Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stroke recovery: Prepping for physical therapy on my own

Working on stepping high

October 23 was my last day of physical therapy, except maybe for once-a-year one-session “tune ups” on my walking.

Therapist Ashley, Phillip the tech and Sterling the neuro rehab intern were all working with me to be sure I was clear on several exercises I could do at home. Now it’s up to me to keep working to improve my walking and balance.

 Visual cues

The two strips of tape above provide targets for a marching-in-place exercise. Without that tape strip or some other target in front of my toes, I would unconsciously wind up all the way across the room as I focus with tunnel vision on swinging my right arm forward in concert with stepping high with my left leg.

The second strip serves as a visual cue for vertical movement. It lets me know my step is high enough if my knee intercepts my line of sight to the tape. When I can do that smoothly and consistently, it will mean my control of that stroke-affected left leg has increased measureably.

Some things still work!

I am so glad Ashley had Sterling document my movement that day. The right leg and arm are doing okay. The left needs lots of work. The photos will help me to see progress.

I am fortunate that I will restart occupational therapy in the new year. I hope one day that the left hand will open at my brain’s command. Right now I have to use my right hand to force it open, and when I let go it quickly curls back up.

And the work continues. I am thankful for that.


  1. this is a amazing and you can come here to your post to refresh your memory on marching in place. NOT that you will forget. LOL... I am going to practice marching, i need to do something for balance. you are fantastic.

  2. It looks like you have been getting excellent care! And your therapy here looks like you are doing a dance, one of triumph and strength. I would have never have known what those strips were, a great idea.

  3. I weighed ore than my therapist and I asked him if he was sure he could hold onto me if I fell. He assured me he could. Good luck with your continued home therapy. Dianne

  4. You have a beautiful figure and pretty hair. What's not to like about you? Best wishes for continued recovery.

  5. You are amazing to keep working at recovery so hard. Blessings from Freda at Dalamory.

  6. I think you wonderful.
    I wear a brace on my left hand most of the time now. It helps with the arthuritis too. :)

  7. Great progress Linda. I like the simple at home things you can do to bring back your balance and strength.
    Happy to hear about O.T. too.
    Keep at it. It is working.
    I'm glad I found your blog and have seen the amazing way God is working in your life.