The new me

I’m almost 5 weeks post stroke. I got passed by OT’s and GP’s to start back driving and I’ve been out a little and that’s gone fine. I’ve had the tearful outbursts which I felt embarrassed about. I’ve had two visits from work at my home. My movement has returned well but I really struggle to make myself rest and this results in extreme fatigue. I am not sure why I feel so unwell the last few days, headaches, a little numbness in my face especially today. Post stroke I was not on any medication but now I’m taking similar combinations to other SS posts I have read. I feel extreme emotion. Financial difficulties now finding myself on SSP which does not even cover my mortgage payment. I can claim no help. Christmas is around the corner and with children it’s hard to explain the financial predicament I find myself. I just don’t feel like me. I look ok and almost completely like my old self you would never know I had even suffered a stroke but inside I feel broken and alone. I suppose I’m in shock as to the situation o find myself in. I’m pushing myself as I need to return to work ASAP or I will lose my home. The stress and pressure is enormous. I do find comfort and encouragement from everyone’s posts. ?

Hello Sam,

 I am sure others will tell you that recovery from a Stroke takes a lot longer than 5 weeks so not surprised that you’re extremely tired. Your brain needs plenty of rest to help rewire itself, learn new routes and ways of doing things. No doubt other SS will have more advice and tips for you. On the question of your mortgage, it might be helpful to approach your mortgage lender as many still allow interest only payments. It would give you a breathing space until you’re fit enough to build up a work routine. Just a thought. V&J

Sam, worth speaking to your bank and see what they can do re your mortgage you might even be able to have mortgage holiday for two months to give you some breathing space.

work wise what about if work could give you work from home or recoup hours few hours a day to build you back up.

not sure how old your children are but I can 110% say they would rather you be here for Christmasses rather then presents. Maybe do post Christmas gifts. Get them a token gift with a promise of a day out to somewhere they would like after Christmas xx

take care of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Sam

I am so sorry to learn of the stroke that bit you.

The emotionality passes after a few months, getting easier as each month clocks up.

You must rest. Get some relaxation techniques going. It is so important to rest, and worse than not resting is that horrible "cant rest" scenario. 

Good that your workplace has visited, I trust they were from HR department. If they are experienced with stroke survivors then thats good, but if not then do beg them to get a stroke experienced person onside. After just 5 weeks it is a bit rubbish that you arent being paid some sick leave. Perhaps you could consult the stroke association for some financial options. Do give them a call. They are here for you.

You feel so unwell because you had a stroke 5 weeks ago. Sorry if this sounds trite, but your brain has had the most dramatic shock ever and it doesnt recover from that quickly. 

Your children need you back so dont beat yourself up about christmas. Your kids will probably treat you better than most grown ups.  They will accept you as you are whereas grown ps treat you as you used to be.

Please please please accept that the old Sam has gone. You are now new Sam and things are going to be quite different. You must get a grip of that. It is quite likely that you have post traumatic stress and the NHS should provide a counsellor to help you through that. My recovery didnt really start until I was treated for PTSD as I dint even think about that as a problem.

Do not push yourself back to work. 5 weeks is nowhere near enough time. A few of us manage 3 months but most that I correspond with the minimum is 9 months. I am retired so I dont have to wrok. I have taken on a tiny voluntary job and it slaughters me. And I am three years post stroke. If your work is not in any way stressful then maybe youll be OK, but there arent many jobs like that.

I started to serve on tables and make tea and coffee.That taxed me totally.

Its a standing joke how we all look well. I think some of the medication tans us nicely, or we spend so much convalescing time out in the sun then we look so well. But thats the outside, whereas the damage is inside your head where no one can see.

Many of us do not make it through the first week. You, me and the other SS on this site have been chosen to live. A second bite at the cherry. We are special and we should do our best to grow in to the "new ne" status.

Smile a lot.

Be positive.

You are not alone, lots of us are here for you

Best wishes


I can only empathise with your financial difficulties 

I can't give much comfort from my own experience with getting back to work. I did it in the end. but it was a nightmare. it is just beginning to resolve. I am three years post stroke, nearly. and have had to come to terms with being disabled. I can only hope that your employer understands disability. don't be afraid to use that word. it does not mean that you have given up on recovery. It means that you need specific help and support to live well now as a stroke survivor. the financial imperative can be a motivator in recovery  neccesity drives recovery I read somewhere. talk to your mortgage company as soon as possible. we have just cleared the arrears that accumulated while I was on sick leave. fortunately my wife did all the contact work with them. I could not handle it in the early days. 

if it works financially discuss a phased return to work. I can't say my phased return was satisfactory. it was not. you might want to consider discussing an alternative role. I wish I had early on. 

I did finnd Access to work very helpful and easy to apply to and deal with. your employer should help with reasonable adjustments  but I am sure that you know all that. 

I just hope your employer takes the time to understand what has happened to you. my employer was terrible. they thought they were doing the right thing but in fact have been acting in a discriminatory manner. I will post my experience in due course. I haven't quite sorted it yet. short of it is that they can't cope with a disabled employee and have wanted to get me out ever since the stroke. it won't need to go to court, but I would have taken it that far .  I am hoping to agree a deal that will get me out without losing too much. 

hope you have a better experience 

very best