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Emotional recovery issues
I had a stroke in early July, still working with doctors to determine the cause and future prevention. Still very new to this life, language and process. 49 years old, low cholesterol, not a smoker, social drinker, low blood pressure and pretty active. After effects seem limited phsically to my left hand, but emotionally, I am really struggling and just not sure how to decide whether this will go away or whether I need to go see someone about this. Feeling energetic and focused one day, then the next lethargix, sad, annoyed, stressed and tired. I have no warning sign and cannot schedule around work this way, doctor suggested 2 half says on Tue and Thurs to work back up to 40 hours a week and I don't always know when I am going to feel like doing nothing, or when I will have a good day. Not sure if this is normal and looking for ways to improve this. Thanks!
AHAASAKatie, July 28, 2020 8:59am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry that this happened to you. Please be patient with your body and your recovery. I can share the Life After Stroke Guide and web articles. I think our survivors can also share information with you as well. Please know that you are among friends and fellow survivors who understand where you are in the recovery process and can support you. Best Katie
TEAMGUZMAN, July 28, 2020 11:36am EST
Hello, and thank you for reaching out to us! I am also a stroke survivor. One thing I learned from my doctors, is that it can take up to one year to "heal", or get back and deficit that was lost. I don't want you to think I am turning your concerns into my deficits. The only way I can help is by telling you about my deficits, which are exactly like yours. I have right hand weakness, 3 fingers are somewhat numb. I drop things, I don't have a good grip. With that being said, my stroke was three years ago. I did PT for my hand, which was basically things that can be done at home, like grabbing a coin at a time, and dropping it in a cup. Get a regular sponge or sponge ball, and while watching television, you can squeeze it.
I also went for cognitive therapy, as my short-term memory is not what it used to be. I can be told something, and not even 20 seconds later, I can't remember I was always an emotional person, however, the stroke has intensified that. I cry over little things at the drop of a hat. I go from having a great wake up, to being depressed in a matter of hours. Some day's, I don't want to get out of bed. It's hard to explain the thoughts that go through my head, nothing harmful to myself, just think that somehow this stroke rewired my brain. I have less patience, I have problems with volume, meaning I can be talking and then my voice level sounds like I am yelling.
Every person is different in recovering. One important thing that I need to tell you, is that if you are tired, rest. As stroke survivors, we tend to forget that we have a brain injury, and that we need sleep to heal.
I am not a doctor or nurse, these are just my experiences. I hope it helps to know that you are not alone. Please contact your doctor's for any professional advice. You should have a neurologist and cardiologist on your team of doctor's. The tests I had done were, catscan, MRI, ultrasound of the heart and carotid arteries, and also an endoscopy, because sometimes blood clots can hide behind the heart, and that is the only way they can see if there are any.
I really hope this helps you to some point. Take care of yourself, and let us know how you are doing.
Spooky75, July 28, 2020 12:33pm EST
Hi! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
When I had my stroke two years ago at age 42, the stroke was called cryptogenic because they didn't know what caused it. A couple of months later, I did a sleep study and found out I have severe obstructive sleep apnea, and it's assumed that the sleep apnea caused my stroke. (My breathing was stopping 200+ times a night!). Is it possible you have sleep apnea? You may want to talk to your doctor about that.
On the emotional note ... I was prescribed Lexapro after my stroke. It is an SSRI anti-anxiety/antidepressant. SSRIs are recommended as part of the post-stroke treatment. My sister, who is a nurse, has done research on this and also worked with stroke survivors in the past, and she recommended that my doctor put me on an SSRI. It has changed my life. You may also want to talk to your doctor about this.
I'd also recommend going to therapy. I did that, and I found it very helpful to just talk about my stroke experience.
Please reach out if you'd like to chat more!
happycamperK, July 28, 2020 1:05pm EST
Thank you everyone, anxiety has been a huge issue lately and this is very new to me. I actually wasn't sure how to describe it and now I am speaking with my doctor about SSRI. Thank you so much. I am looking for any resources also for improving typing and measuring the difference between the two hands. Thanks!