25 May 2008

lappy days

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2008 09:33 PM, EDT
Whatup! Updates and rambles coming, as usual. Watching Juno at the same time, so no promises on concentration...

Therapeutic activities:
Wednesday saw a coincidentally convenient break from the Gigerbug. The Giger bike (and quite a few other activities) requires hand grip, which I can't do voluntarily; to emulate this function, there are all sorts of ways to affix my hands and wrists onto upper appendage equipment. Unfortunately, the straps we've been using, combined with the quite repetitive motion of arm cycling, have worn my knuckles pretty redtastic. So that day sans Giger was appreciated.

Now that I've said all that, Wednesday's replacement activity was lifting weights on the machines on the first floor... With the same grip straps. Oops! It was a different motion, though - rowing, sort of - so not a problem. Some mat work, kinesio tape removal (ouch!), and time on the zap-bike rounded out the Wednesday session.

Friday was back to the Giger for a chunk, then free weights downstairs, then the e-stim bike. Pretty typical, eh? While I was on the bike, my rockin' also-therapizing neighbor did sitting trunk balance on a "peanut" (think two exercise balls fused together like a big 3D rubber Venn diagram) and simultaneously racked up twenty plus consecutive knockouts on Wii boxing... She's good. I can't even throw a Wii punch. Or sit on a peanut. Mmm, legume therapy.

I mentioned "lifting weights downstairs" without explanation. The Center for SCI Recovery, where I have therapy, is the second floor of the Brasza Outpatient and Fitness Center (part of the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, itself part of the Detroit Medical Center, whew). The first floor of the Brasza dahdeedah is basically a big gym - gym as in "gym membership", not courts and basketball hoops. There are zillions of weight machines and mats and treadmills and stuff. I think there are all of the necessary machines for a complete Nautilus fitness sequence, but no guarantees. I've been working on a rather all-purpose machine that I can't even pretend to describe well; it has cables that facilitate curls, tricep extensions, lat pulldowns, etc. Weee.

I haven't said anything about blood pressure either! Wow. As of Wednesday, I'm taking twice as much midodrine as before, which actually just brings me up from the starter to the normal dosage. Now that it's been a few days on the larger-dose regimen, I think it's helping some. To start, I'm trying to avoid putting my feet up. It's tough to tolerate, but I'm getting slightly used to it. Vision still goes sparkly during travel between home and rehab, courtesy of sitting up + brightness. One day at a time, they might say? I'm also adding extra salt to pretty much everything (I put salt in V8!). It seems so wrong.

Nerd therapy note:
I finally broke down and got a new laptop, and it arrived a few days ago. I claim that it has therapeutic benefits. Here's why.

First and foremost, it has a pretty big, glossy display that reflects more than a Kate Chopin essay. It's like sitting in front of a mirror all the time. I have to look at myself constantly no matter what I'm doing. Vain? Bah. Equivalently, I must stare at my terrible sitting posture and watch every screwy little thing I do that makes me twist my neck poorly, tilt my shoulders, fold up my wrists, etc. etc. etc. (In case I was not sufficiently self-conscious) Benefit: it's awful to look at myself, and I knew I was doing these things anyway; now I see when they happen and what to do to remedy.

Next, the keyboard includes a number pad on the right, such that the QWERTY section is offset quite a bit to the left. The touchpad is pushed over a gauche as well. I initially thought this would favor my left-handedness, but not so! The leftmost keys are far enough over that my armrest gets in the way, and I have to either reach around the outside of the armrest or use my right hand to press q, a, z and the like. Also, my left arm is straighter and the shoulder is higher when I use the touchpad. Benefit: mandatory exercise of left shoulder and right arm/fingers.

Finally, this thing is even bigger than the last lapster, and getting the "extended" battery does not conjure images of feathers and breezes. As in about ten pounds. The screen hinge is stiff, and a larger display means [radial integral] pushing it a greater distance to reach the same angle as before. The CD drive is on the opposite side, so I have to work harder to get to it. The media buttons on the front are difficult to press. Benefit: pushing the behemoth around on my lap/desk, simply using it might qualify as real exercise! Evil rubber feet.

So, wasting my life away on this new purveyor of zeros and ones is a justifiably healthy activity, even ignoring the actual intended utilities of such a machine. Ha. QED.

All done, methinks. Tune in next time for, umm, more letters and maybe words and sentences. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. lol.
    i just happened to be procrastinating and accidentally fell upon this 1/2-year-old post.
    First of all,, Kate Chopin essay ref. Winner.
    Second, you are currently (recently, not currently) rambo-ing away on the peanut, so there's that. Any peanut tennis?