Well, here we are two days after Christmas Day, still alive and kicking through all the holiday hubbub. The fact that I have not posted here for two full weeks is some indication of how far behind I feel in many ways! My plan was to post once or twice a week, which was perhaps a bit too ambitious for my current energy level during a holiday season, but better late than never, right? Ok. So, here is what has been going on here during weeks five and six post-stroke.
First, let me say that the Strokeboard.net organization has been an amazing lifeline to me. Through talking with others who have experienced strokes of various kinds and with every level of outcome, I have been greatly encouraged. Some days are just harder than others and being able to chat with folks who have similar experiences makes me feel like less of a weirdo and reaffirms that I am getting better all the time.
Another victory came in the form of a large spring-clip barrette for my hair. This might seem miniscule, but if you have ever tried to put long hair in a ponytail with one hand refusing to cooperate with twisting a run berband, you now what I'm talking about! I briefly considered just having it cut short, but that seemed a bit drastic. Ever fear, barrettes are here! I can get all my hair pulled into it and clip it with my right hand! No more hair hanging in my face anymore. Another small/huge victory! Fingernail clippers are a whole different story that I won't even go into for fear of stressing myself out just thinking about it and causing myself another stroke.
Just before Christmas I actually finished the crocheted bedspread I had been working
One reminder recently kept me on track to wrap Christmas gifts! Forget the fancy
Now if anyone is interested in the techie stuff, I am seeing improvement in my left arm and hand. Coordination has improved and it only curls up tight when I get really tired. I have a great deal more strength than I did six weeks ago, though I still avoid holding anything in my left hand that would be a problem if dropped. My leg is coming along a bit slower but there is improvement there, too. I have an ankle brace that holds my foot close to a 90 degree angle so my toes don't drag when I walk. This makes it much less tiring to get around and saves my ankle and knee from possible injury. My energy level is still below the basement. I am told this is normal, as it takes six months just for the brain to heal and inflammation to subside. Hence, naps have been commonplace and I often sleep twelve hours a day or more. Headaches are also a constant norm, but if I pay attention and rest when I need to they don't always become severe. My vision is still a major adjustment. Lack of depth perception is always disconcerting and results in my bumping into things quite easily as I learn to judge distances. I can read for short periods of time without triggering a new headache, so I save up "eyeball energy" when I want to read before bed.
That's about it in a nutshell! If we happen to meet, my shoes might be untied, I still can't get my earrings back in, and I may have forgotten exactly why we were meeting in the first place! But in the words of my brother Sonny, I am a Perencevic...and "Perencevics don't break, we bounce!". Some days feel like treading water and barely keeping my chin above the waves, while other days are more positive. Seems like the ebb and flow of the tides, controlled by a very fickle moon.
I appreciate your comments and emails, so please feel free to say hello before you go! And always remember:
"The sky is NOT the limit...there are footprints on the moon."