Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Rollator Prep: Part Three of Three

My final challenge in the neuro therapy bridge session was getting down the steps from bridge to street level. Rollators aren’t designed to navigate stairs.

No problem! I just got a good grip with my right hand for balance and expected to get the job done. Right?


Ashley had a different agenda: No hands and don’t look down at your feet. 

Terror attack!

My right hand kept just automatically kept reaching for that sturdy, reliable railing. And Ashley kept reminding me, “No holding on!” 

I finally hit upon a strategy that succeeded. I held my right hand up high. When I started to reach for the security of that banister, the movement reminded me that particular action was a no-no. 

My effort didn’t reduce my fear or improve the placement of my stroke-affected left foot. But by the smiles, it seems Ashley and Charlie appreciated my attempts. 

Or maybe they just found humor in my method for making that right hand comply with instructions.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rollator Prep: Part Two of Three

Heading up.
Before my falls started in 2015, walking the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge was a weekly occurrence. A concrete barrier separating the traffic lanes from the “people” lane provided an ideal source of balance. 

I could touch it on the way up and hold on to a round railing on the way back down. Whoever was walking with me helped me navigate the distance from the concrete barrier to that railing on the “water-view” side for the trip back down.

A challenging uphill trek.

That day, though, my sense of safety with the rollator came from the fact that both Ashley and Charlie were holding my gait belt. I knew they would not let me fall.

Looking back it seemed the rollator lessons were a metaphor for my whole stroke experience. God’s hand was on me when the blood vessel broke in my brain and through challenges and joys ever since. I know He is with me now. 

Going down the bridge’s fairly steep incline was a lot scarier than going up. Scary but exhilarating. 
I knew I was in good hands.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rollator Prep: Part One of Three

On a chilly November morning almost three years ago, Hubby and I met my Ocean Springs Neuro Rehab pros at the bridge that spans Biloxi Bay.

I was there for training to use a rollator safely and effectively. Hubby made sure I got to the bridge. He also fulfilled my request that he take photos. 

Physical therapist Ashley briefs me as tech Charlie puts a gait belt on me, a standard safety precaution during neuro rehab sessions. 
Can you tell I had used the snatch-and-grab method of dressing? But I did get there on time and was ready for the cold plus the potential for strong winds that often occur on that bridge.

Ashley straps my stroke-affected left hand to keep it on the rollator.
I had high expectations that the little four-wheeled rolling walker would give me a bit more independence and Hubby some relief from worrying about my falls that had started the year before.

The trial journey begins.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Nature’s Artistry

Rainy-day Art (iPhone photos by Hubby)

A heavy rain in June did more than water our thirsty St. Augustine grass. It also turned a huge spider’s web into a sparkling jeweled creation.

View from the side

When I first spotted the huge spider it only had a small web. My online searching turned up a gazillion photos of spider species, and I finally found a photo that matched my gal. The big spider and web artist below is a female orb weaver.
Orb weaver and potential mate

The little brown spider in the upper corner is a male. One online article I found said the male would sometimes hang out in the web until the female had captured and consumed lots of prey. 

The objective: To make sure before they tie the knot that she has eaten enough and is robust enough to have lots of spider babies with his DNA.

Hmmmm. I sure am glad humans don’t use those same metrics for choosing a mate. Even though I had an embarrassingly voracious appetite in my younger days days, my weird metabolism kept me on the edge of looking anorexic, far from looking robust. 

That is NOT something I miss. And even though I do miss being able to consume whatever and however much I want to eat, Hubby and I are getting a better handle on creating satisfying and enjoyable diabetes-friendly meals. 

Mrs. Orb Weaver doesn't have that problem. She has grown bigger and is capturing larger prey. 
Golden-silk orb weaver and her prey. 


Friday, October 11, 2019

Not Only the Printed Word

Although Ocean Springs Municipal Library is relatively small, it offers programs, special events and, of course, books for all ages and interests.

Hubby and I have fallen into a mid-morning routine of heading to the library, usually on a Tuesday. We rarely check out a book, but printed books are not the sole lure.

For both of us the library is a comfortable environment removed from our home where tasks large and small clamor for attention. 

Hubby works in an out-of-the way spot. 

Hubby works on a project that he is keeping quiet about. I assume it is a writing project. He won’t confirm or deny, but when we are heading home he usually shares whether he has made progress or was mired in frustration. 

Either way he is undaunted and I think pleased that the library offers nooks that make for mostly uninterrupted concentration.

I choose a spot not as secluded as Hubby’s. I savor the atmosphere that is quiet but humming with staff and with patrons from toddlers to elders, all engaged in mind-stretching activity.
A comfortable stretch for legs and mind

The toddlers are not always quiet, but it makes me smile that they are being led into the habit of including books and library in their lives.

Wee ones take an imaginary voyage on the very real King Beaver dugout canoe, one of the library’s temporary exhibits. 

A big “thank you” to Sue, the librarian who retrieved the dugout canoe photo above for me from the Friends of the Library site.