Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Stroke Survival: Just Try Not to Grimce or Laugh- Just Try

Today is another story of living post stroke. Fair warning- just try not to grimace or laugh while reading this post. Bet you can't.

The set up- I was sound asleep, curled up under my quilt against the chilled air in the house as the wood stove exhausted the last burning embers of wood left to burn while I slept. It was the wee hours of the morning. My night medication was wearing down, but still enough was in my system to allow for a few more hours of restful sleep before the painful spasticity kicked in and time to take more. Mel often wonders why I don't go back to sleep when I wake up in the wee hours. Sometimes I do, but other times it's just impossible. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be a Murphy.

The story-

A twinge of pain in the calf region of my left (functioning) leg. Somewhere in the recessed of my mind it registers that a Charlie Horse is beginning. I try moving the leg into another position to no avail. In the dark, I don my sock and reach for my AFO knowing that I'd have to walk it out. The first month of a new shoe purchase, it's easier to leave the AFO in the shoe rather than trying to put the shoe on after donning the AFO. Then, I work on putting the sock and shoe on the left foot. Always a joy to do without making the cramp worse. Some time while fastening the third or fourth strap on my AFO another realization filtered through the drug induced hazed mind...I have to pee! Rushing to do something while drugged is never a good idea, but still I try.

When I stood up, the degree of the amount of drugs I'd taken caused a swaying, faulting step. Oh boy, this is going to be fun was my next thought as I regained some balance and continued to the door. In the dim light of the hallway, dark mounds on the carpet announced that Logan, the cat, had left me presents while I slept. I lifted my leg to step over them. I now had one paramount mission. I have to make it to the toilet. As I placed my AFO clad foot in a safe spot, I over compensated for my balance.BOOM! I hit the floor. As I struggled to my feet, my bladder released soaking my underwear and pajama bottoms. I should have worn a pad to bed, I chastised myself. But hindsight is always twenty-twenty, isn't it?

Now I don't know about you, but when I fall backwards, my head always rests on the floor for a few seconds before I get up. This time was no exception. As I sat on the commode, I'm still rubbing my calf fending off the Charlie Horse that threatens to cramp down on my calf. It's a little better now that I had put my weight through the leg, fallen, gotten back up, and walked to the bathroom. I was thanking God that I again averted a full fledged Charlie Horse. I ran my hand through my hair. It met with a horrible feeling courtesy of Logan. So much for the possibility of returning to bed as if the what had already happened would allow it.

I stripped out of my clothes and got in the shower. I turned on as much hot water as my body could stand. I washed my hair three times to be sure it was clean. Now, rosy skinned and wrapped in a towel, I again donned my socks, AFO, and shoes. I walked into the bedroom. I pulled off the AFO and shoes, and got dressed. Not in fresh pajamas, but in work clothes. The roosters were already crowing a full hour before sunrise.

I raked through the night's ashes in the wood stove and pulled the ash pan. I carried it outside and dumped it. I had plenty of wood ash for the chicken's dirt bath area and for making lye. Strolling back inside, I replaced the ash pan and set the intricate lacing of paper, twigs, and bark to start the day's fire. I put the three split pieces of firewood on top and flicked my Bic. I was greeted by the warmth of the blaze before I go outside for another load of firewood.

So begins another day on the homestead and living post stroke. On the agenda today, make a half dozen Belgian waffles, half a dozen crepes, a loaf of sourdough bread, sprout another bucket of seed for chicken feed, grind the cleaned, used egg shells to supplement the sprouted chicken feed with calcium for the hens, and groom two rabbits, and finish making the mason jar candles for Christmas. Oh, and in between this fun, there's cooking meals, laying cardboard and spreading straw in the orchard, bring firewood onto the porch again, and tending to the house pets. But that's a normal day's routine around here.

How you start your day is important. Mine has already gotten off to a bad start. Hopefully, it will get better as the day progresses. As tired as I am, I may only get half of my to-do list done today, but...

Nothing is impossible.


  1. I hope your day improves an awful lot!

  2. Not a whole lot. Our well pump died.

  3. wow. Nice trick leaving the AFO in the shoe. I just made a film about a stroke survivor that might interest you.
    Link to watch it in full for free is here

    1. Margot, thank you for the link to your video. Though obviously scripted, it makes the point I want to make with this blog...when faced with adversity keep going.


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