“Death, taxes and a hundred at the Adelaide Oval”

According to Martin Crowe (in a twist on a quote from Benjamin Franklin), they’re the three certainties in life. We all know that FA’s a progressive condition, but no-one has yet been able to document a definitive rate of progress.

We know for sure that because of reduced mobility, it takes FAers longer to recover than otherwise healthy folk, so we should put a lot of effort into avoidance – less alcohol, avoid drugs, avoid the dark, be aware of fatigue – avoid anything that might lead to a fall. Eat & drink healthily, dress appropriately for the seasons (keep a rug in the car) – of course illness isn’t something anyone chooses but try not to get a cold and definitely get a ‘flu jab each year.

But there’s nothing inevitable about our FA progression. What does seem to be the case is that with exercise, physio, human interaction and a positive outlook on life, progression can be slowed.

We can only guess at why the emotional stuff works (laughter is the best medicine?), but the physical is down to neuroplasticity. It’s the opposite of “use it or lose it”. It seems that our nervous systems work a bit like the internet – if one pathway’s damaged but they know the start point and usual endpoint, they route around it to get the signal where it’s meant to go.

So FAers, stay active! None of us will be scoring centuries in cricket, but we can all take a little exercise each day, each week. I can’t be sure of many things, but I’ll have tax to pay and I plan to be around to see the Adelaide test next year. How about you?


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