Very Interesting!

Several months ago, I was able to figure out a crochet pattern to make these really fun double-thick potholders.  I made a couple and really loved how well they actually work.

A couple of weeks ago I went to make a couple more, and had trouble figuring out the pattern.  I got frustrated, but figured I was having an off day and let it go.

Today, I woke feeling completely disoriented.  I just didn’t feel “there”, if you know what I mean.  Then to make matters worse, our oldest called upset because he’s having job trouble.  Being “mom”, I began to feel even more stressed & frustrated.  I called into the thrift store to tell them I wouldn’t be in today.  I couldn’t have concentrated enough to run the cash register!

Feeling completely “shut off” (I couldn’t concentrate on anything, even T.V.), I waited until our puppy fell asleep and grabbed yarn & hook and tried the pattern again.  I wasn’t feeling too optimistic that it “would click”, but dove in.

Lo & behold…………………………I GOT IT!  How, when I am feeling totally “out of it”?  The only thing I can think of is that because I was able to totally focus on the one thing with no noise, or other distractions, my brain clicked to “on”?

Small Talk Out Of The Picture For Me

After having a stroke, no matter what stage of recovery you are in, you realize MANY different changes in yourself, both physically & mentally.

I have always been aware of this, but have also realized as months go by, that different areas of my personality have changed as well.

One area that’s difficult for me is making small talk.  Before my stroke, I was never the “social butterfly”, but once I got to talking, there wasn’t a problem.

Now, post-stroke, I find a few things about the “new me”: 1) In a crowd where several people are talking at once, I find myself shutting down because I can’t filter out the other conversations and just concentrate on the one I am trying to have.  2) On days when I have not gotten enough sleep, I tend to avoid having conversations with anyone other than close family because I tend to “zone out” mid-conversation.  My husband likens this to the movie “Up”, and the dogs yelling “SQUIRREL!”

Several times since my stroke, I will out of the blue, see my husband waving his hand in front of my face and saying, “Squirrel!”.  I then know I have “zoned out”.

Question For Stroke Survivors

Hey All –

It’s become very apparent that I won’t be driving any time soon (I refuse to say “ever”).  I currently have a small mobility scooter that I use if we go someplace where a lot of walking is needed.  I also use it to “drive” myself around the corner to the White Dove Thrift Store where I volunteer.

But I am considering the possibility of buying a larger mobility that is faster and has a longer range per charge.

So my question? What do you as a stroke survivor do for transportation?

Are They Serious?

I was just online searching different sites about spasticity.

I am amazed at how most articles seem to be written by people who have no clue as to what a stroke survivor goes through in regards to spasticity and pain.

“Take pain meds, muscle relaxant medication, and maybe try different physical therapy techniques and you should be good to go.”

There isn’t really any sense that the medical community has an answer.  When reading all the articles out there, you get the feeling everyone is just guessing, and hoping they “get it right”.

What really upset me though was when I came across one article from a prestigious university that said, ” The way to cure spasticity is to avoid having a stroke in the first place.”  NO KIDDING. ..REALLY?

And they received millions in federal funding for that grand conclusion.

Thrift Store Find!

Two years ago we remodeled our kitchen.  And I mean REMODELED!  Right down to taking out the dropped ceiling (Thank you 1970’s) and everything else down to the studs.  It took us 7 long months to get it done, but we did it.

The one thing that bugged my husband was that he didn’t wire for pendant lighting over the island we put in.  I didn’t think it needed it since we put in so many pot lights.  But it bugged him and I knew it.

Saturday we went “thrift store” treasure hunting and hit gold:  We found a beautiful 3-light hanging pot rack for…………….wait for it…………$10.00!  It was brand new, still in the box with all parts.  Eyeballing it, we knew it would fit perfectly over the island.

Well, my wonderful husband Jeff got to work this morning and TA-DAH:

Lighting upI think it looks great.  He put it on a dimmer switch, which I love, so we can use it as “mood lighting” at night also.  We both realized after he got it installed how perfectly it matches the cupboard & drawer pulls.

Dealing With Life

I haven’t been writing much on my blog lately.  I have been dealing with the things “life” has thrown at me, and some “things” I have thrown at myself.

The one great thing to come into my life lately is our puppy Emma!  We adopted her from a no-kill shelter organization.  She was only 9 weeks old when we brought her home.  This meant (and still does, but it’s getting better), getting up occasionally at night to take her out, and puppy-proofing the house.  She is growing like a weed and will soon dwarf our pugs.

I am in awe of young stroke survivors who have young children to take care of!!  You have my undying respect and admiration for your stamina, courage, and “stick-with-it-ness”.

The things “life” has thrown at me that I am dealing with lately have been horrible pain at night.  Specifically, leg cramps, or a “charlie-horse”, as my Dad calls it.  I wake 4 or 5 times a night aware that my legs, mostly my right, hurts so bad.  Sometimes it’s in the process of having a cramp just start, other times it’s during a full-blown cramp.

I am trying to lose weight, which means I am also trying to “up” my activity level.  I am wondering if the cramping at night has anything to do with it?  I hope not because I really want to get into better shape.

Here is a quick pic taken of Emma at 11wks.  She is quickly growing larger than our pugs, Myrna (front), Riley (back left) & Scooter (back right).

Emma with pugs at 11wks

Leg Cramps!

I am having a HORRIBLE time with leg cramps, mostly at night, but I have them during the day also. It only affects my right side.  The cramps wake me up 3 or 4 times a night and hurt soooo bad. They affect my calf muscle and also my toes and ankle.

I have tried elevating my legs at night.  I have upped my Baclofen dose by one tab, to no avail.  Has anyone had this problem?  I never had leg cramps before my stroke and hate to think this may be something I have to “live with”.