November 28, 2020
November 21, 2020
November 19, 2020
Noticing the techniques an artist uses to create an effect is distracting. When I saw Andy Warhol's giant photos of soup cans, all I thought about was how many filters he tried before he got the colors he liked. When I see a model walk down the runway with an exaggerated hip sway by crossing her legs in front of her body as she takes each step, I am not looking at the dress. I am amazed that her suberb balance keeps her from falling. I do not enjoy close-ups of a ballerina's face because I can see her drop out of character and start counting to make sure she does the 8 pirouettes the music requires. The way I do tasks after my stroke also draws peoples' attention. Able-bodied people have stared at me while I zip my coat, tie my shoes, cut my meat, and get in the tight back seat of a car.
In the first year after my stroke I was working too hard to worry about what other people thought. Later I became self-conscious. Then I chose to think of task modification as an opportunity to teach and use what I know about performance. As a child I danced in The Nutcracker ballet with the New York City ballet. It was not enough to memorize the steps. I had to convince the people in the upper tiers that I was fighting the mouse king. So when I see people staring at me I try to project an air of confidence. They will forget the steps they saw, but I hope they remember that stroke survivors can retain their dignity. homeafterstroke.blogspot.com
November 3, 2020
I am the least fashion conscious person I know, but I was horrified to see how bad my short hair looked after 3 months without a haircut. I did not have to turn around to look in a mirror to see the hair on the back of my neck. From the front I could see a curly bunch of hair sticking straight out to the side. I am highly motivated to get a haircut.
1. I get the 1st appointment of the day so multiple customers have not been breathing the air in the chair I sit in. Indoor ventilation can blow covid around.
2. I tip my hairdresser with cash because credit card companies take 2% of every transaction. Yet if you have worked in retail, you know money is filthy. I set bills on a window sill to let sunshine disinfect them. Then I put cash in an envelope. I reach for the envelope sticking out of my purse instead of digging through my wallet. I put a mask and a glove for my sound hand in my purse.
3. While my hairdresser washes my hair, I put my gloved hand in front of my mask to keep it dry. When my haircut is finished I do not let my hairdresser blow dry and style my hair. Nobody needs gusts of wind blowing covid around. My hairdresser has cut my hair for years so she knows what kind of cut I need. I never schedule an activity after my haircut so I can go straight home.
4. I pay for the haircut with a credit card which I keep by itself in a tiny purse (see arrow) that hangs from the strap of my over-the-body purse. That means I do not have to dig through my purse to find it. I bring my own pen to sign the credit card receipt.
5. When I get to my car door I use the little finger of my sound hand to pull the mask loop off my left ear. My teeth are then free to pull the glove off my sound hand. My sound hand places the inside-out glove between the middle and index finger of my affected hand. Making a fist squeezes the glove so I do not drop it. I get out my car key which is sitting by itself in the unzipped pocket on the front of my purse. After I open the car door, I put the used glove in a cup that sits in a well in the driver's door. homeafterstroke.blogspot.com