Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Those were the words echoed by Susan. She suffered a massive stroke. Her life as she knew it was turned upside down. Here’s her story of resilience.
Be inspired to overcome the odds.
Sometimes in life, bad things happen to good people? Life is happily going along and things are relatively in a good place. One event can occur and your life as you know it is completely turned upside down. In June of 2016, I had this happen to me. I experienced a stroke, due to a carted artery dissection. I went from an actively engaged, full time working school nurse and mother of two daughters, to be in a rehabilitation hospital for a month trying to recover from left-sided hemiplegia..learning to walk, swallow, eat and move my left arm and hand. I had no indication.
Other than being human, I was at risk for this to happen to me. When I was discharged home, I had around the clock caregivers. I attended therapy three days a week until my insurance visits were exhausted I was only allotted 20 visits per year, I was fortunate to be able to begin walking independently, by September. It was about this point that I learned I would have to enroll in intensive rehabilitative therapy to return to work. It took 6 months and a lot of my savings to graduate. Then I learned my old job which I loved and I was motivated to return to, had been given to someone else. I was offered a different position. It was very kind of the school, I accepted the new challenge with a positive attitude. My left arm and hand were no longer making progress like the rest of my body had. I received an email from Saebo about their products and the no plateau in sight motto. I also learned about neuroplasticity. The only thing holding me back from my old career path at this point is that I am still unable to effectively use my left hand and arm.
When I saw the advertisement for an arm boot camp I knew I had to attend. I learned I would be a good candidate. I was thrilled they were able to schedule me in April of 2017. Three intensive days of therapy, with the opportunity to take over your own recovery at home and continue therapy on your own. I was initially so excited I ordered the Saebo devise to help me with the gross movement of my fingers. My therapist near my home helped me to put together the device. It did enable me to pick up objects. However, it was not until I actually attended boot vamp that I learned about the balls and how important repetitive movement is to stimulate the brain to regain the lost function. It felt so awesome to actually be able to use my left arm and hand for something again. Upon arrival to camp, Henry promptly refitted my devise and I was determined to become the Saebo ball transfer champion. We were introduced to many other devices and activities. By the time I left, I had put together my own program to continue my therapy independently at home. I am still using my therapy equipment. I went back to one day one on one camp day this year. During the camp it is a 1:1 ration one camper per therapist you get the therapist for a full day of therapy. I came home with a new glove to help my fine motor movements improve. I am still not 100% back to my old self in the left arm. I am seeing continued improvement and I am not going backward. Saebo provides the therapeutic avenue for independent stroke recovery. I am so grateful I took the chance in the initial boot camp experience and have built this therapy routine into my busy life. The best thing is to tailor it to fit your needs and fit it into your lifestyle in the way it works best for you. I wish all stroke patients were introduced to these devices immediately after the stroke. I was seven months out before I began this therapy.