Saturday, February 24, 2018

No Germs

"That's not sterile!" I was talking about gloves. People will think the gloves are there to protect them. That's not the case. The gloves are to protect me.  I don't want your germs.
Now this video shows super-ultra sterile gloves before a surgical procedure. I watched a nurse once train a new/student nurse. I used to have a trache tube in my neck, and the cleaning kit (the trache was removed for cleaning) had some. Student nurses were common at this hospital, so I was in school again.

This video gives you an idea about sterility. We don't have to be this sterile at home since we are not doing surgical procedures. However, we do need to be clean and take general precaution against germs, especially if your loved one recently got out of the hospital after an extended stay. A person can lose his/her immunity to general household germs if in a sterile environment for a while.

At home, I keep a box of exam gloves. It's common to use 1-2 boxes a month. Keep a can of Lysol or something like it handy. A can can last me about 2 months, but I use it daily (almost daily) on the main computer keyboard as I am not the only user. The box of exam gloves say 'non-sterile', usually. That's because they are not individually wrapped and protected from the elements like the ones in the video. I don't know if other measures are taken.

The gloves are for the patient's protection, not yours. You can't catch a brain injury, but (this happened to me) a brain injured person can get e coli because you didn't wear gloves after feeding your dog. (That was the plausible explanation the doctor came up with.) You can pick up germs from touching surfaces, shaking hands, or even going to the bathroom. Germs can be missed during hand-washing, but exam gloves protect against these.

Just a quick mention, use a face mask if you have a cold. I don't want your germs and I don't appreciate your snot dripping on me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Positive Energy


I was just goofing around. I am holding a cut piece of pool noodle suggested by an Occupational Therapist. My right arm had been paralyzed. It had been 15 years since you saw it move like that.

The pool noodles are sold in packages on Amazon. I understand that the dollar store sells individual ones during the summer.

Little kids (and big kids) like them. They make great swords.

I use mine for exercise. It's a great way to take the disabled arm along. My other arm does most of the work, and my right hand holds on for the ride.

Sure this is a small success story, but I'm not an over-all success. I was just goofing off one day. Is it a success that I sit in a wheel chair? It isn't if you compare it to walking. It is if you compare it to me being bed-ridden.

I'm supposed to be the latter, bed-ridden. It's how you look at it.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ugly Boot

I now use this blue one:

The SoftPro AFO is a transition boot and gait trainer.
There is a bed only version without the foot pad.

From Google, a CONTRACTURE is "a condition of shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue, often leading to deformity and rigidity of joints.

AFO stands for Ankle-Foot Orthotic. They are braces and train positioning of the foot and ankle, just like braces for the teeth keep the teeth straight.

I "HAD" a contracture of my ankle. That's unusual, "had." It's gone. I thought that they don't go away. I asked a PT. It has happened, so it wasn't impossible that they should disappear. I had started wearing these big ugly boots cuz they are more comfortable than the plastic AFO. I wore it much longer.

I had a plastic AFO made here in town a few years ago. My goal was to keep it on 2 hours straight. I usually had it on an hour and a half. Then it started hurting and I'd take it off. I keep the ugly boot on all day.

I took one apart for washing. It's just a plastic AFO with tons of cushy covering on it. No wonder why I could keep it on so long. It's padded for comfort.

These things are made for non-weight bearing. I had a night splint, a big, ugly boot for sleeping. That means you can't stand on them. I could keep that night splint on all night and it didn't wake me. I was learning to stand and walk again, though, and had to stand on my foot. I made it my quest to find a boot that could take standing. I found the blue one pictured above. It is also called a trainer.

My foot still turns in, but half of what it was doing. That's major improvement. The contracture was because my ankle fully turned in and then turned up. It froze. It formed a bump. The bump is gone and my foot isn't frozen anymore.

I can now work on walking. I don't think it could be done without the foot.

I have a white boot here in the picture below. I don't wear this anymore because it was two pieces.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Start Now

"Recovery occurs for the rest of your life." (1:11 ) 

I got an answer I didn't expect. It was something like, "But it's been over 20 years." It was like, 'too much time has passed. Why should I bother?'

Forget that which was being said 20 years ago about brain recovery. Some might still be saying that. The brain continues to grow and recover the whole life.

20 years could have passed since your injury. You can still start now.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

At Least You Are Alive

Oh poor you. You lost so much.
Stop thinking this way and put it into perspective.

It doesn't matter because you are still alive. The woman above suffered a severe stroke.

That is what I mean about perspective. It doesn't matter what you lost. You didn't lose your life. You are lucky. A lot of people do lose their life.

Life has twists and turns. Yours took the biggest turn ever. So, make the biggest twist ever. Get used to your "new you" then go forward. Be a good example for others with similar conditions. Show them what to do.

*Personally, I couldn't talk, move, or see. I now see with both eyes, although my left eye is more consistent. I move some. I used my left hand to type this. I use an electric wheelchair. I speak some and am mostly understood.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Get Help Before It's An Issue

I was presented with the following article and asked questions.

This is embarrassing to have it hit the media. It's not done with that. I wouldn't be surprised if the public didn't put pressure on the local law enforcement to arrest the woman.

During recovery, typically developing peers will pick up on odd toileting behaviors. I'm sure that having to go to the bathroom in public will be noticed.

Action could have been taken with referral to the local county mental health. The request would be for behavior modification. If this case does go to court, a savvy lawyer or advocate may be able to get court ordered behavior mod. This is unlikely though. A big criticism of our legal system is that our jails are full of people who can be rehabilitated.

The rightful person must make the call. Mental Health offices speak to the person having legal right. People who don't, but who want to help make up the circle of support. There is a role. Nosy people are not needed and can keep reading things like the above tabloid.


There wasn't video when I first saw this. The police weren't involved yet.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Range Of Motion (ROM) for Spasms

I've addressed Range of Motion (ROM) for people in bed. The video specifically talks about the wheelchair.

I have recommended ROM exercises to immobile people. In the video, the woman and her caregiver/husband show how.

ROM exercises are done to keep the joint in working order. If some sort of cure is found in the future, the person with the disability will want to be able to use those joints again. This will not be possible if the joint ends up frozen, deformed, or in some other way to not be working properly.
For a growing child, it is very important to do these daily and to wear braces and splints as directed. The reason is that bones and joints grow. A spasmed muscle can pull on a growing bone. Deformities can form. (Make sure to always check braces and splints for proper working order and if it is causing any redness or chafing.)

Children grow. They need to wear 
appropriate braces/splints.
(This doesn't say, but appears to have been a fracture.) 

Now this is a personal experience.... At a long-term care in a hospital, there was an older woman who was Spanish only. She did not speak, but followed simple commands in Spanish from her husband. Maybe she had had a stroke. She used a wheel chair. She had developed a habit of wrapping a foot around a wheel chair leg. It looked odd and her foot was becoming odd-looking. 

One day the Physical Therapist came to observe her. She ended up getting passed over for a walking rehab program. The reason was her foot.