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.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Goals and Achievements

Really pleased this morning, I've achieved what was quite a longstanding goal. The first time was a couple of days ago, the second was just now.

The goal? To use my bad arm, unaided, to switch the kitchen light. Not much at all, but it shows how I'm getting gradually more movement.

The switch in question is on the wall, I guess around 5 feet off the ground. It is around about shoulder-height for me, just over. With some degree of effort, I can get my arm to the horizontal. Just getting it that few inches further, to the switch, has thus far been prohibitive. It is difficult to explain - I can get the arm so far and then it just becomes impossible to lift its weight any further. It's compounded because my wrist is deficient (just points downward and is limp), and to get to the switch, I need to move my arm away from my body toward the wall. So all told, feels like a Herculean effort. But, a couple of days ago, I finally conquered it.

Right now, I'm still at the stage where I sometimes succeed, but mostly I fail, so there is a further goal - to get my success rate up to 100%. Yesterday, for example, I crashed and burned. So it's kind-of a continuous challenge for now, until I'm reliable.

I'm also fortunate that this is just a light switch. I don't really have much movement in my hand yet, so I have to use it pretty much as a club. But for a light switch, that works well enough.

This post probably seems quite trivial, but I don't really see any improvement from day-to-day, so for me this is a big milestone. It is interesting but I have to view all of these disabilities as temporary, that one day I will overcome them - this seems to be a typical trait of survivors no matter what their current plight. I think I need that sense of hope to keep going.

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