Speech after stroke . I find speaking very tiring though I don’t have an impediment . I get out of breath and can’t converse easily or make myself heard
Welcome @Gay sorry you’ve had cause to join us. At the beginning I found speaking very tiring too. I made myself very poorly in hospital when i tried to have a conversation with the lady in the next bed. Like you i had no speech impediment.
I think it’s down to fatigue & the brain needing to do its repairing in those early days. It should improve in time. Mine has although there are times I still find it tiring.
I suffered a TIA just before New Year last year. Speech was hit - starting with not being able to open my mouth one morning (hence I knew something was amiss). I would slur, especially when fatigue kicked-in.
I know too well what it’s like - and conversations would be extremely tiring. Even now - with things having progressed so much - lengthy talks take a lot out of me. At first I do recall that raising my voice was a combination of tricky and irritating. A few folk around me seem to have hearing or concentration issues so repeating myself was - and is still - annoying!
Even with a solid recovery, two things consistently stand out. FATIGUE and REST. I would tire and still do. I still rest and need to. I’ve learnt, adapted, healed and still learning and adapting. I would tell folk in advance that I’d had a TIA/stroke and speech had been affected. That I found took the edge off at least.
Welcome to the forum @Gay, I’m sorry you have cause to be here, but there’s plenty of lovely stroke survivors on here to help you through this voyage of new discoveries any way we can. So feel free to ask anything and because we know where you are at, we won’t be expecting much by way of conversation, so you can be as short and blunt as you are able.
It was similar for me in the beginning too, I just figured it was the brain didn’t have time to sit around chatting and I just accepted that. All family and friends knew what was happening and took their cue from me. Gradually over the first months it went from a few second, to maybe 15 minutes of conversation and then I’d signal “brain shutting down now”. Eventually I got better at it and I can go an hour on the phone with my family…but they do most of the talking anyway.
But it was exhausting, and I do think it’s because the brain is battling with so much, there’s just so much to try and recover that it’s all just too exhausting. Give it time and it will come back.
Don’t know if your old enough to remember The Numbskulls a comic cartoon from the kids magazine the Beano.
That’s how I see my brain It had a major power outage and they’re all frantically battling to get everything back up and running again so they don’t have time to stop and chat, there’s barely time for thought let alone verbal conversation. So relax and let them do their job and give them plenty of rest
Thankyou all your for your replies . Very comforting . My “small” stroke was in July 2022 . I expected to be much better by now but am still groggy and spacey and not feeling remotely normal in my head . Everyone tells me I look wonderful - if they did but know . As for talking , it wears me out and I feel I don’t have enough breath, so I avoid lengthy conversations . Your messages make me realise this is not uncommon . I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that recovery from even a small stroke is going to take at least twice as long as I expected .
A tip I’d read and found extremely useful - fill those lungs with air before speaking.
It could be a nasty habit I have, but I found I would talk with partially empty lungs. Maybe wasn’t an issue before, but after my TIA I’d found a good intake of air really helped. As too did sitting up or slightly forward to ensure that lung space was good.
Interesting Jonty , I already realise that sitting up straight helps and I automatically lean forward and often find that I frown a bit with the effort and also shut my eyes . A possible reason for my feeling short of air could be that I had a small cancer on my lung a year ago and had part of my lung removed . I recovered completely but it could now add to my difficulties .
You’ve arrived at the best club in town that no one every volunteers to join. Welcome as others have said so ask anything and everything. We generally have a few lived experience opinions to share ! Please share yours too
I find oxygen control to speak hard so I yawn an irresistable, long, body raking yawn quiet frequently
When people say you look well you might try a variation of “thanks I am, what you can only see indirectly are the impacts of my acquired brain injury. I’ve learned some compensations like resting, breathing consciously but dead neurons are lost forever”
One point I picked up. Youve recognised it will take 2x as long to return to normal, I think you said ? and you may
But don’t wait for it, even don’t be surprised to find you’ve a new normal
@Gay Hello, sorry you’ve had cause to join our group.
A stroke is a stroke and it disrupts the brain’s activity and pathways. Everyone’s journey thereafter runs at a different speed, so please be patient with yourself.
I recall speaking/joining in full conversations wore me out, it should hopefully get easier with a little more time.
Stay strong, take care, best wishes
Use it or lose it, as the saying goes, and it’s a very useful bit of advice for stroke survivors. Because if you don’t use it or re-learn how to use it the atrophy sets in and it’s lost, possibly for good. And that may very well happen with some function or other but no way of knowing for sure, it can take anything from weeks to years for various aspects of functionality to come back onboard. So in the mean time we have to keep on trying until it gets better. It’s all about repetition.
I’m sure you had some lung / deep breathing exercise to do after your lung operation, and no doubt you had a Lung Exerciser at some point, use it!
If you don’t still have it you can get them cheaply enough on Amazon for around £10.
Here’s the Stroke Associations 'Complete Guide to Communication Problems after a stroke.
The other thing you could be doing to improve speech is to look up some vocal exercises on youtube such as these:
Mouth exercises for CLEAR SPEECH
or for warming up the voice in the morning
In the mean time slow down your speech, this is not a race. Try to keep your sentences short and remember to take a breath between each.
Don’t be afraid to bring conversation to a halt at any time use a cue original for family and friends to just let them know . . . “brain is shutting down speech for now”. I did that an awful lot in the first year…which is about how long it took, for those effects you described, to wear off.
And lastly, check out the likes of the Stroke Ass. web site or your local GP surgery notice board for any stroke related social groups that might be going on in your area. I go to my local SASG Aphasia Self-Help Group once a month, where I can relax and be me in all my stroke-i-fide glory, no apologise necessary they just accept you as you are, I love it
Good Luck with the your rediscovery of the new you, onwards and upwards
There are aphasia groups listed in
Or the continuing posts with people’s contacts on the linked SA pages
Thanks Mahoney for your answer . I feel my progress has completely stalled . Sometimes my head feels so bad it makes me weep. I still get very tired talking . 9 months on and no end in sight . I look wonderful -so what , sorry to be so negative . It is good to be able to moan here . One can’t keep moaning to one’s friends
Hi Gay, my first trip out after six months was to support group. Sat down with couple of folks who asked,” this your first time here ? It will wack you when you get back home,have a good rest. Spot on. Even now two years on prolonged conversation drains me. I have two intense sisters who my wife had to have a word with because my bruised brain could not cope with them. Now limiting the conversations works fine.Hardly watch TV but an hours viewing, the same. Every stroke is different so it’s a case of working out your particular problems but it does get better
Thanks Pds . Replies are so helpful . They basically all add up to the same thing : accept , adjust , adapt. ie just get on with it and stop moaning !
I had 3 so know exactly how you felt Fortunately for me, we were all in lockdown so only phone calls from them…all I had to say was brain shutting down now and hang up I have to confess, I still take advantage of that one
No don’t stop the moaning, you can do that on here. It gets things off your chest so you can move onwards and upwards, otherwise it can hold you back. And that’s what we are all here for also. All replies benefit others who may also be feeling low, or tired, or whatever, so you do others good on here as well as yourself. So it’s a win, win all round