The Light Switch (Fandango’s Friday Flashback)

Fandango appears to be getting back to normal after his house move, and a short while ago he posted his Friday Flashback.

I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too.


I had a quick look through today and found a post which exemplifies my recovery – the light switch! I had a goal for a while to use my bad arm to turn on a light. I blogged about it and when I finally got there, it had been after about a year of attempts. This was the post where I commemorated my succss, two years ago tomorrow.

I’m not sure it I explain the problem very well in my post. Most of the time, my arm hangs down to about groin level – its default position. If I work at it, I can lift my arm to shoulder level. I can hold it there maybe five or ten seconds. Getting it any higher than that is a major effort. I can’t, even now, put my bad hand on my head, say.

The reason this switch came in was because it is about 6 inches above shoulder level. And for a while, it was impossible. Now, I can do it, but I’m still only strong enough to lift my hand up for ten seconds-ish, so there is no room for dicking around.

I tend not to try it particularly any more, just because I can do it every time I try. If fact, I was able to do it just this morning – I tested it before publishing! I still have to move my arm this bit then that, very like a crane I guess, the kind of movements I made seamlessly before without even thinking.

I’ve noticed that even though I can flick the switch as an exercise, I never try to use the bad hand instinctively to turn the light on or off as I’m entering/leaving the kitchen. I always have to go in the kitchen deliberately in order to test myself. So it is far from “natural”.

My hand unfortunately is still the same. I can use the fist as a “club” to flick the switch, but I can’t actually use the fingers. Even if I make a pointy finger before I start, it has curled up again by the time I raise my arm to the switch. If you remember Action Man with the grippy hands, that is our default position. Mine is like that all the time.

So my hand is mostly useless. My arm is doing okay though, I think. One of my bugbeears is that survivors are mostly just left on thir own to either sink or swim, so I haven’t seen anybody to tell me otherwise! Truly, I can understand why some peopl just give up.

[If you haven’t already noticed, the letter “e” on my keybard has started acting up. I will try my best to proof-read out any mistakes but I warn you now, I am very fallible! ]

Stroke Survivor

Really pleased this morning, I’ve achieved what was quite a longstanding goal. The first time was a couple of days ago, the second was just now.

The goal? To use my bad arm, unaided, to switch the kitchen light. Not much at all, but it shows how I’m getting gradually more movement.

The switch in question is on the wall, around 5 feet off the ground. Around about shoulder-height. With some degree of effort, I can get my arm to the horizontal, but just getting it that few inches higher, I haven’t managed. If I extend my arm too much, it gets too heavy and I can’t support its weight. So I have to move the bits of my arm very deliberately – it feels exactly like a crane. A Herculean effort. But, a couple of days ago, I finally conquered it. Even when I get my hand high enough…

View original post 167 more words

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

6 thoughts on “The Light Switch (Fandango’s Friday Flashback)”

  1. Reading your posts and your efforts to improve what is possible, shows your character. It also makes me think about some things I take for granted. I keep on pushing my body despite the fatigue, maybe I should just be grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you have to keep pushing yourself, theere is always further to go. But yeah, we do need to stop sometimes to let our body catch up. I walked a mile sponsored walk in the summer, which was great, but I needed three hours sleep in the middle of the afteernoon afteerwards – nobody saw that!
      But I’m funny because when I achieve something, I tend to play it down because it is merely a step forward on a long journey. I have to train myself, almost, that these milestones are big deals.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant! (Sorry about the pun, as it was a light switch. It was unintended lol)

    I tried over a long period of time to walk a bit. I know my problems are for different reasons to yours. But I got walking a bit and was so proud of myself as physio had guven up on me. Sadly it lasted for a while then went again. Now, even stabding is hard.
    But you have doneb real well . Persecerance has its rewards 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know I am lucky, in a way, that the stroke seemed to be at the bottom, and I have been able to start improving from there. I know that for a lot of people, the curve goes the other way and it is more a case of trying to make things as good as possible, for as long as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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