Only a person who has survived a stroke survivor can really understand what it’s like living post stroke although that does not always mean that we can’t help and relate to the warrior within. During these difficult times with Covid-19 many people will suffer a stroke or be recovering from a stroke with reduced services all over the country. It can be a long road………. warrior like!!
However, the more we understand what stroke recovery involves, the more we can help our friends, family members or loved ones recover. However, to do this it’s important to be educated about stroke and how it affects a survivor every day.
As a physiotherapist we always want to make sure that we are using the most effective evidence-based tools to rehab someone post stroke. However, the physical injuries from stroke are only one part of the rehabilitation process and rather than focusing on the physical challenges post stroke I want to look at the hidden challenges for many.
I have NOT suddenly become stupid!!
A stroke is a “brain attack” that reduces the brain of oxygen rich blood. The resulting damage post stroke may affect different skills, like language and speaking. However, this does not mean the person has lost intelligence. Rather, it means they might need more time to find the right words………. Just be patient!
Again, Be Patient!!
Recovery from a stroke can often mean relearning the simplest tasks like it was the very first time. This can be very frustrating for stroke survivors so be patient!! Be patient with when chatting to someone as memory both short- and long-term memory may be affected but remember it’s not personal if someone can’t remember your name or where you live.
If a stroke survivor nods off it’s simply the brain healing and has nothing to do with laziness.
Stroke causes damage to the brain that must be healed. Just like any injury the brain requires time to heal. When a stroke survivor is overcome with regular tiredness early in their rehabilitation it’s not because they’re being lazy. It’s because their brain is healing and requires rest to recover. Tasks that once felt effortless may require a tremendous amount of effort now.
If I need help, I will ask.
Recovering from a stroke for many requires some help from those around you, however, always remember the stroke survivor needs to do as much as they can for themselves. The reasons for this are simple movements or tasks are important for recovery, so avoid helping too much. If a stroke survivor needs help, most often hey will ask.
Emotional Fragility During Recovery
Occasionally the emotional part of the brain may be affected by the stroke, some stoke survivors may laugh, and some may cry at various times throughout their recovery and for various reasons. This does not always mean they are sad or that they are laughing at something inappropriate it’s sometimes difficult for some stroke survivors to control their emotions. It’s a condition called emotional lability. Put yourself in the shoes of a stroke survivor. If everything suddenly changed, and you had no control over it, wouldn’t you feel emotion too?
Finally, the goal for any stroke survivor is to get back to “normal” this maybe the old normal or new normal.
Please remember when you meet someone that has survived a stroke the challenges they have faced already and will face during recovery are varied from the emotional, behavioural, and even personality changes never mind the physical deficits that may occur after stroke.
We can all help by allowing stroke survivors or stroke warriors to be themselves in the now instead of what was in the past.
https://nobarriers.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Stroke-Brain.jpg335463Stephen McNallyhttps://nobarriers.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/logo-black.pngStephen McNally2020-04-02 18:35:382020-04-02 18:35:38Things we all need to know about stroke
The No Barriers Foundation is a not for profit organisation based in Letterkenny Co. Donegal. Our aim is to create an inclusive health facility equipped with specialist neurological equipment allowing Anyone with a disability to train and improve their current level of physical and mental health.