This is a story that I’ve wanted to tell for a while. It started after my stroke in February of 2017.
As I’ve said, the stroke did not affect one side or other of my body, but my balance in all directions. When I left the hospital, I could hardly maneouver with a walker. The stroke was diagnosed six weeks later. This becomes a good story for our medical system. We sometimes don’t want to admit it, but we do have a few of these good stories about our system.
I had different therapists work with us in our home. My recovery process went slowly. I thank them for all they did. They were in our health system. Our health system has a Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team.
It is the Grey Bruce team that were “our angels”. They have about 10 staff members, that are physiotherapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation facilitators, social worker, nurse and a speech language pathologist. As you can see, they cover a broad range of supports.
I was involved with about five of them at the start, but then, down to basically two angels. Their motto is: “Life after stroke, Let’s make it happen!” Their mission is: Specialized expertise, coordinated teamwork and personalized approach to supporting stroke survivors in their communities.
To summarize, I say that this is one damn fine team that works with you in your own home and environment. They start by assessing you, your home inside and out, and your community. They help you set goals for yourself. A goal could be that you want to walk around the block. They are all personalized goals to you.
After the assessment and goal setting, we started on an exercise program. The occupational therapist assessed us and our home for suggested aids to make our situation better. As you may have noticed, I don’t always use the “I” word but “we” and “us”. A stroke doesn’t just affect the individual but, family, loved ones, friends and really anyone they are associated with.
A Social Worker and a Recreational Therapist met with us. I’m going to shorten a three-month period into some key things that happened.
They helped me to walk around our community (like a small town block) with a walker, then a cane, and then, ready to use walking sticks!! They helped me to play golf on the Wii,( I was no better there than on the real course.) We had a morning that we went to the lawn bowling club in Southampton. We had some instruction and then rolled some. I thank the club for their support on this. Kudos.
Another time, a rehabilitation facilitator took us (my wife & I) to the mini-golf at the beach (where the train IS, another subject).
The team did not work just on the physical part of the stroke, but they assessed “US” and worked on advancing our heads, for attitude, mood, thoughts, and desires. The big one for me, was Confidence. With this, I wanted to meet goals, short and long, be able to do things. I wanted to do the exercises between their visits. They noticed this and would say how well I was doing. A lot of clients, don’t between their visits.
I could go on with all the little things that they did to support us meeting our goals They were like family to us. When they finished their three months, I was ready for walking sticks. I ordered Canadian and got them from Urban Polling in B.C. The sticks have been great for me. So, look for me, out n’ about.
Kudos to our health system for having this support.
Kudos, Kudos, Kudos and many more to this Grey Bruce Team.
As I said before, I want to see a small amount of ‘Nots’.
My Not is that this great team had to quit around the three-month level of support. They did another assessment visit after six months.
Without their visits, it got hard to routinely do my exercises. They weren’t coming to see how you had advanced since their last visit. They weren’t there to tell you,” Pick those feet up, move those legs in, get those arms going.” Remember, this is all in our own environment. This was very important to me!!
I went for physio after their support was gone, and that team was great but, again, this was in their building, their environment. I had some setbacks, but still worked on getting better.
I would just think of what “Our Angels” would say to me and this kept me working.
I feel that after the three months of support, if I could have gotten their service for another 2-3 weeks, it would have been very beneficial to me.
The Not is to the system and not against the team.
So folks, as their motto states “There is Life after a stroke and they helped to make it Happen”.
As you can see, this is a very important story to me and I feel it needed to be told.