One thing therapy does is it makes me conscious of the fact I have to exercise and practice the theory of "forced use" in my daily activities. I have in my garage my own little workout area complete with ballet bar, chair and CD player. I got the idea for the ballet bar from Ami Armstrong, my PT at St. David's, who told me at what height and length it should be. I planned it and Chris, my wife, assisted in the installation after a trip to Home Depot where I purchased the handrail brackets and the handrail itself. It's 4 feet in length and comes up to about 3 inches below my sternum. The ballet bar was easy to install, and once we found the studs in the wall and screwed the brackets in and the rail on, I felt pretty safe and secure when I leaned back and stretched out the spasticity in my arm. For a total of $20, I created my own mini-gymnasium. So I highly recommend that you install a ballet bar for your home therapy.
Another topic and I would like to discuss concerns "forced use therapy". I feel that if a survivor does not acknowledge a limb or appendage, he or she miss an opportunity to regain balance in their life. And it all begins with posture! Sit up straight, don't slouch, chest out, and chin up are echoes of our mothers coercing us toward good posture. I came across a good article entitled, "Sit up straight!" The Mental Health Benefits of Good Posture.
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edith-ismene-nicolaougriffin/sit-up-straight-the-menta_b_7338440.html) Forced-use therapy is when a person is aware that they must use their hand, arm, or leg that's full of spasticity in order to start reconnecting the neurons. Forced-use means that a person attempts to utilize their handicapped arm or leg on a regular basis by doing the mundane stuff, like turning the light switch on or off, reaching over the sink to turn on the faucet in the kitchen, attempting to blow his or her nose, carrying stuff in the affected hand, practicing yoga, taking walks and exercising daily. Not that I always do all these things, but I always keep them in mind as possible options
Which brings us back to our original question. Do I continue working out or let it go? Many people are counting on me to keep improving, and some of them don't even know it yet. I'm speaking of my step-grandchildren whom I have grown closely attached. I would like to see them grow up and share in their lives as much as possible. I was talking to my father last week, who is going on 94, and he was telling me that he hoped for a miracle for me so I could get well. I told him that the only miracle, in my case, would be as a result of hard work. So my advice to everybody who has suffered a stroke is that in order to improve, you have to be patient and work diligently and deliberately to fix whatever doesn't work. My motto is, to quote Mr. Natural: "Onward through the fog."