4 days post stroke, not sure what to expect?

Hi I hope this post is ok. I had a stroke four days ago. I spent two days in hospital but back home now. I am suffering anxiety worrying that I may suffer another stroke in the next few days ( reading a few posts this maybe normal?), every time I feel something in my head it triggers the anxiety.
Please can anyone share their thoughts and experience ?
Graham

2 Likes

Please don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. My anxiety was awful after I had my stroke and must admit 2 years on I still get anxious about having another one. I think most of us stroke survivors feel the same way. You will learn to live with it and cope but for you it is very early days. With me, my stroke happened at 10.30 in the evening (as I was doing my husbands sandwiches!!!) he had gone to bed and I couldn’t get to him…so now (even 2 years after) I don’t do his sandwiches in the evening and go to bed the same time as him, even though I don’t want to!!! But that fear of that time in the evening is still so strong. Possibly this is not much help to you, but just to reassure you this is all normal. Stay strong and take care, Jane.

3 Likes

@Gbucktrout so sorry to hear of your stroke but welcome to our forum where you will read lots of advice and support from all us SS. I’m 13 months post stroke and stilly feel anxious I think we all learn to cope with coping strategies. Ask for some counselling now as I assume you will have an follow up appointment. If you haven’t ask for it. It helped me a lot by giving me different ways to cope. Also I find mindfulness and deep breathing can defuse my thoughts and calm me down. You will read lots of advice from us all, I wish you luck and sending positive thoughts best wishes Loraine :blush:

1 Like

Thank you

Do you also get strange sensations in your head? These might have been there pre stroke and I didn’t think about them

2 Likes

@Gbucktrout yes I still do. Sometimes it can feel as if I’m dehydrated or hangover feeling. Keep drinking water. Try not to become to anxious :grimacing:

1 Like

Thank you that really helps.

This is a new world

1 Like

@Gbucktrout it definitely is! I think some of the feelings in your head is your brain is trying to fix and rewire so it’s a good thing. You do learn to live with odd feelings here and there. Read through some of our posts if you can concentrate you will find a wealth of first hand knowledge and experience, Take care happy Easter :hatching_chick: loraine :hugs:

3 Likes

Hi Graham @Gbucktrout welcome to the forum, though I’m so sorry you’ve had a stroke.

As others have mentioned, I think it’s one of the biggest worries a survivor has, I know I worry about it (I’m 7 months post stroke), I had counselling sessions to try to come to terms with what happened and the anxiety that came with it. It’s still there the anxious worrying in the background but I, yourself and others have to learn to not focus on it as these thoughts simply perpetuate the anxiousness, our primal brain thinks we’re in danger and that promotes the flight, fight, freeze response try reading this

You’re in the very early stages of your recovery, you’ll be frightened, your brain is recovering, you’ll be sensitive to every twinge and unusual sensation in your body that you simply dismissed before, all this is a normal response.

We’re here to offer support and share our experience, that may or may not be similar to what you’re going through.

Do all you can to reduce your risk of another stroke, take the meds, improve your diet eg reduce saturated fats, sugar, salt etc, try gentle exercise (if you are able to), don’t overdo it, listen to your body and rest when you need to, recovery from stroke is a marathon not a sprint.

Stay strong, stay positive and take care.

Best wishes

2 Likes

Hi Graham. Your reactions to stroke are common. Your short stay in hospital sounds as if your stroke, although frightening, was quite a minor one. Hopefully, you are now on the right medication and that should make a second stroke much less likely. After a stroke, it is important to review your lifestyle and make any changes that would lower the risk of stroke.

2 Likes

Hi new kid on block yes I went through that. Convinced myself one day early on, managed to see my GP, panic attack caused by anxiety and depression. So try to relax as best you can and take the great advice given here. As a distraction I learnt the NATO alphabet, it took time but still helps me unwind and get to sleep. Try not to worry to much and stay positive. Pds

2 Likes

Shwmae Graham @Gbucktrout, welcome to the forum, and to our community of supportive and brave survivors (and carers). For about six months to a year, the thought that another stroke may strike followed me around like a shadow I would jump at, to the point where I had another MRI about nine months later just for peace of mind. My issue was that the pre-stroke symptoms (as I had six TIAs over three months before the major stroke) and the actual stroke symptoms themselves when it occurred have, unfortunately, been the same kind of sensations as recovery symptoms. I had severe giddiness during the stroke, and still have giddiness now. So, it took a lot of work to unravel all this to a degree which has put me in a better place now, although, I still have this fear every now and again.

The brain has been damaged, and it will flinch when it thinks it might get damaged again. A bit like if you were hit by a random stranger in the street, you might feel anxious about being around strangers in public for a long time after, even if it were unlikely that you might get hit again. In the end I went on a low dose of Citalopram to manage panic attacks and anxiety, from there I started mindfulness exercises, and have recently begun CBT. If I use the phrase, “It’s all in one’s head,” I don’t mean that one is imagining things, I mean that the brain uses anxiety and fear to protect itself from, potentially, another strike. To be fair, this is sensible of the brain because secondary and further strokes can occur, depending on why the stroke happened in the first place. But, also, strokes are rather nasty and present the very real threat of mortality, they are an attack on the very seat of consciousness that makes us feel we exist, so the severity of the brain’s response will be according to our own individual relationship with this.

For me, the first step was being brave. I had to face my fears head on. My first line of defence was talking back to my thoughts. For instance, having a shower was challenging for months, not just physically but mentally. Shower time is ripe for thoughts to run wild, and the only way I could settle all this chaos was to think, “Well, if I have another stroke now, at least I’ll be clean when I get to hospital.” This was my way of trivialising the fearful thoughts that were materialising. We all find our methods. Nothing is foolproof though, but any help you can give yourself to cope ground yourself during this time will make recovery in general better.

5 Likes

@Gbucktrout welcome to the forum although sorry to hear of your stroke. The anxiety you are feeling is very normal. I think we all worry about it happening again. I remember being really scared when they discharged me from hospital. I did end up being readmitted for a short period due to worsening symptoms- but not a 2nd stroke.
I am 5 mths post stroke & I still get very strange sensations on my head. They have lessened though so I am sure yours will improve in time too. I tell myself that it is my brain remapping itself. No idea if that is the case or not but I can manage it better if I think that :grin:
Good luck with your recovery. I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful advice on this forum.

Ann

3 Likes

Thank you so much everyone this has really reassured me :blush:

I suspect I will be back with more questions soon.

But again thank you

4 Likes

hello
glad your home. I had my stroke in 2020, and to this day i worry i might have another stroke. ask any health professional what you can expect to happen to you. i also had a heart attack 3 months after my stroke. so really helpful advice, dependant on your stroke apply for a PIP NOW don’t wait, expect it to be turned down at least twice. if you still want to proceed mention small claims court. Speak to your local council to see if there is anything they can help you with. Take all offers of physio, then when that stops contact gp to help you. I have had 2 referrals for physio, also have counselling, not talking therapies. It’s a lot to take on board, i am slowly mourning the old me, as i am accepting i will never be me pre stroke ever again.
I really hope that helps?

2 Likes

Yeah I m the same I’m more worried about not living as long as I’d like my sleep is all over the place

1 Like

It’s not a great feeling is it. I have felt better since reading some of the other posts from people who are further on from me

Good luck
Graham

2 Likes

@HarDKnocK19, my sleep has been sporadic for a year and half now after the stroke. This morning, I wasn’t sure if I’d actually slept or not, it was only because I remembered a dream, I realised I had but I must have finally fallen asleep at about 3 am. No matter what I do, I can’t twist my body clock in favour of a good night’s rest. I can’t get up early either unless prompted, even then, I need to go back to sleep an hour or so later.

1 Like

good morning
My sleep was all over the place too, always thought I hadn’t slept. I had a sleep study and it found that due to my stroke I had mild sleep apnoea. It is not generally known to be linked, but my sleep consultant is seeing more people have had a sleep suffer with sleep apnoea. Hope that helps
regards Chris

Reading these replies echo the things I went through. The biggest fear I had was another stroke or worse, and the leaflet they gave me did nothing to reassure me
it was only when I spoke about it to my consultant that he reassured me that the figure quoted also included a high number who didn’t change their lifestyle, or didn’t take their medication , and my risk was low single digit %, that I started to come to terms with it all.
Quite strange thinking that way, when for years I have ridden motorcycles, but never worried about the risk.

It’s all very new at the moment and no doubt having headaches from hell, and trouble with coordination. Your anxiety will reduce, and things will improve. Don’t try and do to much too soon is the golden rule really.
Best wishes. Col

2 Likes

Graham,

So glad you wrote here and that so many others have responded with many of the same post-stroke experiences and sentiments.
I’m about 3.5 years out from a minor stroke (dissection of the left vertebral) and I recall having that same dread you have about having another event.

I felt that I was having a second one about 6 weeks out, went to the hospital and had a CT scan (or whatever it was) and was assured I was ok.

My suggestions: --stick with this forum for loving and practical support.
–keep on your med regimen.
–journal if you can , either in writing or audio/video. It’s a great
way to follow your own progress and to share it with others if
feel inclined to do so.
–of course, advocate for yourself and express your needs, fears,
etc. to your medical experts.

I’m so glad I joined this group. It reminds me that I’m not alone and that there are others who truly understand some of what I’ve been through. I listen to a podcast called Neuro Nerds and the [first installment was about the podcaster’s stroke in his early 40’s, I believe–I linked it below. That one episode was an eye opener for me.

tim

(Episode 1: Introducing Joe & Lauren – The NeuroNerds)

1 Like