Recovery journey

Hello all.
I suffered my stroke about two and a half years ago and have lately become frustrated at my recovery process. I’ve signed up here to find support from those suffering similar. Look forward to some helpful interaction.

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Hi my name is Peter i had my stroke nearly 2 years ago and ended up with a stent in my left carotid artery. It was a different world afterwords but bit by bit i go my driving licence back .That worried me without it I would have to rely on my wife and friends, i to get to the gym and try to play golf again! I can’t do what i used to do but everything is a challenge and small victories are important.Try to find your victories and keep going.My wife loves yoga and she is getting me to try meditation,I think the mental side effects after a stroke need medicine and so meditation may be the medicine for my brain.Try it this is only the second or third tome on here , and wish you success

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Walt,
Progress can be slow
What are you struggling with ?
Roland

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Physically, I’m making a decent recovery and am quite functional albeit not the level of pre-stroke.
What I struggle with is the unexpected mental effect - I suffer from irrational fears, anxieties and depression in a way I have never experienced in my life ( I’m in my sixties.) I have become something of a recluse and shun social activities. I sense family and friends have ‘compassion fatigue’ and I have little contact. My wife is wonderful but is already caring for two infirm parents.
I am reluctant to add any more medication to what I already take.
Cheers, Roland.
Walt.

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Thanks for that Peter.
I’ll give meditation a try.

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@Walt Hi Walt, great to hear you are battling on and looking to improve .Post stroke anxiety is an absolute sod and I’m in the same boat as you. I find that it’s difficult to deal with simply because it is irrational. I agreed to see a psychologist from the stroke team but when it comes to dealing with the problem she couldn’t really offer any more than I already know. Psychologists are good for diagnosis but if you already recognise that you have anxiety and understand it their usefulness is limited. Meditation techniques can be a very good way of dealing with the effects of anxiety. I would recommend that you follow that path because training your mind to deal with the effects is a big step forward. I also find that any activity mental or physical also helps as a distraction, so yoga or Tai Chi, anything like that is beneficial. Indeed I find any activity, walking, gardening, even shopping helps. A major help to me is my music and I’m trying to get back into playing guitar, although I’m struggling a lot physically with that as my left hand is still badly affected. Do whatever you can do to divert your attention away from the anxiety.
Good luck and best wishes.

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Hi Walt,

I’m very glad you are / have made a decent recovery… long may it continue.
I think it’s natural to shy away from extrovert activities, and people are much harder to click with now. I find a room with 4 people means 3 conversations, and 1 is all I can follow.

After my stroke, I vowed to always carry 49% of the voting on any major decision. My wife, or Chinese Dr. can overturn any decision I make. For example, they decided I should go on holiday abroad for a week. At first I was terrified, then apprehensive, then I prepared myself, finally I accepted it, and even looked forward to it. The holiday went very well. Had I not gone, played safe, had my own way, I’d still be stuck in a rut. Well, it’s time to change, and now is the time to do it. My stroke was 20 months ago.

Don’t do anything you don’t want to, but do get plenty of fresh air, water and sunshine. Anything creative you can add to that (think about a new hobby, even?!) and you’re in business. I hope you find some inspiration. Macro photography?
Perhaps not, but do tell me what hobbies you had / could resume !!

Good luck, ciao, Roland

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Nice post, Mick
I do Qigong, which I love (yoga too)
Good luck with left hand

ciao, Roland

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@Walt sorry to hear you’re struggling with your progress. Anxiety etc can be difficult to deal with but as others have already suggested meditation, yoga or similar may be a good place to start. You could also try finding a hobby that you’d liie to do - even something you’ve never done before. Walking, getting out in nature or just something that keeps you occupied & you mind off the things causing you anxiety.

If it is taking over your life then it may be time to see your GP.

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Thank you, Strings, your post is very much appreciated.
Like you, I could recognise that my anxieties were irrational but suffered nonetheless.
I have meditated in the past and will probably get back into it as so many people recommend it. I’ve been self-medicating with alcohol which is obviously a good short-term solution but disasterous in the long term.
Believe it or not, I’ ve started doing jigsaw puzzles, partly on physio’s advice to improve hand to eye co-ordination, and I find it strangely satisfying!
Thanks again and all the very best to you in your own trials.

Walt

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Thanks Roland, that’s some great advice and from the short time I’ve been looking at this forum it seems to me that you have a great attitude that is quite inspirational.
As I was saying to Strings above, I have started doing jigsaw puzzles!
(Unfortunately, still having regular dreams of turning up to play football - my lifetime passion - only to find I have no boots, I’m at the wrong place, no o e has a football, etc. It doesn’t take Freud to explain those!)
Thanks Roland and all the best to you.

Walt

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Thank you Mrs5k.
The replies I’ve had today have already made me feel much better.
Hopefully better solutions than ‘seeing the GP.’
All the best,

Walt

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Glad you’ve found some of the replies useful. I also do jigsaw puzzles. They were great in helping me get my arm working again and I find them quite therapeutic although can’t concentrate on them as long as I used to.

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Hello Walt,
Everyday is different. We recover at different rates, bit like football training / games. Sometimes you’re playing like Mbappe, sometimes we’re the opposite.
Anxiety levels go up and down. I think it’s because as adults we know how fragile life is. A lot of it is wanting to be the way we were. What I am telling myself everyday is “I’m a new me”…
I read more, write a lot. I take more notice of nature and not taking things for granted. I’m grateful for all the things I managed before my stroke. I now look forward to new challenges.
Find new hobbies or interests, e.g. online courses.
Keep smiling and try to laugh everyday. :grinning: :grinning:

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Thanks Mikey, sounds like good advice.
The biggest obstacle is that, just as you can rationalise anxiety whilst still suffering, you can know that certain behaviours are beneficial yet still fail to adopt them.
Inertia brought on by physical frailty is a teal challenge. I long to run or even have a brisk walk but that’s just not possible as yet.
Glad I came on to this forum, though, lots of good positive attitudes and advice.
Cheers

Walt

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Coping with stroke is a major hurdle.

I think that for some there is an element of P.T.S.D about the whole thing.
The fact that stroke as an event is a drawn out trauma should be recognised by those affected.

This means that treatment should contain and include a method to deal with that trauma.

I’m not sure that pills and drugs are the answer, but mindfulness, yoga, discussion groups, diversion therapy, meaningful activity, can work in a positive fashion and is well worth exploring.

Some of us are beginning to realise this and are making efforts to address the problem.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :heart:

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Hi @Walt
Strange this looks like your first post but the rest of us were not given a “first post alert”. So assuming I’m right in the software is wrong - obviously a dangerous assumption unless the software like the post office system is buggy:) … Welcome although sorry you have had reason to join us all.

You’re certainly in the right place if you want to share your victories on the journey and your challenges frustrations and questions maybe the odd rant too - That can be cathartic which is good for the mental health :slight_smile:

You have obviously managed to think through some of the conclusions that have been written before like “just cuz I can see anxiety happening doesn’t mean I can change it.” It affects a lot of things such as decision making. I’ve been offered SSRIs several times and always decline I on a ‘knee jerk not taking them’ but I have a GP appointment about meds next week and think I will raise the question.

I agree with your rational thought suggest something useful which you still don’t do so for example I don’t go swimming or do yoga one of which I would quite like to do in the other of which I can’t imagine doing but both of which should be beneficial. I tried jigsaw puzzles once upon a time after my stroke and didn’t have the wherewithal either dexterity or concentration wise - I could try them again, inspired your by your and @Mrs5K s example :slight_smile: - The key point is that mindful ness or the pushing of negative thoughts out of your mind by being very focused on doing something normally enjoyable can be very beneficial. There are some threats on mindfulness but it’s difficult to find a perspective That is clear and factual rather than sandals and crystals (imho)

Keep reading posts (the magnifying glass is good for finding topics) and chipping in and you’ll continue getting support and be able to give it to which might help you too with some good vibes?.
Caio
Simon
PS FYI Nicki Clark who runs stroke information and was a professional footballer has a WhatsApp community one channel of which is dedicated to football - might be of interest to join? Personally it was completely alien to me :slight_smile:
:slight_smile:

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Hello Simon.
I don’t know anything about the ‘first post alert’ but I struggle with the technology anyway, nothing to do with my stroke.
Inspired by others’ advice on this forum, today I went for a drive and lunch with my wife. Sounds like simple pleasures but it felt at times like a gruelling challenge to be endured rather than enjoyed.
I’m glad I did it though and I quoted @pando 's 49% rule which we’re going to borrow.
Cheers

Walt

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Hello Bobbi.
I was initially almost euphoric after surviving my stroke with less damage than I witnessed in my both my dad and father in law’s severe strokes.
As time passed that euphoria evaporated and I became quite depressed.
I find that people (family and friends) are very respectful and sympathetic if they see me with a walking stick but if I talk about feeling anxiety or depression they tend to ‘glaze over.’
Plenty of empathy and good advice on here ,right enough.
Cheers

Walt

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@Walt
Thanks again for contributing this thread.

I feel that we can help one another in dealing with the way things are.

One of the effects of stroke doesn’t get much attention because physical difficulties elbow their way to the front of the queue, demanding attention.

What I’m talking about is what goes on in the mind.
Being unable to function in the way one always has produces first of all a feeling of loss.
One promises oneself to return to how it always was.
Then one starts to see oneself as less, reduced, of diminished worth. Self esteem plummets and motivation takes a big hit.

All you need to do is snap out of it, pull up your socks, hold your head high and keep taking the tablets.

???

Isn’t that how the story goes?

I’d like to hope there is a better answer to all that.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:

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