• entries
    53
  • comments
    200
  • views
    879

About this blog

Stoke June 23 2019: Blog to track my recovery

Entries in this blog

Cold but Dry

This week has been pretty cold we were at 6F yesterday (-15C) and we stayed below freezing all day. Other that wrapping up well to feed the horse at dawn & dusk we have been hiding way in the house all day. Not good for the diet as I'm working off less and tending to snack more! Still stable at 186lbs.   With the weather shutting down my activity I can't say that I have noticed any particular improvement in motion, but I still do my 20mins at 3mph on a 5.5% grade and it certainly d

KevRider

KevRider in projects

new Year , New day

Now movement is almost back to normal and is more a matter of fatigue, in that as I get more tired i will get a little more wobbly but only slightly and an increase in concentration will often improve the motion. Still waiting on results of MRA. So a new year , and hopefully a better one than the last. Though its become apparent that this pandemic will  take more effort to beat!   Personally i used to avoid new year resolutions as a set up for failure.  I had attempted earlier in

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Christmas

So Christmas has just gone by, my second since stroke. I can't claim any noticeable improvements this week but considering I'm running pretty close to normal unless fatigued , I'm not complaining. As many of you know, I eat vegan due to plaque and trying to keep my cholesterol down. So Deb out did her self this year with help of some products from Plant Based Meats | The Very Good Butchers – The Very Good Butchers US   It was a very good xmas day, starting with a call from my mum

KevRider

KevRider in projects

MRA

Little report on the recovery side this week. I had to go down to Phoenix for an MRA, an extended type of MRI. The magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scan takes very clear, detailed pictures of the blood vessels, including arteries and veins, using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.  3.5 hr drive down, an hour in the tube, and a 3.5 hr drive back. We needed to set off at 6:30am and got up very early with a planed hour just to kick back and not be rushed, Then Deb opened her

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Mince Pies

Single digit temperature have restricted project I was attempting to get to but been driven inside changed the focus to a traditional activity which has been neglected for a few years: the making of xmas mince pies!   Stroke wise there's not much to tell  measuring progress to date as short falls from normal. Which is itself a progress as this time last year i was still wearing an ankle brace for any extended walking and sleeping a great deal to recover from even moderate effort. Still

KevRider

KevRider in projects

A Normal Hour

My early morning walk to the barn to feed our horses has always been a kind of datum line for my recovery. When I first got home this was a challenging limp which I was not allowed to take other than under the direct supervision of my wife and with the aid of hiking sticks. The other day it dropped to 9F (-13C) and I was moving at a slightly elevated rate of work to shorten the time and get back to the warmth of the house. It suddenly struck me as I went thru that regular routine that I was feel

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Thanksgiving

So I clear improvement form last year. I use thanksgiving as an excuse to put up the Christmas decorations and last year i could just manage to climb the step ladder and then my balance was precarious and i had to use a free hand to steady myself. This year was pretty easy tho I did need a nap after I finished. So while I decorate Deb cooks  a big vegan meal this time with a roasted faux beef joint.  Mental attitude has shifted also.. after my stroke i was thinking I'd be happy to make anot

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Getting Organized

Most weeks during Covid are isolation are very uninteresting, so by Tuesday I'm wondering what to write about. My self commitment to the weekly writing of this blog make me review what progress if any I have been making, which is in itself a good thing! So in this weeks contemplations I realized I still tend to watch and grade most motion I make starting with the walk to the barn every day to fed the horses, however it appears my datum has shifted.  A year ago I gauged progress from my paralysis

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Starts

"He puts his pants on like anyone else, one leg at a time" This phrase popped into my head yesterday as I put my pants on. A year a ago putting my pants on was quite an effort as my left leg was virtually incontrollable. A few moths back I actually managed to pull my pants on while standing, although i needed to hold onto the door jam for support. Yesterday I did it free standing! 🙂 Of course this mean i had to balance standing on one leg at a time for a couple of seconds. So it things like this

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Winter is here

So live is pretty good and motion is back for the most part and moving without the concentration it used to take 6 months ago. I still get a little light headed when I enter a balancing challenge from a position that I may not have tried since the stroke. I find I work more naturally and actively but then run out of energy. I find after a certain amount of work I will suddenly get fatigued and muscles are harder to control. Or as I tell Deb, I have gone wobbly. I can return to better control wit

KevRider

KevRider in projects

British Breakfast

So I'm so close to normal movement that identifying improvement is a challenge.  I am moving normally unless fatigued but the easier movement leads me to imbalances quite often. However such are recovered quickly and instinctively. I'm steadily taking on more project work and my stamina is slowly increasing. I tend to work mostly in the mornings and still have a nap in the afternoons but not every day, which is a major improvement from 6 months ago when any exertion would need a nap after to rec

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Winter is here!

Well another week where I thought i'd have no specific improvement to report. Then yesterday i was caught with my hands full in the tack room of the barn, Feed in one hand and a kitty in the other. I had managed to pen the door and go in but now needed to close it .( The cat is closed in the tack room at night due to coyote and owls) With out thinking I flipped my leg back and kicked it close. I then realised what I had done! I had transferred weight onto one leg, a balancing that I would have n

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Broccoli

So another week with nothing specific to report. Moving pretty well with jus the odd minor wobbly. Fells a little like driving a car with a worn steering rack, just need a lot of minor corrections along a trip.  These days it seems I have more to report from the garden. Of course a year ago I was writing gardening off. So we have a big cold front coming in on Monday supposedly down to 22F according to forecast and high probability of snow. So all veg in the out side bed have to be harvested

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Peppers

Here we are on the weekly blog, but little to tell. No identifiable improvements but I  am to be getting to do more work than at the beginning of the year so I'm hoping that's a sign of increasing stamina. So we are down in the 30s some mornings lately though still 80S afternoon. That kind of highj dessert swing can let an early frost sneak in so we have been harvesting crops that would get damaged. This weeks main target the peppers. The various wok loads make it hard to gauge but I

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Digging

So this week I can't claim to have noticed any specific improvement in motion. I'm moving very well now, which in turn makes it pretty hard to identify such improvements. I still get a little wobbly when tired. What has been noticeable is an increase in stamina. I can now apply myself more ardently to a project task until I get tired an then I go off for a cup of tea. ( How British) Last month I would be done for the day. Yesterday I worked pretty hard harvesting potatoes , had the tea, and then

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Mary Jane

145/83 BP was a pleasant reading this morning, a bit lower than my average 152/88 ( Remember I have prescribed hypertension) my doctor likes higher BP to push thru my constricted veins. So a natural drop in BP suggest a possible clearing of veins. The push for normal movement continues  but I can't claim to have identified any specific improvements. This weeks specific project is to harvest the marihuana plants. We are lucky that in AZ we have legal marihuana and I 'm far enough away f

KevRider

KevRider in projects

a Matter of Concentration.

A week of working on projects and some heavy stuff, like lifting those fence panels in to place to finish the north stall running pens, and pounding a few T bars into place, left me a bit tight and stiff at the end of the days.  I think I probably got it about right as I was ready to go the next days. Trying to notice returning function is harder now as the returns are pretty subtle. Some time its more a realization that some thing has gone. This week I had a feeling of pressure around my occipu

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Fences

So this week i haven't had any notice improvements. Though perhaps my stamina is still improving. I have kept up my morning run back from the barn today additional incentive to get back quicker as we were down at 42F.  I'm still following the morning ride with some project work. This week it was getting the barns north side stalls ready for winter. Our predominant wind is from the south west , so for the with we move the horse to the lee side. To prep the running pens I had to take fencing down,

KevRider

KevRider in projects

Project

Well this week I can't identify any actual improvements. Of course they can be so subtle now I have to pay attention to spot one. I do catch my self slipping back to my safe walk and find myself having to coach myself , like "Come on a bit faster" as I continue to move more as I used to. This week I have been involved with installing a big drum composter. The screwing of nuts onto bolts was an exercise they used to have me do in rehab, and I found I was flashing back to that as i had to do it a

KevRider

KevRider

Balance

My recent attempts to push for normal seem to be paying off. Most of my motion lately is normal, though I still have to concentrate on doing it. Often the first couple of steps may be slightly lacking, but then i push a little, focus and its back again. This recently re-learned motion gets me into new areas of balance challenge. But only small ones which trigger a little headiness for just a moment and I seem to be learning how to re-balance and haven't been anywhere near falling yet. Contr

KevRider

KevRider

Pushing for Normal

Those who may have read last weeks blog will know i'm pushing for normal. Generally its been working great! i'm estimating about an 85% rate and it feels good when I get it right as for a few minutes I fell no deficits. The slight down side it that occasionally on rougher ground i lose a little balance. and may stagger slightly for a stride or 2 it challenges my balance and may induce a little headiness. but I have not taken a fall yet, and believe that balance challenge is probably good neuro p

KevRider

KevRider

Breaking Habits

This week its been harder to note specific improvement. Rather I seem to have realized that I may have to push beyond habits i've fallen into. I had started , and continue to run back from barn to the house every morning after feeding the horses. Yet I realized that I walk in a very steady and cautious way which has now served me for several months. One evening my wife was calling me to the bathroom to take meds and I realized I use to walk much faster in such circumstance. I increased stride an

KevRider

KevRider

Running

Improvement these days is in subtle increments and easily over looked. My fist consistent walk of  the day is over to the barn to feed the horses and I always use this to gauge progress. This morning I was most of the way to the barn when I realized I was thinking about something completely different and just walking naturally. Most of the time since the stoke I have to concentrate on every step I take. Another thing I added to my routine is I now run back from the barn , a distance of some

KevRider

KevRider

Harvesting

So this week I engaged in more work around the house and garden with some significant results. I offered to help with vacuuming the house. The to and thro motion of this induces a strange headiness as I transferred weight from one foot to the other. Later my walking changed to a longer stride and during my first walk of the day, which id from house to barn to feed horses, the walk felt vary natural and indistinguishable from my pre-stroke walk. It still gets a little wobbly as the day goes on an

KevRider

KevRider

Just another week.

Well with Arizona been a Covid hot spot we continue our isolation, now almost 5 months. Days slide one into the other we have to mark them with meals to help keep track, Spaghetti Sunday, Wednesday Pizza and 'Friesday'. Can't complain to much were almost set up for it. I think about 60% of what we are eating comes off our land. We have plenty y of space to ride in the morning, in fact we have over 2miles of track on our own property. My stamina is slowly coming back. Used to be when I rode it wa

KevRider

KevRider