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  • iaindryden1


“Do you know where my things are….” “Things?” She lifted her hands, cupped her ears.

“Oh, your headstones. There.” I pointed to the table.

That’s one of the problems with age, the mind often lingers on the edge of dysfunction. I know it bothers some people, but I take it as it is, after all, my mind isn’t the greatest I know. Even though her brain is amazing, far superior to mine, neither is Camilla bothered by these blips.

What concerns me more is my body. “Look, I’ve become an insect!” I laughed with Camilla last evening in the bathroom.

10% of its weight lost due to all that’s happened to me recently and I was never a weighty person in the first place, so all that loss has been muscle. My legs are pins. The only part of me that’s not stick-thin is my belly, bloated at different times of the day by one of the conditions I’ve been struggling with.

“Stop it!” Camilla chuckled as we slipped around the kitchen.

“I can’t help smiling.”

She burst out laughing, “I can’t follow the tune when you look at me like that.”

“Its a look of sheer delight.”

In attempt to at least keep what I have for a little while longer, I dance to pop songs, it stimulates the cerebellum like no other activity. You may wonder what this strange sounding thing which is only 10% of your brain’s volume might be. Well, it is a vital lump at the top of the spinal chord which contains 50% of our neurones. It is preoccupied with balance, movement and coordination, hence dancing, which requires all of these and also a sense of rhythm, that links to another important part of the brain, is the perfect exercise. And it doesn’t feel like a task because you’re having fun.

“Phee,” I give up, sit down.

“Cheat! That’s less than half the song,” Camilla, who understands my condition, teases.

That the average tune lasts three minutes gives you easily enough exercise, for you will be glad to hear that recent research has discovered short spurts of none too strenuous activity are better for you than prolonged periods of it. For example, ten one-minute bursts are far better than a ten-minute session. This is because it takes a quite a bit of effort to rev up the body each time and after you are done, the systems keep on working for a period, hence you get more out of it.

Unable to do much, told it’ll be months before I’m back to the state I was just starting to climb from two weeks ago, this lazy way suits me. Every hour I try to do two or three one-minute bursts, which often I can’t complete, but that doesn’t matter so long as you are doing what you are able to. I do a mix of the following - I dance; or, keeping my toes on the ground, lifting my heels, I ‘trot’ on the spot; I can even alternate small lunges with mini-squats; I always walk up and down the stairs.

Now that my mind is refreshed, I can remember what Camilla’s ‘Thing’ is - isn’t it a thingagy-bob? See, it works, all this hourly exercising. Mmmm.

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