Thursday, March 1, 2012

10 Toes

10 toes. For most of us, all of the toes work - our brain tells them to wiggle, and automatically they wiggle. For some people, the signals get all messed up and toes don't wiggle. Then there are a few people like me. It's another Ampyra story, so if tired of them, skip this post.

When I first started Ampyra, I was in my car one day and to avoid leg cramps, tried to lift my left toes with my heel on the ground. It didn't feel like it was working until I heard "thump, thump, thump." I looked and indeed it was my left foot making that noise. All of a sudden, I could lift my foot, even though I couldn't feel it. "Tap, tap, tap."

Every morning since then, I have a process where I wake up and go sit on a white chair in our bedroom. On that chair, I lift my left foot 5 times in a row, pretend to lift my right foot 5 times, and repeat it. The right foot just stays on the ground while I pretend. Then I lift both feet (pretending with the right foot) up and hold them up for 10 seconds. I repeat that 2 more times. Sounds so simple. And sometimes it's become automatic, but some mornings I have to really concentrate on the muscles that tapping my foot possible.

This winter, waking up was in the dark. I can now feel the sensation of my left foot lifting. And I have continued to pretend my right foot is doing the same thing. But over the months, it has seemed that when I lift both feet to hold them, my right foot has been going up, too - it has seemed like pretend has changed, little by little. I have only sensed this because when putting my feet down, I feel my right foot hitting the carpet... which means it wasn't on the carpet.

Sometimes now it's light when I do these exercises - spring is coming. Now I can see what my feet are doing. The right foot, over time, has transitioned from the pretend land of lifting, to actually lifting. It's strange to sit there and watch this. But my right foot was only doing this when both feet were lifting at once. I contemplated, what if I really concentrated on those toes on my right foot and told them to move - could the right foot lift by itself?

It can! I have to really think about sending a message to my toes. It takes concentration on all toes for it to happen. And there are 2 stubborn toes that take my glares at them.

Who knew so much was involved in lifting toes? Now I think I know.


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