Overcoming Obstacles as an Adult

  • By Springible Contributor
  • Reading Time About 2 minutes
  • PostedSeptember 19, 2017
  • Category

As I began my journey getting “back to normal,” various therapists would tell me that I could regain certain skills and capabilities by using adaptive devices and compensatory techniques. People would suggest that I use tools like a walker or a cane, an ankle brace, or even opaque patches for my eyes. But I was born stubborn. I’d hear their ideas and think: “NO! I’ll conquer this my way!” I loved my life. I wasn’t going to let having a stroke change it.

But, over time I have learned that sometimes the solution lies somewhere between my stubbornness and another person’s suggestion for me. My right ankle is weaker than my left one and it turns while I practice walking, particularly when I’m tired. So I wear a lightweight brace that fits inside my sneaker and strengthens the ankle so I can walk with an improved gait. I intend to lose the brace, but for now it enables me to move along with my walking. After all, progress is the goal.

I never used to use plasticware in my kitchen. Glass and stoneware always seemed like the healthier material for food preparation. However, those materials aren’t as friendly now. Glass is heavy and breakable. And after breaking, and cleaning, an entire set of glasses and plates, I’ve now made the switch to plastic. Plastic has many great features that prevents mess-making and frustration. I have bought multiple brightly colored plates, drinking glasses, and mixing bowls. They are light-weight and durable, which are a huge help when I bake! It was a minor change that really improved my day-to-day living.

I’d never really used the oven outside of baking cupcakes or heating a frozen pizza. Most of my cooking was done on the stovetop. I avoid using the stove top these days because I am unable to hold pots and pans while I stir because of my balance and eyesight issues. Another go-to cooking appliance is my George Forman grill. I’ve learned to use it for grilling vegetables and sandwiches! I love living independently and I love of cooking, and those two things have inspired me to explore the oven. I still have to take precautions when cooking, but I have learned safer approaches.

These adaptive changes are minor but they have greatly improved my quality of living. It feels like you lose a lot of yourself after a significant health event, so you hold onto whatever you can, as little as it might be, to avoid losing more control. Though, it’s important to realize you are changing little things now to help big things change in the future. Then, when the big things happen you can work with ease on the little things with your new tricks!

– Maggie McClellan, Springible Contributor

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