Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ What Goes Up...

When I was in inpatient rehab, I made the statement..."It's not if I fall but when I fall." Well, I did it again Wednesday.

Let me backtrack to Tuesday's OT. I awoke later than usual so I decided to double up on my Baclofen before therapy. The tightness in my bicep and pectoral muscles gave me an inkling that therapy may have to stop after this week. Higher tone is the precursor for me that the Botox is wearing off with the spasticity to follow quickly after. Therapy confirmed it even after ice and heat were used but the fingers still stretched.

I got home to find the sitter gone and daughter #2 and her youngest son at the house. Triston (15 next month) is my yard man. They'd been at the house long enough for him to mow the front and half the back before I came home via the tractor. Next came the mandatory Skype call to our #4 daughter in AZ. During that time daughter #1 comes in from Savannah with daughter #2's oldest son and her two boys (13 &7). A houseful! I set each of them on a task, mostly outside to keep them busy. As you can imagine, my hubby and I were both exhausted by the time all of them left.

Wednesday morning was bad from the start. I had slept hard so everything decided it wanted to play at Rice Krispies (snap, crackle & pop). With a groan and several attempts, I got out of bed. I waddled my way into the living to administer my husband's medicines and empty his urinal. Then it was, hop into the shower for a bath before therapy at 11. Needless to say, all the energy from a good, solid night's sleep was diminished by half by just these simple acts including getting dressed. Getting dressed was more of a chore than it usually was. I got my panties in a wad, fought with my compression knee-highs, and my shirt wanted to bunch up and make life difficult. But I fed the animals, watered them, and gave each of them undivided attention that they craved. So now I've used six of twelve spoons via the spoon theory of energy.

Before leaving and the sitter arriving, I checked in with my hubby to see if he needed anything. Coffee. Keep in mind that the pressure sore on my foot ruptured three days ago and walking is difficult, I waddled to the kitchen and made his coffee. Thanks to my #2 daughter buying him a Keurig one cup coffee maker for Christmas, this was a quick fix.

But then he mentioned the bottom sheet on his bed had worked loose. I managed the tug and pull the fitted bottom sheet back into place. I might mention at this point, his mattress is an air mattress with a hose that is attached to the electric compressor unit... another spoon or a spoon and half gone.(7-8 spoons expended with 4-5 left until nap time at 3pm) Knowing I had therapy (2-3 spoons, fix lunch, administer meds, and odd & end things before I got a nap another 2-3 spoons worth).

The sitter arrived and I headed out the door. Fifteen minutes to get to the rehab place. I stepped onto the ramp and surfed hanging ten halfway down the ramp. It had rained heavily the night before. I landed in a half split and on my rump. For once I was thanking God for my six ax handles across bottom...plenty of padding to land on.

I did a quick assessment. Everything moved without much pain so I rolled over and ungracefully got to my feet. I rushed at top speed, a glorified slow walk, to my car and drove to therapy...not even concerned what I looked like. I was going to be late and I hate to be late.

All seven traffic lights were green and no serious idiot drivers were met. All the handicapped spots were taken. I mean really! There are only twelve of them! I ended up parking in a regular spot about three hundred feet from the door. That doesn't sound like much but try doing it with an open pressure sore and opening your car door wide enough to get out of your car in a regular size parking space.

Anyhow, I wobble through the door and look at the clock over the check in, three minutes late. My OT escorted me back into the therapy room a moment later. I began telling her about my morning. She asked ice or heat? I answered both. Ice on the spastic muscles in my bicep, pectoral, and left wrist that was beginning to smart and swell. Heat to the shoulder, neck, lower back, and the tricep which were knotted up from the fall. She off offhandedly mentioned I might want to get an x-ray but bit her tongue at the look on my face.

Well my therapy session did not go well, but then there is always Friday. Come Friday we'll make an assessment on whether or not to do another week or stop until after my next Botox injections. While I was resting between stretches, she grabbed a towel with a bottle of alcohol and cleaned all the scraped areas that I didn't know I had. Believe me when I say I felt every single one after the alcohol. My wrists, right hand, and knees had too many to count sharp intakes of breath.

We both examined my left, only one working right now, wrist. No point tenderness, but swelling, pain upon moving the thumb and pinky fingers but not sharp enough for a break. Yeah, I know what that feels like. A humongous bruise turning shades of black and purple on the outside edge of the palm, but both of us didn't think anything was broken. So I wrapped it up in an Ace bandage and called it a day.

Trying to do anything with an Ace bandage on your only working hand is ridiculous! Everything else I'd planned to do went out the window. The exception was changing out my husband's M6 oxygen tank. It was so much fun changing out the regulator with three working fingers. I won't even bother to go into it here. I'll leave it to your imagination. But you gotta do what you gotta do. I did leave putting it back in its bag for my hubby to do. I did try but bent my thumb back farther than it wanted to go. Stifling a scream, I grabbed it all and carried it to his bed.

Thursday morning was a bear. All the abuse I put my body through the previous day told the tale. Accidents always feel worse the day after. I basically took it easy. The hospice aide was here and daughter #2 and our oldest granddaughter (14) were here to pick up my slack, but God knows I needed the help. Shuffling around like a little old ( much older than I am think 90+) lady was an improvement. I got on Facebook and my emails typing with three fingers. I didn't think that there was one part of my body that didn't ache.

I looked at a pair of fingerless gloves that's on my loom for my eldest granddaughter for her birthday and knew it would have to wait. What's to sense of having a do nothing day when you can't do something you want to do? It's one of those Grumbling, growling moments.

Friday was OT again. One more week of therapy and we'll be done until after the next series of Botox. (sigh) How was y'all's week?

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Hmm, a relaxing day !! I hope you have a count for “falling” - I do.
    Cheers / John A.

  2. {{{{-hugs-}}}} That's careful hugs for you, Jo. Bless you! I do hope you're better now.

  3. You might be missing your "good" hand, but not your sense of humor.

  4. If a script writer described a day like the one you just had, no movie goer would believe it. Yet you proved it is possible. Hope you have caught up on your sleep. You earned it.

  5. That's why this blog is called the Murphey Saga. It is the ongoing saga of the Murphey household. No one would believe it would happen if I didn't write about it. It's the worst soap opera you could imagine.

    The hand is almoooooooooost as good as new. Nah, it will never be that good. Too many injuries, but it works.

  6. Hi Jo - good for you .. life seems to throw its wobblies at you .. but with your strength of mind you do everything you can to overcome and keep going ..

    With thoughts - Hilary


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