A lot has gone on in the past month, and the post I wrote about my involvement with the stroke association was really popular, so I thought I'd do a bit of a stroke related post to update anyone who wants to know on life right now.
October 25th marked three months since the stroke. If someone had said to me when I was in hospital that three months down the line, I would have progressed like I have I'd have said 'no way'. I was pretty positive in the hospital, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, I just had no idea how long the tunnel was. I guess that's the thing about stroke, it's just so unpredictable, you can't put a timespan on recovery.
But this month has marked quite a few milestones in my recovery.....
1) I'M DRIVING AGAIN! I can't even begin to explain how much I've been waiting for this time to come. I remember telling people in hospital how much I would miss driving, and I've always felt so dependent on my friends and family since I came home to take me places. I didn't realise how much I used my car until I couldn't anymore. It's taking me a while to get my confidence back but I know I'll get there.
2) My Occupational Therapist has stopped visiting me at home. She helped me learn how to do everyday house things, like making a cup of coffee, and opening the milk, and taking things out of cupboards. Not being able to do these things was initially very frustrating, and even though I learnt to adapt, it was thanks to my OT that I got back into doing things the way I always would.
3) I skipped with my Physios. I think that doing this helps improve my balance and my speed at walking. I can't remember the last time I skipped so skipping down the hospital corridors was a pretty funny occasion.... Hopefully, I'll be seeing my phyios less and less now - they're absolutely lovely, but the last physio session will mark a big milestone in my recovery!
Stroke survivors I've spoke to and people who work with them have always said that the small little achievements are the most satisfying. I never really appreciated this until this past month. In hospital I was very keen on looking at the big achievements...walking, driving...etc. But this month I have achieved something that I had never appreciated before.....I have painted my nails! Woop woop! My co-ordination and grip have improved enough for me to be able to hold the nail varnish, and then put it on my nails without it going all over my hand! (In fact I think they're neater now than they were before!)
Now to some other news....When I first had the stroke the hospital took about twenty-five blood samples and a couple came back with some results that they wanted to explore further. I went to a hospital appointment a few days ago they told me I have a property in my blood that means it's prone to blood clotting - hence the stroke. At the moment, I'm undergoing more tests so just waiting for the results of those. The specialist I saw apologised for giving bad news about the condition I could potentially have but I've been waiting for news about the cause of the stroke for so long, I didn't mind that it was bad news....it was news! I've been desperate for news!
I've also been back to the Stroke Clinic and they gave me an appointment for January - longer than the usual six weeks I'd been expecting so they were definitely pleased with the progress. They did the tests they had done in hospital and my strength had improved in my left leg to be almost equal with that of my right! Woohoo! There was still weakness in my arm and hand, and I didn't do as well as I'd hoped when they tested my co-ordination but it was much improved!
So I think that's all for now. I say all but actually reading back it's actually been a very busy month! I've got so much on the horizon related to my recovery and so much I know I can achieve given time.
Thanks for reading. If you're reading and you are a young stroke survivor, or just a stroke survivor, I'd love to hear from you and about you're experiences so feel free to comment!