Gardening

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Gardening

Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:44 pm

Hi everyone - I was diagnosed in February and have to have another MRI in August to see whether the syrinx has increased.

Anyway, my NS told me to try and live life as normally as possible so I have started a gently exercise programme under the guidance of my physio and decided I would take the NS's advise. I spent some time gardening in the weekend, only two hours and was basically on my hands and knees for most of it. I discovered that after this I couldn't stand unaided for about an hour and couldn't walk properly for about three hours after that. No pain, just my legs were really wobbly!

I told me GP about this and he was unsure why it happened. Has anyone else had this experience? Do I now have to garden lying down :-)

Kia Kaha
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby georgiagal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:57 pm

Sorry to hear you now have to do your gardening laying down! That really bites!!

I love your picture!!!

GG
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:05 pm

Thankyou - I keep changing it because for once I aren't getting booted off! My connection every now and then decides its not going to work - usually after I have just written a nice and long post - and I end up losing it all!

Gardening lying down could be rather funny - my dogs would love it! I have two large bullmastiffs that dream of being lapdogs - unfortunately one weighs 57kg, the other 55kg so if they sit on your knee, the couch collapses. They will probably think that if I am lying down in the garden - it is open season for sitting on "mum".
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Postby Snoozie » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:15 pm

Hi Sarah, when you are gardening is your head down? I know when I was picking some weeds and had my head down just a little not only could I barely stand up straight but I was very lightheaded and a little dizzy.

At times like that I put an ice pack on my neck and it helps.

I used to love to garden but cannot keep up like I used to. We are going to try a veggie garden this year. Take it easy...Sue
Seek peace, and pursue it. (Proverbs 34:14)”
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:27 pm

Hi Sue

Yes, now that I think of it I did have my head down but didn't experience the light headedness or dizziness. My legs were literally like jelly! I will try your suggestion of the ice pack if it happens again.

It seems that a lot of my symptoms are progressing quite rapidly (bladder and loss of sensation in my back) but I am determined to try and carry on as normal, as much as I am physcially able. My next MRI should be interesting! I am going to ask if they can check my brain again as there were a few lesions showing in the last MRI (February) but they put that down to the trauma from the previous spinal injuries.

My grandmother, great aunt and cousin all have MS which is what they were originally looking for when they found the SM. Positive thoughts that I am only dealing with SM!

Kia Kaha
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby cash71 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:57 pm

HI Sarah,

I would suggest that when you are trying out new activities or activities that you haven't tried in a while that you take it slow. 2 hours was probably too long. Maybe try something new for 15 minutes or 30minutes and if that goes OK increase it.

I can't garden at all anymore but the thing I have learned is that baby steps is the key. sm is pretty unforgiving but sometimes you can work your way up to things or if you take frequent breaks you can still get things done. You may be able to do 2 hours of gardening but not all at once. You may have to do 15 minutes at a time with rest breaks.

It usually takes me all day to clean my little house b/c of all the rest breaks I need.

Also, have you been screened for tethered cord? Muscle weakness in your legs and bladder symptoms that you mentioned scream out tethered cord as a possiblity to me.

I hope this is helpful,

Caroline
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle (Plato)

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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Hi Caroline

Thanks for answering. Yes, they checked me for tethered cord and no issues there. The herniated discs and fracture in the thoracic area cannot be treated and the spinal cord damage is permanent. The T6/7 one is apparently the one that has done the most damage. The NS thinks the injury happened about ten years ago, and he said that any surgery there wouldn't give me any benefit and it is pretty major so best to leave it.

I have in the last six months, got significantly weaker in the left side (legs and arms). My physio couldn't even feeling any muscles working there when she was organising my exercise programme.

It was discovered that I was retaining a significant amount of urine after going to the loo (had a scan for women's problems), and have now pretty much lost all sensation of needing to go. Eg, in the weekend I forgot to go when I got up and eventually remembered at about two in the afternoon that I hadn't been at all that day. It has progressed to not being able to have a 'full' empty so I am being referred to a uerologist (sp). Also, bowel movements have pretty much done the same thing!

I discovered a few months ago that I needed to do my housework in small sections and to be honest, didn't realise how long I had been pottering in the garden. I think I will set a timer next time.

I suppose I am lucky that I don't really have any pain, I had some discomfort in my neck but medication has taken care of that. In fact, I don't feel anything anymore in my torso including the monthly women's pain, sunburn, muscle cramps, insect bites - not a thing! That is probably the biggest concern to the doctors, as I can't feel when things are going wrong.

But, I am remaining positive and make an effort every day to be thankful for what I do have.

Kia kaha
(means 'be strong' in Maori)
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:21 pm

Keesha - I did think it could be an excuse for buying a tractor but my husband would have a fit :-) and our little yard isn't big enough to turn it around!

My husband bought me some gardening tools (my lovely Xmas present) which I can actually hold, the problem was I was only pulling out small weeds that had grown on top of a weed mat so the gardening tools weren't any good.

Maybe I should buy a goat????? Or even better - get my husband some gardening tools for his birthday :lol:
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby Amy Joe » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:56 pm

I love to garden, but the bending over is a killer. So now I sit on the ground, or lean to one side. Limiting the time is key. 2 summers ago I painted the foundation trim in 1 day, spent 4 in bed.

Moderation is very important and not bending or straining your neck.

Do not give up the outdoors or gardening, just ease into in.

God bless

Amy Joe
MVA 11/05, Dx CM 7mm 1/06, PFD 10/07/2008
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:56 pm

I didn't know that about the newspaper, thankyou for that. I will tell hubby and start collecting it. We are in the middle of renovations and have nearly finished the interior before we attack the gardens, so it will be a fantastic time to implement the newspaper thing.
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:02 pm

Hi Amy Joe

Thanks for your advice and I definitely don't want to give up the gardening. It is quite a peaceful past time when I am not diving out of the way of bee's! The husband has offered to buy me a wee chair for when I am doing the weeding - very sweet of him but I still think he is just trying to get out of doing it himself.

We have just over half an acre of land but luckily, most of it is either driveway / house / landscaped etc, so there is only three garden areas that need to be kept tidy. When we redo the yard and put more weedmat (with the newspaper underneath), we are covering it with river rocks so that should take care of the weeds for a while. Then I can create my herb garden - and I can't wait for that.

Take care
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby sarahb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:15 pm

Keesha - the self-cath is what we are trying to avoid but I have the feeling it is an "eventual" rather than a "maybe". Is it as bad as I am thinking? And were you the same as me - no sensation, retention, progressing to not being able to get it all out when I go. At the moment I go when I remember which over the weekend - wasn't very much! Sorry for all of the questions and I hope they aren't too personal.
Syrinx C6-T12 (and growing), Old compressed fracture T4, Disc Herniations T6/7 & T8/9 pressing on the spinal cord, Hemangioma T4, Aneurysm
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Postby Ryzing » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:57 pm

Hi Sarah!

I like your picture, too. Very nice!

I wouldn't give up the gardening. 2 hours was a long time to be on your hands & knees, so I'm not surprised you had this reaction afterward. Maybe you could do it for 30 minutes at a time, a few times a day. What you did reminds me of myself this past weekend - I did waaaay too much and, well, let's just say I ended up like you!

I don't blame you, though - we just want to do the things we used to do. My 'mama' scolds me a lot, as she should (you know I love ya, mama - thanks for looking out for me). Gardening is definitely peaceful and relaxing - and nothing is better than growing your own flowers & vegetables. I can't stand weeds - so I'm usually out there, on my knees, picking them out of our landscaping. If I waited for anyone else to do it, my yard would look like a jungle!

I wish you the best,

Diane
Syringomyelia - C4-T12, Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, DDD
"If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?"
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Postby georgiagal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:38 pm

Just a little gardening tip from my mother (I do NOT do yard work!) But, when they were dealing with weeds, the store clerk @ Lowe's told them to use roofing shingles in their pine beds. They cleared out their flower/pine beds and put down shingles, then laid their mulch and/or pinestraw. They haven't had a weed yet, and the shingles take years to break down (if ever).

GG
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Postby Flash » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:55 pm

Its hard for people who don't have SM to do gardening for two hours so don't beat yourself up on that one....I can't sit on my knees for more than ten minutes without getting pins and needles and aches and pains....so just take it easy....get up and walk around and do some thing else thats what my husband does....does it for ten minutes then moves onto something else then comes back...eventually it gets done....The lawns i usually get someone else in...only because we got rid of our mower...mind you if you can find some young spunky six pack who will take his shirt off to do the gardening thats even better....you can sit on the deck with some ice tea and google him......
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