My view of cloudy weather from second-floor
I started today’s therapy session in a prone position with my left shoulder encased in a heating pad wrapped in towels. Recent cooler temperatures have increased the stroke-induced tone that tightens my shoulder to a painful degree.
To combat that tightness a 15-minute appointment with the heating pad has preceded my working with occupational therapist Amy to improve the strength and control of my left arm muscles. Today I pulled out my camera during my date with the heating pad and shot what I could see.
The challenge was my position on a mat in a far corner at the back of the gym, the need to avoid having other patients in my snaps and unsteadiness. To my right were windows with a view of the sky. To my left Amy was working with another patient.
For me and for her other patients Amy devises creative exercises to fit the specific deficiences her patients experience.
If it helps a patient, Amy doesn’t hesitate to take to the floor.
Amy works with another patient.
My photo session wasn’t stellar. But my therapy session with Amy was more positive. The workout she gave my left shoulder and arm also gave the right side of my brain a vigorous retraining experience.
She held my arm up and away with a red theraband. As I lay on my back, my job was to bring my arm back to my side with my elbow straight. I could do it if I could look at my arm. But that was a no no. Amy doesn’t want me to develop the habit of looking down in order to move my arm. She rounded up a bell, positioned it where my hand should wind up. Then she talked me through the movement.
As I had a few successes ringing the bell I could tell my control was improving with fewer verbal cues. I still have little sensory input other than sight and sound about what is happening on my left side. I hope that, as with earlier movements I have relearned, I will begin to recognize other cues about where my arm is and what it is doing as I become more successful in accomplishing specific movements.
From where I lie, that possibility looks pretty good to me.