It has been almost 11 months since my wife suffered a stroke.  3 months in residential rehabilitation facilities.  6-8 weeks of limited out-patient rehab.  As soon as she came home we started going to the gym together.  First only on the days she did not have rehab.  Now – 6 days a week.   She is always surprised when someone at the gym compliments her on the progress she’s made.

The other night we went to the movies.  I remember our first trips to the movies with a wheelchair then a walker.  Getting her from the car in the underground parking garage, to the elevator and into the theater was a trick.  Arduous for both of us.  Now – she can walk on her own, including going to the ladies room and up and down the stairs in the “stadium” seating theaters.  I do not have to worry or go with her. 

In the parking lot – I actually got her to “run” a bit to the car.

A fantastic step forward has been her driving independently.  That only started about 2 weeks ago.  Still tentative.  Still with caution and only on familiar roads and destinations.  But she drove from the house to the office and picked me up for lunch.  Hurray!

There is still much to do.

Her gait is improving but needs a lot of work.

The post stroke exhaustion is ever-present.  She is aware and is cautious.

The biggest problem is the pain in her right shoulder.  It has become more pronounced and it is severely inhibiting her progress.   We went to a Orthopedist.  The last time I saw him, he was 14 years old and riding his bike in front of my house.  Now – a guy with a great reputation.  He believes it is muscle imbalance that can be worked through with therapy.

He gave her a shot of Cortisone in the arm.  Big – real big needle.  He predicted that the area would hurt for a couple of days until she started to feel the effects of the steroid.  Today was the first day she used her arm effectively at the gym. 

ETA: 3/29/13 – I do not see any significant improvement in her arm – at least not at the level we expected.

On April 1st she starts Physical Therapy 2 x a week for 6 weeks – aimed at her gait and her shoulder.

So much work yet to be done.  If we had listened to those that said – you are what you are by the 6 month – so just get use to it – she would be an invalid for life.  Glad we ignored that chorus of voices.