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Ray and I went to our Stroke Recovery group WAGS today. It's nice to meet up with the same group of friendly people every month. Can't say we have made friends but they are all pleasant people to be with. And of course we all have the stroke event in common. Only two people use wheelchairs so I guess Ray has more deficits than some. But they are very aware they share a common purpose - recovery. Some, like Ray have now had more than one stroke and some also have other ailments that add to the load they carry.


The women carers I met at the womens weekend last year are all extra friendly and we are ALL looking forward to doing it all again in November. Boy! are we looking forward to that! And as we usally all go to lunch together there are opportunities to talk about issues other than stroke over the meal. Ray I know looks forward to this socialising as most of the men of the group do. Most have seen each other at the Scallywags group the day before so just go on from there.


There is a guest speaker almost every month and today's was a nurse clinician who specialises in Stroke Recovery. As part of her Master's degree she has just made a DVD about Stroke Recovery. She said she particulaly wanted to use people she has met through her involvement with rehabilitiation services and clubs such as ours as she felt their sincerity would come across and their testimony would have more impact than if she had got actors to perform the roles. One couple from our group featured in the second lot of interviews.


She has approached the subject using a series of headings and a cameo of someone's experience as an example. The beginning was about healthy choices to lessen the chance of another stroke, giving up smoking, losing weight , controlling diabetes, lessening cholesterol. Then the pro-active issues such as a healthy low fat diet, and taking up exercise. The exercise group was actually people who had had heart attacks as that group meets in her work place. Other issues included: change of lifestyle, loss of financial security sometimes leading to depression and lifestyle restrictions. Next came family issues such as generational expectations, loss of intimacy, relationship breakdown,touching briefly on violence, divorce, depression and suicide issues. The caregiver of one of Ray's Scallywags group was interviewed about caregiver self-neglect and carer fatigue issues.


The whole presentation is only 20 minutes long but she has packed a lot of information into it. The aim is to give it to stroke survivors and/or family members as an introduction to life after stroke. She is now working on a second DVD on transition stages, Intensive Care to General Ward to Rehabilitation to Home, for Stroke survivors and their families. The idea is to give families something to watch which should spark discussion and bring them back in to the doctor, clinician or team with questions and suggestions. I think the DVD we saw today will be a wonderful resource in the future both by itself and as part of a series of presentations about stroke recovery.


The section on survivor and caregiver fatigue issues also came from a survey done by our group. Unsurprisingly 85% of the group has had a major fatigue issue and many have been on anti-depressants and sleeping meds to help with the side issues of sleeplessness and depression. It is good people are honest in filling in these surveys and find no shame in admitting to their weaknesses and how they have sought and found help. The DVD will also be used as part of other regions health programs so will find an outlet in many other hospitals and health facilities. Good news for all who see it as I think it gives a uniform way of approaching stroke recovery education. Wish it had been available when Ray had his first stroke in 1990. Maybe then if we had taken up the challenge of really changing our lifestyle he wouldn't have had any further strokes.


We picked up Tori on our way back home for her monthly Saturday night sleepover. We watched her cry through a wonderful children's movie and enjoyed her company all evening. Tomorrow it will be breakfast, church for us, Sunday school for Tori, then come home for a BBQ lunch for Fathers Day. I got to cuddle Alex today and will get the cuddle Oliver tomorrow. Both boys are doing very well. Life seems to have settled down at their house and a family of three children seems no more trouble to them than a family of two did. Which , let's face it, is what every grandparent wants to hear.


I came home from WAGS with a lot to think about. I have resolved to look at a few more issues in my life that I have been putting on the back burner, including trying to do some regular exercise. I walk on Tuesday mornings now and most Thursdays but it it 20 to 40 minutes and that is less than I would like to do. I've been thinking of seeing if I can get into a beginners class where they won't mind if Ray sits up the back and reads. If I can't do that then I will buy exercise DVDs so I can exercise at home. I want to be a bit fitter than I am now. And giving a bit more thought to the menus and balance in our diets might be a good idea too.


It is the first day of Spring today, maybe that is behind my wish for self-improvement. As usual only time will tell.




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Buying treadmill & bike is wisest decision we made, and exercising & healthy diet controls are good way to begin new Spring



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Spring is springing into action; good time to rethink exercise and nutrition programs. I used to have a video of "Sweating to the Oldies" by Richard Simmons. Quite entertaining. Of course now, for me, would be a tad difficult to accomplish.


Happy Father's Day to Ray!!

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Sue, Hope Ray has had a great Father's day as Baz has he is sitting with a big grin on his face watching Manly play the Dragons & winning!!

The DVd you mentioned sounds great, could you tell me the name of it & I will look for it on the internet.

You are lucky having all these groups you can go to & lucky Ray wants to participate Baz doesn't like to go anywhere that I don't go & has never liked Men's groups.

Congrats on Oliver's birth & enjoy today with your family.


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Walking is great exercise Sue, as it gets everything going. My Doc says you don't even have to walk fast or power walk, just walk at least 30 to 40 minutes a day if you can. They say it is always best to start your day with a 1/2 hour of exercise and then having breakfast. I have taken to doing that, I do weights and my mini-cycle, then a healthy breakfast, light lunch and light dinner. I feel much better. Even with my physical deficits from stroke, I find exercises that give me a good work-out and I do them Mon thru Friday. I snack on fruits, veggies and nuts. Quiet a change in lifestyle but I feel so much better. I have taken to preferring salads, fruits, veggies, soups and lite deli sandwiches than a heavy meal laden with meats and starches. Weird but maybe it is the stroke. As always, wishing the best for you and Ray.

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Guest thegoodlife


:Clap-Hands: :Clap-Hands: :Clap-Hands: This is for all Caregivers in the whole world for all different disabilities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It's really good you have an outlet(finally) where you can both go and Learn and Support each other :forgive_me?: !


I think it is very important for the disabled person to have help but very,very,very important for the caregiver to do all he/she can for themselves.......you are the real ones who see,do and manage everything. :forgive_me?:


Taking care of yourself should be number one on your list-sounds like you got lots of good information from that speaker.....try your hardest to do some of those things just FOR YOURSELF!!!!!! :Dr_Evil: :giggle:





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