You may well be interested in reading just some of the questions asked of me by stroke survivors. You may be asking yourself some of these same questions right now. Or may have conquered many of these issues already. These are a sample of meaningful issues drawn from just two places. First, from the sum of a trawl though hundreds of emails to ARNI from stroke survivors from 2007 to 2011. Second, from the sum of a trawl though notes taken next to baseline assessments (Stroke Impact Scale) face to face with stroke survivors. For more information, see the Successful Stroke Survivor manual, published in 2011.
- Will I be able to walk properly again?
- Will I be able to coordinate my body movement better?
- Will I be able to converse properly again?
- Will I be able to understand people?
- Will I have to compensate or will I recover actual movement?
- How weak will I be (muscle loss etc) after discharge?
- How much rehabilitation will I need?
- Does my type and severity and site of my stroke impact on my recovery potential?
- Will my visual problems recede?
- Will I be able to write properly again?
- Will I stop feeling overwhelmed and fatigued?
- Will I be able to drive? Catch a train? Go on holiday?
- Will I be able to dress myself properly?
- Will my spasticity (in upper limb/lower limb) recede?
- Will it be hard to get back to running/being aerobically fit again?
- Will I get back my full movement?
- What is the timing, intensity, or duration of such activities I need to do?
- Will my confidence return?
- Will I enjoy life as much again with the things that stroke has left me with?
- Will this affect how long I have to live?
- How much do I need to rely on being motivated?
- Will I have to drive this recovery myself?
- At what point will my movement start to come back in my hand/foot?
- Will I be able to wear high heels again?
- Will I be able to do everyday manual tasks (using a knife and fork, opening jars)?
- Will I be able to regain my strength, flexibility, balance & endurance?
- Will depression due to loss of ability and abrupt change in life be a factor?
- Is it true that there is a cut off point for functional recovery?
- Will my sex life be affected?
- How long will I need to rehabilitate for?
- Will I be able to get back to my job/studying?
- Will I be able to regain a high degree of independence?
- Will I be able to become progressively more self-sufficient?
- What current technology for stroke rehab is worth investing in?
- Might I suffer a further stroke?
No consultant, therapist or expert in stroke research would attempt to answer the majority of these without preceding and qualifying the answer with an ‘if’. You are different from anyone else; from injury to the brain and plastic potential to occupational difficulties, demographic details to rate of recovery and lifestyles, making your presentation unique.
So although there are general principles of stroke recovery, and there are some common problems suffered by a majority of stroke survivors, no two stroke survivors ever shares exactly the same experience.
I will tackle all these issues in future posts – sign up now to receive the posts straight after posting.