Consistency is the key!
I have pretty good news. I am progressing in therapy. My OT gave me some exercises. The only problem I have is being consistent! I was off work last Monday through Tuesday so I got up each morning and did all of my exercises, 15 minute e-stim sessions twice a day, and wore my splint for about 4 hours. I even fell asleep with my smaller splint on each night. Even though it was on the floor when I woke up, it felt good to know that I can at least fall asleep with that one on. Remember that night years ago I stayed up until 4am trying to fall asleep with the comfy splint on but just could not because it was so uncomfortable? No more! Falling asleep with it on is a step so Im just grateful for that.
Fast forward Wednesday I went to OT before work but did not do my exercises. Thursday I made an attempt. I wore my wrist support all day and did a 15 minute e-stim session during my lunch break. I had OT Friday morning before work and have not exercised since
The issue is work. I have been working everyday, weekends included since Wednesday and I do not get another day off until this Friday. I bring my e-stim unit to work but get distracted or end up doing something else for my last 15 minute of my lunch break.
I had to report 5 new things I started using my left hand to do and I want to share:
1. turning kitchen faucet on and off (up and down)
2. Turning bathroom faucet on and off (side to side)
3. Turning light switches on and off (up and down)
4. Flushing the toilet (pushing down)
5. Continuing to hold my toothbrush when I apply toothpaste
1. Reaching down into clothes basket to take out dirty clothes for laundry
2. Reaching up into dryer to put in and take out clothes
3. Clean stove top off in circular motion
4. Close refrigerator door
5. Reach up into cabinets when getting food
I don't actually move my fingers or my wrist but I think it is good to just remind my arm and shoulder of how to do those movements. Not only have I not moved my arm in these motions in 12 years but I never had to do things like laundry and cleaning before I was 12 so its like teaching my arm new things. A week ago I was so happy and motivated to use my hand and exercise everyday but I just do not have enough time. Its like work takes up my whole day. Some nights I dont leave work until 8:00 pm. I know e-stim only takes 15 minutes and something is better than nothing so I guess I got to start prioritizing it. It just that using my hand takes patience. When Im running late in the morning is easier to just hit the switches, control the faucets, and flush the toilet with my good hand. My OT wanted me to start washing my face and bathing with my left hand but in the mornings Im in a rush and at night Im just ready to hurry up and get in bed.
I am thankful very thankful. I remember when I had no splints, no e-stim, and only got a couple sessions of therapy after painful uneffective botox. Now I have various splints to straighten my wrist, my own e-stim unit to move my fingers whenever I want, and a therapist that actually believes in me and has already helped me reach my goals. I have all of my resources, I just have to make time to use them EVERY DAY. Even though my 12 year stroke anniversary is a month away, I believe I have made more progress this year than ever