I consider myself extremely lucky, that the stroke was not as severe as it could have been. When I first entered the hospital, I could not stand up without help, and I could not walk. This was terrifying for me...to think that I would never walk again, and would be confined to a wheelchair or a walker for the rest of my life.
But all that didn't happen. The date of this writing is June 25, 2012, and I was discharged from the hospital on June 19, 2012 and I'm doing fine as could be. I was given a walker to get around and I use it everyday to get around.
I'm extremely grateful that I can still walk, and even though it's with the aid of a walker, I have gained strength over the first week out of the hospital, and I'm getting my motoring skills back...slowly but surly.
Here at home, I've managed to use the walker with minimum use. For example, I use the walker when I first get up in the morning, which is a must for me to get around without falling. During the day, I do use the walker, but occasionally. I manage to walk by myself, as I hold onto everything in sight...the refrigerator; tables and chairs; breakfast bar; door frames and so forth to get around. During my hospital stay, I was in a wheelchair most of the time. I was not allowed to get out of bed for any reason without help.
Now, that I've been discharged from the hospital, I get around pretty good. Most of the day, I don't use the walker either. I'm now walking on my own, hanging on for dear life to walls; tables and chairs; and anything I can grab onto. It feels good to be walking on your own, and trying to get back to normal. The reader can read more about how the stroke came about in this piece I wrote while in the hospital;
CONGRATULATIONS; ON SURVIVING YOUR FIRST STROKE
The stroke could have been more severe, but I've always taken care of myself, and this is one reason why the stroke was less severe. I was able to defend myself with a strong body. Listed below, is the type of lifestyle I presently have;
- I quit smoking in 1970...never to touch tobacco products in over 40 years.
- I lost 40 pounds in 2001; never to re-gain the weight;
- I don't drink (alcohol)
- I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, but with diet change and other factors, my three latest A1C; 5.9; 5.9 and 6.1; So, I have the diabetes pretty much under control;
- For over 24 years, I have jogged 15 miles a week, which translates to over 17,000 miles.
- In 2012 continue to exercise by using a stationary bike, and giving my feet some rest at the age of 67.
I've given up eating 90% of red meat long ago. If I eat red meat, it has to be a lean variety.
- I cook in olive oil; and I drink a teaspoon of olive oil a day, for regularity.
- I take fish oil supplements (omega 3);
- I take cinnamon tablets and sprinkle over cereal and rolls to fight diabetes.
- I eat a sweet potato pie twice a week; consisting of peanut butter spread on two slices of bread; honey is then poured of the peanut butter and topped off with slices of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of the best foods in the world.
- I drink about a 64 oz. bottle of prune juce, which doesn't bother me...and I do this for regularity as well.
- I eat an avocado a week for chlorestrol.
- Smokers are out of my life; I don't want to be around the 2nd. hand smoke which is a danger to everyone.
- I have my own kit, and I take my blood pressure about twice a week.
- I get a physical exam every year, along with a flu shot;
- I have had a shingles shot; and a pneumonia shot in the last five years.
- I get a blood test every year, as a precaution.
The reader can see the things I do to stay healthy, and I still got nailed with a stroke. I stroke may have been worse, if I hadn;t done all these things. Because of this, I will not make any changes in my lifestyle.
Going outside is far different than walking around indoors, etc. I don't go outside with the aid of the walker, as there is nothing to hang onto, by going outside. I can walk without the walker...but not very far! One day, I was walking to the post office, which is only a block away, and I found myself in the gutter, as I toppled over. To motorists, I must have looked like a drunk in the gutter, but I wasn't hurt. My pride and ego was probably hurt, but that's about all. I was there laughing at myself in the gutter...what an episode!
I have gone long distances, with the aid of the walker, across town to give blood for a doctor's visit; buy a battery for my cell phone; and pick up some business cards that I ordered long berfore I was hospitalized. This meant riding the bus with my walker. Tricky to do, and with many obstacles outdoors...that's for sure.
With being in a wheel chair in the hospital for over a month, and now getting around with my walker, I realize now realize what the disabled people have to go through. It ain't easy! And, for anyone parking in a disabled parking space, should be ashamed of themselves!
As far as the swallowing is concerned, I have the problem, and I have to drink thickened liquids, such as water, juices, coffee, etc. This is to keep thing from going down 'the wrong pipe,' which could lead to all the choking and coughing and gasping for air. (possible getting matter into the lungs, etc.)
- At the hospital (rehab center) they have a wonderful gym filled with all kinds of exercise fixtures for the patients to use. Me and my therapist would practice on the curbs with the walker stepping up the curb and down. A few steps up and down without the walker. And, we would practice getting up from a fall. They have wooden puzzles there, to test your memory, etc.
- I have a slight numbness on the left side of my face, but I hope that doesn't turn into a problem down the road, etc.
- I have blurry vision with foggy eyes in the morning when I wake up. I hope and pray that it doesn't have an effect on my eyesight.
- Over the past month or so, I have not walked by meself. I have been in a wheelchair; a walker, or assisted by a nurse in the hospital. I get around the apartment without the walker, but I am still wobbly, and have to rely on holding onto things.
As far as the cognative/mental aspects of my healthcare, I wrote the above-listed article while in the hospital; and I wrote this piece a week after discharg from the hospital, so I hope there is nothing wrong with the mental part of my make-up. Only time will tell for sure!
Everything I do now, has to be SLOW! Slow walking; slow eating; Slow thinking...do it right! Think things out...before doing! After all, I don't want to find myself in the gutter again!
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