It’s been just over 4 months since my last blog post, the longest gap between posts yet.
But this doesn’t mean Amanda’s continued stroke recovery has slowed. You may have noticed one or two other, slightly more important things happening in the world during this time which have delayed me writing until now.
As soon as New Zealand entered Alert level one lock-down I started working from home. Amanda’s support worker continued with her regular morning sessions as she was deemed to be an essential service while I was able to work elsewhere in the house.
From Amanda’s point of view, lock-down meant little change. She never leaves the house unaccompanied anyway, and we rarely get visitors.
The benefit for Amanda of me being in the house all day was the sudden increase in her ability to have a conversation whenever she wanted. Apart from 2 hours in the morning the previous 3 years have largely been silent during the day. Now, with me often in the same room we could actually chat and talk about what was happening in the world.
This has helped her hugely, stimulating her brain which had otherwise been engrossed in daytime TV quiz shows.
Along with an improvement in her conversational skills, there has also been a definite improvement in her short-term memory, in fact it’s almost better than mine. She’ll now remind me to shut a window before we leave the house or that we have run out of an item that needs to go on the shopping list.
This has extended to her general memory as well. Only last week I commented that she could now remember where every utensil or piece of crockery or cutlery lived in the kitchen as she helped with the dishes after dinner.
The biggest improvement over the last four months has been with her self-motivation.
Being home all day I’ve noticed she has been spending less and less time watching TV. Instead she’s become very keen on Audible and spends at least an hour most days listening to her latest book (She is currently on book four of a seven book series), while she sometimes multi tasks on her other new hobby; online Solitaire. So she’s not only re-learned Solitaire, but is now multi-tasking as well!
Focusing on this new-found motivation I found a couple of other apps to interest her. So now she also has 50 – piece puzzles to complete and a word-search app.
With a word-search identifying the letters is still often a struggle. I’ve read that its quite common for people to ‘air – write’ the shapes of letters as a way of remembering them, and Amanda has done this from an early stage. But the strange thing is, she always ‘air-writes’ them in upper case, but then in her various online games she correctly identifies the lower – case versions, which can often look completely different.
Amanda has also become more motivated to increase her stamina and she will now remember to ask me to get her pedals so she can do 25 minutes of armchair cycling.
Despite her physical limitations Amanda is still keen to help with the gardening. During the summer she decorated a few flower pots and so, with winter drawing in, we decided it was time to add some winter colour to them. So she spent a few hours carefully planting them up.
If you’ve read from the start you might remember this blog initially started as updates on Amanda’s Facebook page. Then some of her friends suggested they should be read more widely and so I started to write this blog.
Then a few people said I should write a book. Since the blog is already the basis for a book, during New Zealand’s Covid-19 lock-down I transcribed it, designed a cover and published it on Amazon.
You can find either an e-copy or paperback version on US Amazon here or on the Amazon site in your country.
With New Zealand now almost Covid-free and the lock-down lifted, life is almost back to normal. Hopefully that means less than 4 months until the next update.