Ergometer

Clement Bicycle / Library of Congress

Clement Bicycle / Library of Congress

I’ve been doing much exercise on the arm ergometer. This machine is like a stationary bicycle for the arms and upper body. It’s the next chapter in the electrical stimulation on my back. It is very boring and tiring to do 45+ minutes. The only way to pass the time is to listen to books on my phone. Any good book recommendations?

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Thanksgiving

Colorado / Library of Congress

Colorado / Library of Congress

We’re heading out to visit relatives this week, along with everyone else in the US. Ours live in New York, so we have a 5 hour car ride. My little son has taken to throwing up during any car trip longer than 15 minutes. We will be packing many, many changes of small clothing, plus a towel.

Happy Thanksgiving! Where are you going?

Happy Gait II

La Culture Physique / Wellcome Images

La Culture Physique / Wellcome Images


Some of you have asked how I made so much progress in my gait recently. I did lots of things, but I was finally able to isolate my hip flexor on my stroke side. Up hip! Forward, hip!

Exoskeleton II

Ekso GT

Ekso GT

My rehab hospital has a new exoskeleton for use by stroke and spinal cord patients. People in wheelchairs can walk around using this machine. The company that makes the device is also researching exoskeletons that add strength to soldiers.

Will this be our future?

Other exoskeleton machines I have used…

Rowing

Rowing / Library of Congress

Rowing / Library of Congress


This week is Head of the Charles, a regatta where people from all over the world row down the Charles River in Boston. I am amused: Harvard Square, usually filled with unathletic nerds, is instead dominated by tall, wide, buff people.

Happy Gait

Dancer / Library of Congress

Dancer / Library of Congress

Finally! I can walk without contorting my stroke leg. At my rehab hospital they videoed my walk and the PT was impressed.  No hip-hiking. No stubbing my toe. Just a happy gait.

Take that, therapists who want to discharge stroke patients after a few sessions. I’ve been working on my walk for a while, with slow but continual progress.

Strength

Strength / Wellcome Images

Strength / Wellcome Images

Neither my husband nor I are huge people. Our toddler, on the other hand, is a giant. Lugging a 33lb+ kid around beats the gym. Even my therapists have noticed.

Gimp

Choreographer Heidi Lasky has been creating works with abled and disabled dancers. Here is part of a work entitled the Gimp Project. She defines “Gimp” as:  1. a ribbonlike, braided fabric 2. fighting spirit; vigor 3. a lame person 4. slang; a halting, lame walk 5. to turn, vacillate, tremble ecstatically. Youtube here….

 

Back

Back / Wellcome Images

Back / Wellcome Images

I’m getting my back zapped! I’ve been using electrical stimulation on my arm and hand for this past year. It has led to a much looser hand. Now, my therapist has connected me with a huge multilimb machine. I go to my rehab hospital twice a week. Then I get covered electrodes on my back, shoulder, and arm. Then I use a stationary bike for my arms while I get zapped for 30 minutes. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Zzzzzzap!

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Cyborg

Cyborg / Alternative Limb Project

Cyborg / Alternative Limb Project

James is a scientist who was in a horrible accident and needed prosthetics. Then a video game company advertised for a patient who wanted a cyborg arm, like one of their game characters. You can see his story here.

Would you want cyborg limbs?