Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ The Power of Encouragement

There has been quite a bit of chatter among fellow stroke survivors in various groups about the power of encouragement. Encouragement can make or break your recovery process. It reminded me of a scene from the Disney movie, Bambi. The scene with Thumper.
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        V (I looked a long time for a downward pointing arrow on my keyboard before I thought of the letter "V" lol)
 

Now I don't know about you, but how many of us heard this as children? Too many times for me. At that age, I wasn't the brightest candle in the candelabra. But somewhere in adulthood we forgot. But I would change this for us to ENCOURAGE.

A funny thing happens when you encourage someone else. You tend to try harder for yourself because you don't want to fail either. Before I step in the path of someone else, I always remind myself to be encouraging and sympathetic, not in a condescending way. Who better than another stroke survivor to encourage another stroke survivor? I've played cheerleader to many as they have played for me.

This keeps me-
  • centered
  • trying
  • hopeful
  • inspired
Even when their outcome is bad-
  • My stubbornness kicks in- that's not going to happen with me!
  • My self-centeredness shows- I'm glad it's not me!
  • My grounding firms- I'm not going to let that happen to me!
  • My empathetical/sympathetic cries out- you poor dear! What can I do to help?
I'm one of the three choices kind of gal. Give up- not without a fight, Give in-not without
a darn good fight, or Give it my all. Can you guess which on I am?

You guessed right. What was your first clue? It's in purple on the picture if you didn't know. The last one if you are color blind.

But what's more important, I believe in the human potential. I'll have faith in you until you prove to me that you are a hopeless cause.

How can you prove it to me...
  • By repeatedly brushing me off.
  • When I can't make you smile. Even the one you are trying hard to suppress.
  • By outright refusal to even try. If you aren't willing to meet me 10% of the way, you are history. But, you'll be welcomed back with open arms when you decide to.
I really don't have the time or energy to convert you to my way of thinking. I can't fight
and encourage if you give up or give in. That being said there are those who rebound into the trying category who I'll root towards victory. I never was a cheerleader in high school or college to spur my team to victory, but I've become a cheerleader to the souls of other people. To me it is more important and doesn't depend on a svelte figure.

People on the outside come in all different colors and sizes, but what really counts is their soul, but basically on the inside, according to Maslow, we are all needy on the inside. It is my function in life to bring comfort to others. Whether it is physical or spiritual. Granted, these days I have little to offer in the physical realm, but if I can brighten someone's day, the pay off is priceless.

By the same token, I tend to surround myself with cheerleaders. They keep me energized to face one more day on this Earth. Eventually even the best cheerleader runs out of fuel. I try to be as positive as I can, but this world can dump some pretty heavy loads on you even with our Heavenly Father's help. I'm no exception.

On those days, I seek out my cheerleaders. They might not even know that I'm in need. I've had quite a number of those days over the past few years. But they fill me up just the same. Prayer works, but there is nothing like the physical boost an encouraging word from another person will bring. Confessions of a minister. It's why this minister has a pastor of her own. It costs nothing but your time and willingness to listen, but it is worth more than diamonds or platinum. No amount of riches or material things can soothe it or replace it.

So if you can't say something encouraging, just listen, or at the very least- DO NOT say anything at all.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Perception of Time

Credit
Time is measured the same for everyone in the world... 24 HOURS in a day, 7 DAYS in a week, and 365.25 DAYS in a YEAR. Right?

What's with that? Why are we taught from a young age and everything revolves around time. It's all put in neat, little, compartmentalized boxes of measured units.Time blogs are all abuzz around the stroke tribe so I'll add my quarter's worth here. (It used to be a penny, but with inflation...)


We are taught from a young age...
  •  Not to waste time.
  • Time is money.
  • Time is power.
  • Just in time.
  • Always waiting for time to do or dreading something.
  • It's time for a change.
  • You're running out of time.
  • It's about time! When you're late.
For stroke survivors it is...
  • Time is brain.
  • 2-4 hours to administer tPa from the onset of your stroke for the optimum recovery... Whatever that is.
  • If you don't recover a loss by the first 30 days, recovery is measured in months.
  • If you don't recover in the golden first 6 months, recovery is nonexistent or measured in years. Yes even decades.
  • Forever (yes, this is time too) as is never (another measure of time) to recovery.
How do we mark time...
  • Watches and clocks
  • Internal clocks
  • Assorted calendars to help us remember important dates and times.
  • Alarms go off to remind us.
  • Something, anything, to make us keep track of time.
My question to y'all is...WHY? What is so all fired important that we have to mark time like a row of soldiers marching in cadence?  Oops, there's another reference to time. From the day we are born to the moment we die, we are watching the clock. Well, as a small infant, it's actually hunger or comfort that marks time for us.

Whether you do something or not, time continues to pass us by. Time stops for no one. You ever hear that one before?

I mean...
Time flies by
Time flies when we are in good company, or are enjoying ourselves.
"But it was just 9:00. How did it get to be midnight so fast!"
When you are older time moves at a faster pace than when you were younger.
"What it's my birthday again!"

Snail's pace
Remember when you were waiting to turn 16 and drive a car by yourself legally?
How about 21 so you could legally have an alcoholic beverage?
Or that last ten minutes before you get off from work on a Friday with the weekend off?
It went by at a snail's pace, didn't it?


Even a clock with no hands marks time
Time never stands still. It's always in motion. There's no way humanly possible to stop time while alive. It's all about your perception of time. If it wasn't for clocks and calendars everyone would be on their own time schedule sun up to sun down. Oops there's another way of marking time.

My point is this...
Recovery will or won't happen when it wants to. Worrying about what you don't recover doesn't help you recover. I used to be concerned by the passage of time, now I'm not. I guess that happens when you get to be my age and have my faith or point of view. What will happen; will happen or it won't. How long does it take to get from point A to point B is irrelevant. How long it takes is entirely a personal journey.

No, I'm not saying each stroke is different in recovery, but their are certain truths that may or may not apply to recovery. Does it sound like I'm writing in circles? It sure feels that way. It takes two years for damaged nerve cells to regenerate. That's a fact. The brain has the capacity to relearn learned behavior. That also is a fact.

But if strength of will and never ending therapy exercises is the way to recover, I should have recovered everything I lost with my first stroke and my second by now. Because there are very few dyed in the wool, more stubborn, or tenacious stroke survivors out there than I am in my quest to recover. I mean four plus hours a day, seven days a week for two years. There are just no guarantees or program that works for everyone. I honestly wished there was.


So as a stroke survivor or a person in general who focuses on time passing, my advice is this...
  • Stop!
  • Carpe Quo! Seize the moment!
  • Don't compare yourself with others.
  • Nobody knows "when or if" it will happen. Because regardless of what you think. It's not your decision it's God's and/or you.
  • Be happy the way you are because you could be in a worse situation.
  • Go out and enjoy this life you've been given because otherwise you are wasting time!
Nothing is impossible with determination.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ ARGH! Despair and Agony on Me!

Not really! I just wanted to say the title yo see what it felt like. I've honestly never felt this way totally. So many stroke survivors live daily this way day in and day out. My question is why? Life sent you a curve ball and you have a decision to make...whether to swing and possibly hit it out of the park or take to strike.

I've never been one to take a strike. I root for the underdog and go for hitting the ball out of the park. I may miss but I at least try. That's how I feel about my stroke. It's a curve ball. I had dreams and aspirations before my stroke, and now it's just a matter of getting back to it.

Every so often I play a "Gotcha Day." It's been a long time since I've done one. It's a fun thing to do...telling a tidbit of information and see how it embellishes itself in the retelling. In other words...feeding the rumor mill.

I announced I was building a tiny house and homestead. Well, not so recently it was three years ago. But recently, I've evaluated the story from various sites and family to see where it led.

Comments among relatives...
  • She's lost her mind since the stroke and her impeding death of her husband.
  • How can she manage by herself? I mean look at her.
  • I admire her courage but it's insane!
  • Don't worry. It's just a fantasy and it will never happen.
On the web...
  • The great homesteading experiment. 
  • Grassroots and seat of your pants back to basics.
  • My 20-acre homestead adventure has now grown to 1,000 plus.
  • I now have cows and horses.
  • I've failed at the attempt and have given up.
The truth...
Yes, my stroke and a major financial crunch has made me rethink my plans of homesteading. I've sold my 20 acres or at least it's on the market. I'm still playing it smart urban homesteading instead. The curve ball has had a definite influence. For one thing, the big move has been delayed in part because of my stroke and my husband's rapidly failing health.

I'm rethinking the scale of my property. I'm downsizing it by half and looking for five to ten acres of land. I still want the pond and/or creek.  Two daughters will not be joining me on the homestead. They have built or are in the process of building their own. I've played at gardening for two years post stroke and can do it. I'm also researching an aquaponics system.

I've been raising my chickens for years now so I know I can do it. I'll need to build a bigger house for the new ones. My four girls have steadily producing less eggs now that they've reached the five year mark so they are destined for the next stage of their life...food for me.

I have a plan to build another pallet and hoop house for them which will give a lot more room to the new chickens. I'm going for twenty next round for eggs, meat, and fun.

Based on this design
I have a two-year plan for raising and breeding Angora rabbits. With plans on purchasing a breeding trio (1 males and two females) this winter. I've converted a double closet into a rabbitry to house them. This should house four-six rabbit easily giving each ample room. Yes I still have Buddy too. He's not going anywhere.

Speaking of Buddy...I had to remove Bella (my female Guinea Pig) out of the big cage. He developed nasty habit of plopping down on top of her. Her irritated squeals and actually biting him made it a necessity. His ten pounds versus her two and a half pounds. They still chat when he jumps up to his second level and when they are in the outside tractor. Although like most couples she does all the talking and he stoically listens not saying anything. :)

I've plucked over two pounds of fiber from Buddy. I now take him to Pet Supplies Plus and the manager cuts his nails for me since I have no kids around me now. No recent pictures because he's molting. Angoras do this yearly. He looks like a hot mess. But, he's a happy, loving mess. It's a bit creepy to see him without fur. Rabbits have very thin skin so the veins show, but I can do a thorough skin exam on him.

The plan is for pure bred, blue-eyed, white, French Angoras. That's not to mean that Buddy can't have his turn at breeding either. But alas, these hybrids will be raised for the next stage of life, my freezer. Yes, I'm practical about this and I have a plan. I'll breed for food, wool, or sale. That means every four-six months or so I'll have babies. I did something similar with my meat rabbits who are now in their next life. I bred on demand. When I needed meat, I bred them.

The plans is for an eight-ten hole rabbitry and no bigger. But I'm starting small with four. I'm taking baby steps towards my pre-stroke dreams. I tried my hand at butchering rabbits. It wasn't pretty doing it one handed and it took forever! But I tried it and did it. At least with one rabbit this winter. My grandson did the other two. But I imagine it will get easier with practice. I haven't tried butchering chickens yet but their time is coming just as soon as the need-to-be-purchased chicken come and age up a bit.

I decided on this new design
Someone asked me why a tiny house. While the idea of living in less than 200 square feet seemed daunting for two or more people, I'll soon be alone. It seems logical to me. Less space + less stuff= less clean up. I mean really how much stuff do you really need? The fact that it's tiny means the possibility of less falls. I mean there's always something close to grab onto.

Besides most of my time will be spent outdoors anyhow. I do plan on building a barn to house my rabbitry, chickens and goats.
Yes, goats. My independent living plan includes Pygora goats. Goats are terrific for clearing underbrush. They'll mow your grass. They'll provide wool. They'll provide milk. They'll provide meat. Makes sense to me. Sounds like a win-win situation.

Why I decided on Pygora goats? They are small about the size of one of my German Shepherds. At 75-95 pounds, they are manageable versus their counterparts at over 150 pounds and the size of a Great Dane. I can call someone for hoof care and shearing once a year or get a grandchild to do it. I can almost guarantee that once I have semi mastered rabbit and chicken butchering, doing something bigger won't be a problem.

So that's the truth. My stroke may have delayed the enviable, but it hasn't stopped me. It's the curve balls in life that make the journey more interesting. Yes, we can honestly live more easily without them, but that would be so-o-o boring. Baby stepping may be the safest way to go about a goal, but to me, it's better than cliff digging. Life is all about the learning process. Getting there is half the fun and once you get where you are going, the stuff of memories.

So what are you going to do with your curve balls?

Nothing is impossible with determination.

Monday, July 28, 2014

So How Was Last Week for Y'all?

As promised I'm going to tell you how my week was last week. From the pic I think you can guess. Now as I face another Monday, I'm wondering if my sanity is intact and I pray this week isn't more of the same. It was insane like the movie, Spaceballs. Just to let you know, I watched this movie again and it was close though not as funny.

I had a sitter come in for my hubby while I went to therapy. No biggie there. We've got it down to an abby normal in routine. Our regular aide was on vacation which meant a new person was coming in for my hubby's bath. Raising my eyes heavenward, my hubby does not like or trust new people. Of the three CNAs that my hubby does approve of and even likes: one was on vacation; one was sick; and the other was working two counties over.

I try to prepare him with "this is the aide that Chrissy thought you would like when you first came on service." He wasn't having it. It was a stranger to him. I can see his paranoia creeping back into his eyes.

"She's older almost as old as Chrissy," I hedged. "She's been with hospice for a few years."

The look got worse as he waited for this aide to come. He grumbled about showing his bare backside to half the county. I reminded him this county's population was close to 100K people and that he barely has ever seen a quarter of them in his 20 years of living here. He snorted and responded that it felt that way. I gave him an extra Ativan and prayed that this woman was as good as I heard she was. I had only met her once. She was the matron of honor at a wedding I officiated at two years prior. We go back and forth with him threatening to call hospice and canceling service for three hours!

She arrived and he liked her. He thought her very professional, experienced, and funny. Not too bad now that I think about it. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing.

 By Tuesday, I was able to leave them alone for his shampoo and shave. I was hoping to get the shopping done, but he wasn't THAT comfortable with her.

I had therapy again. As I said, the spasticity is coming back but wanted to get some good stretching in. I also had to be fasting for a blood test. I figured I could get it done before rehab but I slept in. I just made my therapy appointment. I walk into the lab to have my blood drawn and confirmed I had been fasting since midnight even though it was almost lunch time. She punctured the vein twice and set about digging for it. Bruising had already started. I stopped her from digging and pointed out another vein. Yes, it was tiny. Yes, it wasn't straight. But I looked her in the eyes for a moment and said just listen to me. I talked her through it. It wasn't necessary to thread the butterfly all the way into the vein. Just get the flash and start the tubes. I guess she'd never had a patient tell her how to draw blood before. At first she was irritated but after she had drawn the three tubes, she thanked me.

I rushed home to relieve the sitter. The heavens opened up with a thunder/lightning show quickly followed by rain. I hear this crash of a tree limb hitting our roof just as the power goes out. I counted to ten and waited for the solar batteries to switch on. Nothing. I grab the battery powered lantern and go to my husband. Switched him to the portable oxygen. Shut off his condenser and bed which were making enough racket to raise the dead. About then his cardiac monitor decided to kick in on the noise.

My hubby gave me a strangled look and pointed to his tank...empty and he's gasping. I grab the last full tank of oxygen and switch out the regulator. I asked him if he was okay and he gave me a waving thumbs up and down. He takes a couple deep breaths of oxygen and says pain. I pick up his morphine and measure up one 30 mg liquid dose. I put it under his tongue. He lets it sit there a while before he swallows to allow it to get into his system faster. Thank God I don't have to do syringes any more.

Then  the solar backup kicks in, the lights come on while I'm dialing the power company to report the outage. By now, the storm passes us by. Not too bad for my Abby normal life. Another frenzied fit but soon over. Boy, hindsight is great.

The social worker calls and tells me there is no more money in the fund unless something catastrophic happens like the car needing major repairs. No biggie. An extra hundred dollars would have come in handy but everything is paid for once except for the lab company and a couple of doctors this month. I'm only running a month behind, but not overdue for a couple of weeks. She'd check back in with us next week.

My daughter, Chrissy, came over to do a job search. Yes, she's still employed with hospice but needs a change. Four years working under this kind of stress is hurting her and causing her arthritis to flare more. She helps me gather the trash and puts the cans out at the road for me. My hubby mentions that I need a girly day break. She agrees. She is off on Thursday.

Cardiology appointment for me. It was just a quick follow up to make sure I'm okay from my congestive heart failure episode. I say quick, but a half an hour wait to be called to the back, vitals taken, another 45 minutes until I see the doctor, the lecture, and no solutions on how to lighten my stress load or kick back and stop stressing my sick heart so much. She wants to see me back in two weeks. I ran into the convenience store to grab essentials because I still haven't made it to the grocery store yet.

I came home to find my daughter had left because one of her boys got hurt and my husband was alone. I fixed him a late lunch. He wasn't hungry but he's lost four more pounds. I'm trying to force feed him every chance I get.Where he lost it from I don't know. He's already skin and bone. He would make a severe anorexic look fat.

He told me that my stepmother stopped by because she couldn't get an answer on either phone. With a tell Jo Ann to call, she left in a huff. Immediately, I rushed to call her thinking something had happened to my dad. I was relieved to learn that my uncle was in town for the day. I had not seen him in ten years.

I had decided earlier that I would go to my fiber art meeting that night because I needed a non death and dying conversation. But this changed quickly when I got invited to dinner. I agreed to meet up with them at the restaurant at 7. Well you know what they say about best laid plans. There were three voicemails on my phone by the time I got home. I can't drive and answer the phone at the same time.
Call  #1 from the hospice re-certification nurse. I call her back and set up the appointment for Friday.
Call #2 was from my youngest daughter in AZ I called her back and it was just my 2 year old grandson wanting to talk to me. He loves me and misses me. Would I come and spank his mommie cause she's being bad?
Call #3 was from my natural sister. She read me the riot act for not keeping in better contact and checking on our father. After I talked to her a bit about what has been going on she understood why. She apologized. But that led to further conversation about family matters. An hour's worth.

I look at the clock and its after seven. I called my uncle. They had waited but had ordered
already. I pass a State Patrol car on the side of the road as I'm driving to the restaurant. No, I wasn't speeding. Yes, I was driving with one hand. No, I wasn't wearing a seat belt because I have a medical exemption properly filed with the DMV. He pulls out behind me and as I turn into the restaurant there are blue lights flashing behind me. I pull out my license, insurance card, a copy of the seat belt exemption, my carry-concealed gun permit, and tag receipt knowing he will want all of it. I can see my father, my uncle, his son, and my stepmother looking at me through the restaurant window.

I had a tail light out. I got a verbal warning. My relatives had completed their dinner before I got inside so I just chatted with them. No breakfast, no lunch, dinner after 8:30 PM and I was ready for bed but couldn't go to bed until my last med pass at 11 PM so I dozed off and on in my rocker beside his bed.

Bright and not so early Thursday morning (9AM) my daughter calls me. She was at the Toyota place getting her oil changed and knew I was due for one too. It's my half day off to do girly stuff and not have to be the caregiver. I'm exhausted but excited! It has been months! My other daughter was in from Savannah so it was just Chrissy and me.

I took my Sienna in for its routine oil change and car wash. While the work was being done on my car we'd romp in hers. I might mention at this point that her car sits low to the ground and getting in and out of it is a royal pain. The first order of business was hit the ATT store and add a line to my cell phone so my hubby will stop confiscating mine. Yeah, I know he's deaf but somehow he can heard most of a conversation through the speaker of my phone. Go figure. Since I disconnected our land line to save money the cell is our only life line.

I lose about 200 minutes a month because they expire and can't rollover anymore. So why not get him a phone on my plan? It would be cheaper than a pay by the month phone. I ran into a major snag after 30 minutes waiting to be served. The phone is in my husband's name. He has to be present to add a line. We leave in a huff. Can you say frustration level high?

On to some girly stuff. We decided to get our hair cut. The last time the stylist talked me into a bob which I hated. Too much fru-fru time to get it to look decent and it was hot. I wanted my Sharon Stone tossled pixie cut back. Even when I don't have time to brush it, it still looks good. Granted, I'll never be as gorgeous as her, but the style works in my life now. It definitely looks like my lifestyle now...all frazzled.

My daughter even got her hair cut. In spite of her husband's dire warning about not doing so. He might like her with longer hair but he doesn't have to care for it or wear it. Besides, it's hair. It will grow back. She did compromise though. She only cut it off just below her shoulders. She said she didn't have a death wish.

We got back to the Toyota place just as my car came out of the wash. How's that for timing? These were freebies for life and I really enjoy it. Then came the bad news...$1495 of repairs were needed on my vehicle! Would I like to schedule it now? Not no, but HECK NO!

A moment of panic set in as I looked at the list. There was the usual fluff stuff like alignment, tire rotation, air filter, wiper blades and spark plugs but a couple of things jumped out at me like oil pan leak, valve cover seal leaking, and timing belt. The last three were major repairs that had to be done or I wouldn't have an engine to go. How was I going to pay for all this? I remember the call from the social worker as a self fulfilling prophecy thing.

I calmed down and drove home to give my hubby the bad news. I called my usual mechanic and friend. I was still on the verge of a full fledged panic. He had replaced the timing chain two years ago but he'd check it. He asked how many quarts low since my last oil change three months ago and I told him none. How's it running was his next question. I told him fine -no skips, backfires, wasn't running rough at all. He said rest your stressed brow your car is fine. Could I bring it in by his shop in the morning? Yeah, I could do that.

I did finally make it to the grocery store for a relaxing shopping expedition. I bought gas on the way home and paid $16.00 for 17 gallons. Thank you Winn Dixie fuel perks!

My last OT session until after my Botox on the 14th of next month. Needless to say it was dismal. I can no longer straighten my elbow or wrist. But the fingers did try to straighten. My pectoral major and minor won't budge. My bicep is screaming at me.  My OT doesn't need to tell me it's our last session until the Botox, but we both know.

My heart is acting up with my heart rate at a constant 112 while laying down. 130 when walking. I'm wheezing. The swelling is back full force in my semi paralyzed leg to the point where it's bulging out the openings around the straps. I don't need the doctor to tell me the congestive heart failure is back in full force.

I pay a trip to my cardiologist two buildings over from rehab. An hour later after a bag of IV fluids and Lasix, and thankfully a catheter. I dumped 2000 CC of urine. My heartbeat stabilized, my breathing eased, and I felt human again. With a stern warning under threat of hospitalization, the cardiologist said go home, get in bed with feet elevated for the weekend. If I get like that again, go immediately to the ER. She knows I'll do it to the best of my ability. I have a lift recliner I can sleep and relax in the living room for less steps.

But I did bend the law a little bit. I took my car to my mechanic's shop. Well, it was on my way home. He checked everything they found. The timing belt is fine. He blew out the air filter, the leaking valve cover and oil pan is minimal and nothing drastic. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. His cost for all of this peace of mind he gave me $0.00. He said my smile was enough.

I went home relieved on multiple levels. I got in the lift chair and mostly stayed there all weekend...that is after the re-certification nurse left and hubby was fed leftover beef stew and rice courtesy of my stepmother. We dined on the fine throw away type of china and utensils for all meals. Even had pizza delivered. One large pizza feeds us for four meals.

I was a good girl. The swelling is totally gone and so is another 10 lbs. I go back on Tuesday to confirm it, but I'm on the mends. Heck with washing dishes. All our meals may be served on our fine china from here on out. Nah, not really.

How was last week for you?
And the Murphey Saga continues...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Odds,Ends, and Thanks!

Thank you for all the good wishes and concern about my hand and my fall. Y'all make it the best of a bad situation. I do appreciate you. My left hand is better. See all you naysayers out there it wasn't broken. You know who you are.

I call this blog the Murphey Saga because nobody would believe what life throws at us on a daily basis unless I write about it. My tagline remains the same although I'm not writing (book or article wise) right now. Because my stroke and my life IS getting in the way of my love of writing and storytelling.

I thought I would explain this to the fifty odd new followers and readers (maybe more) of this blog that didn't know. The title came about in the Compuserve Writers Forum too many years ago. It was in answer to a response I got to a post. I don't remember what it was about now.

I answered, "The Murphey Sa-a-aga-a. The ongoing story of a family in a small town in Georgia. Where the Luck of the Irish and Murphy's Law collide in writing. A soap opera so unbelievable that if it was truly on-air you would not watch it because it had to be fake."
There you have it. That's the reason behind my title of this blog. Any questions?

Notables-
  • I reached 100,000 hits on my blog this week. That figure boggles my mind. Maybe if I had written 1,000 blogs it would be feasible, but 100,000!
  • The second thing is I've written just over 500 blog posts. That has to be a record of some kind for me. I didn't think I had that much in general to write about my life. But there is so much going on, I can't help myself.
Thanks to the Stroke Tribe.( Amy, Dean, Barb, Rebecca, John to name a few) No matter what. They've got my back. Through them I gain
valuable information so I at least sound more creditable. When I talk to professionals about what works and what doesn't, new innovated techniques, and their support has been invaluable during this recovery period since my strokes.

My cheerleaders along this journey from the Compuserve Books and Authors Forum (Zan Marie, Sara, Lara to name a few). We tag-a-long after each other like long time pals though we have never met in person. Thanks! You brighten my days.

Without all of you I couldn't have reached these numbers. Aw shucks! Y'all have got me bawling now just thinking of y'all. OR, maybe it's just my PBA kicking in again. Got ya!

Well, rehab has stopped for the time being while I wait for my next series of Botox injections. Spasticity has raised its ugly, fat head once again.

But something is different this time around. The spasticity doesn't seem as bad. Yes, I'm hampered from moving as much as I did when the Botox first started working. But I am still able to move instead of being drawn up. I'm happy to say the Botox has worn off totally in my leg. The ankle was so unsteady that walking was down right a dicey proposition at times. And no, it didn't stop another pressure sore from coming up.

Speaking of pressure sores, I'm not so sure that's what I have going on with my foot. A large blister will form under the callus on my foot where the AFO rubs. Sort of like you get when you wear tight shoes. When the blister pops it takes the callus with it leaving an open wound. This wound gets bigger and deeper with each occurrence. In that way it's like a pressure sore. It is also from pressure of walking while wearing my AFO. Still fighting the insurance company for a new one.

Yes it takes ointments and wet/dry dressings to heal like a pressure sore. It takes a doctor or me to cut away the dead tissue with a scalpel at the edges to heal.  But is it really a pressure sore...I dunno. I take the same attitude with it as dealing with Southeastern Legless Lizards...
  1. If it looks like a snake
  2. If it moves like a snake
  3. If it has a forked tongue like a snake
  4. Has dead, glassy eyes like a snake...
It is a snake! Quick kill it!
Therefore until I'm actually told otherwise...these are reoccurring pressure sores. I don't feel like taking the same advice about this lizard though. As long as it stays away from me...it can live.

Probably sometime next week I'll tell you how the week went. Once again, it's the continuing s-a-ag-a of the Murphey household.

Nothing is impossible with determination.