Reflecting on 2 Years Post-Stroke

I have been lucky.  I know it.  I read others blogs and they remind me.  I didn’t have to have surgery.  I’m not committed to a wheelchair.  I can communicate with my family.  Hell, my family stuck around!  Thank you family!

At just over 2 years since my stroke, I have reflected on all the things I’ve re-learned, had to learn, and had to leave behind.

I won’t ever be running or jogging.  But that’s ok.  I never really wanted to.  I won’t, at least from this point in recovery, ever be totally comfortable in a group conversational setting.

But there are things that have improved!  I don’t take the day-to-day so seriously.  If something doesn’t get done, it’s not the end of the world.  My family relationship, though always strong, has become stronger for me.  I read so many stories about people who have had major medical life changing things happen, and their family just bails on them, unable to “deal with it”!

And then there are the things I have to still deal with, but hope will go away, but may not.  I continue to have major drop foot on the right side unless I am wearing either my Walkaide or my AFO.

But the two biggest things that drive me nuts are trying to remain calm, and focus on conversations in a group setting.  At this, I am almost “AWOL”.  It’s just too hard to concentrate on one person speaking to me when others are talking around me.

The other thing, and this may be the biggest, is my lack of time.  I will be in the store, and totally “zone out” looking at a small section of products.  My husband will come looking for me and say something like, “It’s been 20 minutes.  What are you looking at?”  I usually have no idea.

Also, I have no reference to timing activities.  Because of this, most things take MUCH longer to accomplish, if they get accomplished at all!

Mother’s Day Gifts Of The Past

The other day I spied in my room, a picture that my youngest made for me several years ago, tacked to my bulletin board.  I had loved the color choice, and just really thought it was cool.

Today I opened my email to find several offers/ads for great Mother’s Day gifts.  This got me to thinking of all the Mother’s Day gift I made my Mom when I was young.  All Mom’s end up with an assortment of macaroni necklaces, hand painted “masterpieces”, and such.  Now that my kids are older (14 & 18), I have my own “stash” of prized gifts.

Sometimes in grade school, if a you were lucky, you ended up with the teacher that just loved, and was great at, crafts!  Those classrooms always had the best “gifts” to give out. I, unfortunately always seemed to get “stuck” with the teacher that didn’t know the difference between yarn and string, or that NOBODY wanted another macaroni ANYTHING! as a gift.  And I was forced to make doozies.  Those were the times a kid counted on the old phrase, “Mom will love it because you made it”!

The one that gets a chuckle was the “decorated electrical cord holder”!  My poor 3rd grade teacher had absolutely NO artistic ability whatsoever.  I don’t know if she truly thought this a great idea, or just something easy to teach a classroom full of little kids.  The only thing this “gift” required was a clean, cardboard toilet paper tube.  papertubeYep, you read that right!  We each brought in our very own from home and she supplied stickers and paint.  The idea was to “decorate” the roll and gift our Mom’s with her very own “Decorator Electrical Cord Holder”.  You folded and tucked the cords inside when not in use.  I remember that was probably the first time I laughed with my Mom over a school project.

But you know what?  It turned out the dorky, cheap gift has merit.  To this day I use one for my electric skillet cord so its nice and tidy in my drawer in the kitchen. And before you ask?  “No, it’s not decorated.  I prefer that natural, neutral cardboard color, LOL!”

 

 

Talking When The Brain Goes On Vacation…….

The other day during my volunteer shift at the thrift store I had something happened.  It was both weird and enlightening.  Weird, because I truly don’t remember it ever happening.  And enlightening, because evidently it happens frequently, but no one thought to mention it to me before.

The thing is this:  My mouth went on talking while my brain decided to go on a short vacation.  This means basically that some poor soul asked me a simple, direct question:  “What day is senior discount day, & how much is the discount?” , and I, in full voice, but without a brain in attendance, talked for almost a full FIVE MINUTES giving her a totally “around the bend” speech that made no sense, when all I had to say was, “Monday all senior’s get 25% off!”

whatdidyousay

I did catch myself mid-blabber, when I noticed the blank stare of the poor woman who asked me, and the bemused look of my co-volunteer.  I stopped, took a deep breath and said, “Well I took that around the bend, huh?”  We had a laugh, answered her question, which I am sure by this time she didn’t give a damn about, and off she went.

After she left, I looked at my co-worker and said, “Geez, that poor woman probably didn’t think I’d ever answer her question.  Glad I’ve never done that!”

She chuckled, as we both have a sick sense of humor, and said, “Oh, you do that all the time!”  I nearly choked.  She explained though that this time, my answer was especially long-winded.  She also said it was no big deal and not to worry about it.  I told her I appreciated her “support(?)”, but to please jump in next time that happens.  With her usual good humor she agreed, but was heard muttering as she turned, “But it’s so much fun to watch!”

Gotta laugh at yourself, or find someone who cares (with good humor) that can!
laughingfrogs

 

Great Disability Product I Love!

My husband found this at a local thrift store and brought it home.  If you are like me, someone who has trouble climbing up and over into the the tub to take a shower, then you’ve probably tried,  or thought about installing permanent handrails in your bathroom.   Or maybe you’ve tried those “suction cup” type handles, which SUCK BIG TIME!

Since we are planning a bathroom renovation in the near future,  we didn’t want to install permanent handrails.   Plus I hate those damned handicapped looking rails. 

When my husband found this,  I thought this might be the solution.   I installed it today and was impressed with how sturdy it seems.  It has the added advantage of being able to be removed and taken with us if we travel.

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So far I am impressed.   I took a shower tonight and was happy to see that the handle didn’t loosen up from the hot steam of the shower.   This was the major problem I had with the suction-cup style handrail.

This product seems to be a great alternative to needing to install permanent handrails in the bathroom.
So far, this product seems like a great product.