Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2016.05.08 - Conundrum

My doctor despairs of me and I can see why. I've managed to damage both Achilles tendons and they are either not getting better because I'm 25 kg overweight (that's a shade under 4 stone) or because the reason that they are damaged is still there. Unfortunately, until I lose a significant part of that 25 kg which of those two cannot be deduced. She could guess and treat me by the guess, but that could just as easily be the wrong treatment. Not surprisingly she is not going to do that.

So, the conumdrum is that I need to rest my tendons and lose a lot of weight.

Do you know how difficult it is to lose weight whilst resting your tendons? Virtually impossible is the answer.

Previously I walked, cycled or use the rowing machine to exercise all of which are not possible now because using any of these will flex the Achilles tendons.

Swimming is a possibility but finding the time aside I still have to walk some distance from the car to the pool flexing the tendons all the way there and back again.

So what to do? How should I exercise without stressing these tendons?

Let's face it, I need to exercise, just cutting down my food intake is not enough. You look at any diet on the market and they all say to be used in conjunction with a suitable exercise plan or words to that effect.

I had to go on a site visit to Tonbridge last Thursday. Starting at Littleport station taking the train to King's Cross, the Northern line tube to Charing Cross, train to Tonbridge and back again, a lot of walking, or hobbling in my case, round the stations and by the time I got home my tendons were very painful. Definitely not resting the tendons that day.

The ex-manager at our local Tesco, now a sales representative in one of the shops at the local Tesco doesn't have the use of his legs and I was looking at him shooting around the place in his wheelchair when it dawned on me that I was looking at the solution to my problems. A wheelchair. No leg movement so no stress on the damaged tendons but arm and upper body movement and possibly the back muscles as well.

So I'll shortly be getting a basic folding wheelchair and anything that requires me to go out will be done by wheelchair. Now that the good weather is here I'll be able to go on walks with Tina again. Perhaps she could cycle whilst I wheelchair. Is that a verb? What is the verb for pushing yourself along in a wheelchair anyway?

Could be an interesting few weeks.

I’m not looking forward to explaining to everyone that I’m not disabled, I just have to rest my Achilles tendons whilst still exercising.

Oh well.