‘#@!%”, I Did It Again!!!

Because I have several numb areas on my right leg, sometimes I don’t realize the electrodes from my WalkAide need replacing.  Usually, I know because I start to have trouble finding the “sweet spot” when putting it on.

But, sometimes it’s because the electrodes are wearing out and start “sparking” which results in burns on my leg, which I can’t feel when it’s actually burning.

burnsSo for the next couple weeks, or week at least, I will be wearing my AFO, grrrrrr!

Shhh….Don’t tell him I said this!

My husband has ALWAYS wanted a motorcycle!  And since I’ve never ridden on one, I’ve always been the one with the “Oh Honey, they are soooo dangerous” speech.

Well, between my stroke & other medical issues over the last years, when he found one he loved, “Oh I’m not going to buy it.  I just want to go look at it!”, I couldn’t squash his dream of having one.  It’s time for him to have some fun.

motorcycleBut, and he knew this, I always got “that look” when he’d say, “The two of us can go riding when the weather cools down.  You’ll love it!”

“Uh Oh”, I had always been somewhat afraid of motorcycles.  I don’t know why, except any time I ever heard an adult talking about them when I was growing up, it always involved accidents, blood, brain damage, & death!  Gee, who wouldn’t be afraid to get on one?

After he bought it, instead of just going down to the DMV and getting his license, he took a refresher safety course.  And then the, “Gee Honey, soon we can go riding together” talk started.  “You’ll love it!” he’d say.  I always smiled and said, “Uh NO!  This is your toy, have fun!”

Well, today he got me on the damn bike for the first time!  And you know what???

shhhShhhhhhhhh, don’t tell him.  But I kinda had fun!

Ahhhh, What’s “Beeping”?

Technology is a good thing.  Except when it comes to something malfunctioning.

The other morning I walked into the kitchen to get some coffee.  I was having what I call a “duh day”, a day when my brain & body aren’t on the best of speaking terms.  I poured my coffee and headed to the family room to watch the news.  As I got half way out of the kitchen, I heard it, “Beep, beep, beep!”  It was this faint little, “help me I’m in a box” type beep.

I went back into the kitchen and just stood there because the beeping had stopped.  Ok, maybe I was hearing things.  I turned to leave the room and “beep, beep, beep”.  My first thought was that maybe the timer was on the oven.  “Crap!  Did I turn on the oven and forget?”  Nope, oven was off (thank goodness).

“Beep, beep, beep!”  There is was again, Ahhhhhh!  I checked the microwave.  Nope.  It was empty and asleep.

“Beep, beep, beep!”  Ok, getting really annoyed here.  What the hell is beeping!!!  Then I remembered our new, techno-savvy fridge had an alarm if the door wasn’t closed all the way.  That had to be it, right?  Walked to the fridge.  “Beep, beep, beep!”  Ah Ha!  Getting warmer.  Has to be the fridge.  Nope!  The door is closed and the alarm button isn’t flashing.

“Beep, beep, beep!”  Ok!  This is ridiculous.  What the hell is beeping at me!!!!!  I went to get my son.  I explained as we walked back into the kitchen that “something was trying to talk to me” and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

We stood in the room, not moving, and listened.  Nothing!  He started to leave, but I knew better.  These sneaky “beeping appliances” would wait until he left and start up.  We waited.  NOTHING!  My son looked at me like I had lost my mind and turned to go upstairs.

He stopped to say “hi” to the fridge, VERY FUNNY, opened the door and grabbed an apple.  “Close that door!”  I threw at him.  “I don’t need that talking to me too.”  Eye’s rolling, with “that look”, he turned to go.  Then………….we both heard it!  That faint little “I’m here” beep, beep, beep!

“Uh Mom?……”, he started to say.  “Shhhhhhh!”, we’ve got it now”, I said in my best TV detective voice!

“But Mom!”, he tried interrupting.  “Hush!  Can’t you hear it?  It’s so close it’s driving me nuts”, I whispered to him.  Then a light bulb went on???  IT’S GOT TO BE THE NEW COFFEE MAKER!!!!!  I triumphantly walked over to the new coffee maker, positive I missed reading the instructions on how to “speak java” when I unpacked it.    But No!  The new coffee maker was still too intimidated to make a peep, let alone a techno “beep”.

I stood there and turned to my son who by this time had a weird, “She’s lost it.  Should I call Dad or just dial 911 first” kinda look on his face.  “Beep, beep, beep”.

“Where the hell is that coming from.  What appliance is trying to talk to me???”
“MOM LISTEN TO ME!”  my son finally blurted out.  “Ok, what?”, I asked finally admitting defeat.

He started laughing, which I did not appreciate at this point.  Pointing to my leg and trying not to loose it, he said, “It’s your WalkAide!  The battery must need replacing!”

Well Crap!  Another piece of technology speaking to me!  Forget learning Spanish.  I need to learn “Beepinese”.

Trying To Stay Positive

Lately I am having trouble staying positive.  Oh I have moments that make me smile, like my son’s first band concert last night (Good going Alex!), but it’s just been hard to stay “upbeat”.

I added another 4hr shift at the thrift store, so I am adjusting to the added “noise” & change in my cognitive needs.  Also, I’m not completely sure our GP diagnosed my arthritis correctly (osteo vs gout), so I am looking into seeing a rheumatologist just to be sure, because my hands and toes have been burning/aching.

I am just tired of waking each day feeling like I have to do battle vs just living. Not in a “OMG put her in a padded room type depression, just feeling like my life revolves around people (myself included) always asking, “How are you feeling?  How are you doing today?”  Does that make sense?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am grateful for everyone in my life who cares enough about me to ask.  If’s just that I would like my life back to where that wasn’t the main focus each day.


If You Haven’t Already, Please Read

I have added a page to my blog (see headings at top of page) titled: Letter From Your Brain.

I got a copy of this letter from a friend shortly after my stroke.  I read it almost daily to keep reminding me how far I’ve come & to not get depressed.  Today while I was reading it, I realized that I wanted to make sure all of you got a chance to read it too.  Whether you are a stroke survivor or know someone who is recovering from a stroke, I think this letter is important.

While you can’t add comments to the “page” the letter is on, you are welcome to come back to this post and share your comments, feelings, and anything else you’d like to share about the “Letter”.


Just Think About It!

A few years ago, we bought a Vitamix to make healthy “green smoothies” & healthy fruit drinks.

One day I was making a smoothie mixing all types of fruit and adding some spinach (you honestly don’t taste it, I promise!), when our youngest walked into the kitchen and started foraging thru the fridge.  He pulled out some hot dogs, the buns, and ketchup & mustard.

I looked over and he was looking at the ketchup bottle, just concentrating on it.  Then he looked back at me and said, “Uh Mom.  Since tomatoes are a fruit, wouldn’t ketchup be a smoothie??”

Fruit Smoothie, Hmmmm?

Maybe Meditation Will Help Sleep?

I’ve been reading articles lately about sleep problems after a person has a stroke.  They says it’s normal to have sleep problems like having trouble getting comfortable, not being able to stay asleep all night, waking shortly after falling asleep & not being able to go back to sleep.

Since my stroke I know that I need more sleep than I ever did.  It’s not unusual for me to need 10-12 hours a night.  But I think part of “needing” that much sleep is because I’m not sleeping well through the night.  I’ve turned into a “pillow flipper”, trying to find the cool side of the pillow.  I spend a lot of time covering and uncovering my feet, and just generally trying to get comfortable. sleepThe spasticity in my right foot hurts, and so does my right shoulder. so that doesn’t help.  I wake up in the middle of the night, and it takes forever to fall back asleep.  And then when I do, it’s not a deep sleep.

Wondering now about trying basic meditation before sleep?  Anyone try it?  Or what do you do to help you sleep better??

Happy Dance!

Let me start by saying that I cannot imagine ANY SETTLERS riding thru the desert, in a covered wagon, stopping here, now Phoenix, and saying, “Glory Be!  We are HOME!”  No friggin way.  Especially if it was during the Summer months.

snoopydancingThat being said I am doing the Happy Dance this morning!  I woke up this morning to an ACTUAL chill in the air YEAH!!!!!!



When Should Therapy Stop?

I can’t get a good answer to this question.  And TBH, when I don’t, I am thinking to myself, “They just want my money!”.

I stopped therapy in January after they told me I had improved and met my goals.  They suggested continuing PT because of my drop foot, but all I was literally doing was stretching and walking.  I wasn’t seeing any new therapy techniques that showed improvement.   That and between the co-pay, gas to get there, and my husband taking time off from work to get me there, our budget was getting tighter & tighter.

Since then, I haven’t seen much improvement with the drop foot, but I do have my WalkAide and AFO.  And I keep thinking that as long as I join in with the world, and don’t hide myself away, my body is getting therapy.  I have an appointment next Thur and I’m pretty sure the doctor will want me back in therapy.   I just don’t think that therapy office will challenge me any more than what I do at home.

At what point is a patient told they don’t need to come to the therapy office anymore???