When I got back home here in Seattle from my hospital stay & In-patient rehab in Hawaii, it was time to more or less follow the status quo for out-patient rehab and start attending PT sessions for the lower extremities such as for walking & OT for the upper extremities. Why they always break it up that way, I’ll never really understand…since to me it’s all PT? So, back in April 2014 I began going to Harborview. From the very start, I felt they treated to the lowest common denominator….no matter what age you are, how healthy & active you were prior to the stroke, or how motivated one is to recover. Now don’t get me wrong, to be fair the therapists did do some good, but IMO it was far from any sort of holistic and motivated stance toward recovery!
Months ticked by wasting precious time where in hind-sight it would have likely been much better attempting to leverage any vestige of strength & mobility not letting so much of the ‘learned non-use’, especially in my arm/hand set in. As time passed, my shoulder & arm muscles began to atrophy leading to lots of shoulder pain. This pain then became a significant barrier to doing any exercise, so I began to feel I was headed into a downward spiral. Along with all the already long list of Rx drugs, I had to start popping loads of Tylenol just to get through the day. I also was having a horrible time sleeping! It was then I decided to search out alternative routes. The first was to try what is very Seattle-centric – to go get my medical marijuana permit. Edible weed seemed to really help with the sleep, but boy do you have to really be careful since well today’s weed is not the weed of the 70’s plus the edible variety sure has a lot of very different effects & can be downright dangerous! But I had excellent success with the topical ointment called VitaVerde FireBalm! It almost immediately took away the pain and would last all through the night.
I knew I had to also search out more lasting treatments so I decided to give Acupuncture a go. Years ago I had great success for it treating headaches and a very good friend on Bainbridge Island is a great acupuncturist, so I wasn’t completely new to it. I located a place called Revive Wellness Center within a half mile from my house that has this wonderful Acupuncturist that has made all the difference to me! It allowed me to get over that hurdle of pain to once again continue to exercise. It really was a saver for sure! I’m still seeing her, but now more of a maintenance schedule following a much more frequent visit schedule to start.
I most definitely plan to continue to write more on this topic as I’ve just barely scratched the surface above!