• entries
    100
  • comments
    313
  • views
    12,944

About this blog

Figuring out how to just survive a stroke

Entries in this blog

Durr

Totally didn't notice that the link was incorrect.   www.istroked.wordpress.com   I have blogged here for ages, I know the difference between Draft and Publish. It was frustrating and long and frankly not worth the aggravation. Plus (big bonus) I can say the big S and H words (instead of dookie or whatever).   ha!

justsurviving

justsurviving

Last blog post

I have a new blog - http://en.wordpress.com - mostly because I find this site restrictive and often frustrating when trying to post. For instance, my latest blog posting never showed, after hours and actually days of trying to post it. We'll see if this one makes it.

justsurviving

justsurviving

Simple Realizations

Just recently, I have had a few simple, possibly cheap, realizations.   I asked a good, kind, honest friend if he noticed any personality changes from B.S. to A.S.S. (Before Stroke to After Sherri's Stroke). Being the good psychologist that he is, he said that he noticed slightly flattened affect (less visible emotion).   After thinking about this intently, I realized this morning that it is because I have always analyzed a situation before I determined emotion. This usually happened very

justsurviving

justsurviving

Life lately

I went to a conference last week in Orlando. I also went to the first attempt of the Ares 1-X launch. Yes - attempt. Friend of Survivor and I waited for 5 hours & no launch that day. Foiled again! It did finally launch the next day when I was in conference mode.   While I was in Orlando, I got to catch up with some of my favorite people. In addition to the launch adventure, Friend of Survivor and I had a wonderful dinner with her mom. Two of some of my most favorite women - they really

justsurviving

justsurviving

Bitterly thankful

As of late, I have been processing the realization that I am still waaaay too bitter about the stroke still. Now that I have recognized it, it is time to change it. It is reflected in so many of my posts and in my life. I honestly don't know how Bob has put up with it. I'm sure he has justified it as something he didn't experience and that I will 'get through it' so to speak. Actually, I haven't asked him about it. I don't think I want to know the answer.   I think that some people give me fa

justsurviving

justsurviving

A little surprise this weekend

Bob & I are getting settled really well in the new house. Bob decided this was the weekend to paint the kitchen. Somehow, I had enough other things to do that I got out of that!   One of the tasks was to (finally) organize our bedroom closet. I attacked it with fervor! As I was finishing up with the shelf and hangers, I found the running t-shirts from the November 13, 2005 10k race. I had a TIA at the starting line of that race and stroked a few hours later. I didn't expect to find the

justsurviving

justsurviving

Almost, but no cookie for me!

For every shuttle launch, NASA Langley employees are offered the opportunity to see the launch from on NASA Kennedy's center grounds. For the STS-128 night launch, I got a pass to go. I could take 6 people with me so I asked Bob, Friend of Survivor, and Bob's sister to see if they wanted to go. We filled up really quickly! I would have loved to take a full bus but am glad, now, that I didn't.   We got to the causeway (right across the water from the launchpad - beautiful view) at 11:00 pm. T

justsurviving

justsurviving

Heckuva Rough Weekend

I had to pick Bob up from the airport at 1:30 am Friday night/Saturday morning. We got home and settled in around 2:30ish. I couldn't get to sleep and wasn't feeling great. So, I decided a bathroom trip might help for some reason around 3:30 or so.   Sitting on toilet, doubled over thinking 'I don't feel so good'. That was all the warning I got - I woke up on floor. Apparently I passed out while sitting on the freaking toilet - took a face plant into the wall/floor (not sure exactly what happ

justsurviving

justsurviving

3 Month Study Follow-up

Has it really been three months since I completed the USC (University of South Carolina) IMT (Intensive Mobility Training) study?   It really has. Looking back, I've done a lot since the study - I now "run" on a regular basis, we moved (although my father-in-law helped with the heavy stuff), & I feel better about my walking and stair climbing.   I worked four 10-hour days so that I could have the Friday to drive to Columbia, SC to complete the follow-up portion of the study. The measur

justsurviving

justsurviving

Getting stronger?

I think I'm getting stronger. By "running" for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, I feel strength building in my ankle and leg in general.   Then comes moving day. My leg threatens to give out several times (once at the top of the stairs while holding a heavy box - yikes!). Walking up to the 3rd floor apartment and down with boxes, bags, and miscellaneous things and driving to the new house and walking up a flight of stairs to put boxes, bags, and various things in the office, extra bedrooms, and ou

justsurviving

justsurviving

So much news!

As a continuation of the previous post - I said that I used to need to secure my affected limbs but that, basically, I didn't need to do it any longer. Oops. Spoke too soon. About 2 weeks ago, I realized that I still need to secure my limbs, but I think it is more habit now or, at the very least, I'm just not as conscious of it. Bob & I were riding in the back seat and I had to sit in the middle between Bob & my dad. Bob was on my left (affected side). If I can't angle my foot so that I

justsurviving

justsurviving

Figuring things out

It never fails - I think I have just about everything figured out & then BAM! I get hit with something and have something to refigure.   I had a pretty sweet life up to the stroke. I was fit, healthy, and on my way to finishing up schooling. BAM! Stroke. I often wrote and felt that I had aged 50 years in the blink of an eye. I think I understand why now. I had some disconnect with my mind and body.   BS (before stroke), my mind and body were in sync. What I thought I could do, I just

justsurviving

justsurviving

The latest

Lots of stuff happening lately...   I have been doing really well on my exercise schedule & even added to it! I am doing the Couch to 5k program (www.coolrunning.com under the Training tab and the Beginners section). Bob & I either bike or drive to the high school track and do the walk/jog alternation for about 20-30 minutes. The weather is starting to cooperate better and when it is warmer, the heat helps warm my muscles. The cool/cold weather makes me a miserable walker/jogger!  

justsurviving

justsurviving

Short follow-up

Well, we are back in VA and trying to get back into the swing of things after the marathon that was the PT study. I have decided to do my best to continue to actively participate in my recovery (I think I pretty much gave up there for a little while) and have a schedule of activities for 6 days a week. It's no great shakes exactly, but I want to get back into shape and I have to create that path, not wait for it to magically appear. Hence, (I never get to use that word!) on M, W, & F, I will

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 10 - THE END!!

Bob & I brought pizza in to the lab an hour early as a thank you. Mmmm...Mellow Mushroom pizza!   I brought up my concerns from yesterday, but the lead therapist didn't catch the clue so I said straight out - 'what you said is offensive' and then she got it. While she put it off to 'a poor choice of words' I think she understood the issue.   Hour 1 - back on the treadmill. Surprisingly, the top harness was a little too loose and had to be tightened up before the jog. 20 minutes at 3.2

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 9

How odd - 1/2 of me is really, really, really excited that this is almost done and 1/2 wishes this could continue because I see and feel the benefits.   Today, I was assigned someone who I had on Day 2 - when I was really frustrated and almost walked out. I don't know what it is about her - I like her but I constantly fight with her in my head. I couldn't put my finger on it until today.   #1 - she told me that she is having me do some stuff because "strokers don't want to do it" which mad

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 8

The home stretch!   Hour 1 - the usual, strap in the harness, tether to the treadmill. 20 min of 3.2 mph. 10 min at 12% incline (whew!). 10 min at 10% decline (a little scary, in my opinion). 3 sets of 2 minute jogging intervals without assistance. 1 set of fast walking without assistance and focus on hee'ul strike. At one point during the jog, I have 1 person saying 'hee'ul, hee'ul, hee'ul' to remind me to focus on the heel strike. Then there is another person saying 'remember to swing your

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 7

I was sore all weekend - hamstrings, quadriceps, abductors, adductors, calf - you name it, it was sore! Trying to stand and sit was probably amusing to watch - it was ginger up and down with a lot of upper body grasping to help.   My muscles were finally all happy, relaxed, and groovy & they forgot about the return to torture today!   Hour 1 - the usual. Harness on, tethered to treadmill, walking at 2.5 mph to start and 3.2 for a good pace. The usual now includes 2 minute intervals of

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 6

Sorry about the delay of posting.   After the demanding Day 5, I was feeling a little weak on Day 6 but ready to go!   Hour 1 - the usual. Harness securely up my butt, and desperately squeezing my hips and ribs together. On the treadmill. No assistance whatsoever. This thrills me and makes me curious. How has my foot learned so quickly? I'm sure that the procedure of strapping into the harness and getting onto the treadmill has conditioned my foot how to behave so I asked the PI (primary i

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 5

Okay, people, Day 5 has arrived   Deep breath - halfway through after today!   I had a terrible time sleeping last night so I was a little concerned today. Bob woke up at 1:30 am and was futzing around so I thought it was time to get up. Nope, he told me - only 1:30 am, go back to sleep. It took me over 2 hours to go back to sleep. Yuck. I remember thinking 'not much time has passed so I'll just peek at the clock - 3:30 am, drat!' I think I convinced myself to relax and finally go back to

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 4

Holy moly - today exhausted me to the point where I actually had to take a nap & I am not a napper. Although, I slept terribly last night too...   Hour 1 - the treadmill. Reduced weight lifted on harness to 5% (that means I have 95% of my body weight), walked with minimal assistance on foot and hardly any hip work at all for 20 min. Turned around and walked on decline for 20 min. Turned back around and walked on incline at a good clip for 20 minutes. 10 minutes of 'obstacles' - one person

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Therapy - Day 3

Wow! What a difference.   Bob & I talked about Day 2 at length (I so very nearly walked out completely) and decided to address it in a friendly and hopefully helpful way.   I wanted to get 2 points across: 1) Although I am high functioning - this is a blessing and a curse. The benefit is that they can see what a stroker can accomplish. The cost is that they expect A LOT out of me. I am still brain damaged & have deficiencies. 2) I can only truly focus and concentrate on one thing a

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Physical Therapy - Day 2

Boy oh boy was I sore this weekend! Day 1 was on a Friday so I got 2 days to recover & I needed it! You name it & it was sore. Bob & I went to check out the Congaree park near here. It has a 2 mile loop of boardwalk mounted above the swamp. I made it 1/2 an hour and my leg was threatening to give out on me so we turned back.   So, today was Day 2. Hour 1 - that treadmill. One person messing constantly with my foot and one person standing behind me (straddling the belt) to 'correct

justsurviving

justsurviving

Experimental Physical Therapy - Day 1

As explained previously, I qualified (by the skin on my teeth) for the Intensive Mobility Training (IMT) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. The first 2 days involves baseline measurements - balancing ability, walking, standing - the basics. Apparently I have a ceiling effect going on (high functioning) which I already knew going in to the trial. However, I gave them a challenge and plenty to work with - supination problems with my foot, week thigh adductor, weakness in my leg i

justsurviving

justsurviving

Lighter side of some side effects

As I was walking to my office from the center entrance where Bob dropped me off, I remembered a few of the side effects that I thought were funny even while I was experiencing them.   I always thought that the swing of the arms that matches the opposite leg while walking was natural & automatic. Post stroke, I realized that my left arm just hung pretty much straight down while my right arm swung in time with my left leg while walking. I thought it looked exceedingly silly, so I set out to

justsurviving

justsurviving