Archives for the ‘Medical’ Category

Bullhorn

Evelyn / New York Public Library

Evelyn / New York Public Library


Harvard Medical School asked me to speak on the first day of their Neurology course. My hope is that the students take away: be encouraging to stroke patients! We can continue to get better for years! I have had run-ins with therapists and doctors who have not been encouraging. I’m busy proving them wrong.

Got stories to tell?

Fleas

Lips / Library of Congress

Lips / Library of Congress

Aphasia is an impairment of language and communication. June is National Aphasia Awareness Month.

I said odd words after my stroke. For example, I wanted to say “speech” and instead said “fleas.”

If the words coming out of your mouth are not what you intend, who’s talking?

Insurance Dance

Can Can / Library of Congress

Can Can / Library of Congress

My therapists want to see me, but they have to justify it to my health insurance. Which leads to the Insurance Dance. My hand can’t be just getting better, but it has to be more functional to get therapists reimbursed. We are currently working on ways my hand needs to be more functional around my son: Putting on stuck, annoying zippers, grabbing his hand when he decides to flee, etc.

Any crazy Insurance Dance stories?

Cosmo

Cosmopolitan Magazine

Cosmopolitan Magazine

I’m in Cosmo Magazine! The editor asked for a StrokeMama story. Here it is….

Perhaps you can relate?

Broom

Sweeping / Wellcome Images

Sweeping / Wellcome Images


My occupational therapist says certain of my back muscles are weak. She suggested that I pick up a broom and lift it up and down, for a very long time.

Up and down. Up and down. Highly boring. Thank you for your book recommendations. I listen to recordings on my phone. I just finished The City & the City, which is fab.

Even Better

Eyes / Library of Congress

Eyes / Library of Congress

My missing sight keeps getting better! I have vision loss because of my stroke. There is a narrow strip that I cannot see around 6 o’clock of my sight. Occasionally, I drop something small, like a coin, and wonder where it went.

Once a year I visit my eye doctor. He has me sit in a machine that measures my sight and periphery. The missing piece keeps getting smaller!

No one has a good explanation, since it has been awhile since my stroke. But I say, keep at it, everyone! Don’t give up!

Happy Gait II

La Culture Physique / Wellcome Images

La Culture Physique / Wellcome Images


Some of you have asked how I made so much progress in my gait recently. I did lots of things, but I was finally able to isolate my hip flexor on my stroke side. Up hip! Forward, hip!

Exoskeleton II

Ekso GT

Ekso GT

My rehab hospital has a new exoskeleton for use by stroke and spinal cord patients. People in wheelchairs can walk around using this machine. The company that makes the device is also researching exoskeletons that add strength to soldiers.

Will this be our future?

Other exoskeleton machines I have used…

Happy Gait

Dancer / Library of Congress

Dancer / Library of Congress

Finally! I can walk without contorting my stroke leg. At my rehab hospital they videoed my walk and the PT was impressed.  No hip-hiking. No stubbing my toe. Just a happy gait.

Take that, therapists who want to discharge stroke patients after a few sessions. I’ve been working on my walk for a while, with slow but continual progress.

Back

Back / Wellcome Images

Back / Wellcome Images

I’m getting my back zapped! I’ve been using electrical stimulation on my arm and hand for this past year. It has led to a much looser hand. Now, my therapist has connected me with a huge multilimb machine. I go to my rehab hospital twice a week. Then I get covered electrodes on my back, shoulder, and arm. Then I use a stationary bike for my arms while I get zapped for 30 minutes. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Zzzzzzap!

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