BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me. Lastly, you'll find typos here, although I do my best to correct them. There are reasons for this, which you'll discover as you read.

Saturday, 13 January 2018


A few weeks ago I posted about some of the niggles I have when dressing. I wanted to quickly address some of the issues I face while trying to sleep.

Bear in mind that I'm speaking as someone who has very limited movement in my arm, and no movement whatsoever in my ankle.

I've always slept on my side, and not necessarily the same side. This means that nowadays, my dodgy arm is essentially a bit of luggage. So my "good" arm needs to get involved when I moved. But all of this is do-able.

My ankle, however, is a different proposition. Quite often - every night, likely as not - I get a pain which feels exactly like cramp, in my left calf.Now, I used to get cramp when I rode long cycle rides, and read that the cause was dehydration. But I'm not dehydated these days, so it may not be the same thing. It feels the same.

The solution, in both cases, is to stretch my calf. Before the stroke, it never clicked (it didn't happen often enough for me to recognize a pattern), but I used to stretch the calf by putting my foot flat on the floor. I had to get up and sit on the edge of the bed to do this. Since the stroke I have noticed that my foot is generally quite limp, at an angle of approximately 180°, or thereabouts. I can stretch the calf enough by using my other foot to raise my bad foot to 90°, pretty much the position it takes when I walk. Of course, this can be achieved without getting out of bed, so it is now easier to correct. Sitting on the bed and putting my foot on the floor also works.

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