I suffered my stroke on January 11, 2005 at 5:30 p.m. without warning. I was sitting at my computer when my left arm started to tingle painfully. I instantly knew what was happening so I turned my computer off and walked to the couch where my husband, Paul, was sitting. That was the last time I walked unassisted. I told him what was happening and to call 911. I could no longer walk or stand so he helped me lay on the floor until the ambulance arrived. I was in ICU for two weeks, acute rehab for a month, and in a nursing home (why are they called that?) for 5 looooong months for the therapy. I came home in August, 2005 and continued outpatient therapy for a few months until Medicare was cut off. In short, I have never recovered the use of my left arm or leg.
Now the point of this blog is to talk about some of my trials and tribulations. Today my wonderful husband decided he didn't want to cook and we would have KFC for lunch. We always have the 2-piece white meat dinner. Well, eating fried chicken with one hand is pretty messy to say the least, so I only do this at home. For me, eating out at a restaurant usually means shrimp or something I don't have to cut up. I really miss having a nice, juicy ribeye or T-bone steak that I can cut up myself, savoring each bite. Even eating hamburgers with one hand is difficult.
Another problem I have is brushing my teeth. Since I am in a wheelchair, I cannot stand at the sink. I use a battery operated toothbrush and spit into a glass of water. Right now, I'm having a little problem of "thrush" in my mouth, so I am brushing after each meal. But, I will probably have to call my GP for a prescription to get it cleared up. It's always something. I can handle the stroke. It's the little things that get me down.
And writing. I always have to anchor the paper or envelope so I can write on it. It gets frustrating at times, but I have learned to adapt.
If nothing else, this stroke has taught me humility. I used to do everything myself and wouldn't ask for help. My husband couldn't wait to get me out of the SNF because he was so lonely. He has learned how to cook and shop for groceries. We have someone come in to help me through the week, but on weekends, we wing it.
I just took a potty break and the triumph is that I don't need help in using the toilet. Our house is on one level and the bathroom, which is located across the hall from my room, is large enough to accommodate my wheelchair. We installed a handicap toilet with a fold back bar next to it, so I have no problem. I would like to take my own shower, but that is not possible, so Misti has to help me. I have a bath bench that extends over the bathtub so I can sit on it and Misti helps me put my legs into the tub and we shower away. I can get my hair washed while I am being bathed. Not ideal, but I am not complaining. At the SNF I would be put into a hoist and lowered into a deep bathtub. I really hated the procedure. And I usually got only one bath a week. There was a hairdresser there so I would have her do my hair.
So here it is, almost four years since my day of infamy, and I have blessings to count. My speech, my memory, my thinking ability and my eyesight are intact. Yesterday, the Nebraska football team beat Kansas and the Nebraska Women's Volleyball team beat Kansas State; the sun is shining and the longest election process in the history of the world is OVER. :yadayada:
Typing with one hand, it has taken me a little more than one hour to type this. Just another example of my trials.