Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Stroke Survival: Decision Making Process Post Stroke

 Some cognitive decline is expected after a stroke. While I had little difficulty with prioritizing tasks that need to be done. When faced with tasks that need to be done while my foot and AFO impairs me is a different story. It just takes one more thing to upset the apple cart, now I have two- healing broken bones and increased spasticity. 

I know before getting up I have to put my AFO on first or I'll fall with the first step I take with my affected leg. The spasticity has gotten really bad since I was unable to get my scheduled round of Botox injections in June. My foot arches downward and inward. You'd think I'd be able to walk on my tip toes, wouldn't you? But no, the inward rotation increases with weight bearing so it would be foolhardy to do so because the foot would roll farther inward. Not to mention when it does a hard spasm on top of the spasticity the shoe and brace have to come off or more bones will break. There's no denying the spasms nor controlling them. Unfortunately, it will get worse before I can get into the neurologist for my injections. 

After I prepare dinner each night, I usually get a hard spasm in my foot and ankle. Most of the times, my daughter (unless she's working late) will come in and put the finishing touches and serve the plate while I'll painfully hobble to my chair, take off my shoe, and AFO, massage and prop my foot up. It's that last half an hour of standing and moving that gets me. It's now to the point of almost an hour before I can don my brace and walk again albeit with a manageable amount of pain, instead of two hours of spasms like it will be. I can at least get to the bathroom and back again. This is how I'm managing my day now. Fifteen to twenty-five minutes of activity to an hour rest, but I am doing. I can no longer wear my new AFO with the spasticity so high. I'm stuck in my old AFO that allows for the swelling and the spasticity, and the straps need to be replaced. Come on PCP so I can get an appointment with a brace maker!

Wednesday night, I was just finishing up dinner when a spasm hit as usual. Nothing spectacular, just my butter fried chicken (my mother's recipe), boiled potatoes with herbed butter and corn on the cob. I called for my daughter to help. She drained the potatoes and tossed them in the herbed butter. She prepared the plates and brought me one at my dining room dinette before taking two plates to her husband and her into the main dining room of the house. I do so miss eating at the big table  with family. It'll be better when my granddaughter comes home from the west coast next month. She's my cook's helper. She's becoming quite a cook.

About an hour later, the rain started. The skylight in the kitchen started dripping. I hadn't put the pitcher down before because it wasn't raining. I shrugged off the sweater I'd donned. I'm just not used to air conditioning anymore. My daughter keeps the thermostat at 68℉ which is a little chilly to me since my blood pressure and pulse rate took a nose dive after my Baclofen removal surgery in 2019. That's even with the meds to raise both. *I digressed, sorry* I donned my AFO and headed to the kitchen. The pain was manageable as I hobbled across the distance. I grabbed a couple of paper towels to wipe up the water and placed the pitcher on the floor to catch additional drips. Come on two days in a row without rain so my son-in-law can recaulk the skylight and have it cure!

Of course with the dripping sound of water, the urge to pee hit me. There was no way I'd make the thirty odd steps to the bathroom. I'd just have to gush into my pad. Then, I noticed that my daughter had not put the extra fried chicken away. A quick reach under the sink to get a container so I could make chicken salad for the kids' trip out of town. I had bought croissants for the sandwiches. Just the thought of buying them still irks me, but some things just have the wait until I'm back up on my feet again. The gush had bought me some time. Another gush on the way and I was sitting on the commode.

Relieved, I hobbled back into the kitchen to run a sink of washing water in the sink. I was putting the last dirty pot in the sink when a twinge just above the ankle told me it was time to take a load off so I grabbed what little bit of trash there was to throw it in the trash can as I went. I hobbled back to my chair. The dishes would wait until the morning. I'd noticed that my bathroom trashcan was full but I'd save that chore the next time I'm up and so it goes. It's a good thing I can see a sequence of events when needed/

Prioritizing tasks has been my blessing living post stroke. It doesn't always go as smoothly as this, I wish it did. There are still times, after nine years of living post stroke, I forget to don my AFO first before getting up. All it takes is standing up to realize my mistake. Luckily, I haven't fallen in my hast of having to pee. Or, have to back track to get things done. It is what it is.

In other matters, I started a new blog. It's focus is on senior living self reliance and how tos from a disabled view point. I'll eventually start a YouTube channel along the same lines. Just because you are older, single, disabled, and living the senior living community life style doesn't mean you can't help yourself along the way. You ain't dead yet! You can find it here.

Nothing is impossible. 

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