Episode 008 -- Valsalva and the PFO

When I exert myself in PT and OT, I tend to grunt obnoxiously. Besides that, I also have a habit of tensing my core bearing down, and holding my breath while my face turns deep red. It's like a professional weight lifter pushing 500 or 800 pounds (what is a lot for a weight lifter?) over their head. Except in my case, the heavy weight is my leg. Or my arm.

That's why my therapists have to keep reminding me to breathe. Holding my breath in like that is the Valsalva maneuver. And it's a bad idea.

This week I explore the Valsalva maneuver, the literal hole in my heart (PFO), leg squeezy things, and spy/crime drama in hospital assassinations.

Hack of the Week

Watching way too much Food Network taught me the idea of Mis En Place. My stroke drove home the importance of it.

Mis En Place roughly translate as "everything in its place." It's the step of cooking before you cook. You set out all your ingredients, premeasure them, prep them, and set out your gear before you start cooking. Then it goes more smoothly.

Cooking without setting up everything in advance, it's still possible to cook, and pull and prep as you go. It just takes more carful timing, and you have to move faster. That's tough enough with two hands, but way too stressful with just one.

Mis En Place also gives you a chance to verify you have everything you need for the project.

Mis En Place doesn't have to stay in the kitchen. The concept applies to other household tasks, as well. It's all about planning ahead for what you want to do, getting your actual prep work done ahead of time, and then doing it.

Where do we go from here?

  • Breathe while you exercise.
  • Find a place for Mis En Place in your life
  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, or relative
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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