I am now half way thru my forced vacation. The doc said last week all is well, just don't lift anything with the repaired arm for three more weeks. Ugh! Boring! He even said no to my desire to walk in the woods with my dogs, because I might trip and undo all the surgery. I have regained most of my range of motion already, no longer wear a sling (to Lesley's chagrin), and no longer have pain. Next month the real rehab starts, I will start lifting weights again, will probably start the exercise bike in a few days.
Something more important to talk about than me. Some of you may remember my friend "Mike" I met while we both were in rehab. Mike has been up and down emotionally since we both returned home, him to Wisconsin, me to Minnesota. His recovery has been similar to mine, but he has not accepted very well his limitations now. Mike is a bike rider, used to 100 mile rides. Since his stroke he has only done 10-20 miles, no more. I say great going Mike, he says life may not be worth living much longer. This summer he traveled to Indiana to ride over 50 miles in two days. After the first day he was unable to continue. He came home very discouraged.
A few days ago on our weekly call, he told me a story. While in a restraurant he saw an obvious stroke survivor enter, walking with a cane and needing assistance from a waitress to be seated and cut up his food. Mike helped him get up to leave and asked him how long ago he stroked. "11 1/2 years ago" he said. Mike then went home and evaluated how far he has come from the days we were both in wheelchairs a year and 9 months ago, to what he can do now. He is now riding his exercise bike again which he had given up, and has already noticed improvement.
I hear a real change in his attitude, and have hope we can do the fishing together next year that excaped us this year.
I am reminded of what Asha tells us about there being a real life after stroke, we just have to go get it. I think my friend Mike has finally turned the corner on the rest of his life, and I look forward to hearing of his riding next summer,
just as he will hear about my fishing and the "honey do" projects I do around our home. His story has remotivated me to get on with my exercise program as soon as Lesley will let me off the couch. Mike and I will both do much more next year than we have since our strokes.
Never give up!