Cerebral Palsy

Maintaining My Physical Needs During Lockdown

Hello, it feels good to be back blogging- although I’m wary that I no longer have an editor i.e my educator to edit the blog, therefore I’m feeling a little nervous as we all know that my ataxic features (jerkiness as part of my CP) don’t shy away from making a typo or 2, that I somehow don’t see when editing!

During these past 4 months that I’ve not been doing my normal content, I’ve reflected on my blog a lot and I’ve had a good think about what I want my blog to entail and although I’ll never stop blogging about CP I think that there’s going to be a lot more occupational therapy content on here. I already have a few OT ideas for over the summer.

However, since there’s a global pandemic going on that I’ve not really addressed that much on my blog I thought I’d talk about how lockdown is affecting me the most and this has been my muscles.

I can’t walk very far without being fatigued due to my CP however I try and walk as much as I can so that my muscles don’t tighten up. With this in mind as soon as the restrictions came in, I feared tightening up.

Therefore, I decided to up the physio as I didn’t want to be in pain! I spoke about maintaining my physical needs last year on the blog and a year on I still do regular physio at home. But being in lockdown is an extra strain because alright, I use a wheelchair all day most days at university but I’m still not moving around as much.

To the cross-trainer, I went!

The virtual sponsored wobble with CP Teens UK couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as I’ll be honest I’d have the occasional week off due to being busy so training and participating in that gave me a real focus I managed to do 5k which was never something that I would have expected considering that last year I did the majority of it in my electric wheelchair.

Whilst we’re on that topic I know it’s a bit late due to placement but what a fantastic weekend this was and a huge thank you to those who donated!

Anyway, back to my point…

I’m fortunate that I have the facilitates to be able to do a work-out from home as it’s made me feel a lot safer as I’ve not really been on many walks during lockdown. I haven’t avoided going on walks but I’m still aware that although I am not amongst the most ‘vulnerable’ I am still ‘vulnerable’. If I have been on a walk, I haven’t taken my chair with me because I know that I’ve needed to stretch my legs. In fact, up until a few weeks ago I’d not used one of my chairs for 3 months and given that I use a wheelchair around 3 times a week this is something that I’m missing as I know that I’m not getting that regular postural support that I need from my chair.

I leave one of my powered wheelchairs that is made for me with extra supports at university, so when I do spend all day in that I don’t worry because I know that I need that support. But because I’ve not been at university, I’ve been in the one I own, however, this is just a standardized chair. Therefore, postural management has been extremely important for me during the lockdown and I realised this after seeing all the content from OT’s on Twitter (future post drop). Ever since realising this, I have been making sure that I sit in my chair whenever I do anything on my laptop… she says feeling very hypocritical as she’s writing the post sat on her bed. However, 9/10 times I do get my chair out if I know that I’m going to be sat at the table a while to make sure that I am maintaining my posture.

Are my muscles and posture suffering due to lockdown?

From studying OT I’m aware of how important my posture management is and I do worry that my posture and muscles could suffer as a result of lockdown. I am trying my best to keep active I would hate to think that my muscles are suffering because of my lack of effort in lockdown. But I do fear that I’m not being active enough and that I might need botox’s further down the line.

I feel quite lucky in the respect that most of my work was going to be done from home this year regardless and therefore COVID-19 hasn’t affected my plans as much as others. But just because it’s not affected my university work doesn’t mean it’s not affected other areas of my life because it has, and my muscles are suffering. However, I know I’m not alone and it will get better especially now that I’ve finished university for the summer as I can commit more time to being active.

How have you been managing pains in lockdown? Comment below : )

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

3 thoughts on “Maintaining My Physical Needs During Lockdown”

  1. Hi Georgia,
    I know how you feel. I haven’t been as active during lockdown as I usually do 4 hours of swimming training to help keep my muscle as easy to move as possible. Due to lockdown swimming pools are closed so I can’t do that.We have been given soon excersises to do to help us for when we get back in the water but I find them boring it’s like doing physio. Im not sure if you’ve gathered but I don’t like physio. I also wear splints on my legs but I usually only wear then during school hours. I wasn’t in school as much so I didn’t wear my splints which caused hip pain. Now I am back at school I’ve got into the habit of wearing them again. I know the feeling about having Botox injections again. I’ve had then four times and I’m hoping I won’t have them again. I am worried to that I might need them again so your not alone.
    Sorry this was such a long comment.
    Nia

    Liked by 1 person

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