Tips from a Survivor for Keeping Up Hope After Stroke
Paul Carr was a long-time employee of the U.S. Government Printing Office in Boston when he suddenly had a stroke. He spent six months in rehab and never returned to work. It’s been ten years since his incident. Today Paul lives a full and independent life, supported by his loving, extended family, occupational therapy, and daily use of Constant Therapy.
10 years ago, I had a stroke. I woke up one night on the floor next to my bed and had to crawl to the phone in the living room where I called for help. Later that day I was diagnosed with an ischemic stroke. Told I wouldn’t be able to walk or speak well enough to live independently, I initially resigned myself to institutionalized living.
People say I have a “never say never” attitude. So, with dedicated physical, speech and cognitive therapy at a local rehabilitation center, support at an aphasia group at Boston University, and daily practice with a mobile therapy app on my iPad, I created a “new normal” for myself.
Today I live on my own, continue daily speech and cognitive therapy with my therapy app, and I even help support others who have been diagnosed with stroke.
This is what my sister said about me: “People used to think once you had a stroke, you’re not going to get any worse, but you’re not going to get any better. Now, I see a big difference in Paul. He’s walking. His language is much more fluid; his sentences are clear.”
Here are my tips for keeping up hope after stroke:
- Try a mobile therapy app designed for recovery, like Constant Therapy. This app has exercises specifically designed to help people like me regain cognitive, speech, and language functions like memory, reading, writing, and problem-solving skills. I find it very helpful in getting my verbiage and talking and thinking back.
(Paul using the Constant Therapy mobile app.)
- Know that rehabilitation is a process, and that there will be good days and bad days. You may reach a plateau and think that you can’t make any more progress, but keep going because you will break through.
- Never give up; there is always a new solution around the corner. And don’t get upset, because life will improve!
(Paul walking down the street with a cane.)