Like a ring around the bathtub after a bath, having my stroke left me with residue afterwards that I still deal with to this day. There are survivors who deal with more and there are survivors who deal with less.
These are a few of mine.
My right arm, my right hand, shakes. When I first came home from the hospital it was real hard to control. I remember I reached out to hug one of my little kids and inadvertently hit him right in the face. He looked at me like hey, why did you do that? I was aghast and thought to myself Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
A bit later on I was in Atlantic City for a conference and the night before it began they had a meet and greet and I went. Here’s the scenario…I had a glass of ice water in my left hand and my watch was on that wrist. Someone came up to me and asked me did I know what time it was. I carefully put the glass in my right hand to check the time. Bad move. As I was looking at the watch my right hand shook so badly that I spilled the water. On me. Aghast again. And embarrassed, but sometimes you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I’ll bet if you ask any survivor they can tell you a story like that.
I used to pick up coins to help with the dexterity, still do. I wrote in a notebook every day to also help but here was where I took a different path. Writing with my right hand was squiggly, shaky, and I said heck with this. I learned to write left handed. People tell me that they could never do that. I reply you could if you had to. I do everything left handed—shave, eat, brush my teeth, drink, I even throw to my twins left handed. Not good but it’s getting there.
A guys gotta do what a guys gotta do.
Ever since my stroke my balance has been out of whack. If I turn too fast to my right it throws me off and I’ve been known to stumble. If I have to walk on a straight and narrow side walk or navigate through people sitting cross legged on the floor, I have to really concentrate to make that happen and even then sometimes it doesn’t work the way I want it to. But sometimes it does.
My equilibrium is a problem also. If I lie flat on my back without my head being raised I get sick to my stomach and my head feels weird. First time it happened I thought I was having another stroke. Now I know not to do that, and if it happens not to get freaked out by it. If anyone knows how to tighten your stomach muscles without the up and down of sit ups, I’m all ears.
Just a few my friends.
Don’t give up. Never give up.
Follow me on twitter (@mcewenmark)
or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/markmcewensworld)
and visit my website www.markmcewen.com