The Anatomy of My Stroke Recovery

In my recovery I’ve been a part of many groups dedicated to educating people, tips and tricks, and what you can expect during the healing process from stroke. I have to say that most of these groups are helpful in their own way. I’ve picked up many tricks and found out about things I had no idea about pre-stroke. Like anything else you’re interested in, it’s all another world like boating, golfing, or even riding. I partake in these groups on a limited basis as I’m an introvert and prefer to lurk quietly, although I do celebrate everyone’s successes. They also allow people to vent in a safe place that is for the most part, supportive and judgement free. The caveat is that no two strokes are the same. What works for one doesn’t work for another- it’s frustrating! Hard work just seems to be a unifying factor for everyone. 

What I have found is that what I think will help me now, (I aways think I’m more ready than I am!) may help in the future. It’s constantly evolving and frustrating. For example my sister bought me a beautiful rollator that I thought I was ready for. It turns out that it was too much for me. I needed more stamina and a brace to hold onto it! It has made me realize that recovery is not a linear thing ,it’s much like the path that has been laid out for success, a tangled knotted ball to be unraveled patiently, sigh. 

I thought I might share what has worked for me over the course of my recovery so far. I’m lucky in the fact that all my deficits are physical. I can’t imagine having to deal with cognitive difficulties as well. I give a nod of respect to anyone dealing with that. 

My grabber has been indispensable to me as it helps me pick up things when my balance is less than stellar. Exercise balls have helped me regain some of my grip and I still use them. My shoulder pulleys and my tabletop bike have been staples for quite a while. I’ve just added a balance disc to my routine as it’s supposed to help with balance and walking, we’ll see. Just walking with a grocery cart has allowed me to walk more normally without my cane and not like a demented three legged racer. Still like a drunken sailor but I’m working on it! These are all additions to the tried and true standard exercises which I try to spice up. I now leave early for my appointments so I can take the stairs. Elevators are for handicapped people, I remind people who ask. I now appreciate just how marvelous a machine the human body can be for all it can do. I never really thought of it that way before my stroke. Horses were the athletes. My body was just something to be used and abused! That has been a change of heart that has come from the stroke. Now I have to slow down by necessity. 

I’ve told my family that they won’t be able to keep up when I’m finally as mobile as I wish! Turning in my handicap placard will be a day of victory.  So don’t pray for an easier life, pray for a greater stamina to carry on. You never know when all you took for granted will be swept away.