Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One stroky’s journey

The literature about strokes, both in print and online formats, is undoubtedly exhaustive and exhausting. That is especially pertinent, because until today, just about everything has been exhausting to me. 

Today for the first time since I returned home after my April 22 stroke I made it through a whole day at home without dissolving into an afternoon nap of two hours or more. PROGRESS! And it wasn’t all at home. Husband Walter and I engaged in community integrative therapy (That is an actual term that I heard a therapist use) today which included a visit to Coffee Fusion for tea, coffee, and a little visiting in person and online; shopping at Wal-Mart, Lowes and Sears. The last two I read a book in our van while hubby zipped in to finalize his price-checking and purchase of a new lawnmower. 

All that means I am getting stronger. I will periodically be posting such enlightening tidbits about my stroke journey, when I am not engaged in enthusiastic napping, that is. No research; just my impressions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home again, home again!

This welcome-home message from Gulf Coast Research Lab colleagues greeted me as we arrived home from the rehab center Tuesday, May 24.

Hooray! I am home! I have actually slept three nights in my own bed, snuggling wth hubby. Departure from the Singing River Comprehensive Rehab Center in Pascagoula was scheduled for late afternoon Tuesday after husband Walter finished his school bus routes.  That meant I had a full day of therapy. First night home included a fast-food supper, whohoo! . . . then early to bed for me. 

Exhaustion hits early and often these days. Wednesday, my first full day home, I slept practically the whole day except for welcomed visitors, therapy, a trip to Wal-Mart for items that facilitate independence, plus early morning wake-up routines and a few post-stroke housekeeping firsts accomplished with the help of my sister-in-law Lila.

I came home with a wheel chair, but I am working on graduating to a cane. Left arm and hand are a bit slow waking up, so right now my knees and teeth are subbing as my left hand in a variety of tasks. I will be in outpatient therapy several days a week for about a month.

I still intend to post about my early experiences as a stroke survivor. Previous attempts to reestablish a post-stroke working relationship with my computer were  agonizing and totally frustrating and exhausting. I decided my brain and body weren't ready. Writing this post has been relatively easy in comparison, even though I am using my right hand only.  

That is encouraging; a sign to me that my brain is healing!

Praise God and thanks again to all who surrounded me with prayer and are still praying for me. The journey continues!

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Easter of the senses

Below is the post I was working on April 22, the day I had the stroke. Although I didn't get to actually post it, I am going to now. As I have learned so well  now may be my only opportunity to do so. So here is my 2012 Easter post . . . a little early.

Easter was here. I was three or four. In my childish perception, Easter was a complex holiday, wrapped in the mystery of a spiritual significance that was in the very air we breathed in our daily life.

It also induced an excitement that had the undersized, nearsighted (although that condition was as yet not recognized) child version of me quivering with anticipation. The eggs had been dyed the night before and were ready in the basket for uncles and Daddy to hide. Cousins would be there with their baskets and eggs.

My aunts and Mother, all exceptional cooks, would be bringing loads of favorite things to eat. The gathering that year would be at my Aunt Thelma and Uncle Reuben’s home on a high hill, in the midst of pine trees, way out in the country.

I don’t remember the drive. I don’t remember the numerous hugs and greetings that were always an essential element of these get-togethers. I don’t remember the meal before the Easter egg hunt. I don’t remember the explanation about the prize egg. I don’t remember the instructions about boundaries of where the eggs were hidden, that year in an area of pine trees where my uncle had burned the undergrowth to decrease danger of forest fire near their home.

What I do remember is my first step into that area, clutching my basket, empty except for the traditional green cellophane “Easter grass.”

To my nearsighted eyes, a fairyland stretched before me, enveloping me in waves of sensation.

The forest floor was a soft, pale purple blur punctuated with swaths of bright green grass.

I recognized, from close-up encounters, the glorious fragrance of all those violets that individually contributed to the pale purple landscape. I rolled the idea of the violets around in my mouth, certain I could taste them. Underneath and oddly complementary was a faint scent of burned-to-a-crisp vegetation.

I stepped forward and felt, beneath the green, the burned grass resist then give way, sounding a sharp crunch that blended with the sounds of cousins’ squeals and laughter.

I was immersed and ecstatic -- in Easter.

I don’t even remember the egg hunt. I do remember happy and hilarious Easters with my cousins when I was older. But that early Easter will forever be one of my most vivid childhood memories.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

news from stroke journey

Hello all! 
I just hunt and pecked my first post-stroke sentence; hit something and everything disappeared. So I know now that my frustration and teeth-grinding muscles remain
unaffected by the stroke.can't wait to share about the amazing and life-affirming people and experieces I am encoutering as a "strokie" My therapy angels prefer stroke survivor.
thank you all for the prayers and powerful positve thoughts that are surrounding me I know that is why I am coninually feeling blessed and cared for. I have even been taking some snapshots and hope to graduate to posting a few soon but like progress in therapy, patience Linda!  
Something is going on with my vision so keeping up wth all your wonderful posts is on hold now . but just knowing they are out there waiting for me is something to look forward to!
love you all and thank you again!
I have had an unexpected break from threrapy today but about ready to crash for awhile. It's been a good day with a few little (but big to me) succeesses in distributing my weight on both affected and unsffected sides and  adjusting and recovering stability when various body parts turn into well-cooked noodles.
Surviving and thriving!
Skupie Skups( the nickname applied by my wonderful occupational therapist Ashley