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The Cans vs. The Can'ts



I have been questioning today, how do you know when to it's time to stop saying "no" and when to start letting him try again? What I am thinking about is, when Patrick was released from the rehab center, I was given "recommendations" of what Patrick should and shouldn't do. For instance, he shouldn't shave with a razor, he shouldn't walk up and down stairs unattended, he needs to use a cane, he needs to wear this leg brace, he shouldn't use the stove or the oven. They did tell me to let him do things, that they wouldn't be perfect, but that he should continue to try.


He takes coumiden, so I am not going to hand over a straight razor and say 'go to town' or anything. The electric razor is working fine. And I've recently stopped following him up and down the stairs everytime- he walks slowly and his balance is very good. And one of us is always right there, we just don't walk behind every step with him. He folds the laundry (which is one of those things far from 'perfect', but I hate doing it anyway, so HAVE AT IT, PATRICK!) besides, I am happy to see him figure out how to do things while using only one arm. He also loads and unloads the dishwasher. The only thing I have to do is put away the dishes that are stored too low for him to reach. I am lucky he wants to help with the chores.


But I wonder about cooking, the cane and the brace. With cooking, the fear was that his balance was not strong enough to be able to pull something out of the oven with one hand. It was also because he has difficulty reading and following multiple task instructions. They didn't feel he was capable of turning the stove on and off, or of not panicking if say, a pot boiled over. I am just not sure this is the case anymore. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect he'll be pulling cheese soufflets out of the oven, but what about a cookie sheet of garlic bread or do I dare say, some pillsbury cookies? Do I start having him cook with me to see his abilities, or, do I not risk showing him something because he might mistakenly think he can do it alone? I am scared if I have him help me with something and come to find out that he is incapable of it, that it will be a huge reminder of what he can't do. Sometimes those small reminders of setbacks can have lasting repercussions that I cannot possibly predict. But I know if he COULD do it again, it would have an equally positive effect.


The cane? He walks around the house most of the time now without it. This has been a marked improvement from when he first came home. I think he uses it now mostly when he has to walk distances or on uneven terrain. He had his hands full the other day with his bookbag that had fallen off his shoulder, and he ended up carrying the cane into the rehab office rather than using it. Seemed easier to him rather than fight and juggle to hold the cane and get his bookbag back up.


And his brace. He wants it gone so badly. I keep telling him when PT says it's okay, he can stop wearing it. But it seems that getting rid of the brace is not a goal his PT has for him. She really never has him take it off and do any work without it. But I see him walk a few feet occasionally without it on, and I think there is a chance. I don't know if he will ever be rid of it completely, or the cane for that matter. My crystal ball broke years ago. Please, can somebody let me use theirs so I know when the can'ts have become the cans?



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Been there done that with the cans and cants from the therapist.


Today Kathy started her therapies back and the therapists couldn't stop talking about how much progress she's made, esp. since she's been out of therapy for so long.


Why the progress?


She can't walk up and down stairs..... I slowly progressed Kathy until she could walk up and down the stairs with no aide.


She can't walk, and is wheelchair bound..... I 've been working with me as an aide and a walker until she's at the point where she no longer needs the wheelchair in the home.


Do, what you're confortable with. You're more intuned to his abilities thant he thereapists, they're there to help not enforce.



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I can understand your concern about having your husband help you with cooking. Or letting him do it himself. There are TOO MANY dangers in a kitchen with a stroke survivor. I know, I'm a stroke survivor and I was a chef in a kitchen.

YES, I've been burned. YES I've cut myself. YES I've 'spilled' a container of hot soup on my pants, in the crotch/left hip area.


I would suggest that you allow your husband to help you in the kitchen, but just let him do small things first. By this, I mean just let him put stuff in the oven. When he 'seems' comfortable with that, and so do you, let him put stuff in AND take it out. When you are both comfortable with his progress, let him try doing stuff on the stove. But this is where it might get a little dangerous.


I know it's not a lot of encouragement, but I'm not exactly sure of his restrictions and/or physical limitations. And I don't want anything to happen that could be prevented in the first place.


Hope this helps. I've done my best giving what little advice I did.



Chef Denny

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been there done that, but i say heck le him go at it let him try anything he wants to try trying is the first step thats a good sign as for getting stuff out of the stove work with him on his balance at bending over i usualyy do all the cooking now for dinner everyday which i dont mind at all and i clean the kitchen as well

yes ive burnt my affected hand a couple of times getting stuff out of the stove due to it dangling down beside me but now im more awre of where its at so he will jus have to get use to watching out for those kinda things jus like i did good luck


let him run with it no harm in trying ur not a failure unless u stop trying

and it seems he wants to try so let him try wat ever he wants but of course b with him the first couple of times for advice and help the cut part hmmm well he shouldnt get cutt but u never know thats y u should let him take small steps first so he feels like hes accomplishing something new untill he gets used to it

and o boy trying to cutt a onion while it rolls lol is hard to do trust me lol

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Thanks Guys!

Denny, hadn't thought about just letting him put things in the oven rather than taking them out. Next week on my days off I think we will begin cooking 101. Maybe I'll start with the break apart pillsbury cookies. He used to make them all the time. Hopefully the familiarity will be an advantage.


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