Today, I have just read an article that stipulates that Covid-19 is just one of many Covid virus strains and that a worse one is on the way. This is the worst news we could possibly hear, because if this worst strain starts to gain momentum throughout Europe it could be years before lock down is lifted. I don't even know if it is going to be safe going back into work and this is despite the fact that working from home is doing my head in and having a serious knock on affect on my health.
My lymphoedema has been at its worst and the compression socks I have are agonising to wear after 4 to 5 hours of sitting at my desk and working at a pc. The first feeling to set in the first two hours of wearing compression is pins and needles in my toes, then cramps hit my toes as they have restricted movement. The next is the severe tightening in my ankles and the first of the ridges starting to dig in and cause me horrendous pain. 11/10 for pain. But I tell myself I am supposed to get used to them so better keep them on. After 3 hours I get horrendous throbbing and pain in my calf muscles and despite getting up to walk around every hour for five minutes, it is still not helping. Then I get the feeling that my upper right calf wants to go into a cramp and my lower left calf is in a cramp from which there is no relief. After 4 hours pins and needles and pain has set in around my knees and I feel that I can barely walk for the pain. They are very difficult to get off and the effort gives me an asthma spasm, so much so that I feel I'd like to cut them off before I pass out with the pain. Then comes the relief, Thank Christ, I've managed to get them off, by standing on a bit of the sock and trying to pull my foot out, apply the same technique to other leg and to finally ease my pains, lie down on my bed at around 2:30 in the afternoon for 15-20 minutes to allow the circulation back into my legs and feet.
It is far better for me to suffer the dull ache of my legs and feet as they fill up with fluid than the horrendous agony caused by the compression socks, evidence of which is still there some 2 hours later with the extra red ridges that I did not have before.
The thing is when standing in front of my classroom teaching, my lymphoedema was hardly any bother, I certainly didn't have agonizing pain with it so long as I was teaching and standing, just a dull ache and the swelling by the end of the day which throughout my day would be building up to that. Leaving my skin expanded, shiny and hard and with slight pins and needles. Sitting for long periods is bad for me, as I can't work with pc on my lap just to keep my feet raised so instead sit at my desk.
In actual fact I always feel a bit better after exercise with my feet and legs. So I thought I'd share them with you now. Sharing these exercises I feel is the one positive thing I can do to help others, if I can.
1) Stand in a doorway and with your arms upright and holding on to the sides of the doorway, rise up and down on to your toes 6 - 8 times and each time hold yourself upright for a count of 4 then lower. You can use the back of a kitchen chair for most of these exercises if that feels better for you.
2) Still holding on to the doorway sides, turn your left foot foot four times anti clockwise in a circle from your ankle and then clockwise four times, repeat the exercise for your right ankle
3) Still holding on to the doorway, bend both knees together a short distance and hold for four before raising yourself upwards, try this 6-8 times
4)Still holding the sides of the doorway raise your left foot from the knee joint and circle this 4 times anti-clockwise and then 4 times clockwise, repeat the exercise for the right knee.
5) Still holding onto the doorway sway your hips side to side, as if your mid region was a pendulum. Try this for 1 minute and a further minute to include swaying your legs in the movement to loosen up your torso and legs from the sides,
6) Let go of the doorway and continue to sway your hips side to side but this time allow your shoulders and arms to sway with you try this for two minutes..
7) Then loosen your shoulders from your shoulder joint 6- 8 times turning them anti-clockwise and then clockwise. Repeat this for your elbows and wrists.
8) Then very slowly rotate your head from the neck to loosen up your neck and shoulders 3-4 times first anti-clockwise and then clockwise. Remember to breathe with this one as you don't want to be fainting.
9) Then imagine you have a string running through your body and give yourself several short stretches upwards using your arms in a weighted but downward position. This is very good if you try slowly breathing in and out as you do it. Now if you feel comfortable raising your arms repeat the stretches with your arms in front of you and then to the sides and lastly above your head.
10) Stretch each limb in front of you and behind you one after the other and conclude by marching on the spot for a full minute.
11) if you have time before marching on the spot you could take your arms and hands finger walking up the closed door to open up a stretch in your armpit first the left and then the right, and you could if you had the time open up a stretch behind your knee by flexing your legs slowly backwards and stretching whilst standing at the kitchen sink. In both these exercises you are supported so should not fall.
This little lot makes me feel human again and lovely and warm all over. How effective over time this will be I have no idea, all I know is that it makes me feel like my arms and legs are in working order and far better than compression. If it was safe to go out into the yard, I would set up my re-bounder to do my walking and marching exercises on.
I am just not all that convinced that with Covid going around that outside is safe.
Have you got anything you would like to share?