Notes from the Neuro Café on 14th April 2021.
At last! Conor and various LEGS participants went to the barber! Getting a haircut is a topic of interest to everyone now we are emerging from lockdown. One LEGS member showed us the stylish 1970’s haircut they sported in the past, and we thought we might share some of our past haircuts to the group, either for suggestions and inspiration or just for a laugh and to act as a warning of what not to do.
The mobility scooter discussed in the past has arrived! Hopefully this will usher in a new era of independence… once approval has been obtained from the appropriate wife. Banter about husbands and wives and who is in charge ensued. A female reminded the males in the group that some people believe that women will use remote controls to oversee and steer those men who have had the COVID19 vaccine, whereupon the men remarked that is an impossible idea since no one can ever find the remote!
People are returning outside to socialise and also to exercise including in the outdoor ponds. It was noted that you should be careful and watch out for ice - you cannot see it and it is disconcerting when it hits your neck. It may not be a good idea to dive in to the water because the sudden cold makes you gasp and that is not helpful for breathing.
Some people are at the gym, planning pub lunches, going to the park - some with personal trainers - some are going Nordic Walking or simply out for a stroll. Holistic health as discussed previously has been offered to a group member via a suggestion from a GP surgery.
Routine and Neuroplasticity
Everyone agrees on the importance of structure and a daily routine to get back on the road to being healthy. Without a routine you can easily become disheartened and discouraged. Track what you are doing, perhaps keep a diary, and keep tabs on your progress. It may be a slow process but continuous small improvements lead to large overall improvements, which can sometimes be missed when we don't keep track.
One good tip is to track your walking progress is to video yourself. This way you can have visual feedback on how you are walking which can help with learning. It also provides a really nice way to track progress.
Notice what you have achieved and be aware there may be setbacks and the odd plateau here and there.
One participant is going to try mirror box therapy to see if movement improves in their arm.
The brain makes muscles move and it will be active - and connections will be firing - even when there is no apparent movement. Neuroplasticity through repetitions make it possible for neural pathways to reform.
Look back at where you were in the past and note progress. Do not feel a failure when you cannot do things. Take your time. Push yourself, but not too much.
The LEGS Captain Tom 100 Challenge - 30 April to 3 May 2021
In memory of Captain Tom, LEGS is joining the nationwide fundraiser. Participants, staff, families and friends are encouraged to complete a sponsored challenge centered around 100. We are invited to send in suggestions to Conor for goals.
The group inevitably started with some lighthearted ‘100’ ideas such as 100 cakes, 100 pints of Guinness… although it was swiftly noted this does not sound positive and might not be too much of a challenge for our Celtic connections!
Healthy ideas included 100 vegetables consumed (for Conor?), 100 steps, 100 sit to stands, 100 swimming stroke in the cold pond, 100 flights of stairs, 100 single leg stands, 100 things you thought you would never do (again).
We have all enjoyed the exercise sessions this past year. We might enjoy even more asking the physiotherapists to do some of the exercises they have invited us to do. Please send in your suggestions! We will send all participants details this week.
Seedlings are growing apace and will soon be put outside in the daytime. Orchids are sprouting, water once a week.
What would you like to do at the Neuro Café? Conor is going to propose some guest speakers. Other ideas include Tai Chi, share our stories, readings, performances, entertainment.
Do not forget to look at our interesting resources, including videos, on the LEGS Members’ Area.