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BS: my stroke anniversary

23 Nov 03 - 11:21 PM (#1059685)
Subject: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Robin2

Well guys, this month marks the one year anniversary of my stroke. It has been an interesting year, and here is where I am now...

This time last year, I couldn't walk. I now walk 4 miles a day.

This time last year, I couldn't read, or understand math. Although math is still slow, I can read, and type this!

My music? This is the hard part for me... I can't play my instrument well at all, and the band has sort of fallen apart. I can't find interest in playing when all I can do is shake an egg, or beat simple time on a drum. My mind knows the music, but the hand won't do it. Add this to another member with Parkinsons, and we need to change the name of the band to Cripple Creek!

So I have come a long way, but have lost something else. I would like to think I can still get it all back, but after a year, it gets discouraging.


23 Nov 03 - 11:49 PM (#1059699)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Lyrical Lady

Hooray for you Robin2..congrats on your accomplishments to date..and best wishes for future progress...

Barb (Lyrical Lady)

23 Nov 03 - 11:58 PM (#1059704)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Mickey191

Robin2, It sounds like your a living miracle. I think you've been valiant, and who knows what next year will bring in the way of accomplishments? Continued Good Luck.

24 Nov 03 - 02:55 AM (#1059728)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Mudlark

Robin, may this be the first of many, many anniversaries, each one bringing you closer to all that you wish to do. It is so hard to lose valued capabilities. Don't give up. The brain goes on learning. Congratulations one the fantastic progress you have made so are obviously well endowed with courage, will and determination.

24 Nov 03 - 04:11 AM (#1059746)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Allan C.

I'll add a pat on the back and a hug to the above. You have true grit, my friend.

24 Nov 03 - 04:37 AM (#1059754)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: alanabit

Bloody well done Robin. It's great to hear from you again. It must be an enormous trial for you to have to go so slowly. I have the same problem when I have to take time from injuries before I get back to training again. (Back injuries which hold up the Pentjak Silat). However, it is better to take small steps in the right direction - and that is obviously what you are doing. I think of you often and for sure I'm not the only one. Please let us all know when you are even further down the road.

24 Nov 03 - 05:21 AM (#1059768)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: GUEST,Guest Pip

Hi Robin, you sound to be doing pretty well-congratulations.

I'd just like to give you some encouragement, my husband had a very severe stroke six years ago, like you, he came home unable to walk, talk, read, or understand numbers, or have a memory. He has gradually regained all these (with the exception of telling the time) and he occasionally says outrageously inappropriate words at the wrong time! He has worked very hard and has been much bullied by me (an ex physio who worked with strokes and Parkinsons)

He asks me to say 'well done' and not to be discouraged, keep working at it, he is still regaining things at this late date. Medical pundits will tell you that after two years nothing much will return, but Peter has proved them wrong and so can you! There are plenty of unused cerebral pathways waiting to be opened up.

All the best.

24 Nov 03 - 07:06 AM (#1059796)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: GUEST,catsphiddle@work

Well done on your progress so fr Robin may you continue to improve daily.

Great to hear from you again


24 Nov 03 - 08:49 AM (#1059840)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Jeri

After two years, things may not improve, but the reason may be that people (doctors and patients alike) just give up. I tend to believe that you don't stop regaining abilities (or learning new ones) until you stop trying. Progress might slow down, and you might quit or not go at the rehab with the same determination. As long as you DO keep trying, there's hope.

You also can try shifting from a head-on approach to a more sideways one. Is it important to play well, the same way you did before, or is it important just to play well? If you can't play the same instrument the same way, can you adapt the way you play or the instrument? You CAN change the world around you sometimes so it's easier to deal with. You can also change yourself so the world's easier to deal with. Whatever it takes.

It sounds like you've made amazing progress thus far. Hang onto whatever it was that got you this far. Frustration may take the place of physical difficulty as your biggest obstacle. You can beat that too.

24 Nov 03 - 10:34 AM (#1059897)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: bradfordian

How many of us over the age of fifty have had our blood pressure checked recently, or otherwise aware of what it is? (idealy 120 to 140(for older folk) over 80 - I think,)
I went to my G.P. for a check up & I was a little suprised to learn that my blood pressure is on the high side. High blood pressure is contributory to having a stroke. While age, diet, exercise & stress have an effect on BP, sometimes it just drifts higher. What I'm saying is, if your are over 50, get down to the Doctors & have a check up. We might end up on drugs for life, but we should be able to squeeze a few more years of life that way. My wife suffered a major stroke 5 years ago, it is not nice.

24 Nov 03 - 01:30 PM (#1059993)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Ebbie

A banjo-playing friend of mine had a cerebral aneurysm a few years ago now. He is still improving- we claim it's the garlic he eats! His short term memory isn't good but sometimes flashes come through and there are times when he's tentative on the banjo but other times he plays with joy and authority.

His memory for lyrics is almost unaffected. Except for the song 'Once More', perhaps. He stumbles over the line: 'Your love I crave, I'll be your slave'; he wants to sing: 'Your love, I swear, etc.' He says that's what he and his brothers used to sing.

24 Nov 03 - 01:43 PM (#1060004)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: McGrath of Harlow

My impression is that Jeri is right, and it's likely that if you keep on pushing, you can keep on gaining ground. Would it be worth having a go at playing a harmonica?

24 Nov 03 - 02:02 PM (#1060019)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Mary in Kentucky

Great big cyber hug from 50 miles south! When are we going to get together?

24 Nov 03 - 02:12 PM (#1060023)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Mary in Kentucky

Just had another thought -- I may have some tips on regaining coordination. There are so many things I had to learn myself, and it seems that nobody else has mentioned them. There really ought to be a place for musician's information about rehabilitation. They have places for athlete's to practice "agressive rehabilitation," so we need to find similar resources for musicians!

24 Nov 03 - 05:07 PM (#1060098)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: maire-aine

I think you've done a spectacular job in such a short time. Hurrah! A friend of mine suffered an injury (not a stroke), so she took up a different instrument (keyboard, in her case) as part of her recovery.

24 Nov 03 - 06:32 PM (#1060154)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: katlaughing

Congratulations, Robin and listen to JEri. I agree with her, too, esp. form my experiences in working with stroke survivors. I sa amazing things when the will and desire were there and the ability to take it form a different angle as Jeri has mentioned.

I look forward to a great progress report in another year...I'll bet you'll be making music and tell us all about it!


24 Nov 03 - 08:32 PM (#1060248)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Robin2

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement. I think I was just having one of those discouraging days yesterday. Alhough my stroke was caused by a blocked artery, my blood preaure is extremely high without my meds. Sooo, I think to lose weight, and that will help. Ive lost 65 pounds at this time, I go to the Doc for my checkup, and my BP has gone up instead of down! I'm now on more meds, and so the reason for me getting down.

Pip, I was heartened to hear about you husband's progress! When I was two days into the stroke, I was told by one doc some things were gone for good. I fired him. My pt said one year, and after that would be minimal improvement. That made one year kinda big in my mind. Now my buds at mudcat tell me I can continue to improve! And Jer, thanks for the tips, I'll certainly be trying some sideways thinking again.

Mary, I would love to see you again! PM me, and we'll give it a go sometime, OK?

Thanks to all. Mudcat sure is a special place.


24 Nov 03 - 09:43 PM (#1060299)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Rapparee

The doctors told me that with my eye condition I'd never have 20/20 vision, even with glasses. Uncorrected amblyopia in one eye, other problems.

Then, about 20 years ago, an ophthamologist said he'd write the prescription if I wanted to try it. I did -- hell, it was just money. And I could SEE!! Clearly!! I still remember the clarity of the rocks in the asphalt in his parking lot!

Yeah, there were problems getting used to it. But I've adjusted and I can see clearly now (hmm, there might be a song in that). No, my vision isn't corrected to 20/20, but it is something like 20/20 and 20/30. I can live with that.

I think that the brain and the body are one helluva lot more adaptable than we give them credit for being.

Go for it! Only sin is lack of tryin'!

24 Nov 03 - 10:21 PM (#1060320)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Phil Cooper

Dear Robin,

   Good to hear of your improvement and I hope there's further improvement. It seems quite often that you can keep progressing if you have the drive to keep on. Margaret and I still have fond memories of jamming with you at Kentucky Music Weekend, before the rain started. Glad to see you can now type messages back to us. Please keep us informed of how you're doing.

24 Nov 03 - 10:22 PM (#1060322)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Robin2


I'm happy for you, and the doc who was willing to try something else! I can relate, because this time last year, I was also legally blind. best corrected vision in both eyes was around 20/100. Went to an eye doc after all the stroke surgeries were over, and found out I had cateracts. No insurance and a 4000.00 surgery. My doc jumped on it, and contacted The Council Of The Blind. This wonderful agency paid for my eye surgeries, all follow up visits, and my glasses. I now see 20/20 in both eyes!

The lesson here from myself and Rapaire I think is find a health care professional that is willing to go that extra mile to help you in your recovery. It can make all the difference!


24 Nov 03 - 10:56 PM (#1060341)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Bobert


Artists are artists... Yeah, I broken fingers, thumbs, ribs (currently) as a blues musican and it seems that with every adversity, I come out a little better than before the injury. Yeah, patience, is hard but just as long as we keep Faith and keep going, we get there...

I also suffer from post-polio and sometimes just can't get much to work at all, but hey, when we are motivated... we get beyond the current block in the road...

Keep the Faith.

You'll get beyond this and when you do you'll be better than ever...

No, not as physical as ever, but better...



25 Nov 03 - 05:07 AM (#1060444)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Liz the Squeak

Robin, you are so right about that other doctor who is willing to go that extra mile.

My usual GP could give no reason for me fainting with monotonous regularity, BP was a little up and down, but nothing too drastic - til one day I fainted at work and they took me to casualty (ER) nearby. They told me I had arrhythmia, I'd always known something wasn't right, but now it had a name. From that day on, I've been inspected, investigated, monitored, manipulated, disrobed and diagnosed. My GP has acquired another partner whom I've been seeing and he has actually sat and listened to me for 10-15 minutes, whilst watching me, rather than reading the notes of the next patient.

I'm just sitting around, waiting for my treatment to come through now, freaking out about it, so it's wonderful to hear how you are doing, that you are still fighting and gaining ground. Take it one step at a time - and remember we are all here when you need to rant and let off steam - sometimes I think we ought to have a Health/Counselling Permathread!

Take care Robin2.


25 Nov 03 - 07:25 AM (#1060493)
Subject: RE: BS: my stroke anniversary
From: Rapparee

Yup, Robin2, but you gotta be willing to take the risk, too.

My wife and I actively seek out physicians who are aggressive in their approach to our health care AND willing to listen AND understand.

But you have to be willing to jump, not knowing if you'll be safe or not. Not blindly, but even with the best information you might hit a rock and not the water.