My Right Hand

Though my right affected hand is still tingly and numb-ish. It seems to be improving and I suspect it is because I practice my piano everyday, however clumsy, and I work on a dry erase board ( my handwriting has been awful). I thought I could not handle my usual detailed painting, but two weeks of working on this acrylic has me feeling better about it.
Amazon has some large dry erase boards for a good price and they work the shoulder, the arm, and wrist. Doodle away, and it is fun. Draw erase, write erase.
To be honest though: when I do these activities the old spasticity comes in and says you better stop and I get stiff…so breaks in between help.
dry erase

RedRed Barn



Is that an old farmhouse? Were you once a farmer?


I reckon if you draw like that your right hand is doing a lot better than mine!

Maybe we should compare notes about our regime?
. I don’t do any scripted exercises but I do try to use it for a lot of things and it is coming on


@Matthew1798 No just a neighbor’s farm. I was a college prof. Art and Art history.
Hope you liked the painting. Cheers, Derek

@SimonInEdinburgh Keep working at it Simon. Repetition is key.


Great news @Outlander your paintings are great & sounds like your hand is coming along well too.

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Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

Yes but

The repetitions for muscles - that is the same activity over and over again isn’t the repetition required for neuroplasticity - as far as my reading has suggested to me .

The repetition needed for neuroplasticity is continual challenge of varying types - otherwise the ‘efficient’ brain deprecates the need it encounters and puts the activity in the ‘OK to forget this’ category.

It gets brought back to the ‘oop maybe I should remember this’ category when it discovers the same need in a new context.

This is the area where new lived experience and the fight against learned non-use pays dividends



@SimonInEdinburgh here is a quote from me earlier:
they say that that absolute best repetitions are those of which you are doing something you love: Painting, playing an instrument, planting, playing board games like checkers, scrabble, Hanging clothes on the line on a summer day, I even like cleaning the bathroom. I still have a hard time with shirt buttons, maybe because I don’t love it?

And as I mentioned in another thread (as my physical therapist said): if you do those repetitions, say with weights or resistance bands and are just going thru the motions, that neuro won’t kick in very well. If you do each repetition as if your life depended on it with mindfulness and actually feel the muscle and watch yourself while doing it with focus the brain then knows this is special.

I’ve got to cook supper Simon, but I will be back soon.


I Remember We have share these thoughts before or perhaps we don’t remember I just recognise that I shared them with somebody

Stroke brain!

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@SimonInEdinburgh well I made some breaded chicken cutlets with Veggie fried rice. Good stuff.
Simon, there are so many factors involved. I asked my Physical therapist why, when my shoulder is having a bad day, my elbow and hand follow suit? His answer was simple; “everything is connected”. So, I have to move my shoulder with various exercises, and do curls for the bicep and elbow.

I challenge the brain/hand with painting, drawing, playing the piano ( so good for dexterity).
I have the advantage of loving strength work as I was a powerlifter and strength coach. So, my brain knows I love the slow and focused work with Bands and weight machines etc. Very good for the grip.

Lets say you are using hand putty and you are watching TV while doing it. Probably not productive. You would need to sit there and focus on your hand and really feel the fingers gripping the putty with purpose. You would then make stiffer putty a new challenge.

As far as cleaning and cooking etc. I try to use the right hand for everything. I still drop things and a frying pan can feel like a ton weight.

If you don’t mind, how much use do you have with your affected hand? I can only give you my example and I am not a therapist. Hopefully you can glean some ideas from my experiences.
I still have trouble reaching out to do things with my hand, so I can’t work on an easel and now work flat on a table. I’m still working on getting things out of cabinets.

I think we both share our favorite YouTube ladies to help us with stretches and such.
All the best.


I did not realize the barn was a painting! I thought it was a photo. I had to zoom in to see it actually is your painting. Very beautiful. Looking at it, I feel like I am there. I can almost smell the hay up in the loft.


yes, and I try to visualize a muscle movement before I do it. So I was very stiff this morning, and to get off my futon to walk to the kitchen I imagined the joy of swinging my leg, several times. I thought about the joy we get from moving from A to B. The feeling of smoothly shifting balance… it is my belief that one must do every movement with utmost joy, however simple a movement, and only that way can we recover well…never do something with a mind that struggles. A happy mind works far better than a sad mind.

Good luck, Roland


You are so right Roland and I forgot to mention this to Simon. The mind/imagination is so powerful in our recovery. Picture what you are going to do or how you will move and in your mind, imagine you are doing it well.

A happy mind? Oh yes: last week I was out with a group of family at a restaurant. It was actually a birthday party for our niece. I had such a great time and the food was so good. My mood was super elevated. When I left the restaurant, I was walking so much better and the family all remarked on it.

Well, I’m off to have some breakfast and then onto the recumbent bike.
All the best.


@DeAnn Thanks very much for the kind comments.

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I think it’s really kind and considerate of you to ask .

I use my hand less than I could.
I do use it pretty constantly.
Every light switch, door handle,
Some of the time when washing myself, doing teeth.
But I don’t try to use a knife and fork or write with it.
It Mostly takes the passive position when raking leaves, hoovering carpets, sweeping up etc. It gets a junior roll in sorting laundry - and my wife doesn’t allow me in her kitchen!

I am beginning to have discussions with a couple of research projects which give me an extrinsic reason to do exercises that I would otherwise consider uninspiring.

I have long held the opinion that by forming a semi-organized group here of folk to share their regimes and their targets and their journey through exercise and improvement we could help each other with extrinsic motivation.

My intrinsic motivation carries me through a certain amount of resistance to learned non use - not a 100% - and I could say a fair way but I’d still feel I should be closer to 100% than I am.
I noticed it with things like the drying my legs after a shower which takes five times longer right handed than left and I should stop every day and spend the five times but I don’t

The biggest problem with my physical rehab is my motivation, initiative deficit

I do think about the movements that my right arm must take, for example observing my left hand and arm as a composite motion.

It’s probably more mileage for all of us in this conversation :slight_smile:


Simon thanks for the info on your hand. How about the whole structure shoulder down to bicep/triceps forearm, then…hand. How is the team working together?
in my humble opinion, it seems as far as your hand you may need to work on your “grip”. Using hand putty, hand spring exercisers, walking with a dumbbell or kettlebell in your affected hand etc.
Lack of motivation is a tough one. I find music in the background helpful when exercising. Lifting my mood.
I have long held the opinion that by forming a semi-organized group here of folk to share their regimes and their targets and their journey through exercise and improvement we could help each other with extrinsic motivation.
boy, do I agree with that.
If you can handle them: here is a good one. Use a pair of scissors to cut out pictures from magazines, even if you are sloppy with it. I can now cut pretty well although stiffly.
For writing, I use those big fat pens.

I hate taking a shower so hard to get all the body washed and I use a long soft brush on a handle. I like a hot bath (so good for the spasticity.). But I find it hard to get out of the tub. I have safety bars all around the tub walls to grab onto.
Take care, be motivated, carry -on.

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I use my right hand (and left) when putting on and taking off a vinyl record
Since I have some precious vinyl, it’s imperative I handle with care
My right often has to open the sleeve; seems easy, but I cannot feel when I am touching it

Sometimes I do some Piano / Ukulele practice with both hands

If I have a cold meal I’ll put the fork in my affected hand for up to 50% of the meal

Sometimes my walking stick moves to my affected side ; it’s of little use because I can’t lean on it nor rely on things I can’t feel

Light switches yes

I’ll list more a they come to mind, ciao, Roland


Roland, I can’t imagine myself putting the needle down on my vinyl records on the player…my goodness, I would destroy them. :laughing:
Something that would be useful to both of us…a xylophone. A good one though, is quite costly I imagine.
As Emerald said earlier I believe, the walking stick now puts me off a bit. I only use it when in a crowd so that people can see to avoid bumping me, or to give me help.


On my best day I can walk for short periods without my stick when home alone

There’s a lever that lowers the stylus onto the record
I’m prepared to accept the occasional accident hopefully not on a $100 record

Rather than a Xylophone (but it’s a good idea) I’m thinking of Quartz singing bowls; anyone have set of 3 or 7 ?

Oh yes; Opening toothpaste tube and putting toothpaste on a toothbrush requires 2 hands.


I use Gum Care mouthwash to brush my teeth. No more paste, dentist said good idea.