Updates often come with bugs…

I’ve noticed an definite speed increase in Amanda’s mental reflexes and the time she takes to process information or instructions.

Using the computer analogy I’ve used before, It’s like she’s had a program update installed.

I remember I wrote in a blog post a while ago how I asked her if she realised she did everything at a slow speed and she replied that it felt like her normal speed.

Now she gets up, showers and dresses quicker, eats quicker and seems to (re)learn quicker. Brain plasticity is clearly ongoing and constantly evolving. As a result her short term memory has also slightly improved and she is able to now consciously make an effort to remember things and try to retrain her brain.

She is playing weekly games of scrabble and her support worker is noticing a marked improvement in being able to see words among the jumble of 7 letters in front of her, or to identify where on the board she can use letters already there. She is now also able to write numbers randomly without having to count up aloud until she gets to it.

Amanda’s word recognition is also showing marked improvement in other ways. As I’ve mentioned in the past she says she has always been able to read in her head, but struggles to read aloud. But recently she has been making an effort to say written words. Just one or two at a time, but it means there is potential for more in the future.

This may seem like basic stuff, but it’s evidence of continuous improvement almost 30 months post-stroke.

One thing which still causes issues is the damage to Amanda’s sight, particularly her depth perception. Like her brain, her feet are also keen to move faster. But this causes problems at the edge of the road where she’s started to ‘over-think’ drop-kerbs or mis-judges the camber of the road when crossing.

It’s easy to say;

“Just step off without looking”,  like most of us do. But when you’re not getting 100% physical feedback from 50% of your body, that’s easier said than done. To combat this I took her for a walk down the street, just criss-crossing the road as we went. This both increased her distance and also helped her to practice overcoming stepping off the pavement.

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You might read this blog as a result of seeing it on a Facebook post.

Over time I’ve joined many Facebook groups to learn from others, pick up tips, read inspiring stories and sometimes sympathise with those less fortunate than Amanda, particularly I have to say, those people who have suffered a stroke and live in the US who have to contend with a system they largely have to pay for.

Both New Zealand (and the UK) are so fortunate to have a universally free health system. it’s awful to read how so many people lurch to  sudden stop in their recovery simply because they  have run out of the money to pay for it.

I recently realised I’ve joined almost 100 stroke or brain injury-related Facebook pages. If you’d like to take a look at a few, I’ve listed them on my Videos and other useful links page.

As a result of your support, this blog has now been viewed almost 80,000 times.

visitors

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We recently did ‘Dry July’ …after a false start.

On July 4th we went for a meal at an expensive local restaurant. We approached from the back of the building as I know they have a slope and handrail for limited mobility access. But it was blocked by a car so we had to make our way around to the front where Amanda managed to make her way up the steep stone steps.  As we were shown to our table I mentioned the car blocking the disabled access to the waiter who said it belonged to the owner.

We agreed to treat ourselves to one glass from the expensive wine list. When the waiter brought our drinks we were told they were on the house as an apology for the blocked – access issue. Great service and a nice surprise from the Cod & Lobster

Since July finished on a Thursday, we postponed until Friday night and  both enjoyed a glass (or two..) of New Zealand Pinot Noir.

 

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