Jun 26, 2013 7:47pm
Today, I’m EXACTLY 6 months out from my stroke. It was the 26th of December 2012, at about this time of the day, that my body was shutting down by degrees and I was struggling to find my phone to call for help.
When I woke up in hospital, I was in a bad way. I could not sit up in bed. I could not move, or feel anything on my right side, and I could not even swallow properly. That’s right, they actually gave me thickened water for the first few weeks lest I should choke.
And cognitively, I was a mess. Short term memory problems made it impossible to carry on a proper conversation as I would forget what was said to me just 5 minutes before. The physical effects of a stroke are unpleasant it’s true, but the mental effects are really terrifying. It is a horrible and frightening thing to be trapped inside a failing mind.
6 months later, I am still far from healed, my leg is still somewhat like a plank of wood and the lack of progress there is a frustration sometimes. But I have improved a lot in so many ways. My feeling is finally coming back to me. My hand becomes more limber, day by day, in fact, I can clearly see the improvements myself, and I am happy to say that my mind is sound.
Best of all, I am alive.
Speaking of which, have you not had a full physical check-up for a few years? Or, maybe you are aware of your specific medical issues but have not stayed on top of them? Do me a favor, and check into your health. Even if you had a check up in the last year it is worth bearing in mind that medical issues are dynamic and changing all the time. So get yourself checked out, will you? Thanks.
I have doctors all over me at the moment. In fact I see one tomorrow. The more cautious medicos say that at 6 months after a stroke, my best months of rehab are already behind me, and that my gains will get much tougher from now on as I head into a plateau. That is a very sobering thing to hear because the gains have been very hard won so far.
My more upbeat physical therapists simply encourage me not to impose limits on myself and to keep pushing. So far, we have not seen a plateau and that’s what matters. If we do, we will change the routine, or up the intensity to push past the plateau. I am absolutely hunkered down for the long haul.
I look forward to being able to walk around freely on my own. I am definitely not there yet but when it happens I will be able to go to the gym on my own, to the pool on my own and therefore push myself even more and make more gains.
There are two things I need; one is to be cleared for unsupervised workouts. That has till recently been an issue of blood pressure, but happily, now that is under control. The second is to be cleared for unaccompanied walks. That will only happen when I am able to stand up after a fall UNASSISTED. Currently I cannot do that due to the weakness of my calf and other muscles.
But when that does happen, and I feel it will be soon, in the next month or two, I predict that I will become a bit of a gimpy gym junkie. Far from hitting a plateau, I feel that my improvement will move ahead by leaps and bounds at that point.