I joined the YMCA a last week. Part of my recovery is that I need to exercise. I've never really been an exerciser, And through the years I joined several gyms. And then I would get busy and lazy and I didn't go.
But a stroke gives a lot of incentive to work out. Literally it could be life or death.
In the hospital every day they would make me exercise. At that point all of the sessions were for half an hour.
I remember that they would tell me that I had to hop on one leg. That was scary! I could not balance at all.
Then I would ride a stationary bike. The therapist would talk to me about my life. Because I couldn't talk almost at all, I was so frustrated!
I have a full life! I have a son! I have a wonderful wife! I love my brothers! I am the director of a company dealing with construction! I am one of the trustees of the College of Western Idaho!
But in those sessions I don't think the therapist really knew who I was because I couldn't talk. I was a cocoon trapped in my mind.
The therapists always had to accompany me and they used a belt to make sure that I would not fall. I have the belt as a reminder.
Also they use the Wii Fit program. I could not even do simple yoga.
When I got out of the hospital and I was doing therapy, one of my therapists said that I could lift small weights.
I did some of it but it was very awkward and cumbersome for me. Also my right arm was so sore because I was essentially paralyzed for a while.
Now 16 months later after my stroke, I really want to go work out.
My wife called our neurosurgeon about the possibilities about exercises. At the Y, there is a room set up specificallyto help with strokes and heart attack victims. St. Al's rehab has a great program.
When I met with the gym instructor at the Y, he told me that I needed to have a medical release form. So many forms dealing with my stroke and this is just another one!
Finally the doctor sent the records and the gym instructor told me that I can't do much.
I cannot lift much weight and I cannot exert myself cardio wise.
So why do I have a membership?
The gym instructor told me that I have some options. So he is giving me exercises dealing with an exercise ball and resistance bands. I can ride the stationary bike also.
So I'm doing that routinely now. I think it is helping me not just physically but psychologically as well.
But it does beg the question. Is this it? Am I so fragile that they are concerned that I will have another stroke?
If I have a headache I am so paranoid that I will have another stroke. My wife and I want to remodel our backyard. That entails lifting cement stones. Can I do anything at all?
In the hospital they asked me about my hobbies. Other than working, my hobbies included my family, reading and woodworking.
I can't read anymore to the extent that I want to. And because of my eyesight on my right side, I'm concerned about woodworking. Should I sell my tablesaw and my miter saw?
Am I having to deal with so many limitations that I can't do things that I want to enjoy?
I used to think that my body was failing me physically. Basically I was getting fat and older and lazy. But I could always work out and fix that stuff.
But now I don't think I can fix this. This stroke affected me in so many ways physically. And now psychologically and emotionally as well. Why? Because it simply pisses me off.
Stroke: The gift that keeps giving....