Tinkerbell, here are some more thoughts on microstims and mirror box therapy, along with the instructions I was given for using the mirror box.
As mentioned, when given the microstim, I was shown the correct places to attach the contact pads by a physiotherapist. I then used a permanent marker to draw round the pads for my own reference when using it myself. I cant remember what instructions came with it, so unless shown by someone who has used one, or knows how to use one, you might not be able to achieve best results.
As for the mirror box, at first I had very little or no movement at all in my affected hand. My physio recommended that my partner sat oppposite me, and also put her hand into the box.... very lightly touching mine. As my good fingers/hand outside the box started each exercise movement, she would use a fingertip under my corresponding finger inside the box, and gently assist in moving it. (Ha!!! Thats another bit I'm probably not explaining very well, but hopefully you'll get the gist of it.
As with all things to do with stroke recovery, improvemnt may be very slow, and very negligable, and at times both frustrating and depressing, but.....
Mirror Box Therapy Treatment Plan.
Use a mirror box to 'trick' your brain into thinking your affected arm works. This will need to be done daily for at least 15 minutes. When completing mirror box therapy you will need to ensure you focus on the mirror image and not your unaffected hand... also ensure you are visualising the movement you want to complete and trying to move the affected hand, but do not focus on what your affected hand is actually doing in the box and worry about this. Remove and jewellryon your hand/wrist.
Palm on table, lift individual fingers. Repeat 15 times (little and ring finger can go together).
Make a fist and stretch fingers out. Repeat 15 times.
Palm on table with fingers together, spread fingers apart as far as they will go, and then back in. Repeat 15 times.
Palm up, touch all fingertips with your thumb. Repeat 15 times.
Palm on table, bend knuckles keeping fingers straight so you create a triangular bridge. Repeat 15 times.
Hand on side, bend wrist as far back as it will go, then as far forward as it will go. Repeat 15 times.
Palm on table, lift palms so they are facing upwards, then move so that they are back on the table again. Repeat 15 times.
Get two identical (or near identical) everyday objects (such as pens, clothes pegs, key, bar of soap, spoon...) put one on the table and one in the mirror box- pick up the object, put back down, and release. Repeat 15 times.