Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Stoke Survival ~ This and That

I find that I'm spending quite a few hours on You Tube these days. One because it's quick snippets of information and two because it's entertaining.

With my current lifestyle of crisis management and turn on a dime decision making, I can't really do much else that is time consuming. You Tube is the answer.

No this isn't mine but close.
I've watched tons of videos about square foot gardening... something I'm going to try in the Spring to get a better handle on planting and harvesting my above ground garden. When energy and time spent are governing factors it made sense. I've also been researching how to build a bigger cage for Babs, my gorgeous bunnykins, she's getting a bit cramped in hers, and different ways to feed her other than store bought pellets. But that's not all...

I have to be honest here, I've been less than enthusiastic about my recovery of late feeling like somebody was kicking me when I was already out for the count. I ran across this particular video this week and it gave me a needed boost. While I've heard this song too many times on the radio, I never related what it could mean to me towards my recovery until I saw this video. A totally a eye opening revelation for me. It's my new favorite song.

Just the fact, that the video was pantomimed (actually singing although muted) by an otherwise 8-year old, nonverbal, autistic child got me thinking of aphasia affected stroke survivors and how it felt to me being nonverbal after my stroke but having a millions thoughts running through my head and not being able express them. My brain never stops thinking. The images may be of cancer kids but it could easily relate to us as survivors.  Listen to the words. I hope it will do the same for you that it did for me.

I've been researching stroke recovery too. Reading blogs, abstracts, and books are okay, but nothing beats the visual progress of stroke recovery and adaptive techniques survivors use. As I've said before I have an incontinence problem, as well as few other hundred things wrong with my stroke. I try to apply what see and think outside of the box in all things.

For me, urinary incontinence is not really embarrassing but a nuisance. I hate wearing pads.I didn't like it when I had to wear them during my monthly cycles. God bless menopause and a hysterectomy. See some good things come with age besides hard won wisdom. I use all the techniques I learned in physical therapy like the clock and fluid intake measures. I may wiggle in my seat to see if I've got to go like a woman with a crotch itch in church. That's one way men have an advantage, they just scratch or adjust themselves in public and pinch it off with the handle they've got, but for a just ain't lady like.

But also for me, there is the added bonus of a diuretic, Lasix, which keeps the fluids from pooling in my body and my defunct heart. For the first few hours after taking that miraculous little pill that keeps me out of congestive heart failure most times, it's a crap shoot for bladder control. It's a fine art of juggling most mornings and I'll explain why and how I adjust my clock to cope.

I take relatively high doses of Zanaflex with my Baclofen for muscle spasticity. The Zanaflex drops my blood pressure too low when I lay down. We're talking about low double digits. To combat this before bed I ingest something salty before I sleep, this causes my body to hold fluids thus keeping my blood pressure raised. Not a perfect solution but it works. My cardiologist thought it was ingenious and great problem solving. But as a result of ingesting the added salt and retaining fluids, and taking Lasix in the morning becomes a nightmare while it tries to get rid of this extra fluid. I adjust my time schedule for the first hour for twenty minutes after taking this med. On average that's how long it takes for my kidneys with Lasix to fill my bladder. The second hour, I'll add ten minutes making it every thirty minutes. I'll keep adding tihis way until I'm back to the original every two hours time frame.

If I have to somewhere while this counting up is underway, I'll urinate before I leave and when I get wherever I am going and keep the schedule. I'll admit that some days are worse than others, but the important thing is, I don't let it stop me. If I don't make it to the bathroom, that's why I wear a pad.

But with pads comes another problem. Diaper rash! They really aren't meant to be worn 24/7. Now this condition in an adult is painful and embarrassing! I'm sorry, but no one else is going to put diaper rash medicine between my legs, but me. Picture this... a woman with a brace on one leg and one useable arm, bending down to look between her legs and applying Balmx between her legs. Since my recent stroke, I  some renewed balance issues. Oft times my head is thumping the wall across from the toilet. Not hard mind you, a sort of a semi controlled lean forward, but just enough to stop my forward mometum. Luckily for me in this older home, the bathrooms are only 5x7. If it were any bigger, I'd more concerned. But for now, this works for me.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Very uplifting video. Everyone got into the singing and dancing.
    I think that cage in the picture would be cool for your bunny.

  2. Having cared for four older adults with incontinence, I know what your talking about. Good luck, Jo!

  3. A diuretic also changed my habits. I know where the bathroom is in every store I shop in. Sometimes I go to the bathroom when I 1st get to a store. Sometimes I go just before I leave a store. I have ten minutes to get to the bathroom once I feel the urge to urinate. I've turned into a mother who repeatedly asks "do you think you have to pee?" Thank God for panty liners.

  4. Alex, my bunny loves it and no more mess on the floor around his cage.

    Zan Marie, MY=y DH just went into diapers. At least he doesn't squirm around like my grandson does.

    Rebecca, When I feel the urge to pee it's too late to get to the bathroom. :(

  5. Looks like a great new set up for the bunny!

    Also, you won a copy of my book from commenting on a post over at Get Lost in a Story. Can you email me your address so I can send it out?

  6. There were many times in the first year or two after my stroke when I broke down into tears in the bathroom--I was so frustrated with dealing with tampons and pads. At least I have enough hand movement, now. Can't wait for menopause.

  7. Hi Jo - I admire your look at life from all sides - literally ... and probably so useful for many ..

    I wish you peace with those small things to enjoy - all the best Hilary


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.