Impact of a common cold

I'm now 18 months post stroke. I've had flu jabs etc and can honestly say this is the first time I've experienced a common cold since my stroke... I'm a determined so and so and my recovery is still going in the right direction...  like most I need to manage my stroke fatigue daily... there hasn't been a day since my stroke when I haven't woken up with headaches, dizziness and a muzzy head and dealt with fatigue through the day.  To be honest I've learned to function and become the norm to function and carry on with a certain level of fatigue...  The last few days though I have developed a common cold and on top of the usual symptoms it has floored me... Energy levels have  been hit, head pressure, dizziness and headaches have  increased and fatigue is even more of an issue... I can understand now why we have Flu jabs...  Has anyone else felt the delibitating effect of a simple common cold during their recovery...  Many Thanks Darren

Yes Darren, especially when I got a cold in my first winter out of hospital. Even being slightly off colour floors me. My fatigue is also affected adversely by overdoing daily tasks and having to listen to several conversations at the same time.

You will feel a bit better when the cold goes, but, like you, I have to cope with fatigue every day. Best wishes.


Hi Darren,

I was given the flu jab by my gp as she said i didn;y want the flu after my stroke.  Instead i picked up a cold which laid me low for 3 days. I couldn't get out of bed, didn't want to eat. I just slept for 3 days and lost half a stone. But it took a long time for me to feel normal again. I took a tonic called metatone which is a pick you up after illness. It helped.

This year I shall try to keep away from the germs if I can.


Thanks John, appreciate your response. I can't believe how hard a simple cold has hit me.... take care Darren

Hi Sandie

Thank you for your kind response... I've been lucky to avoid colds etc.  I honestly can't believe how hard such a simple common  cold has floored me...  it's a reminder of what our recovering bodies are still going through.... take care and keep smiling Darren 

Dear sufferers

Yes a simple cold doesnt seem simple any more.

I take vitamin C to ward a cold away and I take cetrizine which wards off hay fever and helps my breathing. 

Its something that only another SS grasps. Simple cold or any other ailment becomes serious or disabling. I think a lot of it is the need for us to rest a lot.


absolutely, I had a nasty cold a few weeks ago 

the effects on fatigue were dramatic Parallel with your experience I have come to accept a general background of fatigue as normal. I don't like it but can live with it just about. some days are more intense than others and with me it tends to come in episodes of anything from a few days to a couple of weeks where it is heavier than the usual background haziness. then I can't do much, and sometimes can't even sleep, a friend who has CFS calls this experience "unrest"  you have to rest but to fatigued to even sleep.

the cold ramoed up the intensity to a very debilitating level. fortunately with colds we know that they pass, it did and now I am back to my usual periodic episodes. recently I've been experimenting to trace other triggers and find that it is much more emotional stres or anxiety that contributes than any physical exertion I put myself through. still working on it. I get the flu jab as a precaution, and would dread to have a full blown flu infection. a common cold though in my experience as a stroke survivor plays havoc with fatigue and also sends my mood down to rock bottom, fatigue gets me down enough but an infection just seems to amplify the negative effect.

hope you feel better soon. know that it will pass.

best wishes 


Hi Tony

Thanks for your kind response and for sharing your experience too.

Can't believe what a dramatic effect what was in the past a simple cold has had on me.  It really has zapped me, head pressure, Dizziness and fatigue have gone up a gear... 

Hope your recovery is going well, keep smiling.


Thanks again


Hi Darren, I’m only 4 weeks post stroke; I caught cold 10 days ago and it’s been tough, pre-stroke i was super fit and rarely suffered from a cold, this one has floored me, tiredness,  breathlessness, a horrendous bark of a cough and the relentlessness have made it a struggle but relentless positivity has kept me going, Andy

It is tough when we get floored by pretty routine minor ailments.

I think of it as my brain needing to relearn all the parts of my body. It took 25 years to learn first time around, so I am tolerant if it takes a few years second time around. And I continually tell myself that my limbs and organs are not damaged, its just the messaging system that is wonky.


Hi Darren,  

I thought it was just me!  I'm six months on from my stroke, and a cold just seems to go stright for the head, it is horrible. My symptoms are general lethargy, muzzy head (made worse by movement) and pain in the joints!  It seems to make me weaker, but like someone has already said they do pass.  Keep up the fluids and I was advised to take Paracetamol (check first!!) and it has made things a bit better but I get tired quick.

Hope your better soon (if not already!!)



Hi All,

I had an infarct in the right centrum semiovale ‘TIA’ ‘mini stoke’ in December 2018.  Apart from feeling absolutely wiped out and numbness down my left side no medical practitioner diagnosed the above until I went private and had a brain scan in February 2019. They put me on statins and within a week I had a terrible cold and a huge stye on my eye which took forever to disappear. I have since come off statins, I juice everyday mainly ‘green’ with a small amount of protein and use an exercise bike every morning at least ‘10k’ I also suffered with lots of headaches but that also is now manageable. I think the key is yes be aware of what’s happened to us but also help ourselves by investing in good nutrition and exercise if possible. I know it’s difficult not to be concerned but what you focus on expands so focus on what you love...cut out the distractions and negativity around you...I find this works for me. I wish you all well with your journeys. 

Yes I too have.  Have spent six seeks with different symptoms trying to recover from my first cold after stroke in July 2018. I too have continued to go to work and struggled with everything as well as fatigue but I feel I'm getting there.

Hi yes I can relate to all your symptoms,  I am off work now with a cold and the tiredness is awful I could sleep all day.  Hopefully it will clear soon. 

I appreciate the information about the common cold and will be sure to get my flu shot. My stroke happened in Oct of 2018. Fatigue seems to be a common theme for all of us. I am reducing the number of activities and watch the amount of time I spend on each task. Will post more if this proves helpful.