Sunday, 8 April 2018

Symptoms Update - fall, bike, bed, tired!

This is a quick update on symptoms. Whilst the post title may suggest a single story, these are in fact separate things.

Last year I took part in the Plymouth HSP falls study. Over this time (and in fact before this time) I didnt have any falls. There have been a few moments when it has been close, but I have been able to prevent a fall. The other week I had my first fall, which marks the start of a new symptom to be tracked. I was coming down the stairs at home, wearing socks. About half way down one of my feet either missed or slipped off the step which caused me to fall down. I landed on my bottom, and aside from one toe bumping into the banister/balusters during the landing there was no damage done. I've noted before about using the banister to get up and down stairs, which I do pretty much all of the time (except when carrying). I know that I use the banister less going downstairs, but I think this fall was from going too fast rather than anything else.

Readers may note that some while ago I switched from using normal pedals on my bike to using cleats. As noted this has prevented my feet from sliding all over the pedals, which is a good thing. Recently I've been trying out different muscle groups whilst cycling, and when my muscles are feeling a bit tight from my normal cycling I switch for a short while to putting the power on when i'm pulling my feet up rather than pushing them down. This helps rest those other muscles, and a few minutes later I'll be back to normal.

When in bed these days I'm finding it much more comfortable to sleep on my side with my legs bent a little at the hips and knees. I have mostly slept either like this or laying flat on my back. When laying on my back I'm feeling the tension in my leg muscles, which is not conducive to going to sleep.

Overall, I'm spotting that I'm needing to sit down quicker. I had observed during the Christmas season the need to sit down later in the evening, but I am now beginning to spot that symptom earlier in the day as well. Once I've sat for a short while I'm then able to get back up and carry on. This is most likely the spasticity of my muscles, but as this happens more when I am tired, it may also be a bit of fatigue creeping in.

Taking all this into account, I kind of realise that I'm unlikely to be able to manage spending the day walking 20-25km in the Lake District any more, which is a bit of a shame. I am though, still going out for various longer bike rides at the weekends, which is a good way to test how tired i'm getting. I notice that it is my legs which get tired well before the rest of my body gets tired, and fitbit tells me that my heat rate very rarely gets into the peak zone. I've recently worked out how to get heart rate from fitbit into strava, so there's a new dataset to look at as well.

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