Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Loss of a Friend

One of the ladies I met at The Stroke Recovery Association passed away suddenly last week. We attended group physiotherapy together at SAM. I saw her most weeks at a group lunch and it is only 2 weeks since we were together.

I went to her funeral and it was good to see the number of SAM members that attended, especially since it is the holiday break and it was simply by word of mouth that the sad news was shared.

Her siblings and children told stories about her life and what she was like. They talked about what a wonderful mother and what a creative woman she was and they talked about how patient she was. I never knew the athletic, business woman they were describing.

I did recognize the description of a kind, gentle , hardworking woman because that sure did describe the lady that I spent time with at SAM. They described her perseverance, optimism and patience in the face of adversity and her struggles since her stroke 10 years ago.

I wish I could have known Sandra longer, but I am glad to have shared the time with her that I did. We will all remember her smile.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I have a new Physiotherapist

I have had two meetings with my new physiotherapist.

The first one was a conversation about what I want to accomplish with Physiotherapy and about my medical history. I found myself telling my life history and saying that I want to be really fit for the first time in my life. Loft goals perhaps. I didn't manage to pull that off before I got ill.

Meeting number two was added in last week to do a physical assessment in particular the balance assessments. I got kind of upset the night before the appointment and hardly slept. Then I was being really tense during the assessment and I wonder how much that threw it all off. At any rate, I am pretty sure I scored worse than that last time with my former therapist. Maybe he is just a tougher marker. I absolutely know that I am functioning better than I was during the summer and I don't feel dizzy and nauseated anywhere near as often. I am going the right direction with recovery.

I do like the new PT so far and look forward to seeing what the new plan is in January. I also have some plans for getting more exercise in during the New Year.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas

I love holiday time but it can be tough.

There is a lot of fun this time of year, such as the Stroke Recovery Association Christmas Party. How could it be anything but great when you get to take Santa home with you at the end of the evening?

I do find that my expectation's for what I can do are often not realistic. I keep making holiday plans as if nothing has changed but then I keep running into walls and feeling let down.

Today is a good example. My daughter had a short recital this morning for her music students at a local mall. I am very proud of the kids. They put a hat out and played a little recital for family, friends and passersby and they are donating the money to the Children's Wish Foundation.
Next we had lunch with My daughter and her friend followed by a bit of shopping. We were not shopping for very long before my leg was going out from under me and I was exhausted. I insisted we go home and rest for a while before continuing with buying gifts. Well, we are still home and the stores are now closed. I just don't have much stamina anymore.

My kitchen counter has a container with all the dry ingredients for fruit cake all measured out. It has been sitting there for 5 days now. And I actually love fruitcake!

We had plans for decorating our Christmas tree tomorrow, but I have put it off to next weekend in the hopes that I will have more energy.

I am glad to report that I am getting better at asking for help. The first year after my stroke I was devastated that I couldn't do much for the holidays, but my family really pulled all the most important things together and we let go what wasn't needed. They really managed to organize themselves and share the holiday workload.

With all the negatives of something like a stroke there are some good things too. You do figure out what is really important to you and you learn to appreciate the support and love of the people in your life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Lion and the Thorn

My finger is finally healed over. Thank-goodness! It has been an open wound for 4 full months!

I am supposed to be very careful not to do anything to scrape the healing area or break the skin and I have to use a special cream designed to encourage healing after a trauma or dermatological procedures.

I saw the "finger" physiotherapist today and that is going well too. I am still going to need more therapy, but my middle joint is moving comfortably now and the top joint is starting to bend a bit and I have a new sheet of exercises. Everything looks good for my finger's full recovery.

My stroke affected left hand is being stronger now because I have been using it more due to pain in the right hand. It is obvious that it is worth the effort to keep trying to improve the function in my hand. Now all I need is a plan on how to work on it!

I feel like the lion with the thorn in his paw. It is amazing that all of this is because of a little thorn in my finger!

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