Feeling hopeless

I'm 64 and had a haemorrhagic stroke at Christmas. I've regained a small bit of movement back in my left leg, from the hip, about two weeks ago. But it's frustrating how slow progress is and I get very very low mood.

I feel guilty that my husband and my son have become carers for me, and I worry what the future holds and whether I'll get my independence back.

I also have a repeat brain scan on Friday which I'm worried about. 

Does anyone have any words of encouragement or support that might help? Does the depression and low mood get better? 

Dear Jane

yes things do get better. Maybe you could keep a diary making a brief note of how you are progressing. Then you can look back at just how far you have come.

stroke recovery is slow. Very slow. 
your brain will repair itself, or work around the bits it cant repair.

You will benefit from being positive and smiling.

Do not let depression get a hold. It will delay your recovery.

you have survived when many do not. That alone makes you a special person. 
you have gone past the one month stage, so a second stroke is highly unlikely.

the after care, physio etc is beginning to come back on stream. 

Yes, of course you can regain independence. Its early days right now. But soon you should review where you are and what you are going to do to get recovery. If it takes three years so be it. 
best wishes





Hi Jane. I had a haemorrhage stroke five years ago come May. I was in hospital for about six weeks and began with no movement on my left side. Then movement came back to the fingers out of the blue and my leg began to move. However, that's when the hard work began, first with physio in hospital then six weeks of physio at home and lots of repetitive arm and leg exercises.

Slowly, very slowly, I began to walk again. Indoors I was reliant on holding on to walls and furniture and walking outdoors involved a Zimmer frame. I had stumbles and a few falls but I battled on. My weak arm was jerky and my hand lacked grip and mobility, but after more hard work I could peel a potato and cook/bake again. All this is the brain re-wiring the body, but you have to stick at it and repeat, repeat, repeat. I reckon it took me a good two years to improve sufficiently to feel independent.

I know getting help at home is in short supply, but try to utilise your weak leg as possible. Hopefully, you will get some movement in your hand and arm soon. It helps to get 'toughlove' from those close to you as well as encouragement and help. I still try to improve every day, studying how I walk, doing exercises etc.,

I do have a reasonably good like now, but am not the person I was. I walk with a stick outdoors but not indoors. I can do some household tasks, but still have some left side weakness. That doesn't mean I give up, because persistence pays off and life does get better. I wish you all the best. Please don't write yourself off. You are a survivor.

Hi Jane,

John & Colin have both given you great advice and reassurance ??.  They know at first hand, the battles you will face, but also know that recovery is possible.  This is a brilliant forum, as you will always find encouragement, friendship and support.  

You will learn so much about stroke, and realise that you're not alone.  Take advantage of all the experience from stroke survivors, they are very generous with their support and have given me many insights into all aspects of stroke recovery ?.  

Stay strong, better times will come, take good care xxx


Is your scan on Friday an MRI  scan only I have got to have one I dont like being in the tunnel I get a bit clostraphobic . My stroke 3 years ago left me with a very strange feeling in my head I cant describe it to anyone but it makes every day living very hard. I saw a neurologist who has suggested a scan I havent made my mind up whether I can go through with it . He says it will take 30 minutes thats what I dont like. If only they can find out whats wrong with my head I suppose it is worth it. My balance is affected badly and I have got double vision. I have moaned long enough now. Best wishes and try to cheer up . Norma.

Hi Norma , I too am nervous of having head scans , possibly ask in advance & could get medication to calm you. Again with me , it was the thinking of it which was worst , also I had a buzzer ,if I wanted to come out .

Good speaking David. 

Hi Jane,

I was the same age as you when I had my haemorragic stroke. It affected my right side, but luckily not my speech. I was in hospital for about 5 weeks and was also very well supported by the local early discharge support team. Oh pre-COVID days! Things do get better, if slowly. I agree with Colin a diary is a good way to track progress however small. My husband bought me one, but I didn't really use it for that. In someways I wish I had. There are still days when I'm a bit clumsy, but that is all part of a brain attack! Keep doing the physio and any OT excerises you've been given - they can be a bore, but definitely worth it. All the best. Jackie

Hello Norma, I had an MRI when I had the stroke and they gave me headphones to wear during the scan.You could choose to have a radio station of your choice or just music, it just takes your mind off the test. There was also a mirror fixed to the top of the scanner where you could see and talk to the staff if you needed to. I remember closing my eyes and listening to Ken Bruce on radio 2, the time soon passed. It may help them find out why you are having such troubling symptoms  so it will be worth it.

Hope this helps a little.



Dear Jane, Does your scan involve going in a tunnel? i did a body scan meditation when I had my last one. The time soon passed. Good luck Hilary

thanks Anne when I had the last one I had classical music on but it wasvery loud and I kept shoutinng to them to turn it down but they couldnt hear me. I didnt know you could have radio stations on that would be a good idea thanks for telling me that. I feel a bit more positive about it now. Thanks again Norma.

Hello Jane,

Yes, I too feel guilty about the care needed from my wife and son. Sometimes, I feel as if I'm a burden or have suddenly turned into a sort of "lost" family member - but during these times, I tell myself that these feelings are the impetus I need to push forwards towards a semblance of "normality". I said to my wife recently that, as a family, we are all going to possibily face these kinds of obstacles and it is important for us to stay positive, look for the benefits that are already in place, and prepare to get through them as best we can. It is just hard luck I had my big life obstacle first! I think independence can be defined in many ways, I try and do the little things I can to make my wife's life easier, manageable things but sometimes I'm a mess and simply can't do it. 

Although, I haven't suffered from depression, I certainly feel dispirited and at times hopeless. Sometimes I think, "another bloody day of this," but I know I have to set my priorities for each day. I write, so writing is a daily goal, and when I am bedridden, I use that time to imagine the next part of my story, it helps keep my mind occupied but also gives me something to work towards. Long term goals associated with practical things helps in my book. I brew my own country wines, and they need to mature for a year or two. This long term goal gives me something to work towards, the tasting! What gets me down the most is not feeling up to gardening, although, I am planning things in my head in stages. I think the low moods will start to peter out with regained confidence. Every night I do a mental list of all the things I have done in the day, and if I am pleased with them, big or small, it rewards my mood with better morale. 

I also have to really push my mind to get past the "fight or flight" scenario, one where I give up and go to bed, the other where I change direction to see if I can move forwards through-out the day doing some small worthwhile activities. Unfortunately, having said all this, the brain-fog is the worst of it for me. I would have a better chance without it. I am really hoping my brain stops tinkering with itself and the fog lifts because life is so much easier with a clear head!

thanks for replyinng David  yes I had a bu zzer when I had one of mine but I thought if I pressed it and came out I would only have to go in again so I put up with it. It is true thinking about it is worse and waiting in the waiting area I get in such a state. Still trying to decide whether to go ahead with it.  Norma. 

Hi Norma - I am claustrophobic in lots of situations and had always thought that an MRI scan was something I wouldn't be able to do. When I explained this the hospital arranged some sedation for me and I managed it. I was in the stroke unit at the time but I'm sure they could also sort it out for an outpatient scan. 

Hi Norma

Please do have the scan - I am also claustrophic and was terrified when I went for my first one to the point that I burst into tears in the cubicle getting changed.  I have had 2 full head scans since.  My fears have been overcome by one simple thing and that is to ask for the eye shades before you go into the scanner.  They all have them but they may not ask if you would like them or not so if you prefer you can take your own eye covering mask but the ones they give out are disposable anyway so once use only.  I specifically asked them not to put me into the scanner or show me what they are going to put on my head until I have the mask on so I can't see anything.

You can't feel anything on your head and you don't really know when you go in until they say they are going to start the scan.  I found the easiest ways to get through it was to recite in my head my times tables and when I got to 12 x, I tried to do it backwards. If I lost my way, I just started again.  Last time, I couldn't concentrate on times tables so half way through I started singing Cliff songs in my head to get me through.  Bless him, Cliff has got me through some very tough times in my life and he didn't fail this time!  

They told me 30 mins but I was only in about 15 at the most.  It whizzes by so don't worry.  It is worth it to find out the problem and get it fixed.  Please, please go and let us know how you get on.  

Hope it goes well for you, it will be worth it in the end.

Hi Brenda - you always have the best suggestions!!  Pearls of wisdom, I store them away in case I ever need them for the future!!  

I know your words were for Norma, but we all benefit ??  thank you ? 

Thank you Colin for the positive words and the good advice. 

Thank you for your encouragement and sharing your story! I do have a supportive family team, and a bit of tough love. It's a slow recovery, but I'm trying to get there 

Thank you!!

Thank you for sharing your story! You've given me lots of useful ideas to think about