The first posting about this holiday was largely the photographs and activities. I wanted to get the images online quickly, to show people the beauty of North West coast, and the amazing wildlife.
What did I manage to do, compared to say one year ago ? I guess that is always my interest, as this treatment was always to stop progression, with symptomatic improvement a major bonus. Sometimes, for me, the improvement is so slow, halting and non-linear that I can lose sight of progress.
Thinking about this holiday, and comparing it to Karijini which was around 9 months ago, differences I’ve noted are
- walking; not so much change. I walked well, over rather uneven tracks, however that is similar to Karijini as there was some spectacular walking and scrambling there
- swimming; real progress. We swam a lot, snorkelled a lot, and dived one day. It was necessary to swim after the whale shark, and the manta rays were incredibly fast so swimming as hard as possible meant I got a really good glimpse, before they headed off into the deep blue water. I managed the swimming well, and all those lengths in the pool are paying off
- energy; this is the area where I do feel I saw a major difference. We managed to go diving the day after swimming with whale sharks and manta rays. While pretty much exhausted at the end of the second day, we still managed two huge days in a row. This is without as many daytime sleeps, there were a few in contravention of my new sleep routine but not as many
- driving; better endurance. This is not as physical an activity as walking or swimming however by the end of Karijini last year then Denmark early this year I was very sore and stiff. This journey, particularly on the way back, we swapped every two hours, I walked and stretched briefly every time, and was meticulous with the physio exercises. At the end of the trip, no major pain or stiffness.
Conclusions; I do not know whether the benefit has come from the physio and exercise or HSCT, more likely a combination of both pathways. However, I don’t really care. There’s still ongoing improvement. I may never get back to my previous level of activity and physical coordination, but progression is halted.