Stroke Me Day 122: Goddamn Job

Dear Darling Ones,

It would be more poetic if I had my first outpatient Occupational Therapy appointment today instead of yesterday.

Today marks four months since I had the stroke. My stroke? A stroke? Four months and I still don’t know how to refer to it as anything besides hot garbage.

The symmetry of dates would have added extra significance to sitting next to BFK at St. Francis again, exactly four months later.

BFK took me to my first OT appointment because my mom is at Sister #4’s preparing for the big move back to Minnesota.

Thanks to the overwhelming anxiety brought on having to move my janky body through an unknown space (we were at the sports medicine/rehabilitation clinic), I didn’t have a chance to get choked up as BFK filled out my intake forms like I was a little kid.

However, I did repeatedly remind her what a good person she was while murmuring out loud to myself that she really is the best friend.

My OT intake was humbling, but not surprising. My hand and finger strength is average for my age. I asked the OT if that would be an A after you factor in my stroke and she agreed.

I didn’t even try grade grub when it came to the F- I got in hand-eye coordination.

She timed me while I had to put these thin, silver key-like pegs into key-liked shaped holes. It was like that game Perfection, but harder and more nerve-wracking.

It look me something like 3:28 to complete. The average for my age is 37 or 47 or 57 seconds. I think I blacked out a little after learning how badly I did.

I also failed the walking with a cane test. It took me 28 seconds to stand up from a chair and walk maybe seven feet. Anything over 12 seconds makes you a fall risk.

None of this is surprising or devastating to learn. It’s just a way to measure where I’m at now so we can see how much I improve.

The OT was super kind and hopeful that I’d improve as we worked together. She told me how she could tell my right side seemed heavy to me just by how I walked. She also explained that the heaviness is caused by my brain not knowing exactly how to interpret sensory data so it’s overreacting to anything.

“Basically my brain’s being a jerk,” I said.
She nodded in agreement. “They do that sometimes. It’s why recovering from a stroke is a full-time job.”

Goddamn job

So here we are, Darling Ones, four months and while I can see I’ve come a long way, there’s still so much longer to go.

Also, in case your curious, by doc gave me an A+ in controlling my blood pressure and my blood sugar. I brag to everyone how I’m an A+ diabetic, much to everyone’s great annoyance.

Your favorite grade-grubber,

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