Trying the best I can

I'm 33 years of very active before my stroke, trying my best yet starting to feel like getting nowhere.

Before my stroke I was very active loved spending time with friends and family loved my footy, getting to anfield weekly, playing 5 a side and getting to gym.  Lately though anxiety and low mood is stopping me doing the things I used to do and it's really annoying. 

Anyone got any tips or advice on how to deal with it. 

I too was very active pre-stroke and am now trying to get back to doing the things I used to enjoy before.  I am retired, older than you, but I used to love doing agility with the dogs and some heelwork to music as well as taking one to do therapy work locally.  I know what you mean about low mood and anxiety as that stopped me in my tracks.  But I am just hanging on in there and it is getting better six months post stroke.  Back doing the therapy work with the dog after 4 weeks and back to agility training after 4 weeks too but slowly at the start.  I am still finding myself reluctant to run but happily one of the dogs loves doing distance work so I can handle him round a course without having to go at his speed, and the other two are happy to go at my speed.

I have done very little heelwork to music as I am not great at balancing on one leg but even that is getting better.   Before the stroke I was also doing a bit of TV work with the dogs and for the first time I decided a couple of weeks ago to put one of them forward for a part.  We actually got shortlisted for an audition last week but then I found auditions were in Birmingham which is over 3 hours on the train for me so I turned it down, I felt I could cope with London (just 1 hr by train) but not the longer journey.

So in essence yes I think it is getting better but it is a combination of doing things at a pace I am comfortable with but gradually increasing what I do and when I do it.  I am determined not to let it get me down so I refuse to miss out on things I enjoy.  Yes I am anxious but I just keep telling myself I wasn't before, the only thing that happened was my body telling me to slow down a bit, and I have.  Good luck in getting there.


That's great Joan suppose the dogs help you through it to smiley​​​​​​

I had my stroke in September, I think I've come to the realisation its not only the physical problems but the mental problem also 

If you only had the stroke in September then it is early days so maybe be a bit kinder to yourself?  It is a huge insult to brain and it takes time to adjust to that.  Yes I expected it to be quicker but I have come to realise that, for me at least, I have to let my body heal and that includes the mental problem.  I think I was plodding through life, eating well, getting lots of exercise and all was well with the world before the stroke.  I have never been as scared as I was the night after my stroke, wondering how I would be in the morning when I woke.  The shock was enormous, everything I thought I knew was different and I needed to adjust to what had changed.  All my certainties had gone, I was vulnerable and afraid.  But however much I wished it hadn't happened I was never going to change that so I just had to adjust.

I try hard not to let it get me down and move on.  Yes the dogs help, a lot, they rely on me so I walk them every day.  It is a huge part of my 'rehab' in fact it was the only advice on rehab I got from the consultant - just keep walking the dogs!  So my only advice would be find something you really enjoy and stick with it,  yes the mental issues are every bit as important as anything physical but you do posess the potential to fix that, expecially if you were fit and active before. 


Absolutely guys, stroke doesn't just affect you physically, but mentally too!!  Likewise, I was really active pre-stroke.  Was a married legal assistant of 28, played many sports etc.  Was on my way to a 'Star Trek' convention (don't laugh!!), and I felt increasingly dizzy as I walked to the train station.  Once there, managed to call out to a nearby woman 'Excuse me, can you help me please?'  Thank God, she did, because by the time she reached me, it felt like my head had exploded.  

After a very long road, I am still here though use a walker now.  My 7 year marriage ended too, due to this.  Am now 55, and my career meant everything to me.  Boss kept my job open for the year I was in hospital.  Returned to my homeland of Scotland, following hospital.  Have had many years of doing courses and/or voluntary work.  After success and disappointment and so on, was suffering headaches, anxiety, fears and many tears.  Didn't need that pressure.  No more! Now, my HEALTH is what comes first. Learned to concentrate on my breathing, slow it down when necessary.  Don't have headaches now, and if I feel like crying = I just do (always when I am alone though).  Am a shareholder with local Housing Association, my landlords.  Am also a lifelong poet, and have worked with worldwide musicians who use my words as lyrics to songs.  Go to the gym weekly, and go out when I can - eg for shopping, or to concerts. Like us all, have had to adjust to an entirely new life.  Good luck to each and everyone.  Life can be soooooo effing cruel, can't it?! Peace Carole :)

Anxiety and low mood come with the territory I’m afraid. Before my stroke, I was active for my age and loved circular walks in the countryside. These are now beyond me, but are missed. I try not to let low moods or anxiety get me down. This becomes easier the further you are away from your stroke. They may not go away, however.

The way back from Stroke is a long and slow one. I often have dreams I am running again, but even while I dream that I know I cannot. Think through what you might be able to manage and build on that. I go to three exercise classes a week. At first these were very difficult and tiring, especially as my balance wasn’t ‘t good. I stuck at them and did what I could. Now I manage pretty well. My mantra is ‘stick at it’ and that pays off.

Most of all, I try not to dwell on the past or drown my sorrows in drink. Being much older than you, I haven’t many years left, but I’m damned well not going to spend them sitting brooding in a chair and have no intention of that chair ever being in a care home!

Fight on!

I was also retired when I had my stroke but like you, I enjoyed my gym and spending time with friends. In the beginning it is hard because you are not only suffering the physical affects but your brain is also suffering from the trauma of the damage caused by stroke. Feeling down is perfectly normal and will gradually disappear down the road to recovery. 

You say you used to go to Anfield. My hubby would want to be your bestest friend - his is a mahoosive Liverpool fan! Is it that you can no longer travel or is it the general noise of the game that would be hard for you to cope with?  You may not be able to play 5 aside just yet but is it possible to maybe watch them play?  It helps to find other ways of being involved in things you used to do but can't at the moment. By keeping involved with what you love doing, it helps to give you the motivation and strength you need along the way to recovery.

I have just rejoined a rehabilitation gym which is open to anyone but specialises in helping people who have had strokes and people who are recovering from car crashes, accidents at work etc.  Yesterday, I felt shocking when I woke up. No energy, not much strength. in my legs and I really didn't feel well enough to go. I pushed myself to drive there and even in the car park I almost chickened out and drove back.  I'm glad I didn't because on my way up the stairs to the gym I saw a man waiting to come down with two crutches. He stopped to let me go up the stairs. He must have seen the weary look on my face and said "Come on love, you can go faster than me. You'll feel a lot better when you come out!" He was right. I took my time and by the time I came out, I felt refreshed and the weariness and weakness had gone.  It's right what they say,exercise does give you energy.

If you really fancy going back to the gym, have a word with your GP and let him check you over.  In my area, you can get a year's free gym through the NHS on a scheme called PALS at your local sports centre. It is especially for people who have different health issues that have stopped them being able to exercise and is designed to help you back to fitness with the support of health and fitness instructors. Hope that helps and keep your chin up. There are lots of people in your age group on here that will be able to share their experiences with you. Take care.