Thursday, November 29, 2012


Right after the stroke, I had to practice saying (and spelling) my children's names. At this point, I still confuse the two names, but probably not more than other parents who don't have aphasia. But just to simplify, when one of my kids has helped me, I usually just say,

"Thanks, Sweetie."

The problem is, my brain can't switch tracks easily, even now. So when I want to thank someone--anyone--I often can't stop from tacking on a "sweetie" after the end. The cashier at the pharmacy, my neighbor who is twenty years older than I, the UPS driver--they're all my sweeties, now.

Friday, November 23, 2012

What's in a Name

Many people are puzzled why I called blog "My Happy Stroke." Even I forget why I chose the name sometimes.

So I wrote About My Blog's Name, partly to remind myself of what I was feeling in the early days of my recovery.

You can click on the link above, or on the right-side column on the homepage, after My Stroke Story.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mysteries of Stroke

I still have so many questions about the way my body works, post-stroke. Some are general, like why does cold make spasticity worse? Other are more specific to me, like what's the deal with my toes?

A lot of survivors have problems with toes curling under, making walking painful and making it easy to trip (see posts from Home After a Stroke, Up Stroke, Dean's Stroke Musings). In contrast, when I walk, my toes on my affected (right) side barely make contact with the floor (other than the big toe). My toes go up, as if I am trying avoid getting a splinter. 

Yet I do have a lot of spasticity everywhere, including in my feet. In some positions--often when I'm sitting up and putting on my socks, for instance--my toes often get all scrunched up, as you see in the photo on the right. (My unaffected side looks, well, normal and flat.)

I'm thankful that the position of my toes is not painful. It's also not causing me to trip. But I'm almost certain that it's affecting my gait for the worse.

When I ask different doctors some of these questions, I often get a shrug, literally or figuratively. Physical therapists are much better at answering these questions, but even PTs have been stumped about the toe issue.

But I still need answers to get better. Who will answer these questions?