Somethings are more weighted than others. In the hospital my strongest focus was on just a couple of things rather than the whole program. My priorities were on coping with one handed strategies, walking, and speech. Everything else, my attitude fell into the it-would-be-nice-to-have-it-back-but category.
- The therapist told me that fingers and hands were usually the last things to return after a stroke so that became a back burner issue. Not that I didn't NEED or WANT to have it back, but I realized that since it would take longer, my focus should be on the things that I could have restored quicker. That's not meaning I wouldn't still work at it.
- I didn't WANT to place my husband in a nursing home or Hospice, so I NEEDED to improve the dexterity in my left hand to function as well as my right hand previously did like drawing up and administering injections, and monitoring vital signs..
- Walking was a NEED issue. I live in an older home with smaller doors. Most will not allow access with a wheelchair. Although most of my house is level, some areas have a slight step like the marble step up into the bathrooms.
- Talking was NEED because my husband is deaf and reads lips and if I can't form the words right he won't hear me. This meant working on facial muscles to restore the droop and forming words with my lips properly.
I had the ability to remember two out of three words, and the higher cognitive function of decision making choices, but my attention span was fleeting, my memory was full of gaps, my English spelling and grammar was simplistic at best, forming and computing complex strategies, and my ability to multi-task is gone.
While for most people this would be good enough, it isn't for me. The reason I say moderately impaired is because I'm a writer and this is a huge loss.
I WANT and NEED to supplement our income. With ever increasing drains on our finances, I can't wait for Social Security to kick in. That's even with cutting back on essentials, drugs, doctors, and paying a mountain of bills are counted essentials.
My focus now, while the others are still important, in therapy either a hospital-based or at-home is cognitive and my arm. While I still do all the other stuff for my leg, it's now taken a back seat to rebuilding my arm and my brain functioning right. Reading aloud this blog and my other one helps work through my aphasia issues, "playing" games is therapy work and my time spent on force-use of my right arm are helping to restore pathways in my brain. These are my focus areas.
Yes, there is painful muscle spasms, spascicity, high tone, and a lot of other things that go along with my stroke, but focusing on what NEEDS to be accomplished the soonest keeps me goal orientated and somewhat successful in my rehabilitation workout. Narrowing the goals and focus allow me to achieve that success. Success is a powerful motivator.
- So separate your NEEDS from your WANTS
- Make your goals changeable to your NEEDS
- Focus on your NEEDS
- Set goals based on NEEDS that are obtainable