Firstly, let me just explain the picture; this is me doing something I could not do three months ago; opening all the fingers on my left hand, it was a very proud moment.
I had my latest physio session last Monday at Gloucester Royal Hospital for the first time in ages and it felt extremely positive.
My physio, Rachel, was pleased with my progress, particularly with my left hand and leg, which I would say have been the worst affected areas of my bleed. Being right handed, I never really noticed or appreciated just how much work my left-hand side gets through, here are a few things that are a lot harder with one hand.
Firstly; showering, in particular, washing any of my right-hand side, because it means using my left hand and arm to go across my body to do it. But rest assured; I have managed to do it, so nobody has to worry about coming near me because I smell or anything like that. It is also difficult to brush my teeth, not so much the actual brushing part, more applying toothpaste to the brush process, as again, it involves both hands.
Another everyday job difficult to accomplish is simply getting dressed, in particular any sort of pulling things up such as jeans, trousers, socks or underwear, as once more, it means using both hands. Let's just say it no longer takes me 15 minutes to get ready in the morning! But I can now tie my shoelaces which is a huge milestone for me!
A task I used to enjoy before suffering my bleed was cooking, whereas now, I must rely on Amy to do it all, unless I've been at Headway. I have difficulty chopping things for example, and I don’t feel safe frying or using a saucepan because it means using my weaker hand.
One more job Amy has to do because I cannot is the cleaning of our flat. Now normally, most blokes would not have a problem getting out of their household chores, whereas for me, it is rubbing it in as it is a further example of another task I am unable to complete that must be added to an already long list.
I have mentioned many times in these blogs about my left hand not doing what I want it to now, this is probably quite hard to imagine if you cannot physically see it. I struggle mostly with opening my hand and anything that is quite fiddly such as picking up small objects or typing. There is movement there but it is slower and individual movement of the fingers is tough. I was hoping to put a video up of my hand but it's proving more difficult than I first thought, I hope to try and get one up soon.
It can be really frustrating at times because I really want my hand to do what I want it to but it just won't. Don't get me wrong it has come on in leaps and bounds but there is hopefully still more improvements to come, with hard work.
At first I struggled to come to terms with why my left-hand side issues, my arm in particular, was not co-operating with me. I can feel everything in my hand; whether something is hot or cold, the texture of things, all the sensation is still there, so why can I not move it the way I could before? This is the complex nature of brain injuries and the many different ways you can be affected. I am determined though to keep on trying to improve, I'm sure I will keep you updated with the new milestones of the future.