When I said I was done writing about my stroke I really meant IT. You and I were bored by the topic, and it was time to move on—but the stroke was not done with me!

<i>Me in my spiffy new wheelchair.
Me in my spiffy new wheelchair.

Just like many natural events there are aftereffects to a stroke, and just like most aftereffects, they aren’t any fun. Just short of 18 months after the stroke I noticed some weakening in my right leg that was making it difficult to hold the leg straight, and occasionally made walking tricky, and even dangerous.

A few times the right leg started to give out and I almost fell . . . and then it did give out and I did fall. I didn’t get hurt, but I had been standing while using the toilet and wound up looking like the proverbial drunk hugging the porcelain altar. Nancy and I couldn’t get me up but fortunately son-in-law Chris was home, and our combined efforts got me up.

The problem was I did not have the strength in the right leg I needed to walk.

Me with Michael and Rick off for a walk.

Nancy and Chris got me into my La-Z-Boy, gave me a cup of tea and Nancy took off to rent the wheelchair I would need to get around the house. There was no getting much further, but I was determined that this state of affairs would not last.

Nancy was more realistic, saying, “You will likely need a wheelchair for much of the time for the rest of your life.” While I didn’t want to agree, here I am at my desk sitting in the nice new wheelchair that we bought.

I am still unable to walk, although I did some walking in the Cabrillo PT class, and I also did some encouraging work on exercises with Sarah yesterday. There is work underway to get more structured individual physical therapy, but it will take some time.

I saw an orthopedic doctor and he said the problem was related to a twist in my right leg that originates in my hip that was made worse by the stroke and there was nothing for it except physical therapy.

So, like everything else related to the stroke it’s up to me. It’s clearly a step backwards (no pun intended, hah!) and it’s going to be tough to keep my spirits up, but I must keep going! It helps so much that I have friends who enjoy being out and about with me!

Well, I’ll just do it!

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11 thoughts on “AFTEREFFECTS!

  1. John
    This just stinks! Our bodies r like cars . One thing backfires and then another pops up.
    Your spirit and family will keep u going .
    I hope u still attend your step program . It is depressing this old age thing but u still have lots to say and write.

  2. Dear John, You are still an inspiration in your recovery including setbacks and in your willingness to share your travails. You’ve worked so hard and I see from your writing that you will continue to do so. Don’t know if acceptance is ever an issue while we are intent on improving; however, acceptance comes in the form of “I must” keep trying”. That’s the inspiration for me. I only hope I can follow your example as I continue on. Karen

  3. Keep working on your shoulders arms and hands. You can do this John. I appreciate you posting your experience as it helps me understand the actions Nancy and you have taken to progress as far as you have. Thank you.

  4. John,
    Hang in there.
    If anyone can achieve the goal . . . you can.
    If there is anything I can do for you, or help
    you with . . . don’t hesitate to reach out.

  5. Good for you for keeping on with physical therapy. I hope you know all of us are rooting for you and are interested in your blog – it has not been boring. I envy your writing ability.

  6. John, your comeback recovery from your stroke has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to all of us that follow you. I have been vicariously celebrating your courageous, dedicated efforts to overcome what this stroke has done to your body and motor skills. I have been beyond pleased that you’ve moved on into new areas of interest, and I awaited your well-written book reviews as each one wasbpublished!

    Unfortunately, the vicissitudes of life have spoken up, as if to say: “Not so fast!” That’s got to feel so unfair and discouraging. That is what I’m feeling, in any event, and hoping that you can find the wherewithal to rejoin the fight!

  7. John,
    I appreciate your updates, they give me hope for you, for myself. Please continue. What I hear in your voice is self-determination to succeed, and you will. John, keep up the determination, it works, I wouldn’t be here without it.

  8. Well, John, that’s got to be really frustrating for you! I’m sorry you’re having this new thing to deal with. Like everyone else here, I admire your attitude, your fortitude. Keep on rolling and writing. Much love, Craig

  9. Hi, John,
    I am sorry I’ve been so slow in saying “Hi” again. Aging is definitely not for the faint of heart. I’m sure everyone is telling you to keep exercising that leg, but I’ll add my encouragement to your list. It may not get you dancing, but without it the leg cannot hold its own, so as you try, it can be there for you. I believe in the power of the mind. When you go to bed at night, “see” yourself doing what you want telling your brain to attend to the connections you want it to.

    I’ve been trying to get my walking abilities back after a severe drug reaction which affected both my legs with horrible edema, weeping, skin breakdown etc. Took three weeks to get my mobility back….but luckily I did get it back. It was a blood pressure drug my endocrinologist decided I needed to add to my daily list……..wrong. The itching just about drives me nuts! The plus is that my blood pressure is fine again, I can walk, albeit short distances, and my gratitude list has a couple of extra items.

    I hate that this has happened to you. You are amazing in your acceptance and not everyone has Nancy to help them. I love you so much, John.
    Sending a big hug! Cuz, Mareli

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