Well, some great news from my friend "Mike" a survivor I met in rehab. Mike was an avid bike rider prior to his stroke. While in rehab I dreamed of carrying my canoe again, and "Mike" dreamed of riding his bike again. When I called yesterday, he was bursting to tell me he rode his bike. He rode it about a mile. Not as far or as fast as he wanted, but he rode it. I suspect the race he and I are planning down our driveway this summer might be tough for me to win. All in all a great week for both of us. I am still disappointed that the canoe carry was not as easy as I had hoped, but I know it will soon get better.
Dickons has given us a great new topic to talk about. Stress. Anyone else out there ever feel any stress? Stress is a mind function we can ultimately control with practice. We know that physical issues require time, practice, patience. We are told that the brain is growing new pathways and neurons to reprogram itself after a stroke to replace that which was lost. We don't like it, but we accept it. The mind is part of the brain, right? It took however many years we have been around to arrive at the place where we are physically. It took the same number of years for us to arrive where we are mentally. All of the stories I have told here that affected my life took time and practice to implement. Some are still a work in progress.
We were not born a worry wort. We had no stress when we were born. It is learned behavior. It took many years to develop these worry habits, it will take time to overcome and change them. It will take practice and effort. I think because it is a thought process we expect immediate results. Not going to happen. All of us know someone who has had a "conversion" experience of some sort or another. Such people often claim a miraculous change in their personality. The core of that person is still there. If they had anger management issues before, they likely still will. If they smoked, drank or anything else, it probably is not far from the surface.
True complete instaneous mental changes are possible, but quite rare. Just as there is no magic pill to fix the physical maladies a stroke causes, there is no such pill or therapy for the mental stress living life can cause, even without a stroke. Earlier in my blog I stressed to please start at the beginning and not skip any steps to my mind cleaning plan. I repeat that request. You can't read the last chapter in the book and expect it to stand on it's own. You must follow each step in order, and not progress to the next step until you have mastered the one you are on. Some of the steps will come easy, some hard. Takes time and work. Some parts may never be completely mastered to perfection, we are human.
Several years ago my late wife and two best male friends all told me within a few months of each other, all without the others knowing what they told me, that I had a tendency to be overbearing and intimidating. After the third person told me that, all of them important people in my life that I respected, I finally realized there must be something to it. First, that I was blessed to have three people in my life that would be that honest with me. Then I had to admit to something I really didn't want to face up to. Since that time I have worked very hard to soften the personality and talk less and listen more. It is still a work in progress and I work on it everyday. You will have to do the same on whatever mind adjustments you need to make. Start small, grow into it as you can, just like the PT & OT we all know so well. You will fail sometimes, and it will hurt sometimes. The result of a happier you will be worth the effort.
About the dog(s). Well, since we already have one, our Bichon, I think two more would just be too much right now. One more is probably enough. Lesley disagrees. Oh well.
The Active Release therapy continues Sunday. The therapist is coming to the house for an in home session. I will report next week on the results.