Hemiplegia, revisited

We finally ginned up the courage, after last summer’s setback, to return to writing our (newly expanded) insider’s view of Hemiplegia, the condition which affects my left side. As we’ve made our way back from that warm season disappointment, at first timidly, despite the admonitions of our rehab therapist Heidi Engel, and, lately, more aggressively, we feel the confidence return that we exhibited when we made our way to southern Burgundy last May, and daily walked the steep ridge upon which the village of Ameugny is situated.

We realize that, while, indeed our body suffered from the brain swelling episode, the real problem has been a loss of confidence. There are lots of daily actions – able-bodied me never even thought about them – that are daunting to the hemiplegic. Stepping off curbs is one – it took 18 months of carefully planned and heavily repeated rehab exercises before I could confidently, and reliably, step off a curb without risking a fall.

In any case, we returned two weeks ago to the aggressive strength-building program that Heidi had started us on last April (and which she’d been pushing us to resume), a little fearful – we had been lifting some, for us, serious weights before departing for France. Upon our return, some 12 pounds lighter from muscle atrophy, and, with a left arm that would barely move, we could lift only a fraction of our previously-set goals. Six months of near-daily exercises later, we have managed to surpass, by a small amount, our previous sets.

Confidence, however, lags strength – we’re still gun shy. So much so that, two weeks ago, we not only managed to fall, but knocked down a dear friend who was trying to help me navigate a curb late in the day. I am lately realizing that my left side will do more than I’m asking of it and I need to seize the opportunity to counter the brain’s natural tendency to work around the damage. We are so trying to get back to April, strength and mobility-wise…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, My Brain, New Life. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hemiplegia, revisited

  1. Good for you. Where are you going to go this April? Some place really cool, I’ll bet. Yeaaaay

  2. cg says:

    Back to France, mais oui…

  3. I just discovered a French blog.


    The man is a wine maker. They also have an English version which helps me. 🙂

  4. The Spouse aka "partner" aka"non-cook" says:

    If nothing else a walk down Fifth Ave. from 78th to 48th in the height of holiday tourist season should have been confidence booster!

  5. Pingback: Hemiplegia, revisited Rehab Me

  6. Pingback: Good, from the neck up

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