My Stroke

Hi I’m Ann. 2 months ago I was told I’d had a stroke. I’m still not sure I’ve taken it in yet. I went to work one morning and just started to feel sick and a bit dizzy. I knew I felt quite poorly but just went home and rested a bit. Later that day my vision was affected and I could see loads of lines in front of my eyes and everything looked off centre. The next day my balance was off and every time I stood up I thought I was going to fall over. At this stage I still thought I’d just picked up a bug or was suffering with migraine symptoms. It was only on day 3 when I was trying to type and everything came out jumbled that I started to think I needed to speak to my GP. It was then that my left side went weak. As it was late in the day I had to wait till the following morning to speak to a GP. Even then when he said that I needed to go to A&E as it sounds like you’ve had a stroke I still thought the hospital would send me home saying nothing was wrong. My vision is almost back to normal although it still isn’t quite right and I am making steady progress with my walking. I have the dexterity back in my left hand but have restricted movement in my arm. The biggest issues I have are the dizziness and fuzzy heads that I keep getting and these impact on everything when at their worst. I suffer with fatigue a lot which I find really difficult and my emotions are all over the place. But I guess the hardest thing for me is the loss of independence. I’ve never been good at accepting help so this is a big adjustment for me. Before my stroke I worked in a very busy full time role, I was a Parish Councillor and I volunteered at vaccination centres. I am not yet back at work as doing anything that requires concentration for more than a few minutes gives me a dreadful headache. My goals are to get back to the life I had before the stroke; although I have already take the difficult decision to resign from the Parish Council. I’m waiting to hear from DVLA whether I can drive again……although until the dizziness goes driving is not possible. Everyone tells me it is early days yet and I guess it is. I just need to be patient - not my forte. I know I am very lucky compared to some and am very humbled to read others stories. I have already picked up some things to try as part of my rehabilitation. Thank you.

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Welcome Ann. Stroke is an emotional rollercoaster for us all. One piece of advice I had from a consultant was, ‘Although you are not yet the person you were, remember to be the person you are now’.carry on fighting and remember to enjoy each day that comes. Many do not survive a stroke or are left totally incapacitated. You are not one of them,so fight on.

Hi @Mrs5K, having a stroke is devastating on so many levels, at 2 months, you’re in the very early days of rehabilitation, there’s still time for lots of improvements.

Try to find that balance between pushing yourself with your rehabilitation and resting to keep the fatigue at bay, it’s a difficult task as we’re often ‘fooled’ when we’re having a good day and do too much which sets us back.

Wishing you all the very best, take care

@Mrs5K welcome to the forum. I agree your early stages. You have lots of time for improving. I was like you with the dizziness I got very impatient. I got my driving license back at 3 months it was a godsend. Keep on listening to your body and rest when needed never feel guilty if you need a lie down. I used to and thinking back too last year (10 months since my stroke) I should have rested more. What stroke did you have? I was misdiagnosed for nearly 4 weeks because of broken hospital equipment and the consultants stubbornness not to listen to me. So, my medication wasn’t given to me for 4 weeks. I hope you got yours quickly. The old me has gone and the new me cannot run anymore but walking is helping I’ve taken up painting which I find my time and calming it’s also good for hand and eye coordination. Be patient with your self keep going and you’ll get there. I wish you lots of luck and recovery. Loraine :blush:

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Hi @John_Jeff_Maynard thank you. I think that’s a great bit of advice. I remain positive most of the time and am very determined so know I will get there. I guess part of the battle is accepting the new person is still you.

@Mahoney you’re right about finding the balance between rest and activity. I’m still working through that one as what I think is ok often turns out to be too much. I’m learning to listen to my body more and resting more than I’ve ever done whilst keeping on top of the rehabilitation too. Best wishes

@Loshy I’m hoping I get my licence back at 3 months :crossed_fingers:t2: I’m still waiting for an orthoptics appointment and to hear from DVLA who have told me they have delays. My stroke was caused by a carotid artery dissection resulting in right occipital lobe & right parietal lobe. Sorry to hear you were misdiagnosed for so long. Fortunately I was diagnosed and medicated straight away. I would love to run again but am realistic that this may be some time away. in the meantime I am looking to start going walking again. Like you I always feel a bit guilty when I rest and must learn not too. My husband is trying to encourage me to do my physio all the time and doesn’t always understand that on the bad days it isn’t always possible to do it all. That’s not a criticism of him as it is very difficult for him too & he just wants the old me back. I wish you all the best with your recovery too and enjoy your painting. I’ve always wished I could paint……maybe a new hobby coming my way :grin::grin:

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@Mrs5K thanks for your lovely reply. You will get there and let me know if you choose a hobby too! I started with paint by numbers it’s so much fun it’s great for hand and eye coordination. Jigsaws too. Lots of luck and remember to listen to your body and rest when need to best wishes. Loraine

Hello @Mrs5K, welcome to the forum, I hope you can find some reassurance here and some good info to assist with your recovery journey.

Hi @Mrs5K , Welcome and sorry to hear you’ve had a stroke. It takes some time to adjust to the fact you are unlikely to do the things you used to quite as well. However, it is an opportunity to re-evaluate your life and perhaps find different hobbies, excercises, work and activities that better suit the mark2 version of you. I always hated running but maybe your target should be walking 5k instead (sounds far nicer!).
I wish you well with your recovery and remember there are lots of us here in a similar situation that can give tips and advice :slightly_smiling_face:.
Mark

Hi Ann sorry to hear about your stroke, as others have said it’s early days I’m 6months post stroke when I think back what I was like at 2 months there has been a lot of improvement, I’d say keep doing your physio and rest whenever you need to, your body needs it. Good luck

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@Rups thank you. I have already found some useful tips on this site even though I’ve only been a member a couple of days. It’s good to read everyone’s experiences.

Thank you @Ingo66. I’m definitely going to start with a walking goal & maybe build up to the running once I’ve mastered the walking :grin: I’m certainly reevaluating things at the minute & maybe looking to see if I can adjust the stressors & look for more relaxing but enjoyable activities moving forward. All in time though…….rehabilitation first. :grinning:

Hi I found the fatigue really hard as I was very busy before my stroke I was tired all the time but over time as I got stronger my tiredness became less. But I had to listen to my body when my body said it’s tired I would sleep sometimes it would be all day. Listen to your body it’s very important take care all the best.

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@sharonjd69 the fatigue really is difficult. I’m trying to find the balance between just enough & too much activity. Do you have any hints or tips on how to build up your strength that worked for you? I too find that I need to sleep most of the day sometimes. It’s a little comforting to hear that that’s not unusual as I was beginning to feel like it was just me. This last bout of fatigue has lasted 4 days so far. Best wishes & take care

@Loshy so after seeing your message I thought about a new hobby. Painting has always been something I aspired to be good at but I know it, at the moment, would make me very frustrated. So I thought I’d start a little smaller and have ordered myself a colouring book for adults and some nice crayons. Thought this would be easier to manage with my weaker side and will still help the hand eye coordination. Thank you for your inspiration as would never have thought of this otherwise :blush:

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Hello @Mrs5K, this would account for your visual issues and dizziness no doubt, does it bring on some nausea as well? Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any magic bullet for neurological-fatigue, the brain has to stop swelling, then it has to repair, and then it has to activate again. boom -bust avoidance is a good place to start, this requires identifying when neurological-fatigue is coming on, and then stop to destress the brain. Otherwise, it just becomes a vicious circle over a longer period of time. Dietary adjustments may help, as the gut neurones are in communication with the brain too. I approach it as switching gears, not necessarily resting but doing something that uses a different part of the brain. As an example, when I have stretched my brain to its limit, I tend to do something like snapping up kindling for the kindling basket. This monotonous, receptive activity seems to reset my brain again. Or singing as I do some repetitive, nugatory task. For myself, I’ve discovered it’s the type of thing I am doing that determines the level of fatigue. I can recline on the couch, and watch a documentary, and feel fatigued. Whereas, I can stand at the sink, singing to myself as I scrub the labels off wine bottles, and feel refreshed.

Hi gentle excersise helped me to regain my strength as I have weak muscles on my left side I also drink build up shakes and protein bars to eat the main thing is to rest listen to your body and don’t feel guilty about doing nothing and resting hope this helps take care shaz

@Rups Thank you for your reply. Yes I do get some nausea too. Your advice around the type of task is useful & I’ll definitely give that a try. I’m trying to build up my concentration levels again as this, along with the fatigue, I see as the blockers to my return to work………statistics is the bulk of my job :scream: when I get the severe fatigue work seems a long way off. I just need to find the level for me at this stage of my stroke journey & then I can move forward from there. Thank you for your message it is really good advice.

@sharonjd69 i too have left sided weakness & am gradually building up my exercise levels. Just gentle exercise though as that’s all I can manage right now. I will look into the protein bars & shakes as never thought about those. Thank you & all the best with your recovery