Small steps

I had a stroke Dec 20, so just over a year. Nice for me reading peoples stories and seeing everyone has different and same problems/wins. I went back to work after 6 months, far to early but we had no info to tell us what to do. Work for me is at home and laptop, so I can work with one arm but I don’t know how others manage, my partner is my carer and I long for the day we go back to couple rather than carer and stroke patient. Normally I do things quickly and could not understand how long this would take, but a lot of small steps are really adding up to improvement. Next target is walk in the park. Fingers crossed

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Hello @Amandaso, I hear you about the work thing. I started back working (online) about three months after and had to stop. So I’ve taken a year off. I think I’ll be ready to start a “phased” return in February. I work for myself, so have a little bit of flexibility. Certainly small steps. I am constantly astounded at how incremental recovery is, and then there’s relapses which remind us we’re getting carried away during the better times. It’s taken me a year to walk properly and not shuffle, and now I am working on visual and spacial awareness issues I have, as well as, anxiety.

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Yes definitely more difficult to accept that we don’t set the bar. Your comments I have been reading for other posts helped me post, I am finding communication really hard, speech, confusion ect. so its really cool to read that others struggle too. visual and spacial, anxiety, I was so driven before but not anxious, reverse that now. Speech therapist gave me some help for anxiety which I am trying, just need to do them for a while.

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Hi @Amandaso welcome to the community and so sorry to hear you’ve had a stroke.

Going back to work is something I’ve just started this week, so I empathise with you there.

Hopefully there are lots of improvements and wins still to come for you in the near future along with that walk in the park.

Take care and best wishes.

Hi Amandaso- Just over a year is really not long in stroke recovery time. It amazes me that you went back to work after six months! That was really pushing it. The healing from most strokes takes quite a while, but don’t be discouraged. You’ll get better and better every day. You’re right about a lot of small steps adding up to improvement. Sometimes they’re so small you don’t recognize it happening. I started walking 300 steps with a walker. Moved to quad can. Then regular cane. Then no cane. I would add on about 20 or 30 steps every few days. I gradually built up to 2 miles! But it took me about 3 years. I kept a log, so I could “see” the improvement. Keep on “keepin’ on”. :wink: :heartpulse: Jeanne


Hi Mahoney,
Thank you, hope you enjoy going back to work, colleagues have been good but it is hard to cope at times. I tend to be really un-involved in work, I used to be really passionate but now just do my job its so odd. I kinda like the the un-involved me, I don’t see it lasting. Be interesting to see how people manage returning to work. Good luck for going back.

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Hi Jeanne,
I am really hope my walking improves, sounds like you have the right approach and I did the supermarket with hubbie after I read your comments and gave myself the “just try” chat as I hate people seeing how I walk, but if I don’t try then it wont get better. We going to do walk to the park today (across the road) and just see how I do. Really appreciated your input, as its really hard. Amanda

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Hi Amandaso, I’ve now done 2x four hour sessions at work, one day apart and it was exhausting, not so much when I was there, though I did start flagging for the last hour, but it takes the afternoon and most of the next day to recover, hopefully that will get easier, but at the moment it feels like a mountain to climb. Over the next 7 weeks OH have recommended I increase hours and days, as in their opinion I should then be able to work full time again by week 8. The way I feel at present that seems an impossible goal to reach.

I’m in an awkward position as I’m too young to retire and probably not classified as disabled enough to qualify for any benefits.

I hear what you say about being ‘uninvolved’, I’m torn emotionally about work, 4 hours is not enough time to do ‘all’ of the tasks my job requires, I used to pride myself on doing a ‘job well done’ whilst at work, at present I would like to do more (I feel my old ‘efficient’ self trying to surface) but at the moment I’m just not capable to give more.

I don’t really think they (OH or work) appreciate how stroke affects a person.

Guess I’ll just have to see how the next few weeks go, if I can’t make it back to full time I’m hoping they’ll let me work part time, but I fear they may say my role is a full time position. OH mentioned in their report I wouldn’t be classified as being disabled, so doubtful I’d receive protection under the Disability Act.

Still it’s early days, I may surprise myself.

Pleased to hear your colleagues are being understanding of your position, my team don’t know I’ve had a stroke, as I haven’t told them, so they probably don’t know what to think, maybe they think I’m just shirking lol.

Wishing you all the very best.

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Yep, its so tough. What work expects and what I can really give. On the benefits side, talk to your doc, Stroke is mental and physical. The need to not have work stress can be our own defence and I wonder if like me you do a high pressure role. I have no clue what’s right as I seem to have made all the mistakes. I have been back at work for 6 months and it feels harder.
On the plus side I walked 30 metres, there and back unaided but think that working all day leaves me too tired to exercise, so I am also working out how to work less without going broke. Also there is a good booklet for employers, depends on your HR
A complete guide to stroke for employers | Stroke Association

Thanks Amanda, HR is relying on the info and guidance OH provides to them, my GP seems to think I should try going back to work with adjustments, which my employer is providing, so it’s a try it and see scenario at the moment. but if I can’t work full time, I’ll simply have to broach part time and see how they respond. My job is high pressure (management) so I also have a team to look after, ironic as I can barely look after myself at the moment.

Great job on walking to and from work unaided, that’s awesome. I haven’t exercised since going back as I don’t have the energy either, so that’s not good in the long run for us as we need to keep our bodies moving.

Hope you find that ‘magic route’ of working less but don’t suffer financially, I wish I had an answer too.

In the long run I believe my health is more important than the job, but I need the income to keep the wolf from the door. Hopefully there will be a solution.

Best wishes, take care

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Well done,keep it up, a tip for when you go out first time on your own,take a mobile and tell someone about your journey,I didn’t when I first set off on my own,wanting to be independent and “Normal” got half a mile away to the shop ok,coming back forgot where I lived even tho I’ve lived and walked across these fields for 24years! Stood there like a nitwit for ten minutes tring to figure it out,nope still nothing so I thought oh well just go in that direction and if its wrong then go another way,anyway I did get back OK but it taught me a lessin.:grin:best wishes Bernadette :heart:

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Love this, I do so many silly things now. Helping make sauce the other day, finished electric whisking, took the whisk out of the bowl but for the life of me, what next?. Could not work out to turn off, I have had it many years, there was sauce everywhere as I was trying to work out what I doing, hubby was laughing his head off, I was crying laughing, kitchen covered in mess but hey ho, am starting to laugh much more. Thanks Bernadette, Amanda :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Yes its a crazy world now for us but sometimes its also hilarious,how do I dry myself after a shower?why can a 6year old tie shoelaces and I’ve forgotten,what are those thingies called when you go to a different area and a stranger serves you,and you think they know what you’re talking about haha.i like to think that Stroke is the gift that keeps on giving!!!:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::heart:keep going its All you can do.xx

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Sorry not been on for a week as just plain knackered. You made me lol again as well. What is this simple actions problem, just cant get things right at times. Other times no problem but it seems that I dont get to control that, silly brain decides. Ah well.

Hi Manone, sorry for late reply, been totally knackered after work and exactly what you said, less exercising which means more pain but need the money go round. So now I am feeling better this week as it seems to go good week, bad week. I have decided that exercising is number 1 and have broken it down through the day to arms and hand 15 minutes and before tea 45 mins legs and core. As I said ok this week will be all over the place next week. Seriously it is really hard though and I cant wait for a little normality. Amazed you walked to work, that’s brilliant. Worst is concentration so I asked the team where possible to keep it to 30 min meeting, but doing a RFI and that is hard to stick to. Decided to win lottery as a last resort.

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Yup, want that too lol.

I hit a brick wall fatigue wise at work last week (Thursday) , had to go home and take Friday off, so it’s plan B, back to 3 days but they’ve upped the hours to 5 each day, today was my first 5 hour shift at work, finished at 14:00 and it’s now 20:50 and I still haven’t recovered… still I’ve got tomorrow off, but next week it’s 3 x 6 hour shifts, At this stage, I’m not sure, think I’ll be burned out at this rate. Also, had to give up the short walk to work, it’s all too much.

Pleased to hear you’ve started exercising again, that’s fantastic.

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Just a thought @Mahoney, have you somewhere at work where you can go for quiet intervals to recharge your battery? I have been trying meditation on the go, which requires a moment or two of grounding before tackling the next task.

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Hi Rups, I’m taking regular breaks, sit and close my eyes and try to centre myself, but using the brain to to think and concentrate on work tasks, using the PC, speaking to people, planning ahead, organising its so much, it’s tiring.

Thanks for the tip, I’ll certainly try meditation, it may help.

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Hello @Mahoney, I’m just experimenting with it at this stage as a way of dealing with neurological fatigue. I have a heart-rate app on my phone, and so am using it to try auditory biofeedback, so testing my heart rate and trying to lower it as it tests. Also, a tactile task you can do as part of a break might help, I say this because when I spend time snapping kindling for the kindling basket, it seems to distract my brain with enough repetitive physical activity to then recharge it for the next cognitive task. If that makes sense. Hope you find a routine that works for you.


I like this idea Rups, thanks for sharing, I’ll have to get some bubble wrap as I’ve always had a thing for popping the bubbles.

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