Category Archives: rehabilitation

rehabilitation spasticity

I will be honest: my left hand is in a pretty bad shape

Published by:

My left hand has been neglected these days.

I was a guest of a 3 days wedding and the whole trip took me 5 full days. You can imagine that I wasn’t exactly an example of regularity. Yes, I was exercising a bit, but without any tools (for example my beans).

To be honest, I also lost control on my spasticity. My hand is mainly very stiff and my fingers are pathologically straight.

I  am surprised how bad my hand works on a keyboard. Writing suddenly got waaaay more tiring than a few weeks ago.

My plan is simple. I’ve created new ‚minimal’ plan and I gong to stick to it like crazy.

I will admit: the state of my hand is a failure for me. A huge failure. That’s why I’m expecting improvement over next few weeks.

 

 

my stroke rehabilitation spasticity Uncategorized

Finally! Website about spasticity is here!

Published by:

With slight delay I may present you website with complex knowledge about spasticity:

http://lifewithspasticity.com

Right now only in English, but the website is going to be translated to other languages (including Polish, that’s great news for my Polish readers;) The morethe better i guess. I think the site will be available for more than English speakers:)

THE WEBSITE HAD IT’S LAUNCH, BUT WILL BE UPDATED.

For example next questions are waiting to be answered. You may remember that we (me and you, my readers) submitted some questions too.

To tell the truth I’m certain that the website will do many good things researches show people know about spasticity less than they should. Often they don’t even know what they are suffering from. This website is a first place online (I’m certain for like 99,99999999%) that collected important all basic and lot of non-basic data about spasticity. Actually it helped also me, and even before i wouldn’t call myself ignorant in this matter.

As some of you remember, I was Polish member of a board that had a pleasure to consult this spasticity website. Now it’s not only pleasure, now I’m really proud.

I’m somehow convinced that many (not only strokies!) will benefit from this project. This site arms us with weapon necessary to fight this condition:) And I’m not (sadly;ppp) paid to tell this, I really mean it:)

my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

What happens to your brain when you exercise?

Published by:

This is truely comforting. It’s so important to get to know out brain and impact of exercises.

For these of you who can’t watch the video, i will just give a short resume.

This lady speaks about three great things:

  1. Exercising makes you happier. During working out grows level of for neurotransmiters  (or neurohormons) which are responsible for your mood. You generaly get happier:)
  2. Your attention and concentration improves! Well, many researches prove that.
  3. exercising stimulates producing new cells in hipocamp. Hipocamp is very, very important, as stimulating it is improving our long term memory.

So. Three things so useful for stroke survivors. I believe all of  these:)  If we want to be happy, feel better and focus better, and have better memory,  invite someone for a long walk. Well, tommorow I’m gonna start the day with my x-trainer;)

my stroke rehabilitation stroke survivors

Gallery of faces: Day by day…

Published by:

coffeeat the last stroke unit I met amazing guy.

Mr. Marek was one of these who  didn’t  keep their balance after a brain stroke, not speaking about   walking. We were seeing each other at mr. Krzytof’s physiotherapy daily. I was a witness of his successes which – i must admit – were spectacular.

We spoke a bit  during our rehabilitation. When I was telling him  that it’s worth to read aloud for yourself to practice speaking, he was saying that he is speaking to him self a lot. He had many plans before the stroke, including redecorating the kitchen. He had to discuss these things as he didn’t know whether   he has to do adjustments for disabled.

When, after stroke ward, but on a rehabilirtation unit he stopped talking to himself. He had many men around to practice speaking. Logical.

But I saw him ferom his first days in a hospital and I was like a fan of him. I watched closely and I saw man who is not complaining and day by day is getting better. I told him that. He was giving me the best smile ever.

And he left hospital just few days before me. I didn’t ask him about it, but somehow I think that adjustments for disabled will not be needed.

PS

This text doesnt show what a lovely person he was:)

 

loosing weight project my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

It’s mine! Why this one?

Published by:

I was skeptical towards putting large, unnecessary exercise machine  at home. Elliptical trainer seemed to be unnecessary whim which  a) clutters half of the house, b) is easy to substitute with running, walking and such things. Even motivation from getting back part of the cost from National Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Fund (PFRON) wasn’t enough for me.

And then I was forced to use it on one of my rehabilitations and actually fell in love. It took 10 minutes of coordinating my hands and legs, or left side and right side (it wasn’t;t easy, I must say)> Silent, not too big, machine, I was waking on it with the speed higher than my running average speed, during just 10 minutes I was sweating more than during the 1 hour march. And for the first time from ages I actually felt muscle sores (which I really enjoy having).

In the end me and my parents found the machine that suited both our needs and funds. it was shipped to us and my mom put it together during one afternoon, I stood on it and…

elliptical-trainer, cross-trainer
I felt differently, the cross-trainer felt differently:( Coor dinating part went just well, only about 5 minutes;) After that the hard part came,  though. After just one minute I felt that I’ve had enough. After 5 minutes I  took a water break. I thought, oh come on, I’s shame to quit before 10 minutes. So I walked slowly, and finally made it till 20 mins and I took shower. It was just tough. The next day I had two workouts, in the morning and in the afternoon. Snail pace, I would say, but I managed to extend workout time. And again I fell in love in my brand new machine. For past week I made only two days cross-training free, one to regenerate muscles, second was yesterday (cause Mondays are Zumba days) and I’m happy. I’m not saying it’s easy – actually it’s very hard for me – but somehow I believe it’s effective.

Anyway, I’m talking about my beloved machine, but I failed to explain what is it. Let me fix this mistake.

An elliptical trainer or cross-trainer (also called an X-trainer) is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing,walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries. For this reason, people with some injuries can use an elliptical to stay fit, as the low impact affects them little. Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to high intensity based on the speed of the exercise and the resistance preference set by the user. (www.wikipedia.en)

Now that you know it, I will tell you what benefits I’m expecting for myself.

Rehabilitation of my left hand, because during training you use also hands. You are forced to bend your arm and also straighten it to some extend.
Improving my coordination. Do you know how normal walking looks like?


don’t mind polish talking. I just meant to show you this coordination issue here. You know, one of the features of proper walking is alternating your walking (I really don’t know proper English expression), which is simple thing, that you move forward your left arm and right leg at the same time, same thing with your right arm and left leg. Their are in pairs, I would say. For me it wasn’t so obvious after stroke. I couldn’t master the proper pattern. Sometimes I was even immobilizing upper parts of my body. But elliptical trainer enforces proper coordination. And that is pretty great.

3. Increasing my capacity and stamina. As I lack both of them, now it’s quite important. Believe me, I’m not talking about marathon running, I feel  problems while going to the nearest bus stop too. I feel problems on stairs and everywhere. That’s why I need to work on it in comfortable environment. My Machine is going to help me, at least I hope so.

4. Loosing weight. Or, in my case, stopping gaining weight:D

So far I still moan daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadd, either I’m more sick than before, or I have worse condiiiiiiiiitionnn. And my dad says it’s both. As you are more unhealthy you have worse condition. Ehhh, smartie pants!

I know that this kind of training is not for everybody, but I know also that there is simply no exercise suitable for everybody. I’m just really convinced that my machine is a good  choice for me.

loosing weight project my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

If you want laugh your head off, go for zumba class after stroke

Published by:

One psychologist told me once „go to zumba class or play instrument. It’s so useful for synchronising your cerebral  hemispheres”.

Finally I went for this Zumba thing. And once a week I’m synchronising myself.

What is this synchronising thing about? 

As we all know our cerebral hemispheres are responsible for different things (we call it leteralization) Right one is more creative and intuitive, left is more logical and analytic side, it is said. And it is said that our brains function best, we are the smartest, most creative and we fan focus best when our hemispheres are cooperating flawlessly.

even if it’s not an miracle medicine for my issues I think that trying to synchronising my brain can’t do any harm. That’s why I play piano every other day and…. I signed for zumba class 

That is the moment where you can fell from your chair from laughter. Because I feel like that:
mis

when I should feel like that:

balet

Zumba is kind of fitness dance. Energetic and fun. But. While my group goes three steps right, I manage only one and I don’t have time to move arms;p It’s so hilarious. Frequently I must stop and laugh at myself.:D But I hope that it will get better. Remember, practice makes a champion. Step by step. Poco a poco. Maybe finally I will use my hips one day, because so far I’m just one walking (dancing?) stiffness which can’t move two body parts at the same time:)

But I hope it will get better, both my grace and my brain and one day I will be able to work normally, full time. And I will be able to focus on something and dance like this man:

Of course classes are tough for me and for whole day I’m preparing to them by taking rest and obligatory nap just right before class. And after Zumba I don’t do anything, this coordination trening is in a way more demanding for my brain than for body. I rest, watch something and go to sleep. It’s all so tiring. Add the noise (some call it music;p), people and training and you will get the nightmare of every stroke survivor. But this pain brings me joy:)

And you know what? Me, mom and the friend are laughing and have un. We aren’t skinny type (rather opposite) and I’m proud. Of each and every of us. For me it’s because literally month ago I was learning to walk like a human being not a little penguin penguin and had to focus on balance very much. And now I try to dance! And I almost understand Spanish lyrics:))

PS

Of course that i would love zumba help me to loose weight, but i have very little faith that anything except doctor can help me…

my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

I don’t have power…

Published by:

pacynkaImagine that suddenly you loose power over your body. That you lie in the bed and want to scratch head and you can’t. Even though your hand doesn’t really hurt, you can’t move it more than few cm. As if someone drugged you.

Imagine that you drive your car talking to a friend sitting next to you and suddenly, in one second, your words become mumbling, and when you try to change the gear, it doesn’t feel like your hand, it’s more like log of wood hitting on something. Imagine that after falling down and you can’t get up because you have no power in your leg and hand.

If you think that you can imagine that, you’ve never been more mistaken in your life. My hemi-paresis (of left side) after brain stroke was (and still is) the most awkward I’ve ever experienced, you kind of can move your limbs, but not in a way you want. And they are so weak that you sometimes wish that you didn’t have the them at all.

So many stroke survivors struggle with hemi-paresis. It’s quite different from paralysis, but I guess equally frustrating. It’s a state of „in between”, you kind of can, but really can’t. Your brain can’t guide your hand or leg or only fingers.

When paresis hits you the lack of power over your body is just weird, you notice formerly unnoticeable things. Me myself I feel it as if a bunch of puppeteers sat in my body and pulled strings just to make my moves more difficult.

At some point it’s easy to give up and give all power to the puppeteers. To give up working out, your physiotherapy, but one must cut the strings by working out. I still have problems with my palm and I work out. Time passes and it’s still frustrating, but it’s not worth giving up.

my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

the most important tool of your physiotherapy

Published by:

krzesło

Why just after brain stroke you don’t work out 10 hours a day non-stop?

Why your physioterapist cares always is sure that you have a chair next to you?

Because rehabilitation is not a gym. It’s not trainihng for marathon. And your healt is the most important. Your physiotherapist know that you have to rest even if you don’t feel tired. Overtraining yourself can be damaging, and consequences might be worse than simple muscle pain.

My Mrs. Magda was always watching me closely when I was doing my workouts. I would always hear „and did you take a break? Too short!”.

I „overworked” myself few times. Once, when I had visitors in hospital and was doing my manual exercises with beans for more than two hours without any breaks. Then, for few days I had problems with using my hand „normally”. It was too tires. Opening it was a great challenge, and before I hadn’t had problems with it! I felt just weird.

Another time was also on manual exercises. I learn’t to knit after stroke and suddenly I told everyone that I would make them a scarf. Great! Was doing them days and nights. And it made my hand stiff, not to say a bit spastic… The damage was done. I’m sure it was not only due to knitting, but for sure also…. Remember,  when you work out, take breaks! Take rest, sit down, put your hand on a table. Don’t overwork, don’t listen to your dad saying „let’s do it 50 times more”.

Physiotherapists have a dreadful task of judging whether moaning patient should really take a break or is just lazy. Don’t be lazy, but don’t overwork yourself. The process of recovery takes time and effort, it’s not worth to spoil it with too much training.

P.S.

Even professional athletes can be overtrained. Really. Resting is important part of most of activities, not only in rehabilitation. Believe me(;

my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

Let’s think about your minimum

Published by:

lefthandEnding „institutionalized” rehabilitation in hospital is always the big test. Will I still workout for my better future? Will I continue with good piece advice of physiotherapists? For most of people I know enthusiasm ends within two weeks.

To tell the truth among tens of people I spoke to during my hospital times only one person admitted that she’s been actually exercising almost every day for last 20 years. This incredible lady has SM and she is moving with just one cane. I admire her so much for being so smart and dedicated to her health. For me she is a person to look up to.

Well I’m not that strong. I’m hardworking, BUT lazy (I know how it sounds, but believe me, it’s more than possible). And that’s why I made for myself something I call „my plan of minimum”. This is a rehabilitation plan which I have to do even if i feel like laziest person ever.

It’s like „must do”, even while being superbusy, superlazy, during the travel, I have to do it.

For now it goes like this:

manual exercises 15 minutes (you can do it everywhere)
one logical game
exercises of face
reading (preferably aloud, but silent reading of difficult text will also do)
language game or languge learning (it’s about improving my speaking skills and vocabulary)

Most of these you can do during other activities (if you can do two at the time). Doing such „plan of minimum” doesn’t let you feel as someone who just doesn’t care about himself.

For me this plan change every few months, and to tell the truth there were months during which I did only  this, I felt so bad that my minimum was maximum at the same time.

It’s easy to give up fighting for your health and once you stop for some time it’s very hard to go back to routine. If there is something like this it’s easier for me not to give up…