As I told everyone in an earlier post, after volunteering for almost two years at the White Dove Thrift Shoppe, I have been hired to work part-time as a cashier.
Before my stroke, a 25 hr work week would have been no problem, and it isn’t now, except it does take some getting used to.
I find that being “on” for those working hours, requires me to need to be “off” for at least an hour after I get home. That means quiet time to let my brain simmer down. I also need to rest my right leg. As cashier, it involves standing, plus I am also walking around the store, helping out as needed. So my right leg is being “zapped” quite a bit from my Walk-aide and needs to have a rest.
All in all, I am having a blast knowing that I am bringing in a paycheck to help with the bills. But the best part? This “job” is a perfect fit for me. I am working with people who already understand my disabilities. They understand when I may need to just “take 5”. They understand and have been vocal to let them know what they can do to make my job easier. Best of all: I have a ball working with these people! The atmosphere is social, happy, upbeat and just plain fun!
I don’t know what else to call them, so I go with “melt-down”. Seems that when I get over tired, or am in a stressful situation, if occurs…..the “Melt-Down”!
Things get harder to understand. People can be talking and it will be several seconds before I realize I was listening, but have absolutely no idea what they said. Then I will start to get really agitated and may fixate on one word, repeating it over and over. This to me, seems like a protective mechanism my brain is using to help calm me down. Almost like a meditation mantra. I can become panicky because it seems like everything around me is confusing.
So far, this has happened in the late afternoon or evening. My “fix” is to go to bed. Usually the next day, I can expect to feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. My brain is foggy, and I feel like I am moving in slow motion. My speech may be slower, and I will usually have trouble saying certain words correctly.
I had one of these “melt-downs” Monday evening. Yesterday, as expected, I was in a fog and felt “out of it”. Even though I didn’t sleep great last night, I woke feeling clear-headed and ready to deal with the world.
I’m starting to get lazy! There, I said it. Some days I ache all day, and I know this is normal. But I find also that if I try and workout, I get sore also. I worry about working out at home on the treadmill and falling when nobody is home.
I’ve started using the hand weights I “just had to have” that we got a couple of months ago. I have shoulder pain from my stroke, and I just know that if I can build up the muscle, the pain most likely will subside. It’s getting past the pain that’s damn hard. Same for the treadmill, or skier we have. I know I need to do it. I know it will be good for me. But I am terrified of falling and hurting myself. And I’m also scared to work thru the pain. By that I don’t mean it hurts while doing the exercise. What I’m talking about is the down-time after I work out. I get so tired, so quickly when I workout that I wonder if I’m doing myself any good?
So, I will step it up and try to work thru the pain, the fatigue, and sleep more if I need to. Right now it’s just to easy to ignore what needs to be done and take the easy route!
Since I started volunteering two half days a week at a local thrift store, I have noticed something interesting: I am having trouble balancing staying active & not overdoing it. When I do too much, my brain seems to want to shut down, kind of hide away. I start having more trouble getting my thoughts to match up with the words coming out of my mouth. I become “all thumbs” and seem to drop everything I try to hold. Even my Walk Aid doesn’t work as well.
I’ve tried to keep a more normal sleep schedule, say bed at 10, up at 7, but am not having much luck with that. I seem to need at least 10-12 hours per night or I end up “wandering” thru my day, instead of being a part of it.
Anyone else have this struggle?
Last summer I had just had my stroke, so I don’t recall anything about it. So this is really my first summer I am dealing with since my stroke. AND IT SUCKS! I don’t know if it’s the added medication to my system, the stroke itself making me less tolerable of the heat, or what?
I keep getting a lingering mild headache that pops up almost everyday once I get up and moving, It’s driving me nuts! I feel more fatigued when the heat is on than I remember and my right side, which was the side affected by the stroke, aches.
Gee, can you tell I AM NOT A WARM WEATHER person???