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Light? dare I hope?



This Stroke-thing. One never seems to know where the road is taking you. Recovery is so long and so hard and we mark progress in months, if not years and yet three weeks ago I never thought we would be here. Bruce's Psychologist spoke with his PCP and they suggested a light anti-depressant, which Bruce agreed to take. Today is day 10. We also tried a sleeping aid, to no avail after two weeks, so we switched to another which is also not working. Personally I think that when it comes to the sleep aid, Bruce is one of those rare people who have the opposite reaction than the one prescribed for, even tho the chemistry for both of these if very different. While I have encountered many patients who have had this problem with all kinds of drugs, I go back to a friend from grammar school who has experienced this with all medications. She is an enigma but in a funny way, she is the one helping me through the sleeping problem. The anti-depressant we were told would kick about two to four weeks, but I think we may be seeing the results this early. The last four days Bruce has shown increased independence and willingness to do things for himself. Maybe normal recovery process, maybe the drug. He is all over the house in the WC by himself: turning on and off things, getting his own nutrition. I am still fearful of the bathroom but he is trying. His balance on one leg is good and in all fairness, with the good weather and low humidity, the right leg is not as spastic, but still letting go to take down his pants really frightens me. He is bathing more of himself, the parts he can reach and doing more of the dressing and undressing. Mike, his usual life guard, is lift-chairing him into the pool and releasing him without me being in the pool and Bruce is taking off doing his four laps; taking off his neck collar, going into the deep end to do his leg exercises and then back to four feet to do his walking, all without prompt or help. We are working on taking off all flotation devices and back floating and back stroke. I have to help with this. He never learned to swim, which is scary enough but think about learning this when one side of your body is very different than the other. I purchased the portable ramp for the one step down to our deck and Bruce is now outside, away from his precious TV, and then I help him in and he takes the dinner stuff to the kitchen for me. Have asked for advice here purchasing a scooter for outside use and if that works, will consider asking a friend to build him a raised garden bed for next year. OT advised today his best day yet and Bruce got the arm to move. First since last summer. His right arm has been very flexible the last four days or so and when that happens, I really work it in the pool. However although next Botox isn't until Thursday, OT said today that it was like he already had it and can't wait till next week to see progress after injections this week. While this is certainly not the recovery I expected, I can't ignore the progress and not rejoice in the changes. Speech improves on a daily basis, but I think that has to do with the fact I now know how to talk to him, start conversations, etc. He still calls me Deirdre (a close family friend's middle child and one of Bruce's favorites) and Jules (our first cat who died 18 years ago), but hey, it tells me he is thinking and what a great gift. Hope for the future.

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I am so glad to hear that Bruce is making progress. Yes, we mark time in months and years. But, any improvement is a reason for celebration. He does really well in the pool. The pool we go to has a ramp that you can walk down. We are using that now. It is about 20 feet long. It zig zags back and forth. I do have to help the left foot, but it is a change from the chair lift.

I really need to get the electric wheelchair in action. William doesn't feel like he is in control. The toggle control if very sensitive.


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