Altered speech

My husband had a cerebellar stroke in March 2018. His initial recovery was very good & he was discharged from hospital after only 10 days. His speech was not very affected, only those who knew him could detect a slight change. However, now, over the past few weeks I’ve noticed he is slurring his words more, and gets a lot of saliva build up in his mouth when he speaks. I have mentioned this to him & he says it’s because he’s tired. He won’t go & see his doctor! Has anyone else experienced this? I’m concerned there is something underlying going on. 

Sarah, if you work through the posts in the Forum, you will see how often tiredness (fatigue) crops up. It was something I struggled with, and sometimes experience now - not as much as before, though. I thought it was just me, until I came across this site. It's tough, but not insurmountable.

Sarah, the more tired my Dad gets the more husband speech gets tired.... if your concerned have a chat with the dr yourself I found ours very helpful and reassuring on occasions when I spoke to her. Xx ps take care of u!!!

"Post stroke tiredness" or as I term it stroke fatigue (SF) causes all sorts of problems and especially a heightening of the stroke aftermath stuff. Although it is not ordinary tiredness it will be worse if husband is not getting night time sleep. So get nighttime sleep right, ensure he gets loads of rest, including day time naps, then maybe the speech will improve. It is very common amongst us survivors. Also, many of us have worse symptoms from November through to March. I like winter, I prefer chilly to heatwave but I noteably go downhill in November, then christmas adds to the struggle.

I am considering the use of a light box, which fools the brain into thinking its summer. 

If I go to the GP, I make sure that I ask for specific help. e.g. my shoulder is hurting a lot. I do not start off with "after a stroke I have....." .

Also, sugges to hubby that he smiles at least 4 times a day. Amazingly simple, it can be a false, forced or fake smile, but it works. 

Best wishes


I agree wholeheartedly with the "smile every day" sentiment. Track down the Laurel & Hardy Box Set - makes smiling and laughing so much easier. 

I suffered a stroke before Christmas and am finding it difficult to cope with the tiredness. Any tips from anyone as have what I think is a good sleep but then seem to be tired all day 

Glen, I am three years post stroke and have the same problem. I have a good night’s sleep, get up at eight, feel okay, but am tired by 11.30am. I hang in till 12.30 then have an hour in bed. I am then fine until almost midnight, although still feeling fatigued.

In the early days, My midday sleep could last three hours. Then my physio told me to rest for one hour only and to try not to go into a deep sleep. That works for me, although I can nod off. I am 75 now so Age is probably an additional factor. Also, try not to overdo things. If I do one daily task too many I am knackered.

Hi Sarah

I'm sorry to hear about your husband, but it is good that he was discharged after only 10 days. Post-stroke fatigue as it is termed, does affect half of stroke survivors, if not more and the issue with the build up of saliva could be caused from this, especially as he notices it more when he is tired.

However, a build of saliva could suggest other issues. Your husband could possibly have something called dysarthria which causes difficulty speaking and a symptom of this is 'gurgly' speech and difficulty swallowing. I am not medically trained so I am not saying this is something your husband definitely has, but it may be worth visiting his GP and asking to be referred to a speech and language therapist for an assessment.

I hope this helps Sarah.

Take care 


Dear Glen

So sorry to hear that a stroke bit you before Christmas. Many, probably most, of us get SF. eg stroke fatigue. The medical term is "post stroke tiredness". This is probably on your diagnosis.

At your stage your brain is trying to repair some damaged parts and also to rewire itself around the dead bits in your brain.Medical term "neuroplasticity". It needs rest whilst it does this. So dont fight it, rest. And drink lots more water. The brain is overheating and needs liquiud.

Certainly for three months you should rest. Then rest some more.

You might wish to identify when you are having a stroke nap as opposed to having regulation sleepy sleep.

Sleepy sleep does not satisfy stroke tiredness. But if you dont get the right sleepy sleep then you will get more trouble from the other stuff.

I soon got in to the habit of sleeping at night, then getting up and dressed and then taking naps as often as my brain wanted to. These stroke naps were wonderful. Straight in to a peaceful nap then woke up without the usual yawning etc that we ordinarily get. I needed a nap every two hours. But every stroke is different. Your situation is unique. However, nothing unusual to be tired. Some survivors sleep for as much as 18 hours a day. I was about 12 hours.

You might want to keep a diary. Then you can monitor your progress. Recovery is so slow that often I cant see any improvement. The diary reminds me how far I have come.

I promise you that things do improve.

Be positive. Smile a lot.

Best wishes




Hi Glen - you have received gold standard advice from John and Colin, they know first hand what you are experiencing.  Take their advice and rest, rest, rest.  Be patient with yourself, you will make good progress if you follow their advice.

Best wishes, xx

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you. 

Thank you. 

Hi thank you so much for your advice. I still feel really tired though the day although I am sleeping regularly though the night. It’s difficult to know how much sleep to have 

I haven’t tried napping as I didn’t want it to effect my night sleep but will give it a go . I have been doing bits around the house and gone to the local shops but always feel really tired afterwards . Thanks for your advice 

Thank you 

I was told to rest rather than sleep, but I do sometimes nap. No one can explain post stroke fatigue, but it does ease. If I have to, I can stay up, but always feel fatigued from 11am onwards. I also do more about the house than I did, but some things are still beyond me. Good luck on the road ahead.

Thats good that you sleep through the night. Many of us get bad overnight sleep and then we dont recover very well at all. Before stroke I had worked out that 7 hours was about right for me. After stroke I tried to work out what I needed, mainly by going to bed at the same time and seeing where it took me. I need 7.5hrs nowadays. If I dont get 7.5hrs then I suffer for two days. I can do lots of stroke naps, which feel different from slepy sleep. 

Stroke fatigue will ease. Might not stop, but it will ease. Some have fatigue for years. Many have fatigue for between 3 months and two years. My guess is that we get fatigue when the brain needs rest. It is the worst problem for those of use who have escaped long term physical disability. And I dont think that the medical profession know how to deal with SF. The info and research just doesnt seem to have happened. The doctors cant know everything. They can only do their best. I would like to see separate sections of the NHS for stroke. We need a different type of care. Mostkly time consuming and lengthy.

In the meantime we can help ourselves as best we can. I promise that things do get better


Thanks for your advice. Will let you know how I get on ?