Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Stroke Survival: Ataxia. It's That Time Again

"It's that time of year again. Everyone is rushes around getting their taxes done."
"No, Doofus! I said I have ataxia from my stroke."

Geez, some people need to have the wax cleaned outta their ears. But, that's what happens when you use medical terminology on some folks that do not know it. Ataxia is uncoordinated muscle movements caused by a central nervous system disorder like a stroke. You basically you zig when you mean to zag. There are a long list of different types of ataxia depending on what is going on, as well as causes.

Yes, I have ataxia because of my stroke. I have a very ugly gait when walking. My leg on my affected side just won't behave because the nerves in my leg are receiving crossed messages from my brain. The sequence of events involved with taking a step get jumbled between point A (my brain) and point B (All the nerves in my leg). But I do eventually get where I'm going through sheer will and a Quasimodo type step. It's trial and error with most things involving my leg.

A few weeks ago, I told the story about my chiropractor testing the reflex on my affected knee and again about almost kicking my therapist's ear. I have absolutely no control over my leg from the knee down. I didn't want to see my lower leg bouncing in every direction like a chicken with its head cut off nor could I stop it either unless I physically grab it and hold it in place. That is what it's like to have ataxia.

Everyone is a control freak in their own lives. We want to have control over anything and everything, but with this there is no controlling it. I just have crossed wires in my brain. Is there hope that it will get better? Of course there is. There's always hope, but it will take time and patience to retrain the brain to send the proper signals.

Oh God! There's that word again! Patience! I often say that my stroke was God's way of teaching me patience. ARGH! I'm a child. I want it yesterday! I want it now! I guess I still haven't learned that lessons too well yet. It's a work in progress still after almost three years. Meditation, Jo. Breathe. Focus. Breathe. There I'm better. No, I'm not making fun of meditation. It really works. Ah well, if nothing else I can control my focus and breathing. As for now, I'll leave my leg ataxia on the back burner. I have more pressing issues.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. I don't think we ever completely learn patience. We're still children. Good thing our Father understands that.

  2. People don't know I have ataxia because when I walk with people I make sure I have an outside position and work hard to drift away from the group rather than I into it. This is exhausting and limits my ability to participate in any discussion. If you walk behind me you can see me drifting left and right because my hemiplegic leg has a mind of its own about where it wants to plant my foot.


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