What is an achievable stroke recovery timeline?
Stroke Podcast Episode 31 – I get asked a lot of questions about stroke, the most common being, how long will it take for me to recover from stroke? Although there is no stroke recovery timeline for each unique stroke there are some things we can do to get back to health as quickly as possible.
Listen to this stroke podcast episode on iTunes or watch this episode of The Transit Lounge Podcast on YouTube.
In this episode I give my thoughts on what people can expect while they are on the road to recovery.
All stroke patients create their own stroke recovery timeline.
I will also share my own goal of recovery, which rather than getting back to how I was before brain surgery, I have chosen to focus on being healthier than ever before.
For more episodes on stroke recovery listen to this episode with Donna Bouten who is recovering from a blood clot stroke.
01:26 How soon am I going to recover from my stroke?
03:19 Working towards recovery and becoming better than before
06:05 Bill’s stroke recovery advice
07:03 Stroke recovery setback
08:36 Reaching out
The transit lounge podcast moving you through life transit lounge and helping you go from where you are to where you’d rather be.
If you’re someone you care about has had a stroke and has started their recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be. There are a lot of questions going through your mind like how long will I take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make things worse, my doctors and therapists were always helpful in explaining things to me. But obviously, because I’ve never had a stroke before, I didn’t know what questions to ask.
So I worried a lot and missed out on doing things that could have sped up my recovery. So if you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying. Head to the transitloungepodcast.com website, where you can download a guide that will help you, it’s called seven questions to ask your doctor after a stroke.
These seven questions are the ones that I wished I had asked when I had my stroke. Because not only did they help me better understand my condition, they helped me take a more active role in my recovery, rather than just waiting to be told what to do at my next appointment. So head now to the website, the transitloungepodcast.com and download the guide, It’s free.
How soon am I going to recover from my stroke?
Now it’s on with the show. Good day everybody, and welcome to another episode of the transit lounge podcast. I get some very interesting questions from time to time from the listeners and people that watch on YouTube. And one of the questions I had recently was from somebody who is about a couple of years into their stroke recovery. And the question was something along the lines of how soon Am I going to recover from my stroke?
And how long should I expect my recovery to take what’s a very interesting and Difficult question. And the reason why it’s interesting is because there isn’t an answer that I can give that is the same and applicable to everybody who’s experienced a stroke, because every stroke is different. Not only is every stroke different, every person is different. And as a result, we all have different needs and requirements and we judge how we got to recovered or feeling healed very, very differently.
Now, this person that I was speaking to over the week and had set themselves a deadline of I’m going to be back on my feet and fully recovered within 12 months. And unfortunately, she hasn’t reached that milestone in the sense of being fully recovered, but she has got to the point where she’s better than she was in the first 12 months. The challenge is sometimes she reflects on her life before stroke, and she is constantly wondering whether or not she’s going to get back to that version of her life, which led to the stroke.
Now that’s something interesting for me, because In order to help somebody get back to being recovered, one thing that I wouldn’t want to do is encourage them to get back to the life that they were leading before the stroke. Because it could be argued that that particular life was the one that got them sick and led to the stroke after all.
Working towards recovery and becoming better than before
So what I would rather is I would rather people work towards healing and recovering and being better way better off after they’ve experienced a stroke and they put the work in and the time and the learning and the implementation to actually recover and heal and be better in their health than ever before. Now, when I say that, let me qualify that because you can’t just be better in your health than ever before. If you’ve had a stroke, and you have deficits where you’re limping and you’ve got eye problems, or you’ve got hearing problems, where you’ve got motor neuron problems,
So I suppose you can still be healthier than ever before. And you can always be working on recovering and healing from the deficit, like the limp or the hand not working properly or the speech not being there. But I’m not sure whether or not it’s wise to encourage people to get back to the life that they were leading before the stroke.
If I was to do that, then what that means for me is that I was smoking, I was drinking, I was working excessively, I was highly stressed, I wasn’t looking after myself. I was doing way too many hours at work. And that’s really not a lifestyle that I want to get back to. So that I can feel like everything’s normal again. This is a new normal for me, and some of the things that I experienced numbness in my left side, which means that my muscles get tense and tight, which means that I’m constantly in a little bit of pain.
The more I get tired during the day than more the pain kicks in and more the numbness kicks in, and then therefore my balance is affected. I get a little bit crankier, and I’m a little bit shorter in my temper, and I find it harder to get things done and I have to rest more. So I’m learning to readjust with myself, because I don’t really want to go back to what I was doing three years ago.
This week was the third year anniversary after my surgery that led to the numbness in my left side, but ultimately removed the faulty blood vessel out of my head and gave me an opportunity to stop the bleeding. My brain had bled three times and the doctors and surgeons decided that it was no longer worthwhile me waiting around for surgery while my blood vessel in my brain, continue to bleed, causing all sorts of different deficits like memory loss and not knowing my name and not knowing who I was and you know, all the really difficult things that cause people trauma during a stroke episode.
Bill’s stroke recovery advice
So my advice to you, if you’re going through a bit of a tough time, and you want to know how long it’s going to take to recover from your stroke, is, let’s not put a timeline on it. Because we don’t want to create an environment where we’re putting timelines on things and we’re getting ourselves frustrated and upset about not having reached a particular timeline or a deadline for lack of a better word but what would be probably more beneficial is if you were able to have somebody record your recovery.
So get them to get their smartphone out and record you say once a week or once a fortnight to show you how far you’ve progressed in the last six months, six days, six hours, whatever it is for you, that’s important, so that you can look back and truly know how far you’ve come and not feel like you’re not getting anywhere constantly.
Stroke recovery setback
Now, my friend, Claire, who asked me that question, experienced something else that kind of had her recovery setback a little bit and for her it was a broken leg or a fractured leg. That fractured leg really upset her and gave her a little bit of a difficult time coming to terms with the break rather than getting on with allowing the leg to heal and getting back to the recovery from her stroke.
Her stroke meant that she needed physio and a whole bunch of other things and she was doing quite well. And she started to get her independence back so you can see why a break in her leg might have given her a little bit of a setback and made her feel challenged and made her feel a little bit sad about the situation that she had once again found itself in which was not being able to be mobile again, and trying to find a way to heal.
Stroke does throw many things at people. And sometimes it’s okay to feel down and feel disappointed with where you’re at. And with a setback that’s occurred. My advice to you, like Claire did is to reach out to somebody and have a chat and get it off your chest, whether that’s leaving a comment on a blog post, whether that’s leaving a comment at the bottom of this video, whether that’s reaching out to somebody that you know, in your own community or in another community, and just sharing how you’re feeling.
I really do encourage you talking about what’s going on for you as often as possible. I also encourage people to go through the process of seeking professional help, whether it be from a psychologist or somebody who is a very highly qualified, highly skilled life coach, so that they can support you and advise you with different ways that you perhaps can overcome some of the negative thinking that goes on after stroke.
What this will also do is it’ll help you potentially overcome or avoid challenges like depression, which occurs to 33% of the stroke population after a stroke. So it’s something that I did and it really helped me come to terms of what had happened, come to terms with the fact that I needed to do a recovery and continue recovering.
And it also helped me come to terms with how my life has changed. And I spent less time focusing on what I couldn’t do, and more time focusing on what I could do. I hope this has helped you understand that stroke is not something that occurs and often goes away. It often requires change in lifestyle, and we need to take responsibility for our own recovery after we’ve left the hospital and after the doctors have given us the supposed all clear.
The work really starts when you do go at home. Now, feel free to get in touch with me. Leave me a comment. Let me know if there’s anything that I can do to answer any one of your questions. I look forward to receiving them. Now if you enjoyed this program and you’re listening on iTunes, do me a favor, go across to iTunes, and leave us a five star review that will help other people who are going through something similar as you find the podcast, and hopefully it’ll make a difference in their lives.
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These podcasts can not take into consideration individual circumstances and are not intended to be a substitute for independent medical advice from a qualified health professional. You should always seek the advice from a qualified health professional before acting on any of the information provided by any of the transit lounge podcasts.
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