THERAPY

I’M NOT “INTO” TRADITIONAL THERAPIES LIKE SPEECH, OCUPATIONAL, & PHYSICAL THERAPY. IN FACT, MOST OF THE TIME (BESIDES WHEN I GOT MY ARM SUPPORT & POWER W/C), I TOTALLY HATE OCUPATIONAL THERAPY (SINCE I CAN’T TALK & PROB. APPEAR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED, I’M TALKED DOWN 2, & TREATED LIKE I’M MENTALLY HANDICAPPED). I JUST HAVEN’T HAD GOOD EXPERIENCES W/THEM.

BUT, I DO HAVE “FORMAL” THERAPY, BUT THEY R THERAPIES THAT R LESS COMMON, IT SEEMS. I CURRENTLY TAKE MUSIC THERAPY , & SOMETIMES DO SWIM THERAPY AT HOME (WE WERE CONSITANTLY DOING IT IN R SWIMSPA AT HOME, BUT LATELY, WE’VE HAD “SWIMSPA TROUBLE,” SO THERAPY HAS BEEN SPORADIC).

AFTER MY 1ST 3 HOSPITAL MONTHS, I RETURNED HOME & HAD RIGOURESS THERAPY AT HOME–IN FACT, I GOT SICK OF HOW MUCH THERAPY WE DID–BUT I’M POSITIVE IT PD. OFF! MY HUSBAND WAS ABLE 2 FIND LOADS OF EQUIPMENT THAT LET ME CONTINUE THERAPY AT HOME, UNTIL WE BUILT AN ACCESSIBLE HOUSE (WE HAVE A TILT TABLE 4 DAILY STANDING, A RECLINING BIKE–SOMEHOW I BALANCE, & HE MOVES MY LEGS , AN AB ROLLER, A 2-PERSON BALL, A MAT, E-STIMULATION MACHINE, & A SPIROMETER 4 BREATHING). UNTIL THE ACCESSIBLE HOUSE, WE USED A FRIEND’S OUTDOOR POOL 2 INITIALLY DO SWIM THERAPY DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS IN INDIANA. THE NEW ACCESSIBLE HOUSE HAS A SWIM-SPA 4 SWIM THERAPY, & A MUSIC ROOM, THAT HAS HELPED W/MUSIC THERAPY THAT I NOW DO.

HOWEVER, AS LIFE SLOWLY SIFTS TOWARDS OUR NEW “NORMAL,” I UNFORTUNATELY DO MORE 4 MY LIFE AS A MOM, & LESS 4 MYSELF AS A STROKE SURVIVOR. THIS IS SO VERY EASY 2 DO, BY LETTING MYSELF FEEL GUILTY, IF I “POUNCE” ON MK THE 2ND HE’S FINALLY HOME, AFTER A LONG DAY. (THOUGH, ODD 2 ALLOW THAT THINKING PROCESS, SINCE I DON’T SEEM 2 WORRY AS MUCH, IF IT’S ANOTHER NEED, LIKE POTTY, & THERAPY IS A NEED 4 ME!)

ANYWAY, I MUCH PREFER 2 CREATE MY OWN THERAPIES… 4 EX., USUALLY I LIE 4 HRS. IN BED, SO I DO EYE EXERCISES, ARM EXERCISES, SLOWED DOWN BREATHING, ETC.… WITH ALL THE RECENT TRIPS, I WAS “OUT OF THERAPY” TOO LONG 4 MY DOUBLE VISION. MY DOUBLE VISION GOT A LOT WORSE, WITHOUT “COMP. THERAPY” & FOCUSING 2 READ.

OTHER WAYS I DO THERAPY:
SPEECH—REPEATING THINGS I HEAR, SINGING WHEN ALONE, TRYING 2 SMILE IN MY ELEVATOR MIRROR, STICKING MY TONGUE OUT AT KIDS, EATING (MOVES MY TONGUE, SO IT’S STRONGER, & CAN FORM MORE ALPHABET LETTERS), ETC.
OCUPATIONAL—SORTING THINGS LIKE BRADS & PAPER CLIPS FROM A MESSED UP DRAWER, GETTING LINT/HAIR OFF MY CLOTHES, COLOR/WRITE W/MY KIDS, SIGN HOMEWORK, ETC.
PHYSICAL—LIFTING HEAVY ITEMS–WHETHER TOYS (I HELP FIA CLEAN, WHENVER I CAN) OR BOOKS (IN PLACE OF WEIGHTS), REACHING BEYOND MY REACH 4 A REMOTE OR 2 FEED MYSELF W/O MY ARM SUPPORT, LEG LIFTS IN MY SHOWER, ETC.

I COULD EASILY GO ON, BUT THINK U GET THE IDEA: I LIKE 2 CHALLENGE MYSELF 2 DO EVERYDAY, PRACTICAL STUFF 4 MY THERAPY.

DESCRIBING MY 2 “FORMAL” THERAPIES:

SWIM THERAPY–I MOVE VERY LITTLE– MOSTLY HEAD & RT. ARM– BUT IF I’M HELD RT. IN A POOL, I CAN WALK!

1. WE HAVE A SWIM SPA IN R HOUSE (I’M THE COOLEST MOM W/A SWIM SPA & ELEVATOR IN MY HOUSE!) I HAVE A LIFT 2 GET ME IN. . THIS 1 IS NICE & JUST 1 OF THE MANY LIFTS OUT THERE: http://www.surehands.com/

OTHER GEAR:
2. NECK FLOTATION COLLAR–MINE IS LIKE THE 1 FOUND HERE: http://www.aqua-gear.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=221
3. LIFE VEST (OPTIONAL—I STARTED W/1, BUT NOW RELY ON THE NECK COLLAR)
4. 5 LB. WEIGHTS–I USE 5 LBS. ON MY LEGS, OR THEY FLOAT…MAKES IT EVEN MORE REMARKABLE THAT I CAN WALK!
5. A FLOATIE TUBE/SNAKE–LIKE FROM A TOY STORE–USE IT UNDER YOUR BUTT, SO U CAN FLOAT!

IF U CAN FIND AN ADAPTIVE SWIM THERAPY PLACE, IT HELPS 2 TAKE A CLASS, 2 LEARN THE EXERCISES, BUT YRS. B4 I HAD A SWIM SPA IN MY HOUSE, I JUST DID “WHATEVER”, W/NO TRAINING, AT FRIENDS & FAM. POOLS.

WHEN WE TRAVEL, OFTEN RENTING AN ADAPTIVE HOUSE W/A POOL, IS BETTER THAN SEVERAL NIGHTS IN A HOTEL ROOM–U JUST MAY NEED A LIFT (MY HUSBAND CAN CARRY ME!)

MUSIC THERAPY–SPEECH COULD DO NOTHING W/ME. I HAD 2 SHALLOW OF BREATHING 2 SPEAK.

THANKS 2 PBA, I CAN STILL CRY OR GET CHOKED UP 2 MANY SONGS, BUT I STILL TAKE MUSIC THERAPY. MUSIC THERAPY HAS HELPED MY BREATHING LOTS! I WAS TOLD I’D NEVER SPEAK AGAIN, BUT VOWED 2 NOT HAVE A COMP. VOICE! THE LAST THING I REMEMBER B4 BEING KNOCKED OUT & LOSING MY VOICE BACK IN 2004, WAS A FRIEND DOC. SAYING I’D SING AGAIN SOON. I NEVER 4GOT THAT, & IT HELPED LIGHT MY “OH YEAH?” FIRE.

I WAS VERY VOCAL B4, SO 2 MONTHS LATER, WHEN A DOC. SAID HE WAS WASTING HIS TIME 2 LOOK AT ME 4 TRACHE REMOVAL, BECAUSE I COULDN’T TALK, I WAS REALLY UPSET–I WAS 2 UPSET 2 DO THERAPY THAT DAY–& VOWED 2 PROVE HIM WRONG.

NOW I SAY (SLURRED, & OFTEN W/O CONSONANTS) HEY, BYE, YES, NO, LIAR (VERY IMPORTANT! LOL), ETC. I CAN SAY & SING MANY THINGS. MY BEST IS “I LOVE U” (I O U”) & I’VE SAID MUCH MORE (USUALLY IT JUST “POPS” OUT, W/O TRYING, & I CAN RARELY DUPLICATE IT). USUALLY I SAY 1–2 WORD PHRASES (IT THRILLS ME WHEN I CAN VOCALIZE A “YES/NO” RESPONSE 2 A QUES.).

RT. NOW, JUST AS A MOM WOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND HER TODDLER, WHILE OTHERS MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND A WORD OR 2, MY HUSBABD GETS ME…

IN MUSIC THERAPY, I WORK A LOT ON MY BREATHING & SINGING, BUT MY 7 YR. OLD, FIA, OFTEN IS MY BEST SPEECH THERAPIST, W/O KNOWING IT. SHE OFTEN EXPECTS ME 2 REPEAT THINGS SHE SAYS, SINGS W/ME (A FAV. 2 SING IS “OLD MCDONALD”–I SING “EIEIO” & “MOO”), & STRETCHES MY VOCAL CHORDS, BY ALWAYS MAKING ME LAUGH.

OTHER WAYS THAT I’VE BENIFITTED FROM MUSIC THERAPY SO MUCH–
• PLAYING GUITAR (AS STRENGTH & OTHER GROSS MOTOR SKILLS HAVE INCREASED, I CAN LIFT HEAVIER STUFF, REACH HIGHER & FARTHER, ETC.)
• PLAYING AUTOHARP (SIMILAR 2 GUITARM BUT PROVIDES A HORIZONTAL, VS. VERTICAL, ARM MOVT., & HELPS STRENGTH SO I CAN DO THINGS LIKE OPEN DOORS)
• PLAYING PIANO (AS I INCREASE MY TEMPO IN PLAYING PIANO, I TYPE FASTER!)
• PLAYING RECORDER (HELPS ENLARGE BREATHING, & I GET AN AUTO. RESPONSE 2 HOW I’M DOING)
• PLAYING RHYTHM INSTRUMENTS, ON THE BEAT OF A SONG (I LEARN 2 REACT QUICKER)
• MOVING MY LEGS 2 A FASTER TEMPO SONG (HELPS STRENGTHEN & PREPARE ME 2 WALK)
• BREATHING EXERCISES 2 A SLOWER TEMPO SONG (NOT ONLY HAS IT HELPED 2 SLOW DOWN & ENLARGE MY BREATHING SO I CAN TALK, BUT HAS ALSO PROVIDED SOME BREATHING TRICKS 2 HELP MANAGE MY PBA!)
• “SINGING” (I VOCALIZE, LEARN VOWELS & CONSONANTS 2 FORM WORDS, MATCH PITCHES 4 INFLECTION, ETC.)

NONE OF THIS SURPRISES ME. I WAS A MUSIC MINOR, & FOCUSED ON THE BRAIN’S IMPACT WHEN MUSIC IS INVOLVED (HENCE, “MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS” IS MY FAV. MOVIE). I KNOW A “MUSICAL” BRAIN CAN BE WIRED DIFF., SO IT MAKES SENSE THAT THIS KIND OF THERAPY SEEMS 2 HELP ME THE BEST.
ALSO KNOWING THIS, I FOUGHT 4 MUSIC 2 BE IN R SCHOOLS & TAUGHT MUSIC 2 ELEMENTARY AGE KIDS AT CHURCH, & AT A SCHOOL IN UTAH B4 MY STROKE.

WE HAVE DEVELOPED WAYS 4 ME 2 INDEPENDENTLY PRACTICE M.T. (A HUGE FEAT 4 ME), & IT’S THE ONLY THERAPY THAT I’M CONSISTENT WITH.

One comment

  1. I would just like to tell you that you are amazing! I read a lot of blogs. Part of my job is to post links on other peoples blogs to reach our site. I would never think to do that to you. Due to the value of the content. I am impressed that these different types of therapy do work. I have seen family members fail and just sit like a lump on a log. If I get any chance in the future to help someone. I will have to let them know about you and this blog. If you don’t mind, I would like to save a link to this for future inspiration. Thanks so much!

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