Recovering From a Stroke is Like Jr. High

Hey Darling Ones,

If you had the great misfortune of attending Roosevelt Junior High in Blaine, Minnesota during the 80s, you know the very special hell that was swimming.

Roosevelt had a pool and just like dodge ball and other assorted athletic tortures, swimming was part of the curriculum.

Nobody enjoyed the swimming unit in gym. We dreaded swimming so much we’d talk about for weeks leading up to it.

Since this was the 80s and big hair was, well, big, girls really hated swimming because it meant their hair would be flat for the rest of the day. This was a big deal.

If you were a girl and you had flat hair you would have to explain, “Oh, I had swimming today.” Personally, I used swimming as an excuse to never do my hair. I loved sleeping. I was really quite bad at being an 80s girl, for the most part. Makeup and big hair have never been my jam.

This was a minority stance in the 80s. Some girls hated the idea of having flat hair throughout the dat they would use a butane-fueled curling iron to fluff up them bangs after swimming.

Even with the built-in flat hair excuse, I hated swimming as did probably every pubescent student that ever roamed the halls of Roosevelt Junior High. I cannot think of anything worse than having to stand in front of your peers in a bathing suit.

Not just any old bathing suit either. It was a school-issued bathing suit which were 50% thick polyester + 50% burlap. They were a horrid forest green and unflattering on every single teenage body. All of them. Nobody looked good in that bathing suit.

Swimming at Roosevelt Junior High nearly 40 years ago has been on my mind. On Tuesday I start physical therapy in the pool. Or, as I call it, swimming, though I don’t think it will involve any actual swimming.

My bum knee is starting to impede my progress in physical therapy. My therapist really want to focus on building up my stamina and balance, which will help my walking. That’s hard to do when my left knee is being a jackass.

I’m seeing an orthopedic guy, doctor next Friday? I call him “the knee guy.” I’m super anxious about this easy I’m afraid the knee guy will take one look at me and say, “You’re fat. That’s why your knee hurts, dummy.”

And of course my junior high dears are flooding back because my entire stroke recovery makes me feel like an eighth grader again.

With every new medical professional I have to see I worry about fat-shaming and name-calling. This is why I try so hard to be an A+ patient, to stave off the shaming. I go out of my way to be the very best possible, because if I am, maybe nobody will make fun of me.

There’s also the added bonus of liking to be really good at things.

Tuesday I went to the doctor for my three-month diabetic checkup. My A1C which was 10 when I had my stroke in March, 6.4 when I had my three-month checkup in is now down to 5.6.

I was so impressed I gave myself an A+ in Diabetes. I needed that A+ because I got a C (73%) in Physical Therapy. I have raised the grade from F (56%), but still.

Even so, I when I did the evaluation Monday I was able to turn around in a circle without holding on to anything. I couldn’t do that in July.

Gotta go, fourth hour starts soon. I hope Cam Anderson is here today.

Glass Tiger Rulz,

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1 Comment

  1. theluckynun 21.Sep.23 at 6:32 pm

    Glass Tiger does rule, though. Glad you are seeing progress!


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