Category Archives: Uncategorized

loosing weight project my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

It’s mine! Why this one?

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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 Uncategorized

The hormone odyssey continues

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diet

In my first cortisol blood test everything  seems to be fine. Other basic hormones seem to be fine as well. I have clean thyroid, beautiful ovaries.

If I forgot about these stupid strokes, the landscape of my health would be pretty beautiful.

But. Someone told me that daily fluctuation of cortisol can be huge and it’s worth to take further tests. We will dig further, Ihave hospital scheduled for February (it’s not so long, but very long at the moment. I’m so eager to find out what’s wrong with me). So fa, Ihad only overnight dexamethasone suppression test. It works like that: you take a pill at certain time during night and the next day in the morning you are just going for blood test on an empty stomach. At certain time too;)

My endocrinologist said that it’s quite ‚unstable’ test so it’s better to do it in a good lab. She recommended me two labs in my city:)

Now we will be checking all feminine hormones. And everything else.

You know, the brain stroke is a one thing, but my weight makes me veery sad. It’s possible that I developed insulin resistance, of course. It leads to diabetes, true. And diabetes leads to stroke. And three strokes are too much for me.

Well, as I’m neither hormone expert, nor can I focus at the moment, I should shut up for now. I have strong impression that my readers have bigger knowledge on hormones than me. Of course I will keep you updated on this:)

 

 

loosing weight project my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

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

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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…

stroke survivors Uncategorized

at least not impossible

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raftingWe are having a coffe break and my new friend shows me a pic.

Few people in life vests and helmets are rafting in canoes, you know, such an impressive, extreme and impressive.

Nava (points to the pic): this is me, and this man behind is paralysed. And this is paralysed too.

Me (being in a state of mild shock): Extreme. So it’s possible.

Nava: Well, it’s not impossible.

Courtain. And that is a thing I’m going to remember.

 

in my opinion my stroke spasticity Uncategorized

Frankfurt – short, but long report

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As you might suspect, traveling after stroke is not easy. Actually  it’s pretty tough.

Day one

Airports are overwhelming like supermarket before Christmas. Even healthy people can get confused, for stroke survivor it’s just too much.

So many little things happened. For example i bought newest Harry Potter in German, not English. You know, ich spreche Deutch ein wenig, I speak German a bit, but by the way I would gladly sell it. Anyone? Gelegenheit! Great deal! Okazja! Promoción!.

hotelOr I was standing for few minutes in front of the sign saying „ausgang/exit” and I still had no idea how to get out from airport… Luckily my driver (yes!) was a patient person and took me to the hotel. Where i had room reserved, for a bad surname;p but it’s ok, I’m a hero and I sorted everything out and I could take show, see welcoming me Haribo gummy bears, get dressed,  buy coke zero, drink a coffee and go to dinner to meet everyone:)

I was regretting I had been after long trip and not in the best shape because of that. Really. And I hope that i didn’t behave like a complete churl or bighead, I’m afraid  that i might have.

The funniest point of the meeting was this general welcoming. Chit-chatand

[curtain]

Jelka: Hi, I’m Jelka from Slovenia.

Me: I know, we’ve already met.

Jelka: …:)

Me: In Warsaw, like a year ago.

Jelka: aaaah, I remember you now, and your presentation:)

Manuela: Haha, me too! And your presentation!

Alvaro: Well, you are  this bloger.

Me (pretty scared): eee, how do you know?

Alvaro:  I just know:)

Me (very scared I’m taking two steps back): I see that I’m pretty fameous now.

Alvaro: I think it’s ok:)

The dinner was very nice. I met few members-ambassadors a bit better and I have to admit that we all seemed tired.

We spoke about life, strokes, our experiences, prostitution in Germany. It was e

Extremely nice, but I must admit that I felt relieved when we could excuse ourselves and jump into the bed, without even cleaning  face.

I promise to give you insight into stroke-realted things we discussed, but I simply don’t want them to dissapear in the other things. Each issue-one article. Deal? 😉 But now I just have to announce my new goals. a) visit water bar in Munich (they have different kinds of water;p It might be alternative for my „un cervesa, por favor”)  b) visit Weihnmachtsmart on a frozen lake in Hamburg. It will be perfect place to drink my Gluhwein (hot wine). If I break all the bones and die, at least I die laughing;P

During the night I found out my king-size bed is actually two smaller-size beds. I found it quite suddenly, while being partly on the ground. But! on the bright side I didn’t kicked bedsheet of my bed, mom would be proud.

Next morning after breakfast our classes;p  (all right, Board Meeting) began.

And now I know what it’s all about.

Company Merz, which is one of the fundaments of the project, is the producer of botulinum toxim of the new generation. That’s a first thing. It’s also intrested in CSR I guess, and it came intxo cooperation with  SAFE (Stroke Alliance for Europe). They decided, as we say in Polish, to join pleasurable and useful 😀 and take care of spasticity in a more complex way.

I mean. Merz representatives looked quite confident while talking about their research (very interesting) and their belief that this project actually can help in a problem of spasticity. They convinced me that it’s not (only) about selling their product (which would be sold anyway;p) but doing a good thing from which more than 9 members of panel can benefit.

For me the most interesting thing were results of their research on spasticity. These were shocking and easy to believe at the same time to tell the truth. It was like confirmation of my intuitive believes on spasticity. In a great shortcut I’m presenting the most interesting for me information. I will write more on these in separate notes as each and every of them deserves to get my full attention. Well then:

  • many of people suffering from spasticity don’t even know the term „spasticity”. How they can search for relieve then?;)
  • Botulinum therapy can be satisfying for some reasons and disappointing for others.
  • Many patients never heard about spasticity from their doctors.
  • Main barriers in the access to botilinum therapy are bureaucracy and not enough amount of injection devices.

And you know, despite having a feeling that I’m from the third world of stroke treatment, I see that we all have same problems all over Europe. Every country is lacking the individual approach in therapy and towards a patient. Like everywhere people after strokes could be pampered more;)

I’ve felt a bit weird when one of the company representatives  asked me why I haven’t tried therapy with botulinum. I answered, but if it had sense, I still have no clue:D… I don’t really know. The truth is that I don’t know too much about botilinum therapy.

If you are afraid that the project will be like advert of the pharmaceutical company, don’t be anymore. Actually I felt the same way until I realized that both campaign/website and botulinum therapy are well indefied as the means to a happy end. In the end we will get a nice and well adjusted source of knowledge about spasticity, useful for many people (including strokies  of course) and helpful. And it will be translated to few languages, including my lovely Polish;) And if Merz doesn’t do that i will make them remember, that i have only one fist and leg spastic, other can fight for our right;P

It seems that knowledge about spasticity has to be distributed in many ways as even doctors are not well informed about it. Even they could use some more knowledge. I’m very happy to be a part of the project and not only because I had amazing food there:P

I’m extremely tired. 2 days of an intensive trip&working on project, then 2,5 od writing, translating, but… I’m the best faker (I fake my physical well-being extremely well;p), so hopefully noone knew that I want to sleep in every place I’m in:)

Enough of it. You deserved a short photo relation.

This is what I saw in Frankfurt:

frankfurt-lozko frankfurt-ekran

surname with some typos, but still nice:D

frankfurt-konfa

 

And these things I dint…

frankfurt-am-main-1447004

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

frankfurt-am-main-2-1452688

You know what I mean;) And I hope these photos are from Frankfurt am Main:) Ehhh… It’s been long time of writing. Now bit of the rest. I really really really really really really need this:)

[click for polish version;)]

my stroke spasticity stroke survivors Uncategorized

Stroke survivors panel – two days, million challenges

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in the times that hitchhiking seemed so easy... not so long ago;)

in the times that hitchhiking seemed so easy… not so long ago;)

Tomorrow I’m going for long anticipated trip.

I’m going to Frankfurt (am Main!) for the europe’s stroke survivors panel.

As I was telling everyone on my Polish blog… We re going to inaugurate there one project regarding spasticity. To tell the truth I have no idea how it is going to look exactly, but I really hope that main beneficiaries will be you, not the sponsor;p

I was recomended to the panel by Fundacja Udaru Mózgu (Polish Stroke Foundation). thanks to my first blog (click;p).

I’m not a member of any stroke association, including FUM, but they seem to like me there.

Of course my second stroke (yeah yeah, from 16th of August) became a huge threat to my participation. But i thought about everything very carefully and i decided  to go.

Of course I will be:

  1. very confused all the time
  2. tired like marathon runner on the 41st kilometer
  3. feeling nausea like 24h a day
  4. all the time stressed

but

  1. happy that i’d doing something work-like
  2. independent
  3. travelling:D
  4. in Frankfurt

Well then. Keep fingers crossed for me. And for whole project.

I will be back tommorow, so you will not miss me too much. Thanks for help! and hasta la vista (;

 

 

Uncategorized what have I learned after stroke

What have I learned after stroke (I): websites!

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Above all I learned how to make simple pages in WordPress, and thanks to this ability you can read my blog. First one started just 4 months after brain stroke, I was pretty good student of my friend;)

My StrokeTales is on my own domain, which I bought, I also bought space on server, I did everything by myself here!

Maybe you can say there is no great „WOW”, but hey, for me it’s a wow. It’s indepenent and complex work of art. And I still want to improve it, to make my site better and more beautiful:)

 

my stroke rehabilitation Uncategorized

I don’t have power…

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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.

kitchen my stroke Uncategorized

Drink water, it’s good for your brain(;

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water, drining waterWe hear it always and everywhere. Drink water, drink water, drink water, at least 1,5 l a day, drink water, drink water to stay fit and healthy, drink water, drink water, drink water to get rid of toxins, drink water…. Yeah, for me it’s also boring. I don’t even like water, I feel as if it was for horses and preferably I would drink only juices (all that sugar, blah!), coffee with milk (dehydrating, awful!) and Coke zero (blah, just awful, blah!).

The thing is YOUR BRAIN NEEDS MUCH WATER TO REGENERATE AND REBUILD.

When (finally) my doctors said that they can take me off the drip-bags I had to promise them to rink at least 1,5 l of water plus fluids given for meals. That was much more than 2 liters, I could even drink more! Without it recovery would be more difficult, cause our neurons need it. Really!

Still I try to remember about it, but I’m only human and I tend to forget about important things. When I realize that I haven’t drunken enough I just go to the kitchen and drink big glass of tap water, without bothering myself with lemon, mint and so on…

Of course, hydrating yourself is important for bunch of reasons, but only problems of my brain could convince me that ‚horse drink’ (as we used to call it) is worth putting on my diet. For me there is no question whether the glass if half full or half empty anymore. It should be empty. And empty. And again empty.

 

my stroke Uncategorized

Stroke? That young? :o

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young survivor– you had a stroke? So young?!?

– no, I was older – I would to reply that way for every single comment of this kind.

I find this question stupid. I really don’t know how to respond. I found some ways to handle it.

To say „yes” and add one of my hospital stories, is one of them. It shows others that I really been trough a lot but I’m handling. Usually I also add the most likely cause of my stroke, not to give others reason to whisper behind my back about a fat girl who smoked too much…

Not that I care too much, but a bit I do. You should know that brain stroke is rather an illness of eldery (age is main risk factor, sorry), but it can hit anyone, anytime. In one of the British sites on strokes I read that one in four people suffering is in working age or younger, even small children. Hey, 1 in 4, 25% of us, that’s a huge amount!

And still more and more young people suffer from it. Doctors suspect that we should blame our lifestyle. On the other hand half of a year ago I read an interview with neurologist who said that average age of having a stroke is growing, but media is collecting our attention for young people. I’m not sure which info is true, in the end these don’t have to exclude each other;)

Yes, I’m the unlucky one to be young survivor, I was 25 when it happened. I know that it will make my life difficult for years. But I feel special, in a way;)  Personally I know only two survivors under 30, and over 60 – tens…. In this unlucky thing there is some luck: my brain plasticity is still huge, so my „brainholes” can be replaed veeeeery soon. I just have to work on it as hard as possible. And I do:)