Trousers ! MILESTONE

For the first time in 3 years today I put my trousers on standing up :slight_smile:

Milestone !

Such a simple everyday occurrence when you haven’t had a stroke. My milestone marks a lot of factors that I have been working on for a long time that came together to enable this simple act in a way that is quite different to something I paid no attention to for 60 years.


The factors that combine were predominantly two:

  • sufficient balance to stand on my weak leg and adjust posture in real time without collapsing to the floor,
  • sufficient grip in my right hand to hold the waistband equally on left and right to enable lifting my legs into the opening .

Looking at the hand in more detail.
For a long time the act of reaching down to grasp something has been impossible because by the time my wrist is bent back - which doesn’t happen very well - My fingers are curled into the palm of my hand. So that has improved. Then when pinching my fingers together with the thumb to grasp something the grip has not been strong enough and fades too quickly to actually lift the trousers off the ground so that’s improved too .

They are building upon the fact that my shoulder and elbow are now mobile Which were last years milestones and have been capabilities I’ve been using and extending the utility of all year

For about a year I have been able to stand to put my trousers on if I stand with my weak side against the bed for support & because that side I fall onto. So I have been standing and deliberately engineering the fall to be onto the bed. But recently, culminating in today’s achievement, I was freestanding .

I don’t accomplish this act with the grace, dexterity, speed with which I accomplished a thoroughly unremarkable & routine act of daily living for decades. The remarkable achievement of today is slow and clumsy

But it was a milestone today.
It marks another Reward for effort everyday.

There are many more inch pebbles and milestones to come.
I don’t know that I will be able to achieve the same as well tomorrow or the next day but I do know I’ll be better at doing it next month and the month after.

I have found that by constantly observing how my good side works and then consciously copying that towards my achievement of things with my once dominant side improvements happen.

Just recently I have relearned the compound movement that is pulling a door-to behind you whilst walking through - with my right hand. A surprisingly sophisticated combination of shoulder elbow wrist and finger activity that for a 18mths I was nowhere near able then for 18m I haven’t been getting right but within the last 3 to 5 days has shown a marked improvement.

I realised that in the last few days that the piece of the jigsaw I was missing was the final movement of a wrist twist. Now I know it’s missing I’ve been practising it and I’m getting better - all very necessary with this cold weather and the drafty old farmhouse we live in

Unappetizing exercises

I have long struggled with exercises of the sort characterised by a box of pegs and a plastic cup or a pile of small wooden blocks. I did do many hours of that early on but found it unrewarding, even depressing trying to reconcile not following a regime that others told me was vital but yet I couldn’t adjust motivationally to embracing. I have however been continuously inventive in using everyday activity and focusing on consciously fighting learnt non-use: but again with less than rigorous elimination - giving a rise to feelings of guilt & self blame

Learned not use still dogs my use of cutlery.
I can eat a bowl of cereal with a spoon in my right hand - have been able to for a year. I can’t use a knife and fork normally. But with more putting on trousers, closing doors, always reaching for light switches and door handles I anticipate that a table knife in my right hand is no longer beyond the horizon but is now the horizon .

I’m sure your exercise regimes are different but maybe they will have similarities to mine and or maybe mine will give you ideas for yours :slight_smile:
I always welcome reading about what others are using in their regimes and the milestones that you both set and achieve. Those milestones aren’t at the end of the journey, they’re the way markers as we progress together



Bravo Simon,
Ah the wrist twist ! That’s when the Twist Bar comes in!
And pulling the door shut after walking through the doorway also a favourite of mine
I also had a breakthrough today!

Keep them coming!


Please Do share…


:partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: You know how much I love to celebrate achievements and milestones :clap: :clap: :clap: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:
Keep it up Simon, it’ll be second nature soon enough :smile:

Have you tried doing much with the hand exerciser
I know physio usually give out one similar to this:
…but I always found them awkward to use. I use one similar to this now:
…but I hold it in the opposite way to this for a better grip, which also get more action from my small and ringer fingers where I need it most. I’ve only recently started using it again because I’ve had so much trouble rigidity in those two fingers again, particularly when doing things like typing.

It always felt it was at odds to me, doing the opposite of what I want my fingers to do. Instinctively you want to be able to open your fingers out not try to squeeze them closed even tighter than they probably are. But the resulting effect is quite the opposite as to what I thought it would do. You are strengthening all the muscles in your fingers, hand, forearm and on up into the shoulder. Making them far more flexible than they are right now.

We had a 2hr drive down to Stoke last Sunday. And during the whole drive down I was using that hand exerciser whilst I read a book…and again all the way back home. Those 2 fingers are not going nearly as ridged now, they’re not a hundred percent yet but they are getting there.

So now I’m taking that out on my walks, I only hope no thinks I’m carrying a gun and reports me :rofl: I use lampposts and other landmarks to alter arm positions pointing down, forward or across my waist.

In the beginning, during the lockdowns, I used to carry around a 4pint milk bottle with the handle and filled with water…it even went out on walks with me :rofl: I just didn’t care what it looked like to passers by. When my hand tired I switch hands to give the other a workout; I also did bicep curls with it as my arm strengthened. But the beauty about it was I could also let out some of the water if/when it got too much to carry.


Well done Simon. Here’s to more milestones being achieved.

I still have to sit to dress. One of the disadvantages of not being able to lift my foot off the floor :grin:


As Simon has said…please do share…you know how much I love to celebrate :laughing:


Yes I do one use one of those R shapes exercises
for the first year I couldn’t get it to click my count was zero. I can now but still Have it set to a fairly low setting. My little finger won’t stay on it very well

Not sure what you mean about turning upside down because of her turn it upside down only my index finger really does and the thing and my pinky isnt relevant to gripping and closing it


I’m starting to break my locked / unlocked-glute day cycle.
It started on Friday when my physio got me working on leg abduction
actually we started off seated; the trick was to use Gluteus-Medius only
Since then I have been thinking about this muscle, and controlling it all the time
For instances, actively tightening it even going upstairs.
Well Sat was a do-able bad-day, Mon was a very do-able bad day and today?
Today Our After-Stroke group was cancelled (due to act of vandalism at church venue last night) . So went with my wife, and we ended up going for a 10 minute walk (at Blaise castle)… only 10 mins, since it’s locked-glute day…Except I did 40 mins and another 600 steps. Yesterday I would have said that’s an “impossibility” on locked-glute day. Now I haven’t jinxed the cycle quite yet, but I feel the lateral stabilization gained from being able to control the locked-glute is a major step in the right direction. I was going to wait until the end of Fri to count it a victory, but there are signs and I have gut feeling that it won’t be long before I crack this 8-month curse. The dreaded “locked-glute” days are counted. Hooray


Congratulations, Simon! :man_lifting_weights:


That’s fantastic.

Onwards and upwards



That sounds really positive Roland. :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:


@pando That is great news Roland, you’re breaking through now aren’t you, can’t wait for the update of that one. :partying_face: :partying_face: :clap: :clap: :clap: :partying_face: :partying_face:
I’m so excited for you, that’s going to be a major celebration when you finally conquer that one, keep us updated please :pray: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :people_hugging:


That’s why I ditched the one physio gave me.
That orange one I put a pic of up there, that’s like the one I use now. It’s an R-shaped spring hand gripper, it goes up to 60kg (132lbs) resistance, I have it set to 20kg (44lb)
I just hold mine turned the opposite way to how it’s held in the pic…so that spring is facing toward the wrist and not away. That way I can get all four fingers engaged.
While I was out walking tonight I took it with me, so I was constantly working that hand for an hour and a half. And I concentrated more on the pinky and ring finger squeezing and holding. I don’t concern myself with counts or clicks or whether the handles touch or not when I squeeze either, that comes naturally with time…and then you crank it up a notch :wink:
It’s about the action, squeeze and hold for a time, squeeze and release, mix it up but just keep the action going. If your hand tires let it rest a few minutes then carry on.

Out walking or when a passenger in the car, they are the best places for doing that hand exercise because there’s nothing much else you do with your hands anyway…apart from put them in your pockets…and you don’t have to think or concentrate, just do! :smile:


Very, very proud #StrokeWarriorWife
:heart::flamingo::heart::flamingo::heart::flamingo::heart::flamingo: :heart::flamingo::heart:


@SimonInEdinburgh Are ye’ Share they’re no “Troosers” laddie?
Guid on ye’ Sir. Surely more hurdles to jump in the future and you will do well. All the best.


Keep it up my friends…an inspiration for sure.


Well done you! I’m in awe of all of you for always trying things and never giving up!!! Merry Xmas to you all and may 2025 bring us all many more successes love Suzywong x


Well done you!! Persistence must pay off. I’m going to strength and balance classes twice a week and I can now balance on my right foot for about 25 seconds wxout any support. Still working on my left foot but I’m slowly getting there. It was a year since my stroke on December 9 th and I know when I think back, how much progress I’ve made but I still have a way to go . Merry Xmas to you and long may your successes continue love Suzywong x


if we keep chipping away at this and that we’re bound to improve slowly but surely. That can’t be denied. Have a good Xmas, Roland