Tag Archive | exercise

7 Years Since my Stroke

When I woke up to start my day seven years ago, I had no idea that my life was about to drastically change forever! So much has happened to get me where I am today, seven years later! It has been quite the journey!

Every anniversary of my hemorrhagic stroke, I relive the stroke, but in a good way. I like to remember the people who helped me throughout my recovery. I still deliver homemade goodies to the nurses and physical therapists, which includes speech therapists and occupational therapists. It makes me feel good to thank them again, and they like it because hemorrhagic stroke survivors don’t always recover.

I get asked a lot, what are the effects I still have from my stroke? My recovery, by what one can see by looking at me, looks great! What one can’t see, is where the problems lie. I love that people think I’ve recovered, but there’s a whole other side that I struggle with every day that nobody sees. There’s a hidden side of strokes, and I have a few to share with you of what I experience. It’s low stamina, lack of strength, fine motor skill deficits, exhaustion that is debilitating, short term memory loss, blood pressure issues, balance issues, and the physical deficits from being paralyzed that haven’t come back.

I do pretty well not letting those things show! I’m very proud of that! I like it when I feel like everyone else! I like it when people say that they can’t tell I’ve had a stroke!

I can’t fake it when I go to therapy! I can’t fake it when I try to exercise, even in Tai Chi. I can’t fake it when I am tired, or when I need to write something with pen and paper. I wish my blood pressure would just stay normal, but it spikes.

I have to pick and choose what I do every day, in order to balance out my stamina and strength. If I can’t attend a party or function, it’s usually because it would be to noisy, BP issues, or I have other things that make it too hard to do everything in a day.

I don’t have the luxury of getting angry. That emotion will spike my BP so high, that it can be dangerous. I’ve learned to let things go. Sometimes I don’t want to let it go, but I must for my own health.

So those are some of the hidden sides of my stroke that I work on every single day. If I can help someone to avoid having a stroke, that would be great! If I can help someone who has had a stroke, I would love that!

My granddaughter has been amazing for me for therapy! I know I am physically stronger because of her, and have loved life even more since she was born 7 months ago.

My life is amazing and full of good stuff every day. If I could keep those hidden stroke effects hidden, I would. Sometimes I know it can help someone else, though, so I need to talk about it. But I would much rather talk about all of the good things. I wake up every day and say thank you, and before I go to sleep every night I say thank you. Life is really good!!


Five Years After My Stroke

It’s been a little over 5 years since my stroke. It seems like my right side is weaker than it used to be. My day-to-day activities aren’t enough to build up the strength in the muscles. The brain signals are probably weak to the muscles, and I feel it! So, the doctor has recommended pool therapy this time.
Bryan and I were thinking that pool therapy would be good for me, and we bought a 4 ft pool to set up in the backyard. We haven’t put it up yet, because there’s a lot of preparation to the yard that needs to happen before it can go up. So hopefully soon this can happen. 
In the meantime, I went to my first pool therapy session. It was so crazy! First off, walking into the pool, I realized that I had very little control of my right leg, once I was in water above my knees. I actually felt like it was right after the stroke when I was learning how to walk again. My leg was very uncoordinated, and I really couldn’t feel my leg! I spent a few minutes walking along the side of the pool in about 3 ft of water while my therapist finished with her other patient. At one point, I even wondered if I was having another stroke, because that’s how it felt! After her initial evaluation of me, we started to do a few exercises that she had to keep modifying because I just was unable to do them! She was very surprised that I couldn’t do them, and even at one point asked me if I walked with a walker or cane! Haha! No, I can walk, just not in the water! It was crazy, and so hard, that I just couldn’t believe it! It was a real challenge!
I will also be starting physical therapy in a regular therapy setting in a building. They call it “land therapy”! So one day a week for land therapy, and one day a week of water therapy.
I hope to build up my strength on my right side, and wake up the muscles that don’t seem to be getting the brain signal to work.
After we get our pool set up, I will use it daily, and do the exercises that I’m learning from going to therapy.
I enjoy going to therapy! It’s hard, and it’s very tiring, but I like it! It’s fun, in a serious way! It’s all about learning to strengthen your body, and all of the different and creative ways to make that happen.
Therapists are awesome! In the 5 years since my stroke, I’ve had quite a few Therapists, and they all have done things differently. It’s so interesting! I like to have fun, but seriously do the work. I love how they see all of the little things with the muscles and the way the body moves. They see the details, while also seeing the whole thing.
When I was growing up, we almost always had a pool. I love the water! I’ve always been a good swimmer, and have felt very comfortable in the water. This new water therapy has shown me that I have a long way to go, to feeling comfortable in the water. I have a new goal now, to get to where I feel good and coordinated and comfortable in the water. It’ll happen! Hopefully soon! It’s all good!