Daily update April 11-13, 2020 (photo from 4-19-20 by Alan Papa. Beatles hat and John Lennon t-shirt, wore them for inspiration)
NOTE: So it is the evening of April 20th. I am posting Easter weekend here. As a music lover, I recommend, if time permits, to ask Alexa or your Google Home etc. to play Beast or Burden by Keith Richards and Jimmy Burns. It is a bluey rendition, without Mick, I believe it will settle well with you. I read Keith’s book this summer, “Life”. This guy has the Blues through his soul, and has a huge heart and passion for many types of music.. Worth a listen if you have, TIME! An apropos song for the aftermath of a health issue.
One thing tonight, my Blood pressure measured 138/83. I usually checked in around 130/68. It seems to be settling down. Which is cool.
I am still dictating through my phone. Please excuse the capital letters in the middle of sentences. If the speech goes off and I restart it gets capitalized. I am working on blogging all of these responses and going forward soon
This update will encompass Saturday, Sunday (Easter) and Monday.
These three days resembled each other from exercise trying to get into a routine, medication as well as accepting a lengthy road to getting back to 100%.
It also got me into watching some movies and documentaries as a form of entertainment as well as rest. I’ve had a number of people that told me this was a sign to slow down. I find that a very interesting statement. We all move at different paces. As an accomplished individual who continues to challenge himself, I think the majority of the people who told me this, find the pace tiring. I have never felt like that, I’m a list person and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to except that you can’t do it all in one day, but the list helps me get it done and accomplished most items on the list.
Writing these daily updates is both therapeutic and keeping my mind working in a positive sense since I know that I am writing for others. Let’s talk about the exercise. Linda my PT has given me about 14 exercises to do on my back or sitting in a chair. She also helps me with some balancing and standing routines. Initially they would like you to do two sets of 10 each. They are not terribly taxing and on Sunday, I time myself and I took approximately 25 minutes. I actually did about 18 minutes in a bed upstairs and then walked downstairs and finished in a dining room chair.
I do them faster than with my PT. But her workout is more thorough. And that is a lesson by a professional trainer is better or in this case the physical therapist. Over the weekend I was able to get the ball of my foot up off the ground. Each day it’s gotten a little better. I’m proud of that and Linda was happy to see the movement today. I told her I would like to wiggle my toes on my left feet by next week. Last week when I was interviewed by the in-house manager and she informed me that the furthest part of your body from your brain is the last to heal. That’s informative and also a bummer. You need your feet and you need, balance and movement. I understand the desire and work will bring the results sooner.
After today’s work out, Linda told me to stand below the step up into my kitchen and march my left foot up over the stop. We did 10. It was amazing how much easier walking with the walker was after that exercise. I have done 30 since she left. I’m committed to getting up and down stairs easier and safer.
On Sunday it was warm, and the family came over with the grandchildren in three shifts. We exchanged some food, kept a safe distance and did not hug. That’s brutal but with the lockdown and distancing understandable. I was able to walk down the driveway and passed the next-door neighbor’s house with the walker and back home. And then I sat in the sun on the driveway and visited with both my daughters. The highlight was the Easter egg hunt for the grandchildren. They retrieved all of the eggs in the back yard while I stood on the deck. It was priceless and also a memorable Easter.
In the evening I watched one of the Jumanji movies and got a pretty good night’s sleep. I’m also trying to read through a book that my friend Bill Feller gave me called, “The Secret Gift”.
It is a very good book written in the 2000s by Canton, Ohio man Whose grandfather did an incredible act during the depression in 1933. He gave gifts of five dollars to between 75 and 100 individuals/families. It is a moving book which reflects some of the kind acts going on during the coronavirus shut down.
We had some great food over the last three days. And probably eating better than I’ve eaten in a long time and eating less. I have been given some ginkgo and also prescribed from a friend to take vitamin B complex, raw. I have an email into my neurologist before I start taking supplements. We have a follow up visit with the neurologist and orthopedic doctor in May. I may not have mentioned in a previous update, but the MRI that they did from my toes to my head share that I have a slight fracture on the wing of vertebrae L5. It would be elective surgery to repair and both doctors agree that they do not recommend the surgery.
On Friday I received a call from my Occupational therapist Derek, and he informed me that on Thursday the day after he met me that he met with the patient that had tested positive to the virus. He is off my case Unfortunately. I am meeting with a new therapist tomorrow Tuesday by the name of Jesse. Today I had a text exchange with Derek, he tested negative for the virus which is great news. I bought a book for him call “The Craftsman”. It is about the hand; how valuable it is and how taken for granted it may be. He said he would stop by when he is on the road to visit and pick up the book.
I met a woman years ago whose son battled and beat cancer. She said she met the greatest people she never wanted to meet during this journey with her son. I can tell you my doctors, nurses, housekeepers, therapists and others have introduced me to a whole new side of friendly people. Dedicated and giving. Most people that I had met that went through cancer said they wouldn’t change a thing. Having a stroke is a setback. It is a spoon of reality. I’ve had a couple of pity parties and after the first one I said I would never do another one but, one showed up and I entertained it for a while. That was earlier today. I stood up after trying to take a nap and went downstairs in my basement, set up my computer and organized a couple of work projects as well as listen to some music and lined up my next couple of days. During the 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the basement I was able to take two walks around and I enjoyed an espresso. When I came upstairs, I did half my exercises and ate a wonderful dinner that Debbie prepared. I would call April 13 an accomplishment and a wonderful day. Deal with the “bad moments” quickly and move on.
When Linda the physical therapist came over and mentioned how bad the weather was, it really did not even bother me. I’m inside, I stopped at the door twice, opened it and took some deep breaths of the outside air. It’s a great day more to follow.
Enjoy the evening, John