Using Taiji to Recover from Stroke

In September 2023, I suffered a stroke affecting my left leg and left arm. Although it was not a major stroke, it did affect my mobility and my stability, affecting the distance I could walk, the speed I could walk, the amount of time I could spent doing Taiji, and the time I need to take a break before I can continue.

It also ended my career as a Taiji teacher, since it was not fair to my students not being able to do the techniques I was teaching. However, I also know that the best ways to recover from this fallback is to make use of Taiji to gradually built back my stamina and to recover the Taiji techniques I have forgotten or unable to perform.

I am also to undergo Inspire surgery on 6/27/2024 to replace the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine I use when I go to bed to help me breathe and to minimize the possibility of short durations of stop breathing. The Inspire surgery also places a placemaker in my chest, and it does minor surgery in the throat to allow the lifting of my tongue to allow air to pass down the throat down to the lungs.  The placemaker has a small battery that needs to be replaced every 10 years, requiring a minor surgery.

This article marks the beginning of this come back. I do not know how well I can recover. I should have a better idea of this reovery process about a year from now.

In the meantime, let me jog down my current limitations. They will serve as metrics to help me guage my recovery:

  • When I walk, my left leg has a tendancy to scrape the floor.  I need to lift that left leg higher so that my left leg is completely off the floor when I walk.
  • Similarly, I need to bring my right leg up higher to take a step forward.  So that in each step I am bringing my body upward and forward so that each step involves an upward and forward motion.
  • I need to do this on every step until I want to end this process.

I am sure that I will be adding more steps in this table as I proceed with the recovery process.

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