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Archive for April, 2010

A lot of stuff in one

I usually wait to compile enough ‘stuff’ to validate an actual blog post. I guess this is good because that means the urgent/important/whatever stroke stuff is waning, right?

I’ve mentioned my problem with impulse control before & I wanted to revisit it. My first discovery of this problem was when Bob & I were driving across South Dakota in the winter. It was my turn to drive & I had this nearly uncontrollable urge to drive into the snow-filled ditch. I’d never felt that way before and, frankly, it scared me. A lot. Less attention was on driving (which, you know, big deal because it’s SD, right?!) than was on just NOT driving into the ditch. Just lately, I felt similarly but without the intensity. We had crazy rain here in Virginia and Bob & I were driving back from the grocery store. The ditches were basically now marshes. Luckily, I didn’t have to *just* focus on not driving into the ditch because the pull wasn’t as intense so my driving was better, but it is still a really weird feeling.

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When I first got out of the hospital, I felt like 1. I had aged 50 years (you know, with the wheelchair, quad cane, shuffling and all that) and that 2. I had gained 20 pounds (because I no longer felt graceful or strong or capable). I couldn’t do anything about the age feeling, but, subconsciously, I set about matching the mind and body with regard to weight. I, quite successfully, put on 15 pounds since the stroke. Sure, some of it was because I simply couldn’t exercise any longer. But most of it was because I was pissed off at my body for betraying me like that. I was healthy, dammit! So I ate and I ate gooood. Cheese, fried stuff, bread, you name it & I ate it. The fact that I couldn’t eat many vegetables was my reasoning (I had to avoid Vitamin K because it is a blood clotter and it is in all green produce).

Now? Now I am working at getting healthy again. It took me nearly 5 years to forgive myself.

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When I was in PT (physical therapy), one of the mantra’s for strokers is “Up with the good, down with the bad”. This was in reference to steps – use the ‘good’ leg to step up and use the ‘bad’ leg to step down.

I understand that, especially at the beginning, it is to help strokers with stability. The problem that I have with it is that it encourages strokers to think of a good side and a bad side. That does absolutely zilch in helping a person to forgive themselves. I have tried desperately to avoid using this terminology because the stroke was an accident. Just an accident. Sure it sucks. It still sucks. I hate that most people assume that I am all better because I look and act (?!!) fairly normally (put all of your objections to the idea that I *ever* acted normally in the comments section, please).

It is such a hard situation – I don’t want pity, but dang, I’m not all better either. Is that purgatory defined?

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Good news! I am officially a volunteer at the Riverside Hospital in Newport News, VA as of today! Woo hoo! I will be working in ICU (intensive care unit) and CCU (critical care unit) until I am approved to work in the stroke trauma center. yay!!

I have created a pamphlet to inform strokers of information that I, and many other strokers, didn’t get at the hospital – trying to promote hope with reality. I’m so excited!

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Whew! That’s all for this post, folks!

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