It is hard to believe that my strokes happened almost two and a half years ago. Sometimes, it is a distant reality. However, most of the time, this is a vivid and startling reality even now. When I wake up in the morning, I have to realize that this is NOT a dream.
So, how am I doing? It depends. I continue to be grateful for my recovery. Every day, I know that it could have been so much worse. On the other hand, I still have invisible deficits.
I participate in many stroke support groups because, until you have a stroke, no one can really understand the ramifications of strokes, recovery, and deficits.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have insightful information about “Life After a Stroke.” Their website is http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stroke/lifeafter.html
The intro says “The time it takes to recover from a stroke varies—it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some people recover fully, while others have long-term or lifelong disabilities.
Ongoing care, rehabilitation, and emotional support can help you recover and may even help prevent another stroke.
If you’ve had a stroke, you’re at risk of having another one. Know the warning signs of a stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) and what to do if they occur. Call 9–1–1 as soon as symptoms start.
Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. During a stroke, every minute counts.”
For me, here are some of the issues I confront everyday:
“Medicines to help you recover from a stroke or control your stroke risk factors.” I take medications to control stroke and seizure risk factors.
“Need to take anticoagulants, also called blood thinners. These medicines prevent blood clots from getting larger and keep new clots from forming.” I take blood thinners.
“Easy bruising.” I bruise so easily now.
“Trouble communicating after a stroke. You may not be able to find the right words, put complete sentences together, or put words together in a way that makes sense.” My biggest frustration is aphasia. Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. To understand aphasia, here are Aphasia Simulations that are helpful: http://aphasiacorner.com//aphasia-simulations/
“A stroke may affect only one side of the body or part of one side. It can cause paralysis (an inability to move) or muscle weakness, which can put you at risk for falling.” My right arm was paralyzed for a time, but I am lucky that it got better. However, I still have issues with balance sometimes and my right peripheral vision is affected. So depth perception is an issue.
“After a stroke, you may have changes in your behavior or judgment. For example, your mood may change quickly. Because of these and other changes, you may feel scared, anxious, and depressed. Recovering from a stroke can be slow and frustrating.” Really? Of course this is awful for the most part. Stroke survivors would love to get their lives back. However, life is not fair, and we have to make the most of life though it is different.
Part of my therapy and my “outlet” for frustration is my blog. I try to make a difference though I realize sometimes it is far too personal. It is odd that I am a private person, however, it seems that a blog is anonymous which is ridiculous! In the blogsphere, my blog is forever and NOT anonymous.
I will continue blogging for my sanity and, hopefully to help other people.
For those who are reading my blog, who are you? Why are you interested? Where are you from? I would love to know. However, I understand that concept of "Anonymous Blogsphere!"