After stroke massages

This is something I discovered for me that is most helpful in dealing with my stroke. My masseuse comes to my room twice a month and gives me a through rub down. Yes I pay for these personally, and they are worth every penny. I had never really thought about having a massage before. The benefits are awesome,

The first: having someone touch you,,.most people see someone in a crippled state and avoid them. thinking it may be catching! Before I had my stroke I was that way. Shame on me. After stroke my thinking was changed drastically.  

Second...working and stretching areas of my body I was unable to reach now. When you are not handicapped  you don’t think about these things. You just do them. I found this to be most irritating. I would get mad at myself…I know..I know..stupid eh. I was  used to “taking care of myself.” Now I had to look to others for help. I was a very independent person!

Thirdly...Attitude change…Before I decided that this would be good for me I thought long and hard about this.  It was’t covered by insurance…so I had to pay. Next I looked up on the internet what you got and where it could be done, and could I afford it? As I thought about all this, I kept thinking about my age. 60 years of giving to others, perhaps it was time to think of myself…so I saught the advice of a few friends and I agreed with them…now I have a massage twice a month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bits-n-pieces-August 2013

🙂 Cigars…yes I enjoy a good “puro” now and then. After my stroke I thought I was done for. Gradually I realized  “not so”, so I tried a smoke. It was hard to hold my cigar but I could do it with my left hand. I  am right handed. I even found that I could light it …WOW. Back in business! For us cigar guys it’s all about taste…So on with the hunt for that perfect cigar. At last I found the perfect one..

http://luismartinez.com/cigarshop/index.php?cPath=70&osCsid=6483309696ecc72dbad9b80c5f1e57a5

Good taste, good size [fit my mouth opening after stroke] and very satisfieing.

 Spoons, forks, -plastic…I discovered that regular utensils were too heavy for me to use.  It was very awkward. So I pressed on, forcing my right hand to work in spite of itself. My daughter introduced me using plastic ones all the time. She, as my caregiver, preferred not to add any more stuff to the clean up routine than necessary. By forcing my right  hand to do tasks again it allowed for new neurological pathways to be built by my brain. I am now using my right hand for many tasks that I thought were gone!

 Drinking water..I did not understand just how important it is to regularly drink some water. After my stroke I could see for myself, those around me in the rest home  were at different stages of problems. I began my own hydration therapy program. Things in my life are working better. Here’s a bit from Web MD about the importance of water.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

 

 

 

 

After stroke tips…my old telephone

When I was young our phone hung on the wall in the kitchen.  Yes I know..really! You see in those days the phone company provided everything we needed..the line from the pole, the connection  at the house, even one phone!  We had one that was mounted on the wall at standing height. When my mom would get a call from my aunt she would have me stand on a stool so I could talk to her and say hi. This was called a telephone. It kinda looked like a toaster [that big],other kinds ,you rented from the phone company..they were called french phones and sat on tables.

How did Alexander Graham Bell come up with the name ‘telephone’?
He used the Greek words, building on the word telegraph: 
“tele” – meaning distant (television is distant vision); and 
“phone” – “speech sound” (as in phonetics, or phonograph). 
So put it together – “telephone” – meaning speech and sound traveling distant.

As I look around me today [2013] and see almost everyone with a cel phone  and internet connection, and think back to the 1940’s I realize that we were happy with what we had then, as you are happy now with hand held computer phones. It’s a matter of accepting this season in life.

Since my stroke I’ve had to accept this time in my life. This is not easy to do. I am constantly dreaming I’m walking somewhere, and moving about normally as I used to do. Visiting mountains and sea shores in different countries. However, I am determined to live this part of life to the fullest…so don’t give up…there’s adventure ahead.

 

 

 

After stroke tips..Why am I writing this blog?

I had to ask myself..what’s the point of this whole thing..BLOG..? I felt that I should look up what a blog is.

 Wikipedia had a good definition;  A blog (a contraction of the words web log is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of ..information that  might be helpful to other stroke victims.

As I think about this,  a question comes to mind.  What is the point of this blog?  Wikipedia hit it on the head! Most of my life I’ve wanted to be helpful to others. 

I am a Christian, since 19 years old. I believe in God and seek to live as the bible tells me. I am human however, and do make mistakes. But I finally realized God really does love me personally and does forgive me of sin.  Like I said, I want to follow God’s teachings in the bible. 

This is not an easy thing to do. I have a choice…. take the narrow path of life,God’s way as I understand it, or the wide path as leaders tell us. As I think about it, I have chosen the narrow pathway, so the point of this blog is for me to share my feelings about being crippled, to let you into my thinking, my view of life now  and broadcasting it on the World Wide Web in the hope that somehow I can encourage you onto a deeper and more fulfilled life.

May God bless you,

Vic

After a stroke… Bits-n-pieces..July 2013

  • Hi gang! I’m going to use this title for odds-n-end items that wouldn’t be long enough for a good article but still have helped me in my quest for independence.
  • Mirrors..Since I couldn’t use a regular mirror now I decided to get a small mirror for my desk. On to Amazon.com for my shopping trip.  I found just  the right one…surprise! This mirror is just what I was looking for.
  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1KQ3O8/ref=oh_d
  • TOOTHBRUSH…I, mister cheap, used to always buy the cheapest things I could. No money, and lots of family members. Yes I did have jobs, just not higher paying ones. [that’ll be later] So serious dental care was not a part of my thinking. After my stroke there was only me to take care of….so at 70 I thought about upgrading things. Since I couldn’t use my hand after my stroke, I thought about an electric toothbrush. Far easier to use to brush my teeth. I finally settled on this one,  works great!
  • http://www.amazon.com/Spinbrush-Prowhitening-Battery-Powered-Toothbrush/dp/B000QS59ZM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3
  • MOUTHWASHES….I used to use Listerine but the taste got to me. So I changed to Scope. Nice and minty.  I was using this until my stroke came along. After awhile I found my mouth drying up. Very uncomfortable…so began my quest for a new mouthwash. I tried many kinds, until I found this one, which tasted good [for a mouthwash], and some healing properties included..good!
  • http://www.amazon.com/Biotene-Oral-Rinse-33-8-Ounce/dp/B002KAOAYA/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1375297115&sr=8-9&keywords=mouthw

After stroke tips-Coffee…yes or no

I  love a good cup of coffee. It all began when I  was a youngster. The late 1940’s it was….as a guy I looked up to my dad..he could do no wrong. He always had cup of coffee first thing in the morning. So I asked him if I could have some..he told me no, it wasn’t time yet. Well one day we were off to see Yosemite park just me-n-him and on the trip he musta decided I was ready for my first cup of coffee.

Well we stopped at a small diner just outside the park and he ordered coffee and a doughnut for both  of us. I was served my first cup of coffee! He put a little bit of sugar in and cream. MY FIRST CUP. I sipped, it was hot, and tasted horrible. However, I was determined to be a man..so I tried once more. Still horrible. Remember this was a 10 year old boy. So I,for now, gave up on my quest for coffee.

Coffee is an acquired taste, and by the time I was 18 it was the “speed me up choice” of the day. Now I was on the quest to find the perfect tasting coffee. Most coffee’s tasted like “dishwater” I tried many different coffees, Folgers, Maxwellhouse, on and on I went. Finally along came Starbucks which had a good taste. After my stroke I found Petes Coffee. Heavenly! Also when I went to my daughters to live independently, she, like me,appreciated a tasty cup of coffee.

Now I do have to say everyone is different on tastes. Also I have one cup in the morning only,,no more..keeps me up! Yes it was fun on the search, however The point of this article is: don’t give up on life because you  had a stroke! I was 72 when I finally found my coffee.

 

 

After a stroke..reading.. Kindle

I used to read a lot of magazines. I liked Forbes, Trains, history and mysteries the most. After my stroke I couldn’t move my right hand to turn pages, and couldn’t see out of my left eye too well. Well I thought I was done for..life was over for me. Just stuck in this bed, staring at the ceiling all day…[boring] 

The thought that stacks of books around me would be too much. I was never a big reader of books anyway because I had places to go, people to see, and things to do before stroke so I put that idea out of my mind. Then along comes Amazon.com with the Kindle reader program. My curiosity got the better of me …so I decided to check it out. This program let me go through their library of books and see what appealed to me. In true Amazon fashion I got to see what others thought about my pick, even read a bit of the story, and even save my selection  to order later. You can get hard cover books, or soft cover, or what I like most are E-books. The great thing about e-books is you can get them immediately via internet download. No waiting days for it to arrive.

Oh yea,you can also get “audio books”. Just like listening to the old radio shows. I like Amazon.com’s handling of my personal information and trust them, although they do bombard you with “things you may like”. Well it’s the 21st century..wha ya gonna do?

 

After a stroke..Vitamins??..umumum

I’ve been a vitamin taker for many years. Since the 1960’s when my wife got me started on ’em. She convinced me it was good health to start taking vitamin C. It wasn’t long til I was taking all kinds of vitamins. I became convinced that all the vitamins were being processed out of food. During  this time we got into health food too.  The kids weren’t real happy with that regimen!  Well we didn’t keep that up too long…not enough money.

But I did keep up the vitamins. What research I did convinced me more so that vitamins were good. I was on the look-out for better vits all the time. [Yes, sort of became a fanatic!] Now, back then there were no PC’s or Google to go look up things…so I read some books and asked around.

So along comes 2013. I’m going to “independent living” from a   convelsant  hospital  and my daughter ask’s me Why I’m taking so many vitamins? My reply was..”they are good for me”. My daughter  is not a vitamin person…never has been,never will be. So I began to pay attention to what she presented to me. [This was not easy for me to do…remember I was “convinced” that vits were good]. I cut off a few vitamins I was taking..she asked..”feel any different?”.. No…so I cut off more for about a month…soon I was taking none. I didn’t want to even think of the money I was saving.

The upshot of this whole thing is..I’m eating better, paying attention to  my body signs, and enjoying myself more. I’m including an article about omega-3 fish oil tablets for you to see for yourself  whether you should research this matter.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2359466/Taking-omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-increase-risk-aggressive-prostate-cancer-70.html

http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/Healthy-Living/Can-Too-Many-Supplements-Can-Cause-Harm.aspx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2376893/Multivitamin-studies-supplements-harm-good.html

Afterstroke tips…get familiar with a computer.

This tip really is dependent on how bad your stroke was. Getting on the internet will pay off big. It will be like “around the world in 80 days”, or “chitty chitty bang bang ‘ from your chair. It will be well worth the effort to arrange this set up.

For me this so  helped me not to be bored. If you need to perhaps your caregiver can help you. It will take some time to become acquainted with a PC. For most of us “ole timers”this is a new experience, but if you set your mind to it can be very worthwhile.

You can watch all kinds of movies [netflix.com.], Travel [nationalgeographic.com.], Food stuff [food.com], even look up your favorite hobbies. In fact there are sites you can call friends and family members with video to actually see how they are.

One of my favorite sites is amazon.com. for shopping for stuff. I’m a window shopper. Like to look around and think about what I want. Amazon.com is like walking into Cosco only better. You can find most anything you may want here, and once you are all set up with them..the sky’s the limit.For instance..”earphones”..so I could listen privately to music I enjoy without disturbing those around me. They had them from 6 or 8 dollars to hundreds of dollars..I went through the selections and found a nice pair of Sony headphones,read the reviews and made my choice. I ordered them, and they UPSed to my home in a few days. I didn’t have to go out,spend gas money,no hassles and “wallah”I got what I wanted.

You see..lifes not over, just different.

 

 

 

 

Stroke things-Heartburn

I don’t like heartburn. It’s very uncomfortable and burns your stomach.  I’ve had heartburn on and off for years. For some unknown reason I never tried to find out WHY. I’m a guy so I tend to think mostly in a linear [straight line ] fashion. If it aint broke don’t fix it. If it burns my stomach take TUMS. I know, I know  that is stupid thinking. My daughter [who is a global thinker] suggested I look it up and see what it is. Wiki links says this…

Citrus and coffee are just two of many triggers. Learn about the most common causes of heartburn. And note that the trigger for any given heartburn episode may be multifactorial—that is, attributable to multiple factors, such as the glass of OJ you drank while exercising and the big dinner you ate just before bedtime

 These are two of my favorites…ummm.. I guess I’ll just have to cut back a bit.  As  I  think about it I can still have some of these no-no items just in lessor amounts.  Once again it’s up to me to be responsible for what I eat and how much. Here’s where the Doc. comes in. I’ve spent most of my life avoiding them. [$ and bad attitude]Look where that got me!

In the convelsent hospital  they gave me a prescription ant-acid. It worked wonders..now no more problems. 

The other day, ignoring my own advice, heartburn returned. Sooo awful. Seems I had not been paying attention to what was going on  around me. Too much chocolate, coffee, citrus drinks etc. Oh yea, I let myself run out  of prescription antacid meds.

Seasons in life-after a stroke

I got  this in a e-mail the other day.It brought back so many memories that I had to share it with you.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to me the other day, that I should bring my own grocery bagsbecause plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The clerk responded, “
That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use ofbrown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs
, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery storeand didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.Kids got hand-me-down clothesfrom their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right;we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain 
when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razorinstead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to schoolor walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we older folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

After a stroke tips,Toilet use

 Stroke Tips, helpful products after a stroke and for the handicapped.

 

One of the things I discovered after my stroke was how hard it was for me to go to the bathroom both #1 and #2. Lying down and putting a urinal up beside me  was not going to cut it for me. I needed to stand up as was normal for me. Well what was normal wasn’t anymore. So I needed help..The convalescent home set me up a standing pole next to my bed, and added some bars at the  toilet area so I could scoot in there in my wheelchair and maneuver myself onto the toilet. [I fortunately have good upper body strength]. Now I just had to deal with the constipation issues caused by the stroke. I needed a nurse to wipe my butt. As you know this is a very private matter and very embarrassing. I got so angry at myself for not taking care of me.. I had no idea a stroke would be so bad.

The day finally came when I was able to move into independent living with my daughter. This move presented a whole new set of challenges. Well Toilet became number one on my list. My girl,clever as she is, found a bidet on the internet.[this is one of those French things that spray water onto your privates to clean up with.]  
Just one problem…toilet too low for me to stand up. [damn] Once again she comes through. Found a toilet  
height extender device and had installed by same guy who did bidet. (See below for image and where to buy this toilet extender or lift.)

We also got me a pole by my bed and I’m feeling more independent every day. The pole is not in the bathroom since it the main guest bathroom in the house, but I guess you  could use one in there too if you wanted too. 

The ad on this post is the one we bought, it is called Bio Bidet Supreme, and after much research we felt this was the best one. It has turned out to be the best for me, and I have been using it now for almost 2 years with no problems. The extender you need if you are a tall person, fits under the toilet.

After stroke tips…your mobility

My first wheelchair was the model T Ford of chairs. Very basic unit given to me to use by the convalescent home. I had no idea about  getting on under their care. I took what they offered me thankfully. I determined to do what theylaid out For me to do in therapy. My main form of mobility was my trusty wheelchair.  I learned to get around by pushing myself backwards with my left foot! [this foot was not quite as dead as my right one]

My daughter would pick me up twice a month and bring me to her home for some time away from my institutional environment. She began thinking out of the box for me. On one of these trips she told me we were going to see a fellow who had a power wheelchair for sale. Now I hadn’t even thought of this..a power wheelchair…a great idea. Well it turned out his dad had it and had passed on, so it was just sittin around. So I was able to try it out…we brought it home that very day. 

I found it most useful for getting around her house. A new independence for me. Now it turns out that I couldn’t use my new electric wheelchair at the convalescent hospital because no one else had one and most of the others were a brick short of a full load [if you catch my drift]  Rather than fight this I decided to cooperate and go along with their general feeling. I used my power chair at my daughters house and became well acquainted with it’s use.

So in closing let me say…be open to new things, life’s not over after a stroke.

After a Stroke tips…Dental health

In the past I’ve always got the cheapest toothbrush I could find. Not giving any thought to dental health. Well, several years ago that all changed. I was having tooth troubles and had to go to see a dentist. [the reason I had no regular dentist was lack of money and no concern for dental health.]  The dentist told me that my mouth was in bad shape. He would have  to pull out several teeth and fit me with a partial denture. 

[Oh no...false teeth] .  How much>>I asked…2 grand! I asked,can I pay on time..yes..Lets go ahead. And so for the next several months I was a regular visitor to my dentist. Now obliviously this is not the best approach..but a new experience for me.  Taking care of my mouth and teeth became a new priority for me.

I began brushing my teeth regularly and using mouthwash too! [better late than never]..I upgraded my toothbrush  and went from Listerine to Scope. Then I moved into assisted living with my oldest daughter. The key word here is “assisted”. No more waited on hand and foot. She is there when I need her, but encourages me to do all that I can on my own. I didn’t like Scope that much so onto Amazon to see what’s available. Found a mouthwash that tasted ok and was good for me called 

Biotene PBF Oral Rinse

Next I went to toothbrushes. Found an electric one that suited me well..[it’s hard for me to brush like I used to ]..this battery powered unit works great and is cheap too. 

Spinbrush Prowhitening Battery Powered Toothbrush

Now these changes took place over a long time, so I encourage you do not give up.

After A Stroke..Finding a good Shoe

As I sit in a wheelchair all day my feet swell up a bit.  Therefore it is very difficult to find a shoe that fits that  I like.

I started out with cheap tennis shoes.  They hurt  me, had no arch support, and didn’t look good to me.  The shoes other people in the convalescent home were wearing  made me feel old and crippled.  [ I am 73 and crippled-but in my mind I’m only 50].  Sooo  I checked out Amazon. Found a nice pair of tennis shoes and ordered. Well they arrived and looked great, however after having trouble tying my right shoe I realized that my foot was swelling more than  I thought. 

Back to square one…My next idea was stretch shoe laces. Amazon here I come. Found what I was looking for and ordered. When they arrived I got a nurse to help me put them on my shoes. My right foot would swell up during the day, so with the stretch laces I was fairly comfortable.

About a year ago I moved into assisted living with my daughter. She encouraged me to upgrade my shoes.  Now I’ve had to be Mr. cheep all my life due to the old saying “a day late and a dollar short”…so I had to think awhile on that. I finally agreed, as I’m not getting any younger, and I can’t take it with me, sooo back to Amazon

Hush Puppies brand came to mind as a good one so I went there.  I found a nice pair of slip on’s with a pull over tab and in a wide size and look good. I ordered and when they arrived they were exactly what I wanted. So finally got my shoe issue settled..I’m very happy with these shoes.

After Stroke Tips, forks and spoons and straws after stroke

After Stroke Tips

I discovered recently that because of my stroke I had a weak grip on my eating utensils.

using plastic fork or spoon is easier after a strokeAt first I was mad!  [I’m still having much trouble accepting  that I’m crippled or”handicapped”]. Regular utensils felt so heavy.   I eat with my right hand andit would fight me all the time. So as I thought about it ‘”plastic would be lighter.”…easier to grip and maneuver.  My daughter fixed me up with some , so now I sail right along.

Straws:  another change in my life. The stroke affected my mouth too..so no more swig’in down drinks. had to go to using straws. 

Even wine and beer.

As I became more familiar  with straws I found there were different sizes available. So I ordered from Amazon some large diameter straws.

These work fine for soups and such and don’t plug up.

Just a little more about my experience “coping with life after a stroke”

I will try to get more tip on coping with life after a stroke up, but it is hard for me to type and it 

takes me a long time to write one small article.

But come back and check me out for new tips on how to deal with life after a stroke soon!

 

Old folks are worth a lot!

elderly puppetsI’M RICH….

Silver in the Hair

Gold in the Teeth

Crystals in the Kidneys

Sugar in the Blood

Lead in the Ass

Iron in the Arteries

And …..

an inexhaustible supply of Natural Gas.

I never thought I’d accumulate such wealth.

Attitude of Gratitude

dad-hmbView From the Chair

As I was recently thinking about SJK…I decided that I would develop for myself an attitude of gratitude. Since I had a stoke in 2005 life has changed for me.  I was a very independent person….cut wood,fix things, and drive myself everywhere  Now I depend on others to help me. Since I ended up here at SJK I have become more appreciative of others. The nurses here help me so much. So I allowed myself an attitude change. This has been great for me. Each day is like an adventure. Starting my day with a smile is not too difficult after all.

55 years ago- Different things

this iss meee…

http://community.tasteofhome.com/forums/t/817715.aspx

Naomi Klein: Addicted to risk

this talk is the most clear headed talk I’ve heard on climate change.  I have listened to this three more times…and each time it gets better and better. Vic

www.ted.com/talks/naomi_klein_addicted_to_risk.html