I woke this morning at 06.29 and as I picked up my mobile phone to cancel the alarm set for 06.30; as I picked it up it went off, very happy that I would again be on time for the morning I got sorted and headed to the gym for some volleyball. Only three of us turned up which was a little disappointing but even so we had a good laugh and it was enough to wake you up before breakfast. I skipped breakfast again for the weight reason and instead went back to my room until it was time for the first activity of the day. It was around ten to nine this morning that I made my way in to the lift and down to the room which is where daily they have a meeting with all of the residents that are in the same group and discuss the previous day’s activities to see if they need to be adjusted for future groups or if they have been suitable, relevant and enjoyed. With the meeting over we stayed chatting for a while as the timings had needed to be pushed right for the next activity. After chatting for a while we headed off for a short break and a brew before heading to the gym where those who could would go on to the ski machine and learn to ski and snowboard and those who could not, which was myself and one other, went to the gym to use the equipment there. The instructor started me on a hand cycle machine, I was to do twenty minutes and every two minutes up the resistance, I then had to ensure I kept the RPM at no less than 60 but no more than 70 which was easy at first but then became more difficult. Not because the resistance was too much to turn the handles, but because with greater resistance came higher RPM as it mimicked the gears on a cycle, hard work which made me sweat madly from my head and yet nothing below that.
From this machine I went on to an air skiing machine which proved more difficult. I have no muscles to keep my body upright, this is achieved by me tilting my head, the problem is that I needed to look at a certain point on the equipment to get the most of the exercise. This meant that I would tip backwards and as I did not have any anti tips on my chair it meant that although I could do the exercise, I was not getting 100% out of it. After five minutes of this the instructor took me to the rope pull machine. Essentially it is a rope on a pulley that just goes round and round in one continuous loop. You can adjust the resistance to make it more challenging or not and the idea is to reach up as high as you can and pull down, hand over hand. Bloody hell it was hard work, even on the easy setting which the instructor very quickly changed for me, (bugger). Then he said he wanted me to do two minutes of pulling down and then one minute of pulling up, one minute eh? Easy eh? 60 seconds eh? I was allowed to put it on to the easy setting though which I thought was nice of the guy….BULLSHIT! 60 seconds of sheer hell, pain, disbelief and a whole host of swear words to go with it. I have to lean to stay upright as I have previously said so I cannot reach down to pull up and instead can only rest my arms on my legs and pull up without removing my arms from my legs or it will all go really wrong. Easy setting….my arse. Did not enjoy it one bit but did know that I had worked hard even for the three minutes I had used the machine. Next time I am in the gym I am to do twenty minutes on each exercise and then I may spend some time in the LOCAL HOSPITAL! Twenty minutes on the rope pull, well there is something to look forwards to!
As the gym session had been pushed right by an hour to 10.30 we all decided to meet in the library ready for the gardening. When I got to the library I was told that I had missed my appointment that had been arranged for 11.00, I had completely forgotten about it which I was a little bit pissed about as Lisa had actually booked it after our chat yesterday, the problems I have with my memory since my accident really does get on my tits if I’m honest, I forget things so quickly at times that it is little wonder why my Wife got so pissed off about it. It does seem strange though when Wifey is pissed off and tells you why but you have no recallection of what she has been pissed about. Not funny, very frustrating. Fortunately for me though the lady was able to see me right away. This did mean I would miss the gardening but I am unsure exactly how much I would have got out of it, I can only lie across my legs for so long before it becomes uncomfortable and ends in ridiculous spasms. The meeting I had was great, I left feeling really positive about the things we had spoken about and really do believe that the lady I spoke to may be able to make a few things happen for me, including some volunteer work for a couple of hours a week to help others, this is important; for me to have something to focus on and occupy my time constructively and involve me having to leave the house. I have to wait and see but I am looking forward to seeing not only what she can do for this part of my “recovery” but also potentially for my many ideas that I have had and continue to think of with regards to my website and wanting to assist others in a similar situation to my own, I will of course keep things updated as and when they hopefully happen.
With this really important and rewarding meeting done it was time for lunch, which I also skipped as I did not really want to eat for the sake of it and was not hungry so instead I had a cup of tea and headed back to my room for a short while until it was time to go to the art session. There has been some amazing pieces done by past residents and are on display in the classroom, members of my group who were in last week continued with the projects and pieces that they had started while the few of us that were on week one were spoken to by the art “teacher”. When she came to me I told her that a straight line with a ruler was not an easy thing for me to do to give her an idea of my incredibly lacking talent for art. I told her that I like to build Airfix models and she very kindly placed a large brown box next to me containing several 1:48 scale spitfires. “They have been started but you are more than welcome to look”, she said and so I set to opening the boxes and trying to find one that I could maybe start to paint and build. I found a relatively complete kit that had been started but the parts were assembled and not painted and as the plastic had no undercoat or primer, the paint that came in the small pots with the kits would not take. Suddenly it was not an enjoyable way of spending my afternoon and so I replaced the bits back in to the box. I stayed in the class looking at a couple of the books for an hour or so and then left the class to get a brew, ensuring that I thanked the lady for the time she had spent with me in the class.
At around five to four I went over to the gym again ready for sitting volleyball, thankfully this got a lot of the staff as well as residents involved and it was a right laugh. I had trouble tracking the ball as usual and was unfortunately smashed in the grid a few times where I did not see the ball coming and totally missed hitting the ball if it was knocked at me from certain angles as I simply could not see it and although we lost, badly, we spent most of the hour laughing like school kids. It really is funny to see the staff rolling about hoping to reach for the ball even though it is five feet away from them, a really good way to end the day. I spoke to Lisa and Amy who are my “case workers” for want of a better phrase about a few things today as I bumped in to them in the corridor, more chats to be had this week but today I felt much better. I’m not saying that I am as upbeat as I have been but I do feel like the positive George is poking his head up again. A very strange feeling when I consider how quickly I crashed, I am looking forward to the rest of the week now, tomorrow is again full of new things to try and a couple of meetings which I think will be very beneficial. The end to my day is going to be a new experience, will I like it? I have no idea, but I am going to go along and I either will or I won’t, either way you will get to find out tomorrow.