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!

Carousel

Carousel / Library of Congress

Carousel / Library of Congress

We spent the holidays with my parents in Los Angeles — warm and sunny, instead of Boston cold and snowy.

In LA we went to the carousel on the beach. My husband held up our son on a carousel horse. Getting my stroke self up and over another horse was not easy but was done. Off we went. My son was so taken with the merry-go-round that we had to repeat: “Again! Again!”

Pouch

Mother and Child / Library of Congress

Mother and Child / Library of Congress

Certain brands of baby food pouches are f@*king hard to open. This is especially difficult if you have a hand injury. Or are grandma with arthritis. But even my athletic husband makes a face as he tries to twist the cap. (That’s you, Plum Organic and Peter Rabbit Organics!)

“It’s difficult,” says my son. “It’s hard.” “Daddy do it.”

Any other products that are not disabled friendly?

Save

Save

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Ergometer

Clement Bicycle / Library of Congress

Clement Bicycle / Library of Congress

I’ve been doing much exercise on the arm ergometer. This machine is like a stationary bicycle for the arms and upper body. It’s the next chapter in the electrical stimulation on my back. It is very boring and tiring to do 45+ minutes. The only way to pass the time is to listen to books on my phone. Any good book recommendations?

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Thanksgiving

Colorado / Library of Congress

Colorado / Library of Congress

We’re heading out to visit relatives this week, along with everyone else in the US. Ours live in New York, so we have a 5 hour car ride. My little son has taken to throwing up during any car trip longer than 15 minutes. We will be packing many, many changes of small clothing, plus a towel.

Happy Thanksgiving! Where are you going?

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…

Rowing

Rowing / Library of Congress

Rowing / Library of Congress


This week is Head of the Charles, a regatta where people from all over the world row down the Charles River in Boston. I am amused: Harvard Square, usually filled with unathletic nerds, is instead dominated by tall, wide, buff people.

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.