Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fore Thought and Action After a Stroke

I'm realizing that my previous post is boggling most of you readers minds. How am I am to do what I do after a stroke. It takes a lot of fore thought and trial and error.

I have always been able to set priorities before acting. This stems from years of experience as a life flight nurse. I know you've all heard of the ABCs...airway, breathing, circulation in any first aid course. I tend to function like that after decades of following ABC steps. Critical first and everything else next. I call in my front seat/back seat method of prioritizing. Paying the electric bill before the power is cut off. Giving medicines in a timely fashion to prevent crises later on. Mopping up spills when they happen prevents falls later on. I personally dislike when others make their emergencies my emergencies. This takes a lot of fore thought to stop emergencies becoming emergencies.

A little fore thought before any action goes a long way in preventing a severe energy waste of do overs.

As in the case of my husband being on the floor my first concern was air because he didn't have his oxygen nasal cannula on. When he kept saying "no oxygen" it became a process of elimination before ever considering broken bones from the fall or trying to move him. It turns out that because the rails were up on the bed, the only way he could get out of the bed is over the foot rail. So rather than actually falling out of bed, he had done a slow slide intent on going over to the condenser. I didn't find this out until much, much later.

The way I balance him now is to brace my paralyzed side against him. With my spasticity in full force right now that side of my body is not going anywhere. This leaves my functioning side free to support, grab, reach, and lift or do whatever is necessary. I'll place what I need within easy grasp for my left hand before I try to do anything. It's not the perfect way to do it, or the safest, but it works for me. I get 'er done.

I fell a couple of days ago in my kitchen (the same day as my husband "fell"). I was turning around to leave the kitchen and I got my feet tangled up. BOOM! The Diet Coke I had in my hand went flying pouring its contents all over me, the floor, and down the hall. I did a quick body assessment ie, moved various moveable parts to check for damage. The main things that hurt were my functioning elbow and knee. This would be a major problem in me getting up but I'd have to grin and bear it.

My husband saw the can go flying and asked if I was okay. I yelled back yes. The last thing I needed after falling was him trying to get up and try to rescue me. We'd both be on the floor and no help coming. After I assessed the damage I sat there and looked around thinking of things to help me rise without hurting myself further. I scooted over to the stove. I could straighten out my braced foot and use the edge of the stove to pull my fat behind up. My knee and elbow screamed at me and I sat back down on the floor to rethink my options. I eventually figured it out and began mopping up the mess I'd made. The results were some really bad bruising and me guarding the injured parts for a few days.

I returned to my hubby with a forced smile on my face and got him up into his electric wheelchair. I grabbed a bag of frozen peas and propped on my knee and elbow for the next twenty minutes sitting at my computer. My hubby didn't know I'd fallen until after I got up to put the peas back in the freezer. That was because I did my loud old lady groan. Ya gotta love getting older. You make such interesting sounds when you move.

Since my stroke there are a lot of things I cannot do. I accept it for right now as a changeable fact in the future. Until that time, I'll do what I can with what I've got. Although I always tell others ...you never know what you are capable of unless there is something you have to do. Given the same set of circumstances, not that anyone would want my circumstances, they would surprise themselves at what they could accomplish.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

3 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo - you certainly show us what can be done, under practically impossible situations .. if you have to - you do ...

I really admire that you're able to tell us - as that gives us an idea of what is achievable, as well as the strength of mind we can acquire, if we have to.

Your blog is a great place for us to learn about strokes ...

I'm pleased 2014 has come around .. and wish you all the very best as the year develops .. with many thoughts -Hilary

LynnMarie said...

I so admire your Can Do attitude. Thanks for sharing how to get her done . May 2014 bring you a lot more joy and movement.

S.P. Bowers said...

Seems like I've been away from the blogging world for forever. Glad to see you're still up and kicking, though I'm sorry for the falls and bruises. Good to see you again!