Sometimes I think of my right foot as a patient who has been forgotten in a back ward of an old hospital for years.
In the first summer after the stroke, my PT encouraged
me to walk on the beach without my brace and without shoes every so often to
stimulate my feet. I tried it
one or two times, but I gave up after realizing how many challenges I would have to overcome: the weakness in my ankle; the
crushing fatigue; getting my shoes and brace off and on with one hand; etc. I also experimented briefly with walking barefoot in the house, until I had a few near misses with cans and knives in the kitchen.
Now my feet are usually are hidden away in thick shoes every day, except for bedtime and naps, and also for leg exercises on the living room rug (my yoga teacher has tried to coax sensation and movement, with some success, from my right toes).
So this was my challenge last week: to putter around the house barefoot for more than an hour. With bare feet, I unloaded the dishwasher; made lunch; sorted papers between the pile in the kitchen and the pile in the dining room.
It was tiring. Partly because spasticity can make feel as if I will topple over without the steadying influence of my shoes. But mostly, my right foot and toes seem to be terribly disoriented and confused. They ask: is the floor really cold? Or is that pain? Are all the toes pointing up or lying flat? And where, exactly, am I?
I know I have to walk barefoot more often to stimulate my foot. But right now, it feels like an act of faith, rather than an exercise.
3 days ago
I'm curious: did you enjoy being barefoot before the stroke? I've spent my life barefoot...walking around at home, outside, sitting at my desk... but I know that many people don't like it. It would be interesting to think about how barefoot feels (as a sensation, as a concept) in a pre-stroke/post-stroke comparative way.ReplyDelete
Sorry, that's not a homework assignment (though this on-line teaching thing has made me turn everything into a "follow-up post." Sorry!) The real issue here is this: therapeutic foot stimulation seems to be an excellent reason for your husband to give you daily foot rubs.
We used to have a "no shoes in the house" rule. Sigh.Delete
I'll add "foot rubs" to Neal's to-do list ;)
I've been wearing vibram five finger shoes for a few weeks now and I love em.I need to give them more time to see if my spasticity gets better.But so far so goodReplyDelete
I thought about trying these but don't think I'd be able to get my toes to separate and stay in their assigned sockets. Would love to know more.Delete
I know what you mean. Walking barefoot feels wonderful and weird.ReplyDelete
It took me years to be able to tolerate the cold floor. I could manage no shoes, but no socks created pain. As my healing continued to progress I can handle it now. Keep trying.... Never give up. Someday you will look back and say, "Wow, I did it!" I am looking forward to reading about that day on your beach.ReplyDelete
My Bioness requires an electrode in my shoe (on my foot) to give my ankle enough stability to walk on any uneven surface (lawn, sand, cobbles), so going barefoot is generally limited to my way to and from bed at night.ReplyDelete
My former PT wanted me to minimize walking without the Bioness so that I didn't practice walking "wrong," but I didn't cooperate with everything she said before, so why now?
Barefoot it is! Except my house is still too cold from the winter. This summer, then.
How do you like the Bioness? How much mobility did you have before you began wearing/using it?Delete
This is something my PT is encouraging me to do as well. The first time he recommended it, I felt too unstable and gave up. But for the last couple months, I've been walking around the house in socks. I think it's helping a lot. I have a better sense of when I don't land flat-footed (most of the time), and when my toes are bunched up.ReplyDelete
Not ready for bare feet, yet. I used to love to go barefoot in the summer.
I have told my dad, who just had a mild stroke, to walk barefoot but he said he didn't think he could or would. I am googling to see if there is a correlation between not going barefoot and stroke. It would be a 3 and 0 just from this blog.ReplyDelete
Do you like new information? If I had a stroke, I would use Peter Kulish's magnets and protocols. I took them to my dad and his speech improved in two days. I even had him on the wrong protocol, the one for meridians. Peter has one called Brain Re-Entrainment where you place them on your head in a special way. People have great success with this, even after many years.
Another great therapy is CFT-Gillespie Approach, which opens up the brain so it can breathe and releases tight fascia.