Monday, February 6, 2012

A Minor Mystery and a Small Success

It was slightly puzzling me why I tended to turn left. At the moment, the left lens of my glasses is obscured so I avoid the worst of my double vision. I would have thought I would instinctively turn the other way, rather than into what is, effectively a huge blind spot, but I observed the opposite. (Yes, incidentally, I can now turn around without immediately falling over!)

It transpires, quoth my physio, that the left eye and left inner ear are more associated with equilibrium as one turns right. Since that's the side that has damage (above the neck, at least), turning right is slightly harder and so I automatically turn left. Something more to work on, of course, but mystery solved.

The small success I have enjoyed today was getting into a swimming pool. I've been gradually increasing the amount of times I can go to a (first hospital, then regular) gym, but hadn't yet ventured into the pool. The problem was my balance: Apparently it would not have been surprising if I did a roll onto my side or back and then had enormous trouble with the relative buoyancy of my left and right side. Since I was really quite a good swimmer, I found the prospect of having it taken away from me quite frightening.

Fortunately, although I could clearly tell my equilibrium was off, I was able to swim several lengths learning interesting things. Not only are my right arm and leg obviously weaker, so maintaining good form and swimming in a straight line are hard, but my right hand struggles to make and hold a slightly cupped shape. As a result, I generate less lift (we're talking breast stroke), so it's harder work to breathe smoothly. All of which says that swimming is good exercise for parts that are not otherwise being worked.