Exercise

 

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Doctors and therapists alike encouraged exercise, and Curtis found that it was vital to his physical and emotional well being.  He had to be careful to only perform what he could withstand, and as his condition worsened, he had to be very disciplined. Before the definitive diagnosis, and for about a month after, his exercise was monitored by a physical therapist outside of the home twice a week. At the site, Curtis would walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike, and be stretched by the therapist. Heidi attended these sessions, for Curtís support, and to learn how to help him at home. The therapist sent them home with daily exercises, which they performed consistently.  Two months after diagnosis, the therapist made house calls twice a week and monitored Curtís exercises, which now consisted of movements that he could perform while seated. Still, it was recommended that the exercises be performed on a daily basis. Due to fatigue and lack of motivation, it was difficult to do them everyday, but Curtis and Heidi kept one another going. As Curtís health declined, Curtís insurance only allowed a weekly visit by the therapist, and eventually they replaced her with a visiting nurse. Still, though, his therapist dropped by weekly on her own time, to keep abreast of his condition, and to visit. In addition, it must be noted that the more active Curtis was during the day, the better he felt. Curtis and Heidi tried to do something everyday. They performed transfers from his recliner to his wheelchair, or wheeled him in his wheelchair, or got him into the car and drove, or moved his legs, arms, feet, hands, shoulders, and neck consistently. Curtis felt worse when he did nothing. Back to Living With ALS.