba, etc.). In came ‘reformer Pilates’ as I knew it would support my back and not put pressure on it. So as soon as my neurosurgeon okayed it for me (which was March), I found a wonderful trainer Sara who worked on me 1:1 and we set course to strengthen my core three days a week. We worked a lot on legs, arms, abs…everything! There were days I dragged myself out of her studio and was done for the whole day! Now 6 months later, I feel stronger, in shape, and getting my energy is back! Thanks to Sara.
Also, in March I returned to work. It was hard! I didn’t have the energy, got tired and drained fast, and office setting especially the chairs didn’t work me (my doctors didn’t want me sitting but standing or lying instead but with weak legs sitting was the only option in the work setting). There were days (which were most days), my boss would send me home or allowed me to telecommute from home, which I was so grateful for. Interesting part is that my 1.5 commute didn’t bother me, and I attribute that to the car chair which enveloped my back and I could change its angle. Initially, I had to ensure that my exhaustion didn’t cause me to fall asleep on the wheel! However, as time passed, my energy got better and now I am at work full-time and fully functional 😊
Lastly in July (over July 4th holiday) and last week (over the Labor Day holiday), I took two trips to see how I would handle long distance travel. The first trip I took was to Seattle and Vancouver BC. I flew into Seattle where my Uncle and Aunt came to pick me up, and then they drove me to their house in South Surrey. It was a great getaway and my body could only handle small treks. We also drove to Victoria Island and went to Butchart gardens (which was the fastest trek I took as my back bothered me) but overall it went well. Over this past weekend, I took a road trip where I drove to Oakland. This trip was part business and part pleasure. I went for an interview and then visited family and friends in Orinda, Hayward, and then drove to Clovis (Fresno) to visit family with a stopover at Bakersfield to visit more family.
I am thrilled, happy and excited to report that I am starting to feel the old me again. Although the treatments are aiding in fighting the disease and continuing to heal me, I feel that being diligent with core strengthening is also allowing me to function as normally as possible. I am so looking forward to other adventures…. Yeeha!!!