I was watching a re-boot of Queer Eye on and off this weekend on Netflix. In Episode 5, one of the hosts turns to Bob, the straight-guy guest and says matter-of-factly “it seems like you strug to func” or stuggle to function with basics like “giving a shit about yourself” (i’m paraphrasing – I think shit is still one of those seven words you can’t say on TV.
But I understand the concept. There is so much that is different about your new life post-stroke, it’s hard to focus on everything you want so maybe you just get by day to day and strug to func, letting too many things go.
Don’t do this.! Make a list. What are the basic, most important things to master every day for your happiness and well-being. Here’s my list at the moment:
- Establish your daily clock. I get up at 8:00am every day and go to bed at 10:00pm every night. That’s 14 hours of wake time to take care of business and enjoy the day. It’s no accident that this meshes nicely with my husband’s work schedule, giving us a few hours at the end of every day to spend together.
- Daily hygiene. I used to shower every day. That’s just not possible now as I still need help getting into and out of my shower. My one remaining obstacle is a pair of good water shoes to assist with safe walking and no slipping. It’s on my list, just not at the top at the moment.
- Hair and make-up. I care about how I look and present myself to the world. So I have some essential cleansing (good skincare is the best gift you can give yourself, oral hygiene (brush, floss and rinse) and very basic make-up.
- Get dressed like you care. Don’t just dress for ease and comfort alone.Pick something nice – throw on a hat or a scarf or a nice piece of jewelry.
It used to take 20 minutes from bed to car for me to get ready in the morning. Now it can take an hour depending on how smoothly everything goes. Take your time it’s worth it You’ll feel awesome all day long. A remaining hurdle to clear is finding a good solution to the problem of finding and putting on a decent bra with one hand – I had high hopes for the Knix bra I ordered – but it was a fail. I’ve got some tanks with built-in bras on order arriving next month and Calvin Klein has a front closing model that is on my list to try at some point. Of course there is the fail-safe method of arranging your bra on the floor and stepping into it. As a strategy it works but is not fun or easy.
The feature picture is me this Summer with my awesome mountain pug, Roop. As you can see I’m not strugging to func in this picture I’m wearing a tank dress and jean jacket with a bit of jewelry and a touch of light make-up. Roop loved to sit on my wheelchair’s side table. I don’t use the chair much anymore after I decided not to rely on it at all this past winter – but I’ll discuss that process in another post.
I don’t strug to func at all these days there are solutions to all my problems just waiting to be discovered. And there’s always google – which helped me find a tool called a button hook- on order now and helps you button your shirt with one hand – something I’ve been trying to do for a couple of months now.