Feeling sorry for yourself?

I had the blues

As I had no shoes

Until upon the street

I met a man who had no feet

-Dennis Waverly

This year on my birthday, one of my gifts was 6 hours per week of in home care. It’s been great. 3 days a week, for 2 hours each day somebody comes over, I get into the tub, she vacuums and dusts, then helps me get out of the tub, helps me dress, is with me when I walk or climb up and down one step multiple times, and sometimes I even get a meal.

Night before last, I had a vivid dream that I climbed up to the second floor, so I got the idea to do just that. I parked my power chair just outside of the stairwell, walked in using a heavy quad cane which my aid brought with her up the steps and climbed all 14 steps to the second floor and, since the stairs and the elevator are on opposing ends of the hallway, attempted to walk to the elevator. I did pretty well, making it 3/4 of the way there, before I got so out of breath that I had to stop and wait for my aid to get my chair. It was the most exercise I’d done in one sitting since my stroke, more than 3 years ago. I probably would have made it to the elevator if I’d used my lighter aluminum quad cane, or if the floor hadn’t had carpeting. Walking on carpet is not so easy for me, it clings to my rubber soles.

I was so proud of having my best exercise day. Until I noticed that my right hand and forearm were numb and not responsive. I worried that I had burst one of the aneurysms in my brain and had now paralyzed my only usable hand.

Thankfully, my husband came home early yesterday, so he put a brace on my wrist. I didn’t use my right hand for an hour or two, and it slowly came back to life. Apparently I had exhausted my hand with the handrail up the stairs, followed by using a heavy cane without a break.

As proven by the fact that this blog post is here, my hand is fine. And I’ve thought through an alternative, to make more exercise easier.

Next time, my aid takes the chair to outside the second floor stairwell, while I wait at the bottom of the stairs for her to join me. I climb the steps to the chair, sit down and catch my breath, then drive the chair to the elevator, go to the first floor, and walk the tiled floor back to my apartment, using the light cane. Since tomorrow is next time, and my left leg has been sore all day, it may not happen until Monday, but I will keep you posted. Also there will be another video update as there is some improvement in my walking.

I had been moping about my one handed life, but it’s far better than a no handed life, as my short time with no hands taught me.

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