Loss

Wheelchair / Library of Congress

Wheelchair / Library of Congress

Stroke patients in the US with government insurance have had their rehabilitation benefit significantly cut. When I first had my stroke, I would see a physical therapist almost every week. Now rehab benefits are down to about 18 visits a year. As I am a veteran stroke patient who does most of my rehab on my own, I can handle this reduction. For new stroke victims, it is a terrible loss.

Have you had insurance headaches?

Stronger

Crew / Library of Congress

Crew / Library of Congress

I have been doing lots of difficult exercises at the gym that I couldn’t do before. Things like the plank.

The weird thing is that I couldn’t do a plank before my stroke. So I guess I’m getting better.

Do you have things that are better than before your stroke?

Swimming

Swimming / Library of Congress

Swimming / Library of Congress

Our little son is big on bathtime and water in general. He has been in the ocean, a pond and pools. We signed him up for a swimming class for babies and their parents. Dad goes in and I look on. Coldish water freaks out my stroke side.  My muscles wants to bend inward. Annoying!

Anyone else have water issues?

Athlete

High Jump / Wellcome Images

High Jump / Wellcome Images

My husband and I have taken to watching the Ninja Warrior contest, where extreme athletes run through an insane obstacle course. It is the sort of mindless TV show you watch when you are exhausted after a day of baby watching. But it was inspiring too. The next day I went to the gym and did all my stroke exercises with renewed vigor. Ninja Strokemama.

What gets you motivated?

Elevate

Elevator / Library of Congress

Elevator / Library of Congress

I am in Washington D.C. this weekend. This is the first time I have used its Metro with a stroller. It’s awful! Elevators and escalators are broken all over the system. With infants you can take them out of their stroller and carry them, annoying. But someone in a wheelchair is stuck. Shame!

Boom!

Independence / Library of Congress

Independence / Library of Congress

It’s Independence Day in the US this week. Boston has lots of nighttime fireworks. In the past we went to parties late into the evening. But this year we will be trying to keep the baby asleep. Shhhhhhhh….

Light

Lamp / Library of Congress

Lamp / Library of Congress

There is a light switch on the wall next to my baby’s changing table. He has just discovered what it does and he tries to make it work each time we are there. He is working on controlling his fingers. So am I.

Up and down. Up and down. On and off. On and off….

Aware

Scream / Library of Congress

Scream / Library of Congress

Aphasia is an impairment of language and communication. I had it severely right after my stroke. My friends remember me saying sentences like “munch yellow old.” A scary time.

This month is National Aphasia Awareness Month. Do you have stories to share?

Party

Sweat Pants / Library of Congress

Sweat Pants / Library of Congress

Soon after my brain surgery, I snuck out of the hospital to go to a party. I wore the only fashionable gear I had in the ward: sweat pants.

Do you have hospital fashion stories?

Frustration

Rat / Wellcome Images

Rat / Wellcome Images

True frustration is when language leaves. Right after my stroke, I remember staring at a word printed on a page. I had forgotten how to pronounce it. I couldn’t remember what sound the first letter made. How do you say “R?” The word was “rat.”

Anyone with similar frustration stories?