The key to being independent after my stroke has been to plan ahead and be organized. If I have to go somewhere, I lay out my clothes the night before and pick out my shoes the morning of. I do not have to waste time searching for anything. I always give myself extra time in case of any unforeseen delay. I always check the weather before I go out.
I use google calendar to schedule my day and set reminders accordingly. If I have to use public transportation to get somewhere, I check all the bus and train times and plan ahead.
On days that I have to go out on my own, I wake up early and take care of everything I need. That way I am ready before everyone else and before anyone can help me with anything. I try not cause any delays from my end because I don’t want to affect anyone else’s lives. I always show up early for meetings because it is better for me to wait rather than have someone waiting for me.
Getting some of my sneakers on usually takes some time but with the help of my youngest sister, I am able to get them on my weaker foot. She completely loosens up the shoelaces and then uses a shoehorn to guide my foot in. The first few times it was a hit or miss but now that we have the hang of it, it seems effortless.
I read somewhere that “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. I always make sure I have a detailed plan if I have to do something on my own. Once the plan is set, all that is left is the execution of the plan. I use a combination of Google and transit apps to plan my day. Technology has made life very easy. I also have a WhatsApp group with my family and I periodically let them know of my whereabouts so they don’t get worried, it’s called “ Finding Saj”.