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OUCH My most commonly used word since my last blog post. But I guess its a lot better than the word "can't". Being a stroke survivor is hard work especially when you're almost 10 years post stroke. I guess I have come to acceptance. I just wish I wouldve known then what I know now. I curse that One Handed in a Two World book. I always figured out how to do things with my right hand while waiting on my left hand to receive a divine healing from God and wake up and be 100% again. Well, I now realize that is highly unlikely. I am just not content with only using my right hand for everything. I hate only being able to do one thing at a time. Ever since my 9 year stroke anniversary back in october, I have really been eager to start using my left hand again. My blogs may sound redundant since I have had this same mindset over the last few months so I apologize if I am repeating myself. I thought it would be easy. One night, I made it through the entire night with my splint on my hand, another time I washed both hands and in the same day I opened the door. I am learning not to neglect my left anymore. Unfortunately, I am also learning its not that simple. The other day I didn't wear my AFO to the nail shop after being inspired by one of the post on the forum. This was my first time leaving my house without wearing the AFO since back in 2004 when I fell and sprained my ankle not wearing it in the house. I usually dont wear it around the house but I realize I am more accident prone when trying to walk in shoes without the afo versus just walking around in socks or barefoot. Anyway I was thinking to myself if I walk around my house all day without the brace (occasionally losing balance when my toes curl but never falling) then it should be a breeze to go get a pedicure right? Wrong. I had to walk a lot slower. My feet felt so cramped in my thick socks and sneakers. The lady who usually does my pedicure was not there so I had to endure the pain of another heavy handed man who obviously could not understand when I was trying to tell him the bottom of my left foot is sensitive. To top it off I had to watch as other ladies sported cute flip flops and sandals while I had to stuff my newly pedicured toes back into my socks and sneakers. Did I mention as I was getting out of the car, I forgot I wasnt wearing the afo and probably wouldve fallen if it wasnt for me hearing the sound of my foot dragging and remembering? Needless to say,my attempt at trying to be normal failed. Looking for dress shoes at the mall didnt help either. How many ladies have tried finding a dress shoe with no heel, a back to it, stretchable, and a strap around the ankle that is big enough to fasten over an AFO?

Well after my failed attempt at normalizing my foot, I decided to work on the arm. As if botox injections arent painful enough, first my doc had to stretch my arm, elbow, wrist, and fingers simultaneously until I screamed MERCY. Then he had the nerve to tell me I should be doing that everyday. He could barely do it to me with 2 arms. How am I supposed to do it by myself using my own good arm as I am laying down and cant even see my left arm unless Im looking at it? So I survived the botox injections, wore my splint 2 hours on 2 hours off, and am waiting to get my pt/ot schedule.

All I have to say is its so much easier just giving up and being content with only using my right hand for the rest of my life. After an hour and half of wearing the splint I have no motivation to leave it on the last 30 minutes because I know as soon as I take it off, my wrist will flop down. At night I go ahead and take the splint off because I know 1) Im going to toss and turn trying to keep it on and 2) Im going to take it off in my sleep if I do fall asleep with it on. I have been doing the same take home exercises I got from ot in 2007 ofcourse with no results. I just feel like giving up. I mean afterall insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result right?


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NO SWEETHEART IT IS NOT EASIER GIVING UP. No the doctor is not crazy you do have to stretch it like that to excruciating pain every day. Best way to do it is to weight bear it or get someone with no mercy to help (I'll send my son over). The good part is the pain is temporary until your muscles stretch back to size. Once they do you'll be able to move your arm and hand pretty easily and if you keep up with your injections they won't shrink so it won't tighten up again. In addition to the painful stretching, as you're sitting watching TV, relaxing, whatever get in the habit of playing with it with your other hand by stretching it open. Before you know it you'll be amazed, you'll be relaxed and you're hand will just stay open.


Now you want to be a real girl Pinochiette ~ shoes hmmm ~ that's a little tougher. but not impossible!


Check out http://www.footsolutions.com/womensshoes.aspx


Here are a few that should be near you: http://stores.footsolutions.com/zip-locate-results.php


They're not Jimmy Choo's, but they have Oh!'s and some other pretty stylish nice ones. They are familiar with these type issues and will fit your very specific needs like if you have claw toes and an AFO.


Acceptance is not necessarily settling and giving up, it is more being happy with and liking who you are.


You are a beautiful, accomplished young woman with great will and spirit admired by many, don't define yourself by an arm and leg. You are so much more.



Maria :mwah:


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Marie is right an all accounts. I have to stretch every day to keep me able to stand and walk. I refuse to let this stroke get the better of me. I know you do to. You are a child of God, you are perfect. remembertolaugh, Jeanniebean:cocktail:

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Hi Katrina: I'm only 1 yr 11 months post stroke, but I was surprised to hear that you ventured outside w/o wearing your AFO. I guess you're still waiting to see a therapist, but if they gave you an AFO, I would wear it when walking until the therapist says you can walk without it. I have foot drop, too, and for me, walking outside without the AFO is a major FALL RISK.

You have been through a lot, but being young gives you, I hope and pray, many years to work on your recovery. I am 70, and every day I see new vistas and opportunities in recovery.


All the best. Your friend,





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I have an interesting relationship with my AFO . I love it and then some days I just refuse to wear it. My therapist gave me the ok to wear it one day on, one day off. So thats what I do. I don;t wear it al all in the house but I do go outside without it and I sometimes work o without it. Mine is custom fitted and srticulated at the ankle so my ankle can flex as Im walking; the olde ones didn;t have that articulation and the ankle wouldn't be ranged at all. I've read what Peter Levine said about AFO's and I agree but only in paart. Wearing my AFo helped me drasticALL INCREASE THE LENGTH OF TIME i COULD WALK AND THEREFORE INCREAED MY DISTANCE. bOTH OF THOSE THINGS ARE WHY iM ABLE TO WALK WITHOUT IT JUSST USING MY CANE. IF i NEVER HAD MY afo i DOUBT i'D BE ABLE TO WALK OR WORK OUT WITH THE STAMINA i HAVE NOW. THE THING i DID THOUGH TO ENCOURAGE MY BRAIN TO RELEARN HOW TO CONTROL Y ANKLE IS TO GIVE MYSELF LOTS F afo-LESS TIME. I think walking with it a lot helped me walk better in general and I think thats why my walking is continuing to improve becaues I've built up ,y stamina greatly but I needed the AFO to buil it noew that I have stamina though I do walk without itas often as I can bear. I even worked out in our gym without it this weekend. I did 20 minuteds on the elliptical glider ( my longes t time yet. I lifted weights and then I walked for 35 minutes on the treadmill at a pace of 0.8 with an incline of 2.5 LL WITHOUT THE BRACE. i THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO NOT GET TOO CAUGHT UP IN COMPENSATIONS CUZ IF WE STAY COMPENSATING WE WONT MAKE OUR BRAIN HEAL AND RECONNECT SO i'M AN afo FAN BUT ONLY SOMETIMES :o) Best, may we ll just keep the faith an trust and know we can heal and we wll heal as long as we keep trying to heal :o) Believe me Im tired but Im still trying; it hasn't been as long for me as its been formany of you but a year is a long time still and th first year is especially roller coaster-ish... but lets just hang in together ::o)

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