First Post

Hello everyone. After weeks of reading posts on various topics, I thought it was about time I introduced myself. I'm Anne and, as you will see from my profile, I suffered my stroke on the 25th January this year when I was 74 years of age. I returned home on the 23rd March, still unable to walk, despite weeks of physiotherapy. This was the beginning of 'lockdown' otherwise I think I may have been kept in hospital a little longer. My physio had been somewhat hampered by the fact that I had slipped and fallen before my stroke, dislocating and badly fracturing my right ankle which required surgery. Therefore, when my stroke occurred, my right leg was in plaster. My  cast was removed six days after my stroke and I was put into a walking boot. This was removed six weeks later, at which time physio became a little easier,at least for the physiotherapists, it's never seemed easy to me! Because of ' Iockdown' I didn't receive community physio for some time but eventually  this started and within weeks I was walking with the aid of a splint and a quad stick. On returning home, I was downstairs living, but as soon as I was walking, the physios taught me to climb the stairs. It wasn't possible to have a stair rail fitted on the left so I climb the stairs by holding on to the stair rail on the right, (I omitted to say, my paralysis is on the left) going up with my right leg and then pulling up my left leg. Coming down backwards, I lead with my left leg. Strangely, I feel much more confident tackling the stairs than I do walking. I don't know why that should be but I'm still quite scared walking. Whenever I set off, I'm reminded of the rhyme my three grandsons recited in nursery, "I'm a dingle-dangle scarecrow". My weak left arm hangs down in front of me. I just need a flippy-floppy hat to complete the picture. I know since coming home I've come a long way with recovery, but why doesn't it feel like it? There's still such a big hill to climb. My left arm is still non-functional, just a bit of movement in my fingers. So all I can do is keep carrying on with the exercises and try to keep positive. I know I'm very lucky in that I've got  the support of family around me. Many people haven't and I truly don't know where they find strength to  make the journey we're all on. On this site probably. Thank you for reading this. Anne.xxxx










Welcome aAnne. Your experience is one that most of us are familiar with. I had my stroke aged 72 and have battled back since. Try to remember that the arm and hand take longer to recover than the leg and foot because they have more complex functions. Try to use the weak hand as much as possible. Exercises are often tiresomely repetitative, but they work.

May left arm and hand look worse than they actually are. Although my fingers lack sensitivity,they all move and I have some grip. Some tasks, like cupping water in my hands, took a long time to master, as was peeling potatoes or apples. Each attempt to do these things is enormously frustrating, but try to be patient and repeat and repeat.

All health authorities vary. I live in Worcestershire and when I came home Age UK fitted an extra hand rail on the other side of my stairs and this is of great assistance in going up and down. I have graduated from going up forwards and down backwards to going up and down facing forwards. Age UK also put a seat in our shower and a hand grip on the shower wall. This was done free of charge. Perhaps you could ask your doctor if this support is available in your area.

We are all singly dangly scarecrows in our own way, so welcome to the corn field! Feel free to ask us all anything you like or just let off steam. Best wishes.

Hello Anne and welcome to the forum.

You have certainly had a very challenging start to your stroke journey but at least you sound to have kept your sense of humour.

I was able to get exercise on prescription from my doctor and found the gym staff very supportive and it really helped with my recovery.

I oddly was more comfortable with walking than the stairs.

Time, patience and nature are three great healers and everything is upwards now for you.

Take care now and keep us all posted,


Damian (Eurocracy67)

Welcome to the forum, Anne.  I had a stroke 2 years ago.  It paralyzed my left side.  I can still remember when my left thumb moved 1/32 of an inch.  I couldn't believe it. I was so happy.  It took weeks and months of  therapy to get where I am now.  At night as I watched tv I would be doing hand and arm exercises, like squeezing putty and tapping each finger, etc.  Believe it or not, today I am playing ukelele and piano--with both hands!  All I can say is coming back from a stroke is often a long process, so don't be impatient with yourself, just keep plugging away.  In the hospital the doctor leaned over my bed and said, "Don't worry. You'll get all that back.  Just remember, it's not a race.  It's a marathon."  First the walker for a while, then the quad cane, then the regular cane, now no cane.  Now I walk a mile a day without a cane.  But it took a long time and a lot of effort to build up to that.  Even so, I am still recovering.  I still have a ways to go and I tire easily. My friend who had a stroke said she didn't feel like herself until 4 years had passed.   So I just take 1 day at a time.  My mantra is "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." I don't compare with how I was prestroke, I just focus on how much better I am this month compared to last month. If you have questions, we're here and will do our best.  Love, Jeanne

Thank you John for your response; it's much appreciated. Our local Authority is quite good and Social Services did send someone to fit a stair rail but they took one look at it and decided it wasn't possible to do it because of the structure of the wall. We have been supplied with a bed rail and bath lift which is very helpful. I've just had a physio session using a pedal exerciser and gym ball. I find the gym ball very hard work and quite scary but thankfully only use this in therapy sessions since I'm sure if Bill was to try to help me do it, we'd both end up on the floor. As you say, exercises are the answer to our recovery and we have to stick at it, however tiring. Annexx

Damian, it's very kind of you to take the time to reply to my post. I'm lucky, that cognitively I came out of my stroke unscathed and I am very grateful for that. You're right that time, patience and nature are great healers and it's very uplifting to be reminded of that. Stroke recovery is so slow, it's easy to become downhearted and feeling sorry for oneself, remembering what life was like pre-stroke. Enough of that. I had a physio session this morning which went well but hard work of course. I'm lucky to have two very nice physiotherapists with whom I get on well. They visit on alternate weeks, so I get a session each week. I don't know if this will continue indefinitely. I suspect not, or perhaps it will continue until it's judged I no longer require it? Thank you once more for your helpful reply. Anne.xx

Dear J earnest, thank you so much for your inspiring reply. It's so helpful to hear other people relate their journeys of recovery. When I was in hospital my daughter, on one of her visits, found some exercises on-line which she did with me. She travelled back home to London later that day and when she rang later to tell me she'd arrived back safely, I was able to tell her I'd moved my little finger slightly. This was after only a few hours of doing the exercises and we were both elated. I continue with the exercises which are only simple stretching exercises and I can now move one or two other fingers but the strongest movement is in my thumb and I remember vividly the feeling of happiness the evening it happened. It's quite strong movement and I can see the ligament in my arm move at the same time. However, I don't have any grasp and I can't touch my fingers to my thumb, but as you say, I have to keep plugging away at it and try not to become impatient which is all too easy to do. I couldn't use a walker because my hand was too weak, so went straight onto the quad stick. I'm only walking indoors at the moment. I did venture outside with the physiotherapist on one occasion but found the uneven surface on the lane outside my house too difficult and I just don't have the confidence to try again at the moment, so that's on the back burner for the time being. Thank you again for your reply, I shall read it many times over the coming weeks I'm sure, if I need a bit of inspiration.

I'm glad to hear from you Anne.  Just keep at it. Don't give up.  You'll be amazed at what you'll be doing in the future. Love, Jeanne

Thank you Jeanne. You're very encouraging- just what I need. Love, Annexx

Dear Anne

Welcome to our forum.

I am now going to boast. Not because i want to glorify myself, but i do want to give you hope.

I am 73. Mine was a clot not a bleed.

for just a few days i was 90% paralysed.

i am now some years post stroke. All limbs work. I can walk up to a mile. I can just about cook for myself, although thats when wife is away. I can drive.

I have a long, very long, garden. Today i cleared one compost heap and put the six barrow loads of compost on the veg plots. I can mow the grass, but i do spread that task over two days.

I am not the same person as pre stroke but i am a new person. Corona is the pits, i feel so sorry for those of you struck down this year.

Any questions, please ask. Many of us are pleased to respond, by simply telling what has happened to us. 

best wishes



Thanks Colin, it worked, you've given me hope! Congratulations on you're awesome achievements, it really is inspiring. We to have a large meandering garden, part of which is on an incline, going through a woody area, down to a boggy patch (the surface water from the lane where we live diverts under the garden down to a stream at the bottom). This part of the garden has been neglected for years, until the last two years, when I've been working very hard on it. It's much improved but nowhere near finished. I know I"m not going to get back to this part of the garden any time soon, if ever, because of the incline, but there's plenty more garden to go at. I know arms and hands are much slower to recover than legs and the advice is to use the hand as much as possible in everything one does but this is very difficult when there's no strength whatever in the hand. I have no grip, although I can move most fingers a little. When in hospital, the Consultant on his rounds would ask me to lift my hand and told me I may never be able to since I'd had quite a bad stroke. However, it hasn't deterred me from keeping up the exercises and one day perhaps I'll prove him wrong. Thanks again for your kind reply. Everyone on the forum are so kind and understanding. Good wishes to you and all who are on this very arduous journey.

Dear Anne

your garden sounds really nice. Mine is just a straight rectangle, but the advantage is that it is flat.

i can guess how you must feel when limbs feel weak. Mine are still less strong than pre stroke, but bit by bit they strengthen. I wish the yoga classes could start again as that teaches me how to approach these weaknesses. One tip; i always think about what i will do if i tumble. A garden fork stuck in the grass etc is an amazing help. I havent yet fallen and i really dont want to. The fear when i lose balance is horrid.

throughout, i have moved every muscle. Started when i found i could wiggle a toe (i was truly paralysed) and the joy that wiggle gave me. And i still try to keep everything moving. i do have problems trying to stand up. I cant make out why. Its very bad if i sit on the ground. Still this gives me something to work on.

I dont think l am awesome. I just try. Retired, adequate pension, bungalow, just my wife as a dependent, no debts, second home in London if i ever need it. I am plain lucky.

in the first two years some SS who were ahead of me timewise, gave advice and encouragement. I call them my angels. I still write to one, as a pen friend. I learnt so much from them. If i can put in as much as i got out then i will be very happy.

as I sit here with the autumn sun edging behind the horizon, my adored cat snuggled by a shrub, i think about the absense of the tiredness and enjoy my very good fortune. 

i really dont miss my fully functioning brain, this reduced version isnt bad at all.

keep smiling

be positive

lots of us are cheering you on


Dear. Colin

Thanks for your response. It is so helpful to hear from those ahead of you in the journey and to receive tips on exercises etc. I'm afraid I did have a fall (my first and hopefully last) a couple of weeks ago. My husband, Bill, was behind me and luckily managed to break my fall by holding onto my right arm. No damage done but I was so disappointed with myself. I'd heard of others falling and it was something I dreaded and now it had happened. I think I got slightly distracted and momentarily lost concentration. I didn't want to tell my physiotherapist the following day but knew I had to. I needn't have worried - when I told her I had something to tell her, she guessed what it was, saying, "Oh no, you haven't fallen have you". I felt much better once she knew, I think I'd felt guilt about the fall as if I'd committed a crime. Bill thinks the fall has knocked my confidence but I think I've lacked confidence all along. In fact, now I'm thinking to myself, that's it I've had my fall, now I must get on with my recovery.

When I was in hospital, I seemed to be surrounded with people who were all well ahead of me with their progress. I was told quite sternly not to compare myself to others, all strokes are different but when you can see you aren't making the improvement that others are, it's difficult not to.

I do feel very determined to improve and work hard with physio. We're having our 'flu jabs tomorrow, so more practice getting in and out of the car - hidden physio.

You are right to feel lucky, we are lucky to have survived our strokes and I feel I must do everything I can, no matter how tough, to complete the journey to recovery.

Lets hope the autumn sun keeps shining.

All good wishes,



Dear Anne

You did at least fall when Bill was near by. So ultra care when he is not.

It still scares me a lot when I sense my balance is not 100%. 

I was climbing over the cpmpost heap toady. I can go up stepladders, carefully.

I am so much stronger now. And unusually I had a rubbish nights sleep. Perhaps only 5.5 hrs of sleep. And I am OK. About to keep Rosemary company whilst she watches Coronation Street. My much loved cat Sooty is watching every move. He gets fed about 8.30 but to him, its geting dark, so wheres my supper . he is thinking.

Indeed every stroke is different. Yes at our age we probably mend slower, but not necessarily so.

Our GP called for us to have the flu jab.A member of staff phoned us. its great that its been done early. Old patients only. The others will follow later.

In the early days I lost all forms of concentration. Couldnt even do my tax return, so I got a tax investigation. I have done hundreds, if not thousands of tax returns without any bother, until now. The revenue were amazingly good. I just told them my circumstances and they were as good as gold.

My concentration has improved a lot this year. 

Keep going Anne.

I like someone to talk to of my own age




Hello once more Colin. Thanks for keeping in touch, it's nice to receive messages and comforting to know of someone who had such a bad stroke but has made such a good recovery. Sometimes I think if my left arm was more useful things would be better and other times I'm sure the answer is to get my left leg stronger. I'm doing the exercises I've been given but still know I'm relying too much on my right side. The physios in hospital used to try and correct this in therapy by giving me puzzles to do to occupy my right hand. I was always so scared of falling even though the physios were surrounding me and I was quite safe. 
It's horrible not to sleep. When I was first home I had some very bad nights. I was downstairs living and was regularly awake before the birds. I suffered low backache at that time but the physios advice to sleep with pillows under my knees did prove helpful. However, it didn't completely cure the insomnia which was affecting my ability in therapy so my GP prescribed a short course of sleeping tablets which did break the cycle and I came off them without any issues, thankfully. I still have the odd poor night but it's usually followed by a good night. I limit my coffee intake to one cup at breakfast and have de-caf tea after the evening meal. I think this has helped.

your cat has a very appropriate name if that's a photograph of him on your profile. We had a cat until a number of years ago - she was a stray and became a real family pet very quickly. It always seemed to us that she was grateful to have been taken in and looked after.

Any limb strengthening tips you have would be very welcome.



Hi Anne

I'm Rita and had a lacunar stroke in March this year and am glad you are feeling positive about improving. It does get better. Im 78 and couldnt move my right side at all. Was lucky that I could come home and have members of family (one or the other for 5 weeks stay with me). This helped and have continued to improve. Can now use left side and walking but only short distance before I have to use stick. Do balance exercises off utube everyday and slowly getting past the post fatigue. It is frustrating not being able to do what you did before but have learnt to accept this. Keep going Anne you are doing well.  The stroke forum is very good for andwering a query on different things and realising you are not alone in this. Its hard if you have been very active before. Good luck and keep doing what you are doing you will get there!

Just to say, I remember the struggles with sleep, which affected my husband following the stroke.  I felt so helpless, and it was only with time that this improved.  If he goes through other period of poor sleep patterns, we now just try to take it in our stride, we just get up , make a cuppa and try not to let it worry, we make up for it during the day!!

Take care xx

Dear Anne

The stroke that got me was perhaps the most common..right lacuna  clot. I dont think of it as a bad one. Other SS are so much worse off than me. I finished with left sided weakness although i dont know what that means. I am naturally right handed. 
I did a lot of exercises sitting down, and in the first weeks lieing down. Just moving the limbs brought them to life after a while. The physio showed me the preferred movements and i did that, but three times over. Later i did seated yoga and that helped enormously. To strengthen, i would pay for one to one seated yoga. I think we need to get everything moving. After all, stroke didnt damage any limbs, but just the messaging system.

I suspect that determination is a big part of recovery. Tell our brain to get a move on and perhaps it will. 

It was all so slow. But recovery does happen, providing we dont give up. 
I guess its better to get legs moving. Then brain knows how far it must send messages.

i still have trouble hand writing. I have a few nice fountain pens, with real ink, not cartridges, and i am sad that i dont make good use of them. My written account book and my written diary are a mess. But i just need to get over it. 

We need good sleep. I got horrific night mares and some night terrors. But keep on and sleep should return. Sleeping with a light on helped me. Did involve threats of divorce, but a light made a difference. Stroke gave me hallucinations. Much nicer than nightmares. I did have to make a huge effort to get good sleep. It is worth the effort.

It is very sensible of you to try decaf drinks. If it works for you, then thats what to do. I found that a late tea helped me sleep. Never did that before stroke, but it worked for me so thats what i did. Sleeping tablets also good, and very good that you have just used them to get going.

Change of mattress, extra pillows, even sleep siiting up. Worth a try if you need it.

My dear little chap Sooty adpted us about two years after stroke. He is huge but so gentle. I love him to pieces. Such a comfort during recovery. Nocturnal, he would have his breakfast then come and snuggle up on my bed. Theraputic, wonderful. First pet we have had.
He is actually Sooty Oscarthemagnificent. And yes, that whole name is on his electronic chip. 

I am now going to shred three barrows full of prunings, which should suggest how my recovery has bounded along.

best wishes



Dear Rita

Thank you very much for your message. It's such a support to know so many people are willing to help each other in their struggle for recovery. I don't think I suffer from stroke fatigue. I often feel sleepy during the day but not really fatigued. The fact that I don't know what people mean when they talk of stroke fatigue, I suppose proves I don't have it! So I'm grateful for that. I was interested to read you do balance exercises on utube. I must have a look at that. I agree that MSG is very good at helping on various topics and I'm pleased to be part of it. Thank you again for your kind response and for your encouragement.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Just when I think I've had all the responses I'm going to get, another one pops up! Everyone's so kind and caring.I hope your husband is doing well and you also. The legacy of stroke is very hard on carers as.well as the stroke survivor. My husband is just about to turn 87, and finds  caring for me very tiring. It's a good job I'm quite small, otherwise I don't think he'd cope.

Best wishes to you both,

Anne. xxxx