Stroke Survivor - male
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About raysrightside

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  • Birthday 05/18/1963

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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  1. Pre stroke I was always the calm one, telling everyone to relax. Now I'm the one that goes ballistic at the drop of a hat. My emotions bubble over readily too. I am now basically opposite emotionally and I'm okay with that. I recently connected with an old friend from high school. After visiting with her one afternoon, she commented, "you've really changed. You were always friendly, but guarded. You're more open now, and share your feelings." I can live with that.
  2. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv. This story I know from personal experience, your mileage may vary. Ischemic stroke on left hemisphere, right side affected with severe aphasia. Became fanatic about rehab. Physical Therapy kicked me out after two years because I was already doing more exercises on my own than the therapists were doing during our sessions. If I have any questions or concerns I can still see my pt. After five years, I still see measurable progress. For example, for the last four years I have taken my dog to the park to play fetch for an hour every day. We don't miss many days. I started throwing the ball with my good left hand so the dog would get a good workout. Toward the end of the hour at the park, I would throw a few with my right hand. Year one, I could throw the ball about ten feet. Year two, 25 feet. Year three, about 40 feet. Year four, 50 feet, but with a chuckit about 50 yards. Still use the left hand first until the dog gets tired, then work the right hand for fifteen minutes. Year five, throwing with the right hand the whole time. Ball goes about a 100 feet in the air. Still not pre stroke distance, but progress. The attending doctor at the hospital told my mom I would probably never walk again and painted a bleak picture about my potential for gaining movement on my right side. Glad I wasn't listening.
  3. Congrats Benni, perfect time to reflect on how far you have come. At one year post stroke I was an emotional mess, angry and hoping that everything would go back to the way it was. Your positive attitude and daily exercise will make your next anniversary report even better.
  4. Success!!! Both with the installation, and the test ride. Except for the welding (had it done by a certified structural welder friend) I did the whole install job myself. Pretty happy and proud of myself right now. If only I could reach around and pat myself on the back. I really miss scratching my back too. Thanks for the good luck wishes, I'm sure they helped for a safe and successful sidecar foray. Next project, train doggie to go for a ride in it. Keep the luck coming.
  5. But my right foot doesn't cooperate consistently. The problem isn't putting foot down and supporting the weight of the motorcycle, it's lifting my foot off the floorboard to put it on the pavement. Current solution is to work my foot off the floorboard well in advance of a stop and let foot hang until I need to put it down. Emergency stops is what bothers me. Will the errant foot move, or not. Don't want to be humpty dumpty on a hog. Or more likely on the road. So this spring I found a classic sidecar. Read "classic" as old, circa late 60's early 70's. But I liked the body and more importantly, had a nice big open cockpit for my doggie. Worked on it a little here and there, and finally it's on the bike. I say a little because a couple hours of sitting on a low stool and wrenching is about my limit. Then there is the requisite recovery day, or three, to look forward to. Finally, it's ready for a test drive. Going to wait for the weekend, probably early morning, no traffic...wish me luck.
  6. After five years my emotions still go from 0 to 100 in seconds. Anger, crying, and on the upside, laughter. Thanks for the REALLY good laugh!
  7. Stick with the exercises Benni, my leg and foot were the last things to wake up and stairs were a particular problem. Still working on the leg and foot but can lead up the stairs with the weak leg. Gotta remember, legs are heavy!
  8. Didn't take it that way Lin, no need to be sorry. What I wanted to covey was just how much this dog kept me focused on getting better. She's the best therapist ever...she doesn't get frustrated or upset and uses a waggy tail for motivation.
  9. Lin: I don't use the term therapy dog lightly. At first the therapy dog progress reports were kind of tongue in cheek, but really, my dog is probably responsible for way more than half of my ongoing recovery. She provides constant motivation to get better, be active and get outside. More importantly, she senses when I'm feeling down and sticks her head under my hand for a scratch or pat. How can you be depressed under this onslaught? Love the furry photos, keep em coming. Even the pretend ones.
  10. Out this morning after a night of rain, working on weak right arm by playing fetch with the doggie. We started this routine as a daily ritual as soon as I could get out of the house after the cva. First with a scooter and now under my own power. The new update to the site makes it easier to upload pics, so here goes...meet my trusty sidekick. I say the daily walks are for her, but they really keep me going.
  11. Hit the nail right on the head ,Becky, this was and continues to be, very nice of them. Now that I think about it, there are many weeks during the summer when I have dinner with my boss most days. When it's grilling time I cook dinner a couple of nights. This is the guy who came out to Texas when I had my stroke, and rode my motorcycle home. I count my blessings every time I share his table. What I really want to convey is my thanks for the casual way they get me out of the house and include me in their family meals.
  12. and his wife is scrambling to find suitable containers to send me home with leftovers. She comes up with two Pyrex containers and I feel a little guilty. I've got a slew of plastic containers at home from previous dinners. I promise to round some up and bring them with me next visit. Of course, being a man, I need to wash the containers. As I'm washing away I realize that I have quite the stack of plastic containers. Then another realization sets in, I have dinner at my boss's house several times a week. My old boss and I were friends before I went to work for him, but he and his wife have been making sure I get a good dinner several times a week. We're close enough that I pretty much have a standing invitation to dinner, but I would never just show up. He knows this and calls before dinner time and asks if I've gotten dinner yet. If not, the conversation usually goes something like this, "It's spaghetti night if you want to come over." Often his kids are over and grandkids are running amok. Food, pleasant company and a floor show, pretty good combination.
  13. Here are a few recovery spikes that snuck up on me over the past year. * Walking, speed increased. My daily four mile walk usually took two and a half hours, now it takes two. While walking I would barely lift my weak foot off the ground and swing it forward. Effective but prone to tripping over the smallest obstacles. Now actually lift my foot and step forward, much safer. This is probably the biggest improvement. * Strength, last year I could lift and hold about ten pounds and carry the weight around. About two bags of groceries. Now twenty five pounds. * Fetch with my dog, last year could throw the ball with a chuckit fifty yards. Now the ball routinely sails seventy five yards. The dog thinks this is the most important improvement! * Driving, last year my foot would occasionally fall off the brake pedal, and I felt like everyone was coming into my lane. Now foot transfers from gas to brake and back routinely and I'm much more comfortable in traffic. * Concentration, last year my train of thought often left the station without me onboard. This year I catch 90% of the trains and I'm usually on time. Hopefully more to update next year
  14. Congrats! Knowing you're not trapped at home, priceless.
  15. Short answer: emphatic yes, if it's safe to do so. Get your Dr's and therapist's OK. Then go through all dmv requirements. I did not do any of these and my first year of driving was an emotional and physical nightmare. My foot would constantly fall off the pedals and I would have to use my left foot to recover. I felt like everyone was coming into my lane. I could drive but would only when I absolutely had to. Have since done it the right way and could have saved myself a lot of anxiety, and possible injury.