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Old 03-02-2013, 01:40 AM   #1
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Twitty bird HB User
Unhappy post stroke 18 months and desperate

Hi, every one:

I am a caregiver to my husband, he had a stroke one and a half year ago. so far he made very slow progress, still can't walk on his own, when he try to stand up his left foot always curl up and slide forward. Anybody know how to over come this problem? and he still can't not get himself out of the bed either, requires me to help him to sit in the bed. Any body have any suggestion how to work on get himself to sit up in bed? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

We are living in Thailand, it's fun to live in when you don't have a stroke patient to take care. i am pretty much on my own to take care my husband, as soon as his stroke his family all checked out. i don't know hom many times we both just want to give up, since there is so little progress. His left leg and arm are having tingling sensations all the time, when he practice walking some time he can make steps by himself, most of the time relies on me to move it. And also complains about his left arm moving around on it's own during the night alot, like it's having a mind of its own. any body have any idea why this is happening?

 
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #2
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Re: post stroke 18 months and desperate

Has he not been on a prescribed program of intense physical therapy? That's the normal course of treatment here in the US.

 
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: post stroke 18 months and desperate

hi Tweety bird, I'm sorry to read of your husband's stroke. I agree he needs intensive therapy, still progress may be slow.? Maybe I can help some, as he sounds like my own stroke 20+ years ago. I know nothing about where you live, your access to things, or ability to get them? it sounds like he has drop foot in his left leg/foot? a good pair of high top boots laced tight, would probably help his foot stay up ad straight trying to walk.

he is probably having spasms in his arm at night, you might form a sling out of a piece of cloth for his arm, keeping his arm tight against his body at night, not so tight as to cut off circulation! let his arm lay across his belly at night. much better than rolling over from your back onto right side and leaving his arm behind his back, that hurts! he should also wear the sling any time he's standing or trying to walk. try to never let the arm just hang straight down. also, if his hand tries to ball into a fist? roll up one of his socks, put it in his hand, and pull another sock over it holding it in place, will keep his fingernails from digging into his hand that hurts too.

getting in and out of bed, he needs to get in and out on his weak side. it takes time to learn and build the strength, but he'll set down on left side of bed, hold onto the mattress with his right hand when balanced, put his right foot under his left foot and use it to lift his left foot up and turn onto the bed. there is nothing that's going to be easy! he'll have to build his right leg and stomach muscles, once he does it will become natural. you can help keep his left foot looser, by having him lie on the bed on his back, you cup his left heel in your hand/palm place your forearm against the ball of his foot, and push toes back, this might hurt him a bit? when hurts, hold it there until pain stops then push some more the farther back you can get it the better. it stretches the tendon up the back of leg that is pulling foot wrong. don't hurt him just cause you can simply keep it stretched out as much as possible. every step he takes, he needs to try to bend the foot and knee keeping that tendon loose. if you can hold onto his belt or pants while he's walking will improve his balance. a good exercise for his balance is to set on a stable chair, his feet under him as far as his shoulders, hold his hands close to his belly and stand straight up using only his legs not pushing up with right hand. I do this 10 times every time I go to eat both before positioning my chair and before leaving the table when done, that's 20 times each meal.

I think this covers everything you asked about?I hope it helps. once he has these mastered it will be easier for you both. when he and you are ready, post to me individually, and I'll do my best to explain the steps he needs to get himself dressed and undressed. I say directly to me so I don't miss the post in this or another thread? I don't post every day but do open this board almost every day.

god luck and god bless I hope I've helped some?

Larry/coupe
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Unhappy Re: post stroke 18 months and desperate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Has he not been on a prescribed program of intense physical therapy? That's the normal course of treatment here in the US.
Hi, Titchou:

The medical system in Thailand, if you are living out side of Bangkok, the hospitals are all overwhelmed by patients,so when my husband's condition is stabled they just wanted to send you on your way. They did have some therpist showed me some passive movement i can help him to exercise, that's about it. Since then we've been to some private clinic to some physical recovery for a few months, it's very far from where we live, and therapist more interested in taking our money than really working with us. so we decided do the therapy at home. So far he can walk between the parallel bars with my assistance to move his left foot, some time he actually make some steps on his own. i also phursed Biomove 3000-muscle stimulator, it seems to helped a lot.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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Re: post stroke 18 months and desperate

Hi, Larry:

Thanks for the tips, they are very helpful.
About the part getting himself out of the bed, he can manage to move his left leg off and on the bed on his own without having his right leg to lift up the left leg, just the part sitting up needs a little push from me. i guess you are right he needs to get stronger on the right arm and abdominal muscles. He doesn't have much tension in his left foot when he is laying down, or even practice walking, just when he first attempt to stand up, the foot tends to curl up, once he starts to walk, it back to normal again. It also curls up when he is nervous, he is afraid of falling. he can also lift up his left heel when he is walkig. Exellent tip on the banlancing exercises!
I hope you don't mind me asking, took you how long to recover from your stroke? i assume you have usage of you left hand now?
We've been using Biomove 3000(muscle stimulator) to help to move his arm up and down, open his hand up too. lately, when he try to point out some feeling he had on his left arm with his right hand, his left albow lift up every time, but he doesn't he is doing it, is this a sign of some recovery on his left arm?
My husband has left side neglect, over time with constant remind and reading, he starts to look to left side as we sitting down by the table to talk to me. But when he is reading a book, he still tends to miss a word or two on the left side, some time miss the left side of the words, and tried to make it up himself as he is reading. Is there any suggestion you can offer to help over come this left side deffiency?
I probably will have a lot of questions for you in future, i hope you won't be too overwhelmed haha.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: post stroke 18 months and desperate

Hi Twitty, thank you for the kind words. feel free to ask me anything you like. I'm here to help however I can? I'm sorry to report, in over 20 years I've not regained anything in my left arm/hand. I Was left handed, also my left elbow will raise at times, like scratching it with my right hand. means recovery? I don't know?

his best strength would be to his abdominal muscles to set up to get out of bed. simple set-ups using only those muscles would help. he can do those lying in bed, will be hard at first, but get easier by the week. it's great he can lift his heel while walking. but, more important that he can hit the floor with his heel before toes walking! weight bearing is best way to train the damaged brain to recognise the affected left side for hand too. just placing his left hand on a table and leaning on it is good.

I too suffered left neglect, still do to an extent. for reading a book, I suggest a colorful book mark of some sort a simple piece of paper placed on the far left of page, will force him to find the color make him look to the left as much a you can. place his food plate off center to the left, put his favorite foods on the far left of his plate,set o his left side when talking and make him look at you! making him do it, will make it become natural, move TV to his left from favorite chair. anything to make him look to the left! another good balance exercise, is to use two scales. 1 under each foot, trying to get both scales to red the same. standing on 1 foot gets tiresome fast, learn to distribute the weight. nervousness, causes many things, can cause spasms,contractions, and inhibits self confidence. in my 20+ years, I have fallen 5 times. it's the getting back up that builds confidence, just proving to yourself you can do it. oh, I've also turned my electric cart over 4 times, got it up and myself, never been hurt other than a few scratches.
stroke recovery is a never ending process. it goes on for many years not a few months as many have been told.

I hope this helps a bit.

good luck and god bless

Larry/coupe
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