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Today was yet another excellent day and another of the mile stones that I have come to in my recovery from GBS and wanted to share it with you. I have been an avid outdoors nut for many years and have enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing and hunting. Of course since I came down with GBS I haven't been able to much of anything in the great outdoors. I set a goal earlier this year to try and get back into the woods for fall rifle season and go deer hunting. I know there will be those who don't like hunting so I won't go into details about the hunt, but I feel that the example of goal setting and working towards that goal is a good way of helping to motivate some one to work towards recovery!!
Today I was recovered enough to be able to get back into the woods and successfully completed a deer hunt with a little help from my patient brother. Getting to the point I was able to get out was a long process, but one that has helped me to become more independent and has greatly improved my quality of life.
In order to meet my goal I had to have enough upper body strength to hold up my deer rifle and keep it steady. I also needed to be able to walk from my vehicle to the blind where I would be hunting while wearing lots of clothing and carrying all the gear I would need associated with deer hunting. Then I needed to be able to walk over uneven terrain and through obstructions such as grass and timber while wearing all clothing and packing the extra gear. The final obstacle would be being able to consisting and safely operate my firearm and pull the trigger.
To reach this goal I spent lots of time pushing myself on an aerobic exerciser known as the Nu-Step to strengthen my legs and build up my endurance. On a resistance scale of 1-10 I started at a 3 and have worked my way up to 9 and 10 and have started to increase the duration.
The upper body strength was increased by using theraband and free weights. I am still not back to my original upper body strength but within the next month or two I will be able to get back into a gym and hopefully make really impressive gains.
To get my hands back into shape and able to hold weight I spent a lot of time working with theraputty and have increased two resistance grades since I began. This theraputty was great in helping me to get back to being able to hold my fork again and getting rid of that cuff!
While not every one enjoys hunting like I do, there will be a hobby or a goal that they can work towards. If you haven't started therapy yet, you will learn about goals once you start. You should set both short term and long term goals. My first short term goal was to roll onto my side and my first long term goal was to get out of the hospital. Once one goal is met you need to set another one, it sure helped me to have something to work towards.
This page was last modified: July 18, 2006