I’m very lucky that, even though I still have some deficits on my left side I still have a relatively high degree of sensation on my left side. I still do have some left side neglect, however.
Left Side Neglect
When I was in early recovery stages, it was much worse. Apparently this generally stems from visual field impairment on the left side, which tests showed wasn’t really a problem for me. But I *did* have a reduced sense of sensation on my left side at the time, and also had trouble telling where my left arm and leg was without looking at them, so I also I just didn’t account for my left side in my movements and activities. At worse, this meant half-walking into a door or winging my arm off a piece of furniture. More commonly, it meant walking around with my t-shirt half-hiked up my left side, until someone reminded me that I’d forgotten to pull it down over my jeans when I got dressed. It just wouldn’t occur to me to check to see if I was fully put-together on my left side before leaving my room.
Today I remember to check my shirt, and I don’t walk into door posts or furniture. However, my stroke left me with a slight slope to my left shoulder that has me constantly checking my left side. My bra strap slips off my left shoulder sometimes, and I don’t always catch it until it occurs to me to (subtly, I hope) feel my shoulder and see if it’s still there (and less subtly wrench it back onto my shoulder if it’s not). When I haven’t done up my jacket or cardigan (and I hate doing up buttons or zippers with one hand, so my jackets and cardigans are usually open) the left sleeve creeps from my shoulder down my arm as I walk, sometimes bunching at my elbow before I look over and realize what’s happening. Left side neglect.
So, even with the high amount of function return that I have, lots of sensation on my left side, and no visual field impairment, my brain still has its little stroke-brain quirks. All things considered, though, I can live with dealing with a bit of left side neglect. I can even deal with being teased about it – apparently my niece Gillian’s shirts sometimes slip off her shoulder a bit and my sister and her husband laugh at her “left side neglect”.
If left side neglect puts me in company with my adorable little niece, I’ll take it.
More on left side neglect: http://eskes.psychiatry.dal.ca/Files/WHAT_IS_NEGLECT.pdf