If only I had known

Four months on and finally feel able to post and join the community. It has and will no doubt continue to be an Interesting and challenging recovery. Just found out cause and that should help. If I could change anything about my recovery I would like to have known that symptoms can develop over time. Feeling ill a few weeks later was a shock for me and family and created huge anxiety as I thought I was having another stroke. So long term effects so far are concentration when it comes to writing documents online and processing data at same time and changing tasks aswell as occasional brain shut downs which are frightening.  Next battle is whether I can return to work in education environment. Wishing you all well. 

Hello Jacquiel I am sure you will get a lot of answers to how you are feeling from others on this site.  I had a lacuna infarct in February which has caused emotional issues which you will learn are very common following a stroke. I’ve learned to take each day as it comes, each day things get a bit easier but I still have bad days, weepy days, when you wonder if things will ever improve.

One thing I would say is to take your time returning to work especially if you have stroke fatigue which can creep up on you when you get tired. The brain shut down you describe sounds like you may be doing too much too soon, you need time to heal. It’s early days yet so take things slowly and allow your brain time to recover. 

Wishing you well


Dear Jacquiel

Welcome to the forum. I got lots of help from the previous forum. Its only another SS that can really understand.

Do take things slowly. You need rest then more rest. Your amazing brain is busy working around the damaged bits, we need to let the brain do its work. It will also be overheating, so keep well hydrated.

I opted to write down my "goals" then I added "signposts" as to how I achieve each goal. These were a lot more basic than returning to work, thats a long term thing.

Recovery first then consider work. I do a tiny voluntary job. And I also make tea and wait on tables. Given I am an FCA this is all a bit of a change. But I rather like the simple life. And I can do the simple stuff, cant do the accountancy bit as my brain no longer works the same way.

We have both survived when many do not. We need to look at what we might do next. I suggest you forget about returning to your previous lifestyle etc. You are now a new and different person, albeit in the shell of the old self. 

Nice to have you on board


I hear you Jacquiel, it's those simple things we take for granted. I used to have a sharp mind, retaining info, multi-tasking and jugglin many things at once. Now I have to write things down all the time. Sometimes I go to do a task, become stuck as to why I have entered a particular room. At time it can feel like your head is overloaded.

I'm not even ready to think about data, etc. Too overwhelming, I'm sure we will get there!

Yes. Everyday is a challenge. I’m learning to focus on what I can do and celebrate those achievements. 

Jacquie, Recovery varies from person to person and is plagued with doubts, anxieties and uncertainties. Today I was pondering on the psychology of recovery. Clearly, the subconscious mind kicks in, especially when our brains need to rest. That’s when I think fatigue sets in. Twinges in the head and electrical twitches in the leg, I take to be the brain re-wiring.

A lot,however, depends on our characters. I am a 75 year old gay  man and had my stroke aged 72. Fortunately, I am a strong character. I had to be strong to survive a fairly unhappy childhood and adolescence and a relatively humble background. I was a late starter in life but managed to get to university aged 29 and then had a good career in Education.

Stroke floored me and, to some degree, taught me that I was now ‘old’. When I lay in my hospital bed, bot only was I ‘out of it’, I also thought, ‘what now?’. The answer was, of course.....get on with it. So I did every exercise asked of me, changed my diet, cut down on alcohol and built up my strength and stamina. I still go to three exercise classes of week.

Slowly, slowly-slower than you want- you reach a new normal. Sometimes you want ‘the old life’ more than anything else in the world, but you have a new life....less, perhaps than before, but all the more appreciated compared to the alternative.

Sometimes old things come back by themselves. For example, I found suddenly I could put on an outer coat the way I always had and walking, although still a bit  ‘clockwork’, is improving.

Above all, I have my partner, a lovely home, great friends and kind neighbours. I have had a second chance and am most thankful. So, Jacquie, stick with it and fight your way back. We are the lucky ones!

Thanks. I will. I get down but talk myself out of it quickly. Get up, do what you can and be kind to yourself (yes I’ve been doing mindfulness). I stopped smoking st 28 and drinking at 40. Relatively fit and had stroke at 46 in July. End of first year as a deputy principal. I had left a job of 16 years and all my friends and family to move to the Midlands for this job. I always felt the need to push myself. Also a late starter. Uni at 27. It’s hard to overcome being driven. Sometimes I think walk away.   But other days. No don’t give up. You don’t know. You might be able to do it. It’s a battle as I don’t want to risk being ill again but can’t seem to let go yet..,  

As Ann says, slowly, slowly. Rest and more rest but it proves successful in the long term. You are alive! Celebrate for you and your family. We are so grateful to have John here even if only to torment us with his silly jokes! Veronica