Archives for the ‘Medical’ Category

Balance

On Horses / Library of Congress

On Horses / Library of Congress

Pregnancy made my balance all screwy, with my baby’s weight sticking out of my midsection. My walking is great now that my center of gravity is back to normal.

But this pregnancy was much better than the first. No big falls this time. Better balance. Progress!

Freedom

GRIT Freedom Chair

GRIT Freedom Chair

At the Boston Museum of Science, there is an exhibit on the Freedom Chair. It is the mountain bike equivalent for wheelchairs! Created by a MIT class, it enables users to get off road. Owners use poles instead of spinning wheels with their hands. It’s also useful for rural communities where roads are not paved.

Other cool innovations for the disabled?

Librarian

Library / Library of Congress

Library / Library of Congress

A librarian wrote in with a speech therapy question: he has a patron who has pretty strong aphasia, or loss of language. The patron likes movies, so the library staff try to help him select them.

“Do you know is there a list of vocabulary that staff can use to aid him? For example, he will say ‘world, 1, 2, 3, 4, you know, come on! Me!’ We try to clarify by asking, ‘scifi? Documentary? Series? South America?’ Many times he gets frustrated and leaves. And help that you can offer or resources that you can point me to would be very appreciated.”

When I had aphasia, I often wrote things down. I don’t know if that is an option for this library patron. Maybe some crowd sourcing here? Any patients or speech therapists with helpful ideas?

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!