Sunday, 27 October 2013

Thinking And Learning.

I may have to change my road trip driving habits. Yesterday we drove from Calgary to Saskatoon, about a seven hour run. After the day of driving my legs, especially the upper right leg, simply ached in pain from being in the truck all day. In addition my right shoulder was hurting again this morning. I think this is a result of the general loss of muscle in my legs, making it difficult to hold them in place while I drive, along with the persistent use and positioning of my left arm.

My legs are at the point where they cannot hold together while sitting, In my wheelchair the bars for the footrests hold my legs in place. In my Phoang chair from Ikea, I use a pillow on either side of my legs to hold them in a position more comfortable and centered to my body than the splay they fall into while I am seated. However in the truck I use a belt to keep my legs from splaying outward, falling awkwardly into a position of discomfiture.

The challenge in the truck is that the belt is fundamentally uncomfortable; my legs want to spread apart and the belt pulls them together, while in my wheelchair and Phoang chair my legs are pushed together or held in place. The pulling on the sides of my legs and the pressure on the top from the belt causes pressure on the now dead muscles, along with pressure on what viable muscle tissue I still have in my legs. It's a very different kind of feeling than the inward push from pillows or from the footrest bars. This pressure is annoying in the short term and moderately painful in the long term.

It seems that the best way to deal with this is to stop every couple of hours and stretch out the muscles in my upper and lower legs. In addition I need to constantly re-adjust my legs while I am driving, a process that requires lifting them and shifting them using my pants as a tool for manipulation of the limbs contained therein. It's not dangerous or anything like that; it's just another thing to be done in order to keep me on the road.

I am not giving up yet, not by any stretch of the imagination. I don't have any issues with short term driving. It's only on these long road trip days that this will be an issue. It does, however, get more than a little frustrating to continually have to learn new ways to do old things. Skills and abilities that I once had are leaving me. To stay independent I am compelled to respond. On the plus side, it does keep me thinking and learning.

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