I’ve been going to therapy for seven years and occasionally, we hit a huge milestone in my recovery. So far, I cannot walk (which is always someone’s expectation but for now that is not the case), but we are working on my independence regarding transfers, rolling side to side, and other things. The video I’m about to show you is a major milestone for my independence! As you watch it, the video starts with me lying flat on my back, this position is called supine. While I am in supine position, my core muscles and triceps are not strong enough to get into sitting position. I can’t even do a small crunch; I can only lift my head. As you can imagine, this makes transfers off of the mat extremely difficult, especially when the only way to transfer is by sitting up. So, the question has always been, how do I sit up using my arms and weight shifting? A couple months ago, maybe even a year ago I found a way to get on to my hands by starting from my elbows. Once I’m on my elbows I was able to transfer to my hands and walked my hands to the edge of the mat where I can let go and balance with my core.
This was half the problem figured out; I can get to sitting position from my elbows. It was very frustrating for me because I felt so close and also so far away to accomplishing this goal! UGHHHHH!
The next challenge: supine to elbows. Honestly, I felt a little hopeless at this point. If I could just pull on something, my biceps are strong enough to hook my arm, pull, and prop my elbow on the mat. But where do I hook my arm? What do I pull?
I decided to change my focus to transfers from chair to mat. Sliding was easy, but I couldn’t get my legs on the mat with my poor balance. We found a strap, looped it just tight enough around my legs, and with weight shifting I was able to pull my legs into my chest and roll onto the mat. There’s one accomplishment! (Keep in mind this situation is different transferring into my bed – I must use a transfer board at home because of a gap. If you transfer, you probably understand this challenge)
And we were back to supine position. I could do it all but this, the most important task. Ugh, again. How do I get my from back to elbows?!
Then, it clicked! The strap! After many, many trials and error, we reached the solution! Praise Jesus! On the mat, I can swing my legs off the mat in supine position, then I hook my legs under the bottom of the mat. Then, I pull myself up onto my left elbow using the strap. This is where every move I make is extremely calculated. Once I am on my left elbow, I find my balance, then I extend and swing my right arm behind me for enough so I can weight shift and swing my left arm behind me. If I can’t swing my arms and place my hands in the perfect spot, no matter what, I am stuck and cannot weight shift and need help to restart. Once both hands are behind me, I weight shift and walk my hands into sitting position, then let go once my balance is found. Boom, baby. I did it. Now go watch the video 🙂
PS: sometimes I use shelf liners to help me push against the mat
Let me know what you think!