Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Stroke Survival: Living Post Stroke

In ten days it will be my 8th anniversary of my first stroke. This time of year I tend to evaluate my recovery that I've made. This is hampered my reoccurring strokes since my first one setting me back to almost square one with each new stroke. They effected the left side of basal ganglia part of my brain like the first one. I have to say it is old hat and quite frustrating.

But then again, I'm extremely thankful the new strokes didn't happen in another part of my brain like affecting my left. functioning side. I'd really be in trouble then, wouldn't I? I'd be up the creek with paddles, but no functioning arms to paddle with. Anyone who has suffered multiple strokes on both sides of the brain can attest to this.

In the last year of living post stroke, I've had a baclofen pump installed which worked beautifully. I was winning the war against the progressing, constant post stroke spasticity. This is before an infection caused it to be removed. I spoke to the neurosurgeon who did the placement last week via telemedicine. There was no way I was driving to Atlanta with it's over 4,000 active cases of COVID-19. I'm just saying. He asked if I was ready to have a new unit installed. I told him that again I was dealing with thyroid cancer. Can you still call it thyroid cancer if you no longer have a thyroid gland? I dunno. He was shocked but let me know when this virus thing was under control and my cancer was gone, that he would make himself available. That's good to know. I'm still n the fence about it. I mean dying and all, it has my thumb wavering between yea and nay.

So my post stroke recovery progress was hopeful, but ended up being nil.

Having said that, I made progress and gained confidence in trying new ways to adapt. I've taken over the full garden again. So I'm not only the one that prepares and preserves our food, but produces it as well.  My corn, green beans, and English peas are up and growing in the garden. I'm already cutting radish greens, lettuces, and spinach. I did miss my homegrown salads so much. I made it down and back up the twenty foot, 45 degree slope picking up kindling for our wood stove this winter without my cane. I only fell once, but I got up and continued. I've got my 5th new AFO fitted. I ended up buying my shoes for the first time since my stroke. GRRR! I only walk with a slight limp without all the rockers. Only slightly unbalancing, but not bad.

I've lost the battle with my post stroke spasticity and the pain is back for now. The war is still raging on. There has to be an answer out there.  One that won't cause major problems like dying. My neurologist told me they now have a neurosurgeon who can perform the same surgery with the pump in Athens. It's still 60 miles from home, but it only takes an hour to drive there instead of two to three hours to Atlanta. But I "love" my neurosurgeon at Emory. I don't have to make that decision for a few more months. Who knows, maybe it will be a mute point in the end. Time will tell.

I'll keep this short and semi-sweet this week. I'm back in full gardening mode.

Nothing is impossible.


6 comments:

  1. I don't know how you deal with the pain of spasticity. The brief episodes I experience taught me that spasticity really hurts.

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    1. Rebecua, I just deal with it the best I can.

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  2. My spasticity is frustrating as all get out but not painful.

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    1. Dean,Frustrating, YES! Normal spasticity, I can see where that is not all that painful, but mine. I get severe cramps on top of it lasting two hours or more. You'd think tight muscles wouldn't cramp but they do.

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  3. I am VERY impressed with all your gardening success and getting up and down that slope! I struggle at our cottage with the grade of the land and those unfortunately place rocks in the ground. Flat works much better for me. Bending over gardening is a problem too (vertigo feelings) but I still poke at my little flower pots.

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    1. Linda, Welcome! I dealt with vertigo for a long time after my first and subsequent strokes. I just kept pushing my limits until I reached this point. I understand you dilemma about keeping your balance. Believe me I've fallen tons of times. I'm just too stubborn to give up living my life. It's taken me five years to manage that slope.

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