Finally! After a week in a hospital and 3 weeks in-patient therapy, I was going home. Now what? The hospital got me to the point that I could walk, get dressed, take a shower, and what exercises are helpful. They showed me some “do this ” and “do not do thats”. They set me  up with an additional physical and occupational therapy, but what about living? How do I become more independent? What is involved in getting back to driving and going back to work? What are the rules? What can you expect from employers? How do I deal with jerks? It’s definitely a challenge. I hope these suggestions are helpful.

Well, one of the first things I have learned is how one poorly placed item can have serious consequences. I’ve been taken down by the most mundane items causing painful gravity tests. (falls)  I get a false sense of security when I am at home, just because of the familiarity there. It is as dangerous or even more so than out in public. I have fallen many times at home, but only twice outside of the house. Look around and try to adjust things to minimize the chance of a rapid deceleration event. (floor impact)

  • Bathroom -This is probably the room that needs the most attention. Bars in the appropriate places are essential. One of the hardest things I deal with on a regular basis is getting up after taking care of business. If you can, get a taller toilet. If you are stuck with a standard-height (like me), a raised seat might work. The ones I have tried are a bit small and don’t work well for me.  Make sure that the floor and bathtub have slip-resistant surfaces. You will need an appropriate bath or shower stool. Bath chairs have an extension outside of the tub and have six legs. Two are outside the tub to make egress easier. Shower chairs are narrower for tighter space. A toothpaste dispenser is a more sanitary option than setting the toothbrush on the counter where you just shaved, brushed your hair or applied makeup. I also recommend a soap and shampoo dispenser. If you drop your bar of soap it could be hard to retrieve. It is also helpful to have a shower brush and sponge on a stick. Reaching some parts can be difficult. Cleaning your unaffected armpit without a brush is just about impossible, not to mention… well, you know.
  • Living Room – The most obvious concern here would be rugs. I sometimes drag my affected foot, and to catch a rug could be disastrous. What can be worse? Face planting a glass top coffee table on your way down. Any obstruction between point A to point B is a trip hazard. Needless to say, I don’t have a coffee table. Floor lamps, cords, and decorative pieces are all possible problems. I just wish Andy would put his toys away when he is done.
  • Kitchen – I probably feel safest in the kitchen. Mine is small, so there are a lot of things to grab in the event that I should lose my balance. I have fallen there, and it hurts. I had spilled water and of course, delayed cleaning it up. The result was a beautiful multi-colored mark on my hip. What is the moral of the story? Keep your floor dry.



Applying for and receiving SSA disability benefits is a somewhat arduous task. It can take a full year to complete the process. Because the long-term effects of a stroke may not be immediately known, sometimes there is a 3 month waiting period before an evaluation is made. It took me 7 months to get to my first deposit in my bank account.

You will have to provide a lot of information documenting your condition, and you will be evaluated by a physician. The SSA will give you a list of doctors in your area to choose from and the doctor will evaluate you and send a report that substantiates (or doesn’t) your claim. This is the list of what you may need to provide. Obviously not all items will apply to every applicant.

Information About You

  • Your date and place of birth and Social Security number
  • The name, Social Security number and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death (if appropriate)
  • Names and dates of birth of your minor children
  • Your bank or other financial institution’s Routing Transit Number [more info] and the account number, if you want the benefits electronically deposited

Information About Your Medical Condition

  • Name, address and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application
  • Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries or conditions:
    • Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals and clinics;
    • Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them; and
    • Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who sent you for them.

Information About Your Work

  • The amount of money earned last year and this year
  • The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year
  • A copy of your Social Security Statement
  • The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service you had before 1968
  • A list of the jobs (up to 5) that you had in the 15 years before you became unable to work and the dates you worked at those jobs
  • Information about any workers’ compensation, black lung, and/or similar benefits you filed, or intend to file for. These benefits can:
    • Be temporary or permanent in nature;
    • Include annuities and lump sum payments that you received in the past;
    • Be paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier, private agencies, or Federal, State or other government or public agencies; and
    • Be referred to as:
      1. Workers’ Compensation;
      2. Black Lung Benefits;
      3. Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation;
      4. Civil Service (Disability) Retirement;
      5. Federal Employees’ Retirement;
      6. Federal Employees’ Compensation;
      7. State or local government disability insurance benefits; or
      8. Disability benefits from the military (This includes military retirement pensions based on disability but not Veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits.)

Then, you wait. And wait more. Eventually, you will be given a decision on whether or not your claim is approved, and if so, how much you are to receive. The amount you receive is determined by your lifetime earnings. I do not know what the exact formula is, but mine is about half of my previous income. To start the process started, click the link below.

70% of all, (not just stroke survivors) first time claims for disability are declined. If you are denied benefits, there is an appeals process. I have seen a couple of estimated 15% of appealed applications are approved. You can request an appeal online or in person. This can take a very long time. I have heard of 2 year appeal times due to backlogs. I did not experience having to go through the appeals process, but I would probably go and meet with someone at the local SSA office for more details.

Here is the link to appeal a decision:

Being able to work has really been good for me. Of course, the money helps. Just having a reason to get out of the house a few times a week means a lot. I do wish I could go back to my old position. Since I can’t, I do the best I can to remember how fortunate I am to be healthy enough to work at all. I always said that no job was beneath me. It turns out, I’m living that reality!

Being able to get around independently was a very important key to my returning to some semblance of normalcy. Like dealing with the SSA, it is a bit of a process.

If you want to drive again, it all started with a prescription from a doctor, and a statement saying I would be safe behind the wheel of a car. Next, you will want to then contact your health insurance company to confirm coverage. (unless you are paying for it out of your pocket) After receiving the prescription, I found a place that provides therapy. This consisted of 25 hours of driving a modified car to familiarize me with and make me safe with the pedal on the left side and driving a car with one hand.

Having right side hemiplegia means that I now have restrictions on my license requiring me to drive a vehicle that has been retrofitted with a left foot accelerator pedal, have an automatic transmission, (duh), and have power steering. The retrofit cost was about $800.

Because of these restrictions on my license, I cannot rent or lease a car. Car rental companies do not have retrofitted cars, and leases do not allow for any vehicle modifications whatsoever. For me, it was simply a gas pedal, but the level of sophistication involved in some modifications is amazing, and the costs can be very high, but the benefit could be incalculable.

I am also a believer in ride-sharing services like Uber if you don’t have the ability to drive. It is inexpensive (compared to a cab) and is easy to use. I have found that it is sometimes less expensive to be dropped at the front door than the parking fee at my destination! I have used it for a week when I was having my car repaired. (remember, I can’t rent or borrow a car).

Check with your local municipality or state government for programs that can help. I have done some digging, and virtually every major city has a program, especially for getting people to and from doctor appointments or hospitals. It would be impossible to compile a meaningful list here, but just do a Google search for disability transportation services in your ar




I am fortunate in that I was able to return to my previous employer for work, albeit in a significantly diminished capacity, in a job that pays a lot less money. My previous position was commission based, and now I am paid hourly. I have worked there a total of 17 years as of this writing. They have made some very much appreciated accommodations for me. My position normally exclusively a full-time position, but I am allowed to work part-time. Because I have much less stamina than before my stroke, I work about 16 to 20 hours a week. Some lifting is normally associated my job, but it gets delegated to others. My position normally requires standing as well, but I am allowed the use of a chair. To make things more equitable with my associates, I work the least desirable shifts. It’s not that fulfilling, but it gets me out of the house. My part time job and disability check allow Andy and me to live on our own.

There are some very strict rules about working while on disability. The SSA has information available at the link below. I strongly suggest consulting with the SSA before returning to work. The best case scenario is, of course, to get back to work full-time at a fulfilling job without the need for financial assistance. This is really difficult, though. I have found that being paralyzed is a real turn off to potential employers. Go figure. There are state-run programs available to help with finding a job, so look in your area for opportunities there, also.

This brochure discusses the rules governing working while on disability. I have to say, it is not well written, and some things conflict with what my local SSA office said. Read carefully!

Being able to work has really been good for me. Of course, the money helps. Just having a reason to get out of the house a few times a week means a lot. I do wish I could go back to my old position. Since I can’t, I do the best I can to remember how fortunate I am to be healthy enough to work at all.




These are just some of the items that I found to be priorities after getting home.  Just know that this is a long and laborious process. It took me 2 full years from stroke to working part-time. Dealing with all of the insurance companies, government, (state and federal), and the medical system is hard and frustrating. DON’T LET ANYTHING STEAL YOUR JOY! Remember, happiness is a state of mind, not a given set of conditions. Don’t let a bad day today ruin tomorrow.

5,911 thoughts on “Freedom!

  1. There are some attention-grabbing deadlines in this article but I don抰 know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  2. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  3. After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  4. Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this web site wants way more consideration. I抣l most likely be again to learn far more, thanks for that info.

  5. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer,
    might test this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a good section of other folks
    will pass over your wonderful writing because of this problem.

  6. Incredible update of captchas solving package “XRumer 19.0 + XEvil 5.0”:

    Captcha solving of Google (ReCaptcha-2 and ReCaptcha-3), Facebook, BitFinex, Bing, Hotmail, SolveMedia, Yandex,
    and more than 12000 another types of captchas,
    with highest precision (80..100%) and highest speed (100 img per second).
    You can use XEvil 5.0 with any most popular SEO/SMM programms: iMacros, XRumer, SERP Parser, GSA SER, RankerX, ZennoPoster, Scrapebox, Senuke, FaucetCollector and more than 100 of other software.

    Interested? There are a lot of introducing videos about XEvil in YouTube.


    See you later 😉

  7. Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since
    I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may
    you be rich and continue to help other people.

  8. What i do not understood is in truth how you
    are now not actually much more neatly-favored than you might be
    now. You are very intelligent. You know thus significantly in terms of this subject, produced me personally imagine it from numerous varied angles.
    Its like women and men are not interested until it is something to accomplish with Girl gaga!
    Your personal stuffs nice. Always handle it up!

  9. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that
    deal with the same topics? Many thanks!

  10. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it
    has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up! Other then that, very good blog!

  11. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great pictures or video clips to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with
    pics and video clips, this site could certainly be
    one of the best in its field. Very good blog!

  12. Link exchange is nothing else however it is only placing
    the other person’s web site link on your page
    at suitable place and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  13. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  14. Good day! I just would like to offer you a big
    thumbs up for the excellent information you’ve got here on this post.
    I’ll be coming back to your site for more soon.

  15. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.

    I must say you have done a very good job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox.
    Outstanding Blog!

  16. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it.
    Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anybody who
    knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  17. Normally I don’t learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that
    this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do
    so! Your writing style has been surprised me.
    Thanks, quite great article.

  18. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog site?

    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  19. After looking over a number of the blog posts on your site, I seriously like your way
    of writing a blog. I book marked it to my
    bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.

    Please check out my website too and let me know how you feel.

  20. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high
    quality articles or blog posts in this kind of space
    . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.
    Studying this information So i’m happy to show that I have an incredibly good uncanny
    feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much unquestionably will
    make certain to do not forget this site and give it a glance on a continuing basis.

  21. hey there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical points using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to
    load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google
    and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out
    for much more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  22. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?

    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  23. great post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this
    sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing.

    I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  24. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer
    term and it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this put up and if I
    may just I want to recommend you some attention-grabbing issues or advice.
    Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I desire to read even more issues about it!

  25. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  26. magnificent issues altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader.
    What might you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days ago?
    Any certain?

  27. Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  28. I’m now not certain the place you are getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend some time learning much more or working
    out more. Thanks for great info I used to be in search
    of this information for my mission.

  29. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very

  30. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has
    a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it
    is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help protect against content from being ripped off?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  31. Pingback: tadalafil price
  32. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
    didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just
    wanted to say wonderful blog!

  33. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for
    me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  34. I have been browsing online more than three hours lately, yet I never discovered any fascinating article like yours.
    It’s lovely worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers
    made good content material as you probably did, the net might be a lot more
    useful than ever before.

  35. I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your content.

    Your article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and
    keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  36. Pingback: roy mercer viagra
  37. Pingback: jodi west viagra
  38. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog.

    You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write
    some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

    Please send me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  39. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve
    either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is
    popping it up all over the internet without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being ripped off?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  40. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be a means you can remove me from that
    service? Many thanks!

  41. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  42. I have been browsing on-line more than three hours lately, yet I by no means found any
    interesting article like yours. It’s pretty
    worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers
    made excellent content material as you did, the internet can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  43. I feel that is among the so much significant info for
    me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna statement on few common things, The site taste is ideal, the
    articles is in point of fact nice : D. Just right job, cheers