43 Life As Therapy

Today was yet more learning in the ever present quest to recover what I lost in the stroke. I’ve always had weak shoulders. They are able to come out of joint at a sneeze. Some of you will remember that I used to be able to pull my shoulder out of joint at will. In fact, back at Gull Lake in 1988, I did a “stupid human trick” one night in front of the campers where I took off my shirt and as I held my hands together, I put my arms right over my head and touched my butt without letting go of my hand hold.

This special skill of mine is now the very thing I find myself working against every day. It’s a problem when my muscles are weak and can’t keep everything where it needs to be in order to avoid damaging stuff. I wonder if I could extort something nice out of my older brother Terry who was convinced he was the initial cause of this issue? He has never forgotten grabbing me by the hands and swinging me around until my shoulders popped out and me screaming because he hurt me.

Other than the exercises to resolve this issue, my Occupational Therapist determined that as for my left side is concerned, I have regained about 85% of my gross motor skills and because I was completely unable to do any of the fine motor skills activities when I left the hospital as of October 4th, it was easy to assess that I have gained back just under 50% of that type of function. I’m still very clumsy with small things, but I’m really starting to pick up on getting things done. Part of why Occupational Therapy cut me loose today for a follow up in January is because life has become much better therapy than what they can do for me in the joint. So one less twice weekly appointment to go to. It was determined that I will still benefit from the regular input of my physiotherapists until I start seeing much more improvement in my shoulder strength. But as far as the strength training in the gym, they have let me come in and do my exercises on my own. I won’t look a free horse in the mouth. Off of tax dollars I’m able to walk in to my appointment at the hospital rehab unit and use a fully equipped gymnasium for free. And as of today, I just went in and started my workout without having to check in. My coach comes and checks in with me every once in a while and offers pointers and reminders from time to time. Most of what he tells me is stuff I remember him saying right up front; but since the model is for much older people who have stroked much worse, they assume I forget.

There are really cool programs that I could get involved in at various rec centers in the city. And I qualify for disabled discounts. But even with the discounts, the most accessible and convenient ones for me are the most expensive… of course! If I wanted to, I could ask my doctor for a handicapped tag for the car and park in the handicap stall when I’ve already worked the crap out of my leg and find it hard to walk. I may still do that, and use it only when I feel the need. All of you can be jealous of me at Christmas time when you have to search for an hour for a parking stall and I can hit up the one close to the door that’s open. Hehe.

The only way things could really be super sunny is if I had full time income to go with all of this. I still don’t know where I’m going to go with that, because my Mexican ways are very strong at this point, and I need my afternoon siesta. I don’t mind that at all, but I’m sure any employer would look at me sideways if I were asking for that right up front. I also have to factor in that I have good days, and then I have bad days. I can see how the cycle goes, and if I have some pretty heavy days with lots going on, I know it by the end of the day and need to shut down early. I’m sure the wind will start to blow soon. Or at least I hope! And then my little sail will pull this rudderless ship towards somewhere new.

In closing, I will issue this apology. First of all, a blog allows me to say quite a bit more than if this was simply a Facebook post. Secondly, the typing with 2 hands is also an excellent way to gain back my fine motor skills, so I just keep going. There, that’s my apology. I hope you’re okay with it.

Author: dharsch

Seeking pilgrm, Husband to a most true companion, father to 5, and user of opportunities.

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