Prior to the stroke, I lived a fast-paced and active lifestyle. I worked on the railroad as a signals and communication maintainer. I played soccer once a week and would go to the gym every morning just before I started work. On top of that, I had a busy social life and would occasionally enjoy the Toronto nightlife and festivals around the city.
Being in a wheelchair after the stroke made me realize that everything would have to take a break. The stroke slowed me down but has not stopped me from anything. A major adjustment that I had to make was to the pace at which I was able to do things. In order for me to successfully complete tasks, I had to plan ahead and stay organized. I had to patiently work towards my goals and tasks step by step.
Once I learned to transfer myself in and out of the wheelchair, I was able to freely get out of my inpatient room and have a change in scenery. I was also able to use the washroom independently without the help of the nurses or adult diapers. To get in and out of the wheelchair, I would have to make sure that it was positioned properly and that the brakes were on. I had to make sure that the wheelchair was secure before I moved in and out of it. Safety and concentration was important.