August 31, 2014

Fatigue is a Deal Breaker

The fatigue I felt the first year after my stroke was unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I repeatedly felt a crushing fatigue I couldn't push through.  Using a timer to force myself to rest was annoying because the timer would go off at the worst time.  I tried to rest by watching TV, but that turned me into a zombie who couldn't stop clicking the remote because nothing good was on at the moment.  I tried reading and going on the Internet, but got so absorbed in these activities that I ended up being more tired.  When I did not rest I could barely hold my head up after dinner.

I found two strategies that work for me.  (1) Lying on top of the bedspread with a towel under my shoes and a small blanket covering me doesn't feel like I'm going back to bed.  I can lie down for fifteen minutes without having to get undressed.  (2) When I listen to a CD I can stop after a few tracks and come back to it later.  Instead of staring at the clock and resenting having to rest I enjoy the music.  Even seven years after my stroke I make sure to get enough rest when I have an outing planned for the day.  I don't want to start wishing I could go home a few minutes after I arrive.  A stroke survivor I met resents having to rest but I think preventing fatigue lets me do more rather than less.

August 26, 2014

Reviewing One-Handed Knives Again


I am reviewing one-handed knives again because I have found a rocker knife that actually works.  The dull rocker knife on the left cuts only soft food and sticks out of my purse.  I'm not going to buy a big over-the-shoulder purse that would hide this nine inch long rocker knife.  I have to push my purse to the front where it will not hit my cane.  I do not want a big purse making my stomach look huge (vanity).

I love the Verti-Grip Professional Knife from caregiverproducts.com.  The Verti-Grip knife is held vertically so my whole arm can press down as I rock the blade side-to-side.  The rocker knife shown above is held horizontally so I create downwards pressure only with my index finger. 

The VertiGrip's sharp blade cuts though steak and pork chops.  It is only six inches long so it fits completely inside my purse.  It has a protective cover that slides off easily so I put the VertiGrip in a small zip-lock bag to protect the inside of my purse.  The Verti-Grip costs $17.95 + S&H, but I think it is worth it.