Thursday, April 07, 2005

Third Visit to the Physical Therapist

Well I found out why I fell over from a sitting position and smashed my head against a large rock in the terraced rockerie next to our deck. I have a problem focusing on a fixed object when moving my head in any direction. Normally someone can move their head from side to side and their eyes can remain focused on a stationary object. I however cannot.

From what I can remember and understand, this is called my
VOR: Vestibular Ocular Reflex.
When I was putting refuse wood in the box on the deck I was quickly moving my head from side to side and shifting my focus from the ground to the box sitting on the side of the deck. Even though I was at a sitting position, I still got disoriented from moving my head and thus fell over without realizing it until after it happened.

The therapist thought there was some improvement in my face. We did the face exercises combined with marching in place to work on my multi-tasking skills. It is easy to just do the marching but much harder when trying to combine another activity on top of it. If I am marching on the foam pad and my attention is diverted and I started talking to someone, then I lose my balance. So when I do my activities, such as walking, hiking, or running, I have to keep my focus straight ahead and concentrate. If walking with someone who wants to communicate with me, I need to use my walking stick to keep me on track.

After the appointment I treated myself to a meditative visit to one of my very favorite places in Seattle: The volunteer park conservatory. I used to go there all the time after my bi-annual MRIs. The place is so fresh and serene. It has the ability to pull you away from the chaos of the world and to draw you in to the essence of nature. It is a place that is ideal for reflection and thought.

There are 5 rooms at the conservatory: 1) desert/cactus 2)bromelaid room 3)tropical rainforest/cycads 4) orchids/tropical 5) native and seasonal display
Right now the orchids are magnificent and their sweet aroma is intoxicating when you enter the room. Some of the most beautiful orchids I have ever seen are in bloom right now.

The daffodils must be finished there as their tulips were not quite open yet outside and inside. It will be beautiful inside the native display room when they open! Right now they have my favorite hydrangeas in bloom there. My next PT appointment is this Thursday at 4:30 pm so I will have to try to get down there early so I can visit the conservatory beforehand to check on the tulips!

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