Today’s Therapy/Exercise focuses on the affected arm by utilizing a wide range of motion. Similar to “up n’ downs,” this exercise gives me the opportunity to really move my entire affected right arm - specifically targeting the range of motion I wish to achieve fully with my shoulder. I work this exercise with Tom - though I am working everyday to ensure that I am giving more of myself and using less of him.
SETS x REPS
2 x 25
I start by standing straight and facing a mirror so I can watch my reflection during every move. Remember...it is very important to watch your body parts move during recovery therapy/exercises because it retrains your brain.
With my hand at my side, first, I bring my entire arm in front of my body and keeping my arm extended as I raise it above my head. At the highest point my hand can be extended, I briefly keep the position for just a second. This is to regather my thoughts and focus on the movement downwards. Make sure you bring your arm back down in a controlled manner.
I rest then complete my second set before moving to next exercise.
I repeat this therapy/exercise 3 times per day - after I eat breakfast, after I eat lunch and before I eat dinner. I make sure that I focus on the arm during this therapy/exercise and I don’t let my mind wonder. As mentioned above, it is important during these exercises to focus on quality. It is far better for you to be able to keep control of your arm during this entire movement than to crank reps out. A controlled movement downwards is key to having a successful therapy session.
Now, I’ve got to get back to my second rep! Tune in next week for a new installment of exercises.
And here's Trader Teddy to visit with me again as promised & give me 2 stocks under $10 that I can invest in.
UP N' OVERS (ARM)
Today’s exercise addresses the affected arm, and all of if - the shoulder, the bicep, the elbow, the wrist and the hand. If you’re just starting out - post-stroke, like me! - you will probably need someone to support your movement and help when necessary. Luckily, I’ve got Tom to help me through my therapy sessions. Even if you’ve reached the point of physical independence after your stroke, it’s still nice to have someone supporting you emotionally and mentally through these exercises.
The reason I like this exercise is that it builds strength and mobility throughout the entire arm. Since doing this exercise regularly, I’ve noticed my ability to perform tasks that I used to be able to do (and no longer could do immediately subsequent to my injury) has improved.
As mentioned in my video, and something I will continue to stress throughout my posts, it is pivotal to perform as many of these exercises in front of a mirror/reflection as possible. I will describe in another post the reasoning behind this in more detail. It is our job now to train the neurons from our brain to re-engage with our muscles.
SETS x REPS
2 x 25
Start by standing in front of a mirror with both arms relaxed at the side of your body. Your partner will hold just above the wrist in order to help facilitate the movement. Next, with the help of your partner, bring the arm “up n’ over” your body. At the peak of this movement, your hand should be placed alongside your opposing shoulder. Once you’ve reached the opposite shoulder, you can bring the hand back down to your side. As mentioned above, repeat 25 times before resting.
Rest. Complete second set before moving to next exercise.
I recommend doing this exercise at least 3 times throughout the day. The ideal times to get in your reps, in my opinion, are as follows: 1) right after breakfast, 2) right after lunch, and 3) right before dinner. Up n’ overs are to be completed with the other arm exercises I have provided/will provide on the blog.
Remember, it is crucial to keep the mind focused on your arms’ relationship to the rest of your body during this exercise. Think about how all the muscles in your body are working together to enable this movement. How is this possible? What exactly am I moving to produce this motion? How can I replicate this myself? What daily chores/routines call to use this type of movement?
Many post-stroke victims are not limited by actual strength, but by the loss of muscle memory provided by some of the brain’s most elementary functions. Think of these exercises as brain games just as much as strength/mobility activities and you will be on your way to independence in no-time!
HOW I GOT HERE...
I was diagnosed with a SUB-DURAL HEMATOMA on October 10, 2017. I had no known accident, injury, or fall leading up to the hematoma. My surgeries included multiple craniotomies to drain the blood from my skull surrounding my brain, a decompressive craniotomy which was the temporary and partial removal of my skull, the installation of a ventilator and then the installation of a tracheotomy to breathe, the installation of a PEG tube to feed, and induced coma. After the first night and the first 2 surgeries, I was given 24-48 hours to live. Tom told Annie the doctors did not know my ability to survive. Well, almost 1 year later, here I am. And Tom was right...the doctors did not know me. And you, do not know me. But I want you to know me, what I have to offer you and your loved ones and, most of all, what I want to offer my loved ones, especially Tom and Annie.
Let me start by saying that I was a very successful person of 59 years. I was not even supposed to survive my own birth. The doctors told my father as they prepared my mother for an emergency C-section that they could save my mother but they could not save the unborn child. Well, I proved those doctors wrong too!
I want to share as much as I can with you and that includes my thoughts and ideas on therapies and moves. I decided to start with one of my leg exercises because it is important to me to be able to walk unattended and rely little on a walker or cane (eventually).
Here you'll find drills, places of support, emotional guidance, and everything in between!