Wednesday, June 02, 2021

what it's like to be back at work, post-stroke

Since leaving the hospital, I'd say I've been improving day by day. I started off so weak that I could barely lift my arms, and climbing the 24 steps from the first floor to the second floor of our old office building felt like torture. Now, I'm a bit out of breath when I climb those steps, but I can feel my strength returning as I re-engage chains of muscles that had spent a full week not being used. When I first got back from work, I was so weak that it was hard even to type (this was partially due to hypoglycemia, not muscle weakness from staying at the hospital; the solution seems to be SlimFast, which contains some sugar, but not enough to drive up my sugar levels too much), but now my main concern is improving my typing speed and not making so many errors (what the French call fautes de frappe, i.e., typos). My right hand is still an issue since my right side was affected by the stroke, but if I'm careful, I can type out a sentence with few to no errors, i.e., without having to go back and correct mistakes.

Since we're currently in a proofreading phase at work, I'm using a red pen to go over paper copies of our textbook's manuscript—yes, I prefer proofing old-school as opposed to leaving electronic comments on a PDF (and my Korean coworker seems to be OK with that as well). My left side is unaffected by the stroke, and I'm left-handed, so when it comes to proofing things, my productivity is unaffected. When we start writing the next textbook, though, we'll be in content-creation mode, which means my typing speed definitely has to improve before we reach that phase. Come on, brain, rewire!

As part of my new workout regime, I'm back to walking home from work. This is good for improving my endurance, which definitely needs work, especially when it comes to walking uphill or up a long set of stairs. When I take the long way home, it's a bit over five kilometers. That's more than I did with JW this past weekend, I think, so I'm off to a good start. I also have other fitness goals, as you saw when I blogged my various graphs. I'll be working on some of those tonight, in fact, once I'm done with work today. Walking-wise, given what I discovered during my diagnostic walk, I'm no longer concentrating on speed: instead, my focus is purely on distance. As I've plotted things out on my workout calendar, I'll reserve long distances for weekend walks (probably to be done at night now that summer is upon us). During the week, I'll work up to 10K walks and then remain there.

My boss has been nice about letting me leave work early. I do what work I can, and when I reach a decent stopping point, I simply pack up and go home. I don't plan to take advantage of this privilege; probably starting next week, I'll return to normal work hours, although that also depends on whether there's work to be done. In publishing, the deadline is everything, and there are times when things are frenetic as well as times when there's almost nothing to do. When there's almost nothing to do, the boss often tells us all to go home early.

Anyway, that's work life: things are slowly but steadily improving, and hopefully in a few months, things will be back to normal. More later.


  1. I've sometimes thought about doing something similar in Seoul, but I haven't convinced myself that I'd like urban walking as much as that. That said, hats off to this guy.



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