Next morning, after breakfast the physio’s arrive and I’m hoisted to my feet and placed into a wheelchair. My physio is determined to get me working on my left arm. She also explained that whilst it’s good news that I’m getting some feeling back in my legs, this will come at a price. For the next few weeks I’m likely to experiencing muscle spasms and they will be painful. So it turned out, but thats for later. Today I was given a task that had me completely in tears, with frustration. It left me dizzy and with a headache. I was asked to move my thumb. Just my thumb. Imagine your hand and the complexities in volved in picking up a pencil or some change from the counter. You do it without thinking right? Now imagine trying to do that and nothing happens. Nothing. I was scared and the harder I tried the more tearful and frightend I became. Yet nothing moved, my arm was just dead flesh hanging from my shoulder. The physios were manipulating it and I was trying might and mane but nothing worked. After half an hour of this the physios returned me to my bad and defeated and crushed by the effort and the failure, I retreated into a deep sleep. The other thing I need to tell you is about the tiredness, a stroke essentially damages your brain, in some instances parts of it will die. Therefore your brain has to work harder to do the things it used to do, and that costs you in energy. The tiredness is a killer and a short physio session has therefore to be followed by a long deep sleep.
Sadly this is interrupted by the spasms that the physio had previously warned me about. and they are stunningly painful and its like having massive cramps that last mercifully a short time. All in all a frustrating day, with progress in my leg marred by pain, and progress in my arm non-existent. Later I have visitors and they are kind and bring me magazines and books. I try to read and again, I’m frustrated in my efforts, with brings a fresh bout of tears testing my determination to walk out of this place. I’m also dying for a cigarette, one of the reasons I’m here in the first place. So all in all not the greatest day in my life.