Taking PT to the Outdoors

shoreview-parkDoug and I were never avid hikers, we’d probably go for 3-4 hikes a year, plus a snowshoeing trip or two in the winter. Of course, we didn’t hike at all last summer, nor did we snowshoe this winter. Doug skied with Outdoors for All until he had his first seizures in February, which coincided with the unfortunate lack of snow here in the Pacific Northwest. Still, we have really missed getting out of the city and breathing in the pine-scented air.

So, we’ve been hoping to work back up to some short hikes again, but the uneven terrain is hard for Doug, who’s dealing with tone in his foot and is still working to get his gait more even. He has found it especially uncomfortable to go down any type of hill, mostly because of his toes curling up under him. As he posted last week, he just had botox in his foot for the first time (think of a giant thorn being jammed into your arch, if you need an idea of what that feels like) and he’s already noticed a huge difference with his foot relaxing.

Yesterday, we were running an errand up north that was going to overlap with the lunch hour, so I thought we should take advantage of the situation. Plus, we needed a change of scenery. We’re homebodies by nature, but when you have more limits on what you can do, it starts to become more like housebound.

I packed a picnic lunch (I got us a sweet picnic tote last year that has plates, utensils and ice pack holders and we hadn’t had a chance to use it yet) and off we went to Shoreview Park in Shoreline. We used to go there frequently when we lived in Ballard, taking the dogs  with us along wooded trails and creeks. It’s a lovely park, it really does feel like you’ve left the city. We felt twinges of nostalgia being there again, especially without the two old mutts.

We took a .5 mile loop to “Hidden Lake” and Doug did awesome, even on the trail part, some of which was fairly steep going down. The botox is doing its job! We sat and had our  picnic on a platform overlooking the lake and had a cherry pit spitting contest. I totally won. I told Doug the hiking was great PT for him, but nothing compared to practicing his “oooh” like he had to when he had speech therapy back in Hawaii. He always did hate doing those exercises, so if it takes eating cherries, so be it.

It was a great step forward and we’re hoping to get out and do more short hikes – Doug was definitely tired afterwards but it was so nice being outside in the quiet tranquil forest again.