Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Redefining Disability Project #11

Yep, it's Tuesday again. Today's question is...

Does disability affect you in other ways?

Unfortunately, my stroke affects me at all times and in all ways even when I sleep. When it was just replacement joints or my diabetes, it was only when I moved or ate that caution was used. There was nothing wrong with my brain so I enhanced those activities when my body wouldn't work right. So for the most part, I thought and behaved normal. Yes, there were days that were worse than others, but it balanced out.

With my stroke my brain was the problem and nothing balanced out. I couldn't find words to express myself. I'd loose either words or my train of thought constantly. 

The PBA due to my stroke, has me crying, laughing, or ranting angrily at the drop of a hat. Let me tell you. The hat can drop several times a day. It can take as long as thirty minutes to regain control over my emotions with each episode.

My brain sends the wrong signals to my muscles and my leg and arm will bounce around all over the place (clonus). My brain will send another set of impulses and the muscles will fire into clenching (spasticity). Even sometimes, it won't send any signal at all (paralysis). I rarely have control. Even right now my leg is bouncing under my desk (clonus) while I type. Quick reposition and grabbing a trigger point and it stops.

In my case, yep!
The joy of eating has flown out the window with my stroke also. The whole right side of my face and halfway down my throat is numb. You know that feeling after you've been shot full of Novacaine and it's wearing off by the dentist? That cheek out to there and if you touch your face it feels like it's through a towel. Yep, that's the one. That's what my face feels like. Yes, the jaw works just fine or at least seems to being firmly attached to the left side.

Have you ever bitten the inside of your mouth while chewing? Gotten food stuck between your teeth and bottom gum? Have you ever taken too big of a bite and tried to swallow it? Because I don't feel my cheek or my gum on the right side, I'll bite the inside of my cheek about every other meal and once you do, it keeps on happening! Food will pocket in my lower right cheek by the gum line. While I have almost recovered all my tongue movement, I have to manually pushing the food up where I can swallow it from my finger on the outside of my mouth. Rice is the worse! Every bite I swallow is like to big of a bite because my throat muscles on one side are weaker than the other. I have to double swallow for every bite, but even so I'll have esophageal or laryngeal spasms. What's the fun in that?

These are just some of how my strokes have impacted my daily life each and every day. Living each day to the fullest is a challenge. Do I ever wish my stroke had killed me...sometimes. Hey, I'm being honest here. But it didn't, so I live each day to the fullest. I try to minimize the impact by trying to adapt so it is minimal. I make meal times an event. It looks good. It smells good. It tastes good on the taste buds. All the rest still happens, but I had a pleasurable experience before it happened. It balances.

I may not have control over the factors in my life but, I have a choice of how I react to them. I can either stew in misery or get on with my life. I choose getting on with my life.

1 comment:

  1. One of my greatest pleasures since my stroke is feeling warm water cascade down my back in the shower.


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