What to expect in the early days after stroke

Hi, Im new here, had a small stroke 3 weeks ago& a further even smaller one after. I have a small area of central vision disturbance as a result. However Im really struggling with anxiety and especially knowing what is stress, what is an after effect or what is a pain I should worry about!
I have what feels like a really thick head, sometimes headache& dizziness with blocked ears. Is this all normal? Sometimes my head feels so under pressure and odd. Regulating what is stress and what is stroke related is really hard for me. Any advice greatly appreciate or just a hello as I feel quite isolated so its good to find this place… thanku Kerry


@normankerry Hi Kerry, Welcome to the forum but sorry you’ve had cause to join us.

Knowing what to expect after a stroke is something I think should be explained more by the drs. I know it’s difficult but it might save a lot of anxiety.

After my stroke I had a permanent fuzzy head, felt dizzy all the time & felt like I had a lot of pressure in my head. Sounds similar to what you describe. From my experience it is part of the stroke process but of course you should get checked over if you’re really worried.

I found this feeling lasted for the best part of 8-9 months. Then it lifted.

Stress will make it worse so try not to stress about it (easy to say not so eady to do). Try some relaxation techniques to reduce any stress.

Fatigue is also common post stroke so rest as much as you need to. Finding the balance between rest & activity is important whilst your brain is trying to rebuild the connections it has lost.

Take your meds, eat healthily & exercise within your limits & you’ll be doing all you can to stay well.

Wishing you lots of luck in your recovery.

Ann x


Hello Kerry. I too have exactly the symptoms you have described and I’m 7 months post stroke. It’s a horrible feeling and I’m just hoping as Ann says that it will go in time. Take care


Hi @normankerry welcome to the forum, best place you could be to find answers. But you’re doing just fine, you got here now didn’t you? That’s always a good sign in my book :wink:

The anxiety and stress is as natural as in any other major trauma, but you are doing just fine. Do your brain a big favour now and calm down, just relax and let your brain do all the work that’s needed to fix you again. Take it slow and easy, get lots of rest and eat well. Supplement all that with a daily multivitamin or a nutrient shake such as Complan; your recovery is going to take an awful lot out of you…even though you feel you are not doing much at all. It’s draining, tiring and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride, but you will get through it.

Your head is under pressure, a lot of pressure, it’s got to maintain current functionality, which is fine on any normal day. But now it’s also got to heal, repair and reroute its signalling system on top of that. And it all takes time, certain functions will come back quicker than others and you also need to do some relearning to get those rerouted signals to work.

Night time is going to be the worst time for the anxiety so don’t allow it to keep you awake. And as the others have already said, the headaches and dizziness are a normal effect after strokes and will diminish over the coming months. The first 6mths are the most critical in recovery:

Slow and steady wins the race :wink: And keep coming back here with the questions you’ve got rattling around in your head, no matter how small 'cos this is great place to get them off your mind to keep your stress levels in neutral :smile:


Hi Kerry sorry for your stroke.i fell asleep for ages having to speak again brain was rubbish it is sxxt but keep working on it and in the end of this keep laughing x


Hi kerry and welcome to our group. I don’t have anymore to add, just wanted to say hi and hope that you saty in touch!

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Get a copy of a book callwd Had a stroke? What now? by Tom Balchin. It’ll help understand what’s happened and what to expect

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Shwmae @normankerry, croeso. I echo @Loshy. It’s not the size of the stroke, but where the damage is and what is normal for one person may not be for another, stroke symptoms share a common thread but not the same overall fabric. Three weeks is a mere blip in the ocean of rebuilding, but with positivity and determination, we move forward. Anxiety and stress is a double-edged sword, it can make post-stroke symptoms worse because the brain has to deal with the effects of stress on top of making new pathways, this is rather trying for the old noggin. I had a difficult time of it post-stroke, eventually I opted to take Citalopram, it’s a type of SRRI that is used to treat panic disorder (I have endured panic attacks for most of my adult life). However, on top of that I did a six week Mindfulness course, and practice Zen breathing. I have an arsenal of “relaxation” and “meditation” techniques at hand. Along with all that stuff, I have had to adjust my thinking. I had to stand back from my symptoms and rationally recognise what was what. I found identifying patterns useful, and encouraging myself to just go with the sensations rather than fight them. The brain has been smitten, once smitten, twice shy. It will sensibly flinch whenever a sensation arises that is close to that dreadful strike. It can also activate the lateral amygdala (neurones associated with fear) from the memory of being struck. But in the context of recovery or rebuilding, as some of us may never recover fully, these added complications like fear and anxiety can be managed, and often they are benign but can be psychologically malignant.

The thick headedness is most likely what is sometimes referred to as brain fog, it can cause confusion and an uncomfortable feeling of the head. Depending on what part of the brain was damaged, dizziness or giddiness can occur (I live with daily giddiness). I found it useful to keep a stroke diary, this helped me track my progress, and rewarded me with positivity when I could see my improvements, no matter how infinitesimal. Plenty of rest is needed for at least for six months, so that the brain can do a bit of repair naturally, making sure to avoid the boom-bust cycle which can cause issues down the line. I distract myself a lot by singing, it’s a type of mind-blanking exercise for me as my brain is reciting words or rendering tunes it knows well, and puts all its focus on that.

I hope our forum provides you with ample comfort, knowing that you are not alone.


Thanku so much for this informative reply, it really is so helpful and appreciated x

Thanku I will definitely take a look xthanku I will definitely have a look x

Thanku so much for your reply and support it is really appreciated x

Thanku so much for your support and information I really appreciate it x

Thanku so much for replying, it makes a huge difference having people to connect with x


Hi there i am lynne and had a stroke about 5 months ago. I too feel like my ears are blocked and pressure in my head. I am sure that it is okay to have some after effects.


Not to much a sxxt time for me put stay with at and do do what the first-time people too get you doing and keep laughing x

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@LynneT welcome to the forum. Sorry you’ve had a stroke. Hope you find this a great place to be.

I too had pressure in my head for months after my stroke. It was horrid & i thought it was never going to go but it did start to lift around 8 - 9 months. I still get it ftom time to time. Usually at its worst when I’m fatigued.

Make sure you’re getting the rest you need.

Hope your recovery is going well.

Best wishes.

Ann xx


Hi Kerry I had my stroke 2 weeks before Xmas and I was terrified every time I had a headache or a setback. Get a call back from your dr if you are concerned. Mine was very reassuring. It’s a long road to travel and good and bad times. Hold onto the little improvements and the times that are good and keep going. I’m thinking of you and wishing you well. Regards Suzywong x


Morning Kerry
I had a stroke Jan 2022 and am still in recovery , still have some left side paralysis , my vision was impaired but has nearly returned to normal , it takes time , for the brain to heal and reroute but it will , have become very aware of my diet now , being a Chef I love my food and was possibly sometimes too indulgent it’s a matter of adjusting and accepting I guess ,


Thanks mrs k
I have been really good then something happened that made me feel uncertain about myself and what I can actually still do. Feeling a bit sad about this.


@LynneT sorry to hear you’re feeling sad & unsure of things. It’s not uncommon to have things happen that make you question things. Try & focus on how you can get back on track again. Small goals & one day at a time.

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