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Stroke Survivor - female
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About heathber

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    Senior Mentor
  • Birthday 05/23/1965

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  1. heathber

    Will it can take a long time for those of us on the inside to work that out, and let the "old you" go. It should not surprise us that those looking on take just as long or longer to get to the same point. As you say they don't have the minute by minute reinforcing of it that we do. And also they have an expectation that we will be "cured" and return to "normal". After all with modern medicine isn't that true. (😏). It's funny (sort of) my Mum gets cross at her friends that say "she should be better by now, my friend who had a stroke was fine after 6 months". People don't get that it depends on the stroke and even the people who are "all better" have long term "invisible stuff" going on that their friends probably don't see. It's not helped by doctors and specialists not liking to say "there's not much we can do" and even if they do say that people don't want to believe.
  2. heathber

  3. heathber

    muscle contracture is very common after stroke because that is the "safety" position of muscles with bad nerve connection. I see my neuro physio regularly mostly so that he can release the muscles that have gone into protection mode. It's important to keep stretching so that muscles do not actually shorten. Even with the work of the neuro physio I ended up having muscle lengthening surgery to left quad and calf.
  4. heathber

    you have to laugh Kelli, dad joke or not
  5. heathber

    yep ladders suck big time now! but you did a wonderful job on those decorations!
  6. heathber

    whenever you look at sex "from the outside" as it were it strikes you how funny it is really. But shared laughter is almost as satisfying in some way. Either way worth using some spoons for. Love your attitude. Heather
  7. heathber

    have you considered acupuncture and/or meditation. Both helped me with sleep. Mirror pain/sensation therapy is also worth trying for the tingling etc. Those tend to come from your brain trying to make sense of nerve signals it no longer has a place for. If you can rewire those to useful places rather than letting your brain decide they are bad(pain) you should. Meds have their place but they also come with side effects and as you have found don't necessarily give tge benefit you are looking for. Hang in there -Heather
  8. heathber

    That's a great idea thanks George. Will add it to my list of possibles
  9. heathber

    George that is great. And music is all about logic and math don't sell yourself short. Do some reading on harmonics and scales and chord construction, then train your ear to guide you, if you had no exposure to playing music as a child your brain may not go there at first. But if you have some rhythm sense and a head for maths music should come relatively easily. I found scales and chords made much more sense once I understood the math behind it. I'm still looking for an instrument that doesn't need a left hand and is relatively portable. A friend suggested harmonica, but it just doesn't appeal to me. There'll be something but I haven't found it yet. I'll have to investigate properly once I retire, but there's no rush right now. Enjoy your Dulcimer! Heather
  10. heathber

    Hi Babu, Had my 9 year anniversary this year, My left arm is pretty useless I never regained use of the hand and have only limited (controlled) movement of the shoulder and elbow. I stretch my arm and hand daily and do yoga and gym work that requires my arm to be at least partly functional but I also accept that it's not going to change much now. The muscle atrophy is going to be next to impossible to counteract even if I do get some signals going again. But you do nothing you get nothing so I keep asking it to do more. Left leg has some restrictions still but I'm living independently, and working full time (office stuff). And pretty active. I live a full life and use many adaptions for one handed living. Depression can be a slippery slope get help for that. Talk to an OT about training to do the things you want to do again. I may not do things as easily, quickly, or prettily as I like and used to but I still sew and paint and cook. Life is what you make it don't let this thing beat you. A useless arm/hand is not the end of the world unless you let it be. Happy to pass on tips if you have any specific questions. Hang in there -Heather
  11. heathber

    yes it does require strength and balance, for years I used a one legged standup, basically relying on the "good" leg to push me up. I'm told this is something most people can't do, but it worked for me, In the last 12 - 18 months I've managed to convert to a 2 legged squat standup, using the good hand/arm to keep the balance and add a tiny bit of push up from the floor. A falls pendant/alarm/phone is also a good idea and I'm so glad my Mum has finally started wearing one, although she has turned off the auto falls detector for the moment. Having always been someone who sat on the floor by preference getting up and down from the floor was pretty high on my priority list during rehab. These days I have a weekly yoga class where we practice these sorts of maneuvers (and a lot of other core squirming ones). Crawling around in the stones does not sound like fun. Having to get down on my knees to get into the back of my lower kitchen cupboards is hard enough on the knees these days.
  12. heathber

    yep being on the floor unexpectedly is common during stroke rehab, why do you think our therapist hover so much 🙂 But it is scary and you need skills to deal with it. Make sure you talk to your PT about learning fall recovery and getting yourself up after. Fainting can have many triggers in stroke people not just your diabetes medication. e.g. I have to be very careful not to let my blood pressure or blood volume drop, because I'm missing a brain feeder artery now. I guess I'm saying talk to your doctor and make sure you understand why it happened, and you may need to monitor your blood sugar more often when you are changing meds until you get a routine going and understand the new pattern. long acting drugs are great once you are setup on them, but can be erratic while you are adjusting to new conditions. Take care and good luck! -Heather
  13. heathber

    Hi Kev, I was a Scuba addict. Wreck/Tech diver qualified to 55m and working on my trimix certification for 60m+, when I had the stroke. So I wasn't going to give up easily. I stroked after a bend, diving WWII wrecks in Scapa Flow (Scotland). Stroke was triggered by physical exertion not the bend. But it meant post stroke investigation was about why the bend as well as why the stroke. turned out I have a high tendency to pleuro shunt, which allows return of unfiltered venous blood to the heart and hence N2 bubbles into the brain. adding that to existing stroke brain damage is a recipe for disaster even though physically I can manage the diving. There's a great group called Disabled Divers Association who helped me get my skills back in the pool. Hence my suggestion to Will that he look at adaptions for skiing.
  14. heathber

    yep I had that talk with the heart Doc about my scuba diving after the stroke. I did go back to diving a little bit, but once we understood more about my physiological issues, I decided it was too much of a risk and let it go. but not before I'd done enough to prove to myself that I could if I wanted to.
  15. heathber

    stairs can suck but they are worth persevering with.