Thursday, February 25, 2016

Building Bridges to Exercise by Randy

The Stroke Comeback Center is Building Bridges to survivor exercises.  What does that mean?  It is for helping survivors to always be involved with our recovery. 
I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke on May 19, 2011.  At age 51 I could not understand what happened to me.  As a survivor I got lucky that I am able to walk and run.  However I do have a language disability called Aphasia.  I speak pretty well however I have trouble with words.  My memory is a challenge as well.  Reading and writing is also extremely difficult.  However due to all of this we as stroke survivors never give up!
Okay here we go.  Exercise has always been one of my passions.  Exercise began for me as running.  Weight lifting started shortly after running.  After my stroke I started working out at home.  Part of this was because I had to practice my physical and occupational exercises from the therapists.  My wife bought a treadmill to help me with my walking and balance.  In August of 2011 my wife and I were at the beach.  We were walking then we began running.  My runs were slow.  Now I am able to accomplish my 5k runs.  Basically my 5k is roughly a 37 minute run. 

So now that that has happened, my new passion is to be a exercise trainer.  I want to be able to help other survivors.  It is very important to me to help these people. 
As a trainer, which I am not yet, but I hope to be.  I think that is a problem due to my memory is not good.  This is very much due to my reading and writing.  I am able to help other people and do many of the right moves but I have a very hard time with the words.  I have trouble connecting the word to the movement.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ruff! by WILSON (and Pat)

This is what my working America's VetDog, WILSON told me.
--- My name is "Ruff" but everyone calls me WILSON. The new girlfriend I got calls me Moog. I like it.
--- I am from Smithtown, New York. I got this job from the America's VetDogs. I am black, short, my head is huge and I am 90 pounds. It was really weird but I had blue eyes. Then over time my eyes became black. I had a bunch of friends.
---After 6 months I lived somewhere it was hot. I lived in a house. There were nice people there. One person gave me food and told me to do stuff. We got to walk around, sit, stay, left, right, brace and heel. Once I went to a building with tons of people there and one guy talked and then everyone would sing. One time we went to a park. There were thousands of people there. There were nine people in the grass. One other guy hit the ball. I wanted to go get the ball but I wasn't allowed to. After so many months I realized I was living in Atlanta.

---Then I went home. I got to see some old friends. Every day we got to run around. Some human threw the tennis ball and 5 of us ran to get it. Then later I learned these words: busy busy (to go to the bathroom), forward and stop. They told me that I could not bark. I thought that was a bummer. I learned this strange thing. This guy was on my right side. He told me to start walking. I got it. He would tell me a "word". I learned not to bark.
---One time two people showed up. That night I stayed in a room with them.  Then I showed Pat how to work with me. Then I started using a harness. It helped that guy Pat. Then I realized that he walks slow. Then he took me to his house.
---I've been there for almost 4 years. I don't mind. Pat gives me food. I don't mind walking around. I help Pat in crowded restaurants, around people and up big hills. This girl, Patty, likes to eat apples. Sometimes I can eat some!!!!!
(Hi, my name is Pat. Let me tell you about WILSON. He is a great working VetDogs. When we walk, I can't see on the right side. Wilson looks left and right the whole time. Making sure I don't run into things. A couple years ago I had a seizure. Wilson barked and barked and barked. He was trying to tell somebody and he wanted me to wake up. He is a smart dog. Also, he wants to go outside and walk. That is good because I need some exercise. He has been a wonderful working dog! To Wilson I say, "Bark, Bark!" )

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Needlepoint by Christie

I have been in a rut for over a year dealing with issues.  But I now have free time again and I need a project.  Since we rescued a dog, I wanted to make her a Christmas stocking to hang on the mantle.  So my next project is going to be needlepointing a picture of our new dog, Kona.  I have finished projects in the past, a Santa and a Rooster and they took some time because I would put them down from boredom.  So I'm sure it will take some time but my goal is to finish Kona's stocking for Christmas.
My history was not needlepointing as a pastime until I got a stroke and I needed something to do instead of sitting idle all the time.  My husband and I found a stand called 'The Original E-Z Stitch Needlework Frames' because of my limited ability with one hand.  It holds the work upright and it doesn't slide around.  It's comfortable to sit and watch TV.
I have a needlepoint kit from years ago but I really want a picture of Kona.  Suzanne found a website where you can take a picture and turn it into a needlepoint cross stitch pattern.  (Website:   I am searching for a perfect photo to use.  Then I will purchase colors of thread from DMC Embroidery Floss Color Cards.
I hope it will be exactly what I needed to pass the time and decompress.