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Old 23-07-2018, 08:04   #1
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Recovering from stroke

Hey Guys,
I could use some advice. This is Bill with Crewsadr Ministries. I am 65 yrs old and recovering from a stroke. My balance is a little off sometimes. I want to reenter the liveabord sailing community very shortly. It’s been 25 yrs. since I sailed. I was wondering if anyone suffered the same? Looking for any suggestions or advice
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Old 23-07-2018, 09:16   #2
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Re: Recovering from stroke

I'm 38, When u was 14 I had meningitis and had a stroke on my right side. I haven't been on the water in a long time. Sometimes I have to catch myself with the wall or whatever is close by in my small home. After riding in elevators I sometimes need to sit get myself back together again.
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Old 23-07-2018, 10:07   #3
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Re: Recovering from stroke

I hope you can get back on the water soon. My prayers will be for you.
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Old 29-07-2018, 16:19   #4
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Re: Recovering from stroke

I too had a mini stroke as itís called. Had a hole drilled in my head and spent 6 days in intensive care. 4 months and Iím back to better than new. Iím scheduled for some kind of robotic surgery next month. Pretty new technology but supposed to be a good fix/ preventative thing. Insurance pays for it so I guess Iíll go for it.

My main concern is what happens if you are out on the water and it happens again. The doc says it wonít in my case but the situation still remains. Hopefully the cell phone works and the VHF radio is in reach. Iíll keep a portable with me.

Fact remains that each of us has to face end of life. After 76 years I realized this while in the hospital last April. We are not invincible nor immortal so itís time to realize that we may not wake up someday and itís closer than we would like to think.

So each day I give thanks that Iím still around. My sister worries more than I do. She is like a second mother to me. I appreciate it but I have talked at length with her about us and my condition. Nevertheless if something bad happens, Iíve had a very good life and she can have everything I have and move onward.

Prayers are with you.
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Old 30-07-2018, 12:26   #5
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Re: Recovering from stroke

Bill-
Your balance may never come back, it all depends on the extent of the damage. If you are getting physical therapy, your body can learn to compensate to some degree and after six months you'll pretty much be as good as it is going to get, although you may see more improvement over the course of a year.
If you can use it, look for a "balance board". $15 online or $100 at the medical supply store, same thing. They are like a black plastic UFO, a large circle of plastic with a "hemisphere" on the bottom. The idea is that you put the hemisphere down, and try to stand on top of the disc. Since it can and will rock in any direction, you've got to work actively on compensating your balance and motion. This can--and should--be done while you are standing in a walker or other support to make sure you don't get thrown off!
It will mimic the same 3d motions of a boat at sea, so if you can master the balance disc, you'll have no problem on the boat.
If you're seeing a therapist, ask them about it.

Beyond that, if you do go out again, be especially careful about deck shoes, a pfd, and "one hand for the boat".
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:30   #6
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Re: Recovering from stroke

Crewadr--

Absolutely seek out physical and occupational therapy for an assessment of your deficits. Be clear that your goal is liveaboard sailing so your therapists can build a treatment plan specifically tailored to the challenges of the sailing environment. Working on your balance deficits is very wise, but also be aware that strokes can cause a myriad of other deficits including vision, judgement/reasoning, strength, and coordination. Don't let this be a set back!

Just be aware that a stroke may make it much harder to navigate a sailboat through a tight marina crowded with other boats or obstacles or have the strength/coordination to climb up a mast to replace rigging. It is very common for post-stroke survivors who have minimal deficits to simply find everything a bit harder and more tiring. Being aware and planning for higher levels of fatigue is extremely important.

Good luck and hope you get back out there very soon! Never, never, never give up!!!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:57   #7
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Re: Recovering from stroke

You can get standard lifeline stanchions as tall as three feet, and you can have custom ones made as tall as you want. Extra handholds along the cabin roof and below deck can be installed. Weight training for arm and upper body strength can give you a better ability to hang on when you need to. I'm sure others can suggest more safety measures to help compensate for unsteadiness.

Sailing is a widely unrecognized but superior way of getting exercise, sharpening flexibility and nimbleness, building up self-reliance and generally enhancing the quality of your body, mind, spirit and life, IMO. If you can stay aboard a boat atall, you may want to think of it as a road over which you may be able to advance your recovery.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:22   #8
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Re: Recovering from stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attikos View Post
You can get standard lifeline stanchions as tall as three feet, and you can have custom ones made as tall as you want. Extra handholds along the cabin roof and below deck can be installed. Weight training for arm and upper body strength can give you a better ability to hang on when you need to. I'm sure others can suggest more safety measures to help compensate for unsteadiness.

Sailing is a widely unrecognized but superior way of getting exercise, sharpening flexibility and nimbleness, building up self-reliance and generally enhancing the quality of your body, mind, spirit and life, IMO. If you can stay aboard a boat atall, you may want to think of it as a road over which you may be able to advance your recovery.
=============================================
very much on the mark.
assume your balance is not returning.
install as many hand grab things you can think of,as you move in the boat anticipate where else you want to ""grab" and put one,never will be there "too many".
your insurance is to try stop falling and that means strength on arms and hands to "grab"
Currently mapping out all points to attach new handholds in my boat,including the head.
Even boarding the boat from dock is a chore and need to add steps and anticipate climbing.
That means every single movement has to be deliberate and planned as the old reflexes not longer apply,every time I forget I hit the ground and reminds me.
good luck,never give up,bingo halls is not an option..
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:41   #9
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Re: Recovering from stroke

Now, here's an idea: Could sailors who've suffered strokes, injuries or other debilitating accidents deduct their boats as medical therapy expenses?

Hmmmmm ...
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:18   #10
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Re: Recovering from stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by crewadr View Post
Hey Guys,
I could use some advice. This is Bill with Crewsadr Ministries. I am 65 yrs old and recovering from a stroke. My balance is a little off sometimes. I want to reenter the liveabord sailing community very shortly. Itís been 25 yrs. since I sailed. I was wondering if anyone suffered the same? Looking for any suggestions or advice

My father, 86, had a severe stroke in December. Was fully paralyzed on left side. Months of physical therapy later, he is able to walk short distances with assistance. So, if improvement is possible at his age, it certainly is possible at yours. The most important thing is to get appropriate therapy (speech, occupational, physical), keep exercising as prescribed, and you will make progress. Don't lose hope - progress may appear to be slow, but it will certainly make a difference
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