PT And OT: Keeping It Relevant

When it comes to retraining your body to move and function as it should you need to remember to keep the activities you use for therapy relevant. Just as my original team stated,” you need to get back to the things you used to do to see the best recovery results”. Instead of focusing on the same activities chimpanzees in labs have to do start using your hobbies to your advantage. Playing with blocks and tongs is not going to help very much, I’m sorry. It is for this reason that I have been making an attempt at Painting with the hand/side that was originally paralyzed.

It has been an eye-opening experience to say the least. It turns out that if i want to paint anything in a minimalistic style I should just use my affected side. I haven’t been doing much for writing, but there has been a decent amount of retraining lately. I have always been artistic so this is probably one of the best ways for me to fine tune my fine motor skills in that hand over the next several years.

I present to you: Welcome to The Darkness

Finding yourself

There are going to be times in life where you get a little lost or you feel like part of your soul is missing, I’m sorry it just happens. It can also happen for a number of reasons and in the last three years I have gone through a few of them.

The First time I lost myself was during my hospital stay after the stroke:I couldn’t move half my body, My peripheral vision was gone and My whole life had changed. I’m not going to lie each one of those things scared me deep into my core once they took me off the pain meds. With pessimistic doctors breathing down my neck all day there were even points were I questioned what kind of life I would be living If I didn’t recover anymore. After being an emotional wreck every night when no one was around for a week or two. I was really afraid I would never live out any of my dreams and life goals. There was also a big fear of mine that this would break me and I would stop recovering. One night while over thinking life I just decided that I was going to kick so stroke recovery ass, there was nothing that could really stop me from kicking major butt in each of my sessions.

The second time would be when I moved to another province after high school and had to figure out what I wanted  from life, When I graduated I got a job in what I thought I wanted to do for a career and I absolutely hated It. I was into the artistry side of cosmetic but not the salesman aspect of the industry. I was good at making sales, but i’m not meant to be in sales. I would much rather sell someone the right product without up selling them.

the Third time It was trying to figure out what to major in after hating my second choice . This brought me to a point where I took a semester off, then took an english course for fun and decided through some soul-searching free writes that I needed to go back to one of the other things I was good at: English,psychology, or some form of art. Somehow that lead me to starting a new blog, and currently  writing a couple of books, I feel like with all my recent changes and the relatively upward curve I’m seeing I feel like I’m found again. for the first time in years I feel like I might actually know what’s going on.

Something Bitter Sweet

Tomorrow  is  January 21st, 2017 and it  marks the 3rd anniversary of my last brain surgery and the stroke resulting in a left side hemiplegia. Tomorrow is one of those days that I’m both very proud and sort of mourning the event like someone died. I’m most likily filled with mixed emotions on this day because I’ve never seen it as the catastrophic life ruining event that the people around me feel it is. Yes it was an unfortunate thing to happen, but lots of good came out of it. below I’ll be attempting to emphasize more of the positives than negatives to better understand where I stand on this.

With the stroke I got to see the entire world from a new perspective and not just because it started out in a wheelchair. I learned to not plan everything out and to just go with the flow living in the moment. People say that it stole a couple years of experiences from me. I disagree with this one the most because it just forced me to grow up a little faster than the other people my age. It definitely changed the things I experienced while recovering, but in no way did it take anything away from me. Even the blind spots have come in handy in multiple situations and I will probably miss them once they are healed up.

I love being able to turn my head just a few degrees and not have to see something that I didn’t want to see. As my optic nerve is healing I’m losing this skill and I don’t know how I feel about it yet. I also lover that I’m very close to a full recovery and not once in the last three years did I give up on this process. The stroke showed me a level of perseverance that I didn’t even know I had. Three years of toughing out every day and I stuck with it. I’m mostly just proud of myself and I’m leaving more in depth issues for you guys to read about once I get the book finished and publushed. 

Cheers,

Addy

Everything Is Wonderful

As the title states everything is wonderful. I say this for a few different reasons: new found self love, recovery improvements, and a new outlook on life are just a few of the reasons why. We are only nine days into this year and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.

For the first time in almost twenty years of existing in this world I’m not just starting to love myself, but almost overnight I learned to love myself unconditionally. My whole life I’ve always been a scrawny person other than before a growth spurt where one naturally fills out, but to everyone around me they always told me I was too chubby. I only have 15-17 percent body fat so I’m not going to let myself believe that I’m too chubby for another minute. Quite frankly I would miss my singular really tiny roll that exists when I slouch as much as I can when sitting down. PSA dear society, this year let’s stop teaching everyone to hate themselves for not being perfect and promote loving all shapes and sizes.

Secondly I’ve seen some awesome new movement in my hand this week. The ability to move my fingers from side to side, yes the movement varies every time, but I am still really excited about it. Look out world I imagine the finger wag sassy of my left hand will be back in action sooner than originally anticipated.

Lastly I’m absolutely loving my new positive outlook on life, I honestly don’t think I have  ever felt this good in my whole life. My great days are a euphoria and my bad days are the same as my good days last year so it’s all good. Which brings me to the conclusion that in none of the days that I can remember have I felt internal happiness until now. I’m not sure if this is sad or amazing, but I think I’m going to go with amazing because I have never felt this great. I’m so happy that even I  get a little annoyed by it at times.

 

Have a phenomenal year full of love everybody,

Addy

The Rewarding Aspects Of Recovery 

This recovery process has definitely had its up and downs, but lately it’s been mostly just ups. having a cut up optic nerve and recovering from a left side hemiplegia I’m supposed to be retraining both my eyes and my left side. I can finally say I’m able to train them both. this has taken so time to get to a stage in my physical recovery to be able to adjust to my blind spots. to be exact it’s taken 34.5 months to get to this stage. In order to train my eyes my opthomologist insit’s that I play action video games with violence to train my eyes to move quickly. Up until a couple days ago my hand couldn’t keep up to the game.

Finally having my hand at a stage where I can train to aspects at the same time is the best feeling in the world. This is definitely a two birds with one stone situation. It’s guaranteed to feel great when you acomplished something you’ve been working towards for so long. Yes I’ve had my plateaus with no progress what so ever, but I’ve passed each of those points and proved that it’s worth it to not give up. as long you you believe in the process and take the needed steps to reach your goal you can male it happen. The finishing touches in this recovery could take between a few months and a few more years, but I’m determined to get there.

Please Fellow People stop giving up on yourselves and your dreams. If you have a goal start by writing out the different steps to achieve it and get off your butt and make it happen. I will admit that yeah I’ve definitely been discouraged and thought of giving up on this whole process. The only thing that kept me on the path to recovery is the fact that I have a list of hundreds of things I want to do before I die. All of the things on that list require two functioning arms, legs, and hands. Sure I’m not exactly where I’d like to be right now, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was the day after surgery.

Cheers,

Tough Days In Recovery

If you’ve experienced a type of plegia you’ll likily understand the things I’m about to talk about. the good days are great and the tough ones can be nothing but a struggle.they are the days where it starts off on a bad note and it doesn’t go up from there. the days where I’m left wondering if I’ll ever live a normal life ever again. There’s even a list of things that start it off this way.

  1. collapsing trying to get out of bed 
  2. Not being able to move appendages the way I’m supposed to.
  3. Not being able to control the muscles in my face 

Collapsing trying to get out of bed is my number one least favorite way to start the day. I can guarantee that I won’t leave the house do to the fear of collapsing in public. It’s definitely a fear of mine that one day I’ll be walking down the street and my knee will give out leaving me sprawled out, face in a concrete sidewalk, and possibly end up back in a hospital. I’ve spent so much time in hospitals my family has learned to carry either an uno deck or a deck of cards in case they get the call. Logical reason to avoid them like the black plague right.

Another big one is the inability to move certain things. For example I can only rarely move my toes on the affected side, less than half the time is it a controlled movement that I was trying for. Or when I could move a specific way the day before, but can’t the next day it gets both very frustrating and defeating. Sure this is common when a neurological pathways is weak due to retraining my neurons to fire correctly again, but it still sucks. Being a perfectionist has definitely helped and hindered this process equally. Sometimes the muscles are sore too, usually this happens the day after overdoing it. 

Then there’s the one that’s equally not fun. imagine your body telling you you’re too stressed and not dealing with it properly by not having control of the muscles in your face. imagine walking into the bathroom to see that you can’t even smile. the only way I can describes  how that feels is it’s  kind of like the skin is falling off my face. this is for sure the scariest scariest thing I deal with since the stroke. it is also the other thing that will cause me to clear my calendar and spend an entire day at home either relaxing or writing. Days where it is obvious that I have a slight disability are the ones where I can guarantee you won’t see me out and about. 

These are just the most prominent things on my tough Days. There are many other smaller ones, but this should be enough to paint the picture. Those listed above I think are enough for anyone to understand that I’ve usually got enough on my mind to not care about “first world problems”. I’m sorry that I don’t have the energy for fake miniscule problems. If you come to me with some deep shit you need to get off your chest I promise I’ll listen. Just  remember that just because I keep most of my struggles to myself doesn’t mean I’m not going through my own things.