Trying to Increase Exercise Difficulty and My Productivity

Last week I stopped my “exercise routine” because I was not sure if I was getting sick or not. Guess it was a false alarm (knock on wood). So yesterday I got myself back on track for the week but I kicked it up a notch, a small notch but a notch. First, instead of using the recumbent bike I used the elliptical. On the recumbent bike, I noticed that my legs would fatigue before I really got my cardio going; it didn’t matter how long I was on it, how fast I pedaled or what level of resistance I was on. So even though I hate the elliptical I thought it would be much better for my cardio because you are pretty much moving your entire body rather than just your legs and wow, I am so out of shape!

After my heart decided to calm down instead of bursting out of my chest I moved on to squats. Up until yesterday, I was squatting with no resistance other than my own weight. My balance isn’t so great so I needed one hand on a chair to keep from falling over. It was good for waking my muscles up a few weeks ago but it got to the point where I felt like I could just keep going and going so I decided it was time to try to add some weight. I dared to let go of the chair and hold two dumbells instead; it was kind of hard to not lose my balance but actually not as bad as I thought. After finishing my sets my legs felt like noodles, my knees wanted to buckle each time I took a step down the stairs!

I did a few other basic exercises like push-ups (basically a high school PE routine) and though I definitely can’t do any amount worth bragging about I pushed myself as hard as I could and definitely got further than I could 3 weeks ago. That can pretty much be said about any of the exercises I do which is motivating me to keep going because I can actually see the progress and I like that! So even though MS zaps all my motivation to do anything sometimes I have been able to overcome that desire to do nothing because I just want to see myself continue to improve. I am still doing a small amount of exercises but soon I will start to incorporate more stretching and balance training. Hopefully between some of the physical therapy exercises, the Wii Fit balance training and pushing myself to do squats without holding on to something I will be able to greatly improve my walking and reduce the chances of me losing my balance while standing perfectly still.

But oh yeah, after I was done for the day and I had realised how weak my legs were while trying to go down the stairs I was super worried how I would feel the next day (today)! And the day after (which in my opinion is always when I am the most sore). But by night things were not so bad… but then I woke up. My legs are so tight and sore! Not just my quads but lots of random little muscles like my calves so obviously the motion of using the elliptical requires muscles that the recumbent bike does not (obviously)! I am also sore everywhere else but nowhere near as bad as my legs.Though it definitely sucks I kind of like it because 1) it’s pain that is not MS related and 2) it means something is changing; progress. It means that once again I am doing something to stop MS from keeping me from moving.

A few random things I don’t want to forget; for the last week or so my sleeping pattern was getting messed up. Some minor insomnia but more so because the neighbor’s dogs were barking at 2am and once I am up it’s hard to turn my brain back off. So I started using a very small amount of cannabis oil to help me sleep again. Since I usually feel all groggy the day after getting some good sleep I decided (once again) to try a Nuvigil since it has been a while since I last took one and since I have been more physically active lately (maybe that would burn off enough of the excess energy and keep me from getting jittery?). I took one yesterday and today (250mg pill). No jitters, maybe made me take a little longer to fall asleep (I think I maybe used way too little cannabis oil to really knock me out) and kind of seems to be helping me a bit (mostly with the mental side of fatigue). I still feel kind of fatigued (physically) but mentally I feel more alert. It’s just frustrating because I feel like I have a heavy veil of fatigue over my face and I feel like if I could just pull that off I would be able to think clearly enough to keep up with everything my brain wants to do rather than my inability to clearly think holding me back. The main downside is that it seems to be making my vision (oscillopsia) worse and making me feel dizzy…or… maybe the dizziness is from my exacerbated vision? Well, I guess if I have a lot of computer work planned for the day it’s not too big of a deal because I am mostly just sitting and it’s the moving around that makes me really dizzy. So I will get a few hours of computer work done and then try to move around once the Nuvigil has worn off a bit so that I keep my muscles moving; and yes, I know, I need to stay hydrated! Lots of water!

Also, I am really trying to get the Twitter thing going, I have tried a few times in the past but didn’t really know what I am doing but this time I am really trying to learn (yes, 26 and still trying to LEARN how to use Twitter). So if you are on Twitter be sure to follow me @mattalleng

Matt Allen G

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2010 at the age of 20. It's been a battle ever since and I have always shared my story and struggles online!

2 thoughts on “Trying to Increase Exercise Difficulty and My Productivity

  • September 20, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Glad to hear it was a false alarm and you weren’t sick!

    These past 2/3 weeks were really shitty here; crushing fatigue and heavy (especially one of them) legs (+ the constant oscillopsia which flares up as usual), but I still try to exercise. Currently, well its an ongoing process anyway, I’m trying to find the perfect balance between cardio, balance & strengthening exercises. But what I also need to get back to is playing guitar again, my arms/hands have been getting weaker and weaker this summer…

    Gotta start rebuilding everything up again in preparation for next summer to demolish it again (I swear I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist lol). Now I’m considering purchasing either an elliptical trainer or a treadmill (for walking, jogging is difficult)… But I gotta look more into them.

    And hey, keep it up with the exercise dude! You’re exactly like me in a lot of things, even when feeling sore after working out lol (yes, if I exercise on Monday I’m the most sore on Wednesday haha). It’s the sign I did a good workout and that I should keep at it, and so should you 🙂

    • September 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks! And yeah, I would not consider anything you said to be pessimistic, I am the same way. Winter is when I rebuild myself so that I am strong enough to be broken again in the coming summer. As far as the elliptical or treadmill, I use the elliptical only because the treadmill (even walking) gives me crazy vertigo when I step off, or everything looks like it is moving away from me, guess that’s not vertigo? Plus, the elliptical keeps my legs moving in a fixed motion since I have some ataxia and coordination issues when walking.


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