Tuesday, September 13, 2011

90 Days - Ahem...Where's my Chip?

It's been 90 days since my stroke. 90 days of stumbling, dropping things, crying, poking fun at myself, and I think I'm doing alright. Rehabilitation is like getting sick and being sent to purgatory. You aren't sick anymore, but you aren't OK to play with others. You get stuck in limbo, doing things but not doing things, looking sometimes almost normal on the outside but not at all functioning like a normal person on the inside. When I was in the hospital I was still dealing with the shock of my diagnosis: stroke in evolution in the left brain stem, right-side hemiparesis. I asked the doctor how long he thought it would take me to move my right side again, and he said that most movement comes back within 3-6 months. Progress can still be made after 6 months, but most likely if it hasn't come back by then, it won't.


Of course in my mind the clock was ticking. Get these damn tubes out of me, I've got work to do. I spent 8 days in the hospital and another 2 weeks in an acute rehabilitation center. Now that I'm home I've continued therapy all the while keeping that 3-6 month deadline in the back of my mind. Well it's here. 3 months. I've come a long way but I still have a very long way to go. I've been fortunate to connect with other stroke survivors. They have shown me that this deadline looming over my head is complete and utter crap. Rehabilitation doesn't stop.

I still walk like a gimp, even with the walker. Just when I started feeling like I might never walk like a "normal" person again, I moved my ankle for the first time in 3 months! In rehab progress is rapid, noticeable day-to-day. When you get home, progress slows down a bit and it's easy to feel like you've become stagnant. But I've kept moving. Sometimes I motivate myself, and other times my 2 year old doesn't give me a choice. There is something about little balls of poop about to roll out of a diaper onto your couch that make you spring a paralyzed arm into action. Whatever makes you get off your ass, be grateful for it.

I have to remind myself everyday that there is nothing wrong with my body. My neck, leg, arm, hand, foot - they are fine. Nothing is broken, severed, or compromised. It's my brain that is injured. My brain is figuring out how to talk those parts of my body again. I've got to keep moving to make them listen.

1 comment:

  1. happy 90 hays (plus) since your stroke. they were out of cards at hallmark, so you can stop waiting by the mailbox.