After a stroke, everyone sees the paralyzed limbs or hears the monotone or hesitant speech. But not many give thought to the unseen muscles that are paralyzed also within the body. The conscious effort a stroke survivor does to exercise these muscles to restore them or work around them like the throat, bowels, peritoneal, and the diaphragm. Those are are hidden inside. We strive for control and sometimes fail.
I make no secret about my urinary control issues over the past year and before. It's a natural process of the body and an integral functioning part. In computer lingo it's GIGO (garbage in garbage out). If you put food and liquids into the body it has to process the waste somehow.
I loss feeling or sensory deficits in very few places with my stroke and I am lucky. I didn't feel this way a year ago when I had my stroke, but now I'm grateful. Sure I walk around with the right side of my face full of Novocaine slightly wearing off. You know the sensation when it isn't the big lip but can't quite feel anything either. Yep that's the one. It make chewing an adventure. My coughing has changed. My husband who is 90% deaf can't hear me yell for help but comes running when I cough now from another room. I'll end up with bruises on my outer right leg and have no idea how I got them. But the most irritating loss is the sensation of having to pee without having to shift my body weight. Being unable to distinguish whether I have to urinate or defaecate is only a mild irritation since I'm on the commode already.
the Pink House blog still deals with these issues. While I may deal with these issues with my own DH (darling hubby), it's not a continuous issue like with her yet. She now blogs about clogged and catheter explosions.
I even save money buying menstrual pads now because of greater control. But have yet to transition to panties liners. Another huge step to work on. I still have the occasional accident but I am doing better. Now that I'm out and about more causes me to look where the bathrooms are anyplace I am to judge the distance, and the time needed to get there just in case.
With pads there are drawbacks because they really aren't meant to be worn day in and day out for a years. I've had diaper rashes because of the waterproof liners. While my children were in diapers they occasionally experienced this problem. I would coo and commiserate with their pain as I treated it. I was too young to remember my own bouts.
Until recently that is. Is anything more uncomfortable than a burning, itching, painful rash between the legs? Do you run to the doctor for it? Would you have someone else apply diaper rash medicine? It hurts to sit. It hurts to stand. It hurts when taking a step. It even hurts when you are lying down. Yeah some of you know what I'm talking about. The rest of you are just lucky. I recently saw a commercial for Balmex for adults. What a relief! It's not only me! If they are advertising it there must be millions.
The last thing in the title I wanted to address is pubic hair. (No, I wouldn't think about adding a picture) Yes, this is a risque subject sort of, but hey, I have very few taboos. Over at Amy Shissler's stroke blog earlier this month there was an interesting discussion on gray hair that took a turn to hilarious thanks to Barb Polan, Dean and I. The discussion turned from Amy finding her first gray hair, she's only 32, to balding, to finding your first gray pubic hair. I mentioned that the adhesive strips on my pads have made bald patches on my pubis. Why pay out huge amounts of money for bikini waxes...just get pads. The adhesive strips on those things will pull out hair follicles! So save money and use pads!
Yes, I'm starting a new trend... the polka dotted pub.
Nothing is impossible with determination