Breathing!

Hi
I wonder if anyone else has experienced a particular issue, post-stroke, with breathing?
I’m not speaking here about breathlessness or fatigue, but rather an issue of ‘shallow breathing’ when I should be breathing deeply. If involved in a particular task that requires concentration (and, although never much good at multi-tasking, now I have to concentrate fully on one thing at a time) I find that my body simply doesn’t, automatically, breathe deeply when required. This shallow breathing then, in turn, leads to a huge discomfort around the ‘middle’. Fortunately a lie down for 20 minutes or so usually solves the problem, but I just wondered if this was a widespread issue or if I’m alone in this one.

Kind regards and richest blessings
Stewart

@Stewart1 i haven’t sorry but someone might have experienced this too. Loraine

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@Stewart1 I’ve not had this or heard of anyone that has. I wonder if it is a multi tasking thing as post stroke a lot of people find multi tasking difficult. It might be similar to using affected limbs where you have to concentrate hard for them to work. Perhaps try breathing exercises when you’re sat doing nothing so it becomes more natural again. It might be something worth chatting to your GP about.

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Shwmae Stewart, yes, very much so. I had quite intense dyspnoea for a year. It was a bit of a mystery to unravel at first, I thought it may have come down to the statin I was taking as they can cause muscle weakness, and affected the diaphragm. Switching statins helped but was in no way completely effective. I had a cerebellar stroke and know that the cerebellum is responsible for emergency breathing, coming up for air after being under water for instance. Deep, cleansing breaths are what I struggled with. I still do, and practice Zen breathing exercises and controlled breathing exercises, they need to be done everyday but have helped me and are not difficult.

Like you lying down would assist, but I suffered with it all throughout the day. At times it would be extraordinarily uncomfortable, sometimes would make me a little panicky. Now, I have more control over it, and it’s not so severe.

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Hi Rupert

Thanks so much for your helpful response. I hadn’t heard anyone else mention this, which is why I asked the question. Indeed, even in year one post-stroke, I mentioned it to the stroke nurse and she said it was unlikely to be related to the stroke, which I struggled to accept since it was clearly something new.

It sounds as if you were much more severely affected than I, since this only ‘kicks in’ with me when I’m concentrating on certain physical tasks that require concentration (usually in the garage).

It does help to make life colourful and interesting. Meantime, I’ll look into controlled breathing exercises, probably with the choirmaster!

Take care.

Kind regards and richest blessings

S

Shwmae Stewart, I know of several stroke survivors who have also experienced it. Choir, yes, very good. Singing is fantastic diaphragm exercise. All the best with it, mine is not too bad now but comes on with physical work, taxing mental exercises or stress. :confused:

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I think I know what you mean. For many weeks after my stroke, I felt like I could not take a “deep” breath, the kind one might call a " cleansing breath". I think part of it may have been due to needing to retrain the body to breath deeply again. There are exercises on the net on breathing. Yoga has a lot of breathing exercises. Also, Yoga stresses breathing with the belly, the way a newborn baby breathes (if you watch them, their tummies go up and down). I began to focus on these breathing techniques. Now, when I walk, and other times I can take that deep breath. I think the other reason for the shallow breathing after my stroke was that I was suffering from chronic anxiety because of the stroke. Everything was “tense”, even my ribcage and lungs. CBD oil drops helped me relax some of that, and time took care of it also. :slightly_smiling_face: :heart:Jeanne

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Stewart, yes I have this I HAVE ASTHMA AS WELL SO I thought it was related to that but I’m pretty sure it isn’t,.its almost like I can’t catch my breath at times by that I mean that. the satisfying feeling one gets when ones lungs are full

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Some of my experiences have lead me to believe that the ‘automatic processes’ that normally we leave alone to take care of themselves, post-stroke no longer kick in as readily. We need to conciously adjust them to get them to work as we expect. Whether this will right itself over time I don’t know. To be honest I’m not even sure that what I am outlining is correct.
Some of the strange occurrences we experience are produced by drugs or combinations of drugs.
These issues are very complex and I think it is easy to jump to an erroneous conclusion.

So, sorry, I suppose, I don’t have a definitive answer and I am not sure anyone else will either. Paradoxically, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeking answers or discussing them, though.

Keep on, keepin’ on.

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I think you’re definitely on the mark @Bobbi

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Hi yes I have this problem, if I don’t think before I speak I run out of breath,
When I go to the gym I have to breathe forcibly to get up to my target level on the cross trainer. Swimming is helpful as you have to time your breathing correctly.
When I finish my workouts I have to remember to breath deeply before speaking.
My stroke was three years ago @ 68. I work around it but it’s a drag!

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Thanks for your helpful comments, Rupert.

Take care, mon.

Very helpful, Jeanne, thanks.

Take care.

Great to hear from you, AFD! Your helpful comments are very much appreciated.

Take care.

Bobby, some very useful and helpful insights here, thanks. While I agree that little seems to be known about some of these issues, I find discussing them and finding that you’re not alone in some of the more strange matters, is very helpful.
The idea that automatic responses can be damaged or 'switched off is a fascinating topic all its own!
Take care, mon.

Fascinating how even a similar reaction can affect us differently! Your comments are very helpful and greatly appreciated.
Take care.

Hi
I have this problem too. It happens out of the blue.I’m breathing normally then just can’t get my breath. I had covid when my stroke occurred so I’m not sure if that has had an effect. My speech has been effected by my stroke so sometimes talking is even more difficult when I can’t get my breath. I’m hoping the breathing exercises I’ve been given for my speech will help.

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Hi Evie

Thanks for your helpful input. It hadn’t actually occurred to me until you mentioned it, but occasionally I find I’m running out of breath before I finish a sentence - almost as if the system for breathing, which should be automatic, doesn’t quite register the same when a breath might be necessary. At least that isn’t a painful exercise, whereas the shallow breathing when concentrating hard on an activity can end up pretty uncomfortable and needing a 10 to 20 minute rest.

Fascinating how we’re all affected so differently. It’s good to share, though, so that we can learn from and support one another.

Kind regards and richest blessings

Stewart

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