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It's been about a year since my second stroke, a pontine stroke that left me with a weakened left side to complement the right side effects of stroke number one.  This has opened up a whole new range of rehab challenges but I am learning to adapt.  My daily walks are now reliant on a walker and much shorter, now about half a mile at hundred yard intervals.  Walker is mostly for balance and stability.  Good news is that toe drag is pretty much gone and I am actually stepping forward with my right leg and foot as opposed to dragging it along.  Bad news is my right hip and upper leg has developed some stiffness and the muscles are tight all the time requiring regular stretching. It is also a painful condition but hopefully will lessen with daily stretches.

 

Right foot is weaker also so I have difficulty driving a car.  The motorcycle has been converted to all hand controls so I can get around.  So with the stability and balance issues falls are a constant possibility. The other morning I had just gotten to the park to walk and I had a little tumble. After unfolding myself off the motorcycle and unstrapping my walker, my right leg wasn't fully awake yet.  At these times I have to consciously make sure my right knee is locked to hold up my weight.  I stepped back to stretch my right leg and got that funny feeling.  My knee wasn't locked and my right leg started to buckle.  I had stepped back too far and was no longer centered on the walker.  I teetered for a what seemed like ages, before collapsing onto the parking lot.  Took a quick look around to make sure no one saw the show, rolled over, and used the bike to pull myself up.  Move it along, nothing to see here.  My dog was still in the sidecar waiting patiently to get out.  Now whenever I stand up, I make sure my right leg is functioning enough to support me, before letting go of my handhold.

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35 minutes ago, raysrightside said:

It's been about a year since my second stroke, a pontine stroke that left me with a weakened left side to complement the right side effects of stroke number one.  This has opened up a whole new range of rehab challenges but I am learning to adapt.  My daily walks are now reliant on a walker and much shorter, now about half a mile at hundred yard intervals.  Walker is mostly for balance and stability.  Good news is that toe drag is pretty much gone and I am actually stepping forward with my right leg and foot as opposed to dragging it along.  Bad news is my right hip and upper leg has developed some stiffness and the muscles are tight all the time requiring regular stretching. It is also a painful condition but hopefully will lessen with daily stretches.

 

Right foot is weaker also so I have difficulty driving a car.  The motorcycle has been converted to all hand controls so I can get around.  So with the stability and balance issues falls are a constant possibility. The other morning I had just gotten to the park to walk and I had a little tumble. After unfolding myself off the motorcycle and unstrapping my walker, my right leg wasn't fully awake yet.  At these times I have to consciously make sure my right knee is locked to hold up my weight.  I stepped back to stretch my right leg and got that funny feeling.  My knee wasn't locked and my right leg started to buckle.  I had stepped back too far and was no longer centered on the walker.  I teetered for a what seemed like ages, before collapsing onto the parking lot.  Took a quick look around to make sure no one saw the show, rolled over, and used the bike to pull myself up.  Move it along, nothing to see here.  My dog was still in the sidecar waiting patiently to get out.  Now whenever I stand up, I make sure my right leg is functioning enough to support me, before letting go of my handhold.

Ray, this condition of your knee buckling is one of two of the main reasons I retired from my job after almost 5-1/2mos of rehab. I finally got my Doctors to give me a release and I returned to work. I did so prematurely as just out of fear of loosing a well paid career, I held my reservations hidden and hoped I could get by. It wasn't until one particular day up on the back of a flatbed truck standing erect my right leg just completely gave way and down I went and rolled off the flatbed too.. A few of my coworkers witnessed it and agreed not to mention it as safety is paramount in the electrical industry. They were long time friends. I just couldn't in good conscious work like that possible knowing that I could possibly compromise my health or God forbid somebody else's because of a physical malfunction on my part. The 2ond straw (if you will) was when I needed to get on the ground to work on the underside of a piece of electrical equipment, when I completed my work, I could not stand back up. I had to crawl across the ground until I reached a steel structure to actually pull myself up erect.  I realized at that point, I truthfully could not fill my role as a team member of my peers who need to depend on me to lead. I knew it was time to retire, sadly. But the right thing to do working in a hazardous environment and having others to depend on you.

 

My leg still buckles 13yrs post stroke, not so frequently, but it happens unexpectedly, thats the downside. Though I remain vigilant, I cannot put total trust in the fact that it will hold up at all costs. Maybe you are an exception and that thru strength training or time yours may correct itself.

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Oh don't you hate that teetering feeling where you know you are out of balance and falling but there's not a damn thing you can do to correct it. Regular stretching and strength training have helped me lots with being able to trust my left leg to do it's job. But I still favour my right (stronger leg) more than I should. The trick for me has been learning to get the hips even and over the knees, so that the whole posterior muscle chain works together.  So lots of side stepping, backwards walking and step ups to get the chain fully connected and strong. But yes it's the first few minutes after standing up that are the most dangerous, especially when getting out of the car, so I assume same would apply to getting off the bike.  Keep at it Ray and fingers crossed you can limit the falls.  You've beat this once you can do it again!

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You are so right about centering the weight with hips over knees.  I have been working on tucking the butt in to get that stable locked in feeling when I stand up.  Funny how you never think about this, but when the posture is wrong your legs fatigue so fast.  Thanks, Heather, working diligently on it.

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Hi Ray, yes tuning on those glutes is key! I find the mental clue is "walk tall"

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Ray, for me, that year has gone by so quickly!

You do seem to be making progress, keep it up!

💚

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