Excerise with a weak right side

Hi Everybody!

I had a AVM in 2000 when I was 29. It bled, and I had a crainiotomy to save my life. I had a loooooong road to go to regain control over the right side of my body. I had to learn how to walk, get my right arm moving, and talk all over again--it took about six years to get back to about 80% of what I was before the rupture, and I'm very lucky to have come so far. Now, I'm 41. To people who do not know me, I look and sound like "normal." The problem is, I want to lift weights to help keep myself in shape, but need some help understanding how to go about it given the fact that I can't exercise like "normal" people. I have been to 3 trainers in local commercial gyms, but none of them knew what to do with me! Because of the AVM, I can't do machines because my left side is so much stronger than my right side. And I can't run very far (i.e. "go running") because my sense of balance is not normal. I'm not trying to lift weights to build lots of muscles; I'm trying to find a good exercise and strength training program because I'm worried that down the road, the physical condition I have due to my AVM may lead to bone loss in the future. I want to do something now to improve my chances of having fewer health problems as I age, because I've been given such a great gift of a very strong recovery from where I was. I need somebody to talk to who knows about exerise for strokes, or bleeds. Preferably, in Austin, Tx. But anybody is welcome!



BTW, my husband helped me write this! I'm BAD about spelling and communicating! :)

It sounds like you need a physical therapist or rehabilitation person, not a trainer from an ordinary gym. A physical therapist should have no trouble coming up with an appropriate plan. Pilates sounds about right.

Ahh, but I've been though that. A lot! Nobody ever thought I would come this far. But, Pilates does sound about right. But can I trust any old pilates intructor to know what I need? I went to one "try out" class with reformers, but the cost!! I can do it, but I don't want to spend the money if he/she doesn't know what to do with me. :(

Hi Kimberly. Have you thought about Yoga? A lot of members say it really helped them a lot.

We were fortunate in what we found and it might be beneficial to you.

Chari did physical therapy until she plateaued (when the insurance stops paying). We knew a personal trainer at our rec center who REALLY understood the body. She told me one time, and I believed her, that she could develop a workout routine for almost anyone who had deficits. She would work to strengthen the working muscles/nerves to compensate for those that did not work.

That was Chari's situation. Her right leg had some non-working muscles due to nerve damage/atrophy. Sussie received our permission to review the medical PT's records, to know which muscles worked and which didn't. With that info, she was able to structure a workout that would strengthen the good muscles. It didn't get her to 100%, but is definitely better.

Best wishes,
ron, KS

Hi Kimberly-Have you considered resistive training with a resistive band? Or yoga exercises on the floor or in a chair? Depending on the pose or exercise, some build muscle mass.

I’m doing things backward -shocker :)- and just reading this…my personal opinion: yoga rocks!

Ron, that's what I was talking about! Someone who knows what they are doing. I've tried yoga and mat pilates at a local gym. They don't know! I need REAL yoga or REAL reformers pilates or just someone who happens to know about the body. The problem is... I am on SSDI. So not a lot of money. I can afford to pay $50 dollars a month. Personal trainers, yoga studios, and pilates studios can be hundreds per month. I CAN afford to go see someone 1 time. Get a plan, go off and work until it becomes dull or it's working and then go back to see them again.

Yes, I have. But I need someone to go to!

Hi Kimberly,
I too have a weakened side that has affected my former exercise routine of indoor walking aerobics. I just can't do that anymore & miss it greatly!
However, I faithfully use my recumbant exercycle daily & occasionally will vary my routine with sit-down exercise DVD's or books from the library. I also have 2 lb hand wts. to help strengthen my arms & hands.
If sit-down exercise or yoga is of interest, you may want to check out what's available thru your local library.
Take care.