Hi everyone.

I am 54 years old, 18 months since my stroke. Not done anything since March so my left arm and hand have got weaker and weaker. When I first had the stroke I had a bit of a limp, which gradually disappeared but that has come back again. I know going to the gym will help me again but I am too worried to go back yet. Because I was making good progress and returned to work albeit for 2 afternoons a week, I didn't feel that bad about myself. Now that has all changed. Now I feel disabled. I have developed ataxia, which is where my hand shakes, now it's my whole arm. When I am doing bicep curls it shakes so violently I think it's my body telling me to stop.

The thing I am most worried about is going back to work. I am a teaching assistant in junior school, last year I was working with year 3 (8 year olds) the head has had a move round and last week we got an email and I am in the infants when we go back next week. So I will have to deal with the little ones sneezing and coughing all over me! It's not just me that is worried because I don't know what my job will look like, everyone will be doing things differently. Because I have not had anything to do for five months I am not sure if the dreaded stroke fatigue will be visiting again. The only place I am comfortable at home is reclining on the couch on my side with my arm resting on my leg. Even my neck muscles struggle when I do sit up or do simple chores in the kitchen. Yesterday I peeled six potatoes and had to come and lie down!

I'm not just worried about covid but if I will be able to work at all. I know I can recover because I have already done it once but the thought of all that work is depressing. I wouldn't be able to walk to the gym like I used to, work out for an hour then walk home, and going on a bus is not an option for me. 

I have never been a worrier before and always have taken things in my stride but since I found out I will be in the infants I can't stop thinking about it. Everyone in school will have their concerns I know, I have mine and more. When I had this stroke I never got upset or felt sorry for myself, never cried about it or anything like that.  Had no pain or discomfort, didn't know I had a stroke till I tried to stand up and collapsed on the floor, even then I didn't realise because I couldn't see my face.

Today though I am full of worry about numerous things, and it's just not me and I don't know what to do.


Hi  Julie-  I'm Jeanne.  I had a stroke 2 years ago.  My left side was completely paralysed.  I know how hard a struggle it is to get better.  One of the mistakes I made was in expecting too much from myself, too soon.  I wanted to "be my old self" again so bad,  "I" didn't listen to what my body was saying to me.  I finally stopped and started over again at a slower pace, doing less, and I feel much better.  I still feel like you do after 2 years.  I have to pace myself as far as doing things goes.  I can't imagine having to go to work even 2 days a week( but then I am 75 so that's probably a factor, however I was very active before  my stroke.  I mean like putting in sprinkler systems, etc.)  Now peeling potatos would mean I'd sit down after and rest a bit.  I wouldn't go to the gym now either.  But, I walk every morning 15-20 minutes, and do odds and ends through the day.  Maybe the weights are too much for you right now, and that's what your arm is telling you.  I started out with 1-lb weights for about a year or so.  Now I have 2-lb weights.  When I use them, which isn't often, I only do 10 or 20 reps at a time, like I did when I was in rehab.  Instead of weights, I make myself use my left hand and arm whenever i can, like pouring milk, opening doors, etc. They say it's normal to "plateu" in your recuperation, so don't lose heart.  Just keep on using your body in gentle, repetitive ways.  If you need to rest, rest. To listen to your body will help your brain heal, not hurt it.  I am doing so much better since I quit putting so much pressure on myself. I talked to a friend about now feeling "right" yet, after two years. It can get you down.  She said she went through the same thing, that she didn't feel like herself until 4 years had passed.  That gave me hope.  I feel more relaxed about it all now.  I really don't feel that I could handle getting seriously sick during this stroke recovery, so my advice is that if you don't feel comfortable dealing with infants, don't do it.  Explain that healthwise you're not up to it.Worry over everything is to be expected after the trauma you've been through.  I had tremendous anxiety.  I saw a counselor for about 2 months and that helped.  Also, though,  the nurse at the hospital clued me into CBD oil.  It helped my anxiety and leg spasms.  It is expensive though, so be sure you have a reputable company.  Anyway, Julie, relax, rest.  You will get better and better every day, and you're not alone.  My prayers will be with you tonight. Love, Jeanne

Thanks Jeanne. Some wise words, thank you.

Well, yesterday was inset day, today came the children. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, and I am still awake at 8 o clock, so no SF. Might be tired tomorrow though. But, it's an achievement.

Heard a few stats today. There are only 40 people on respirators in the UK today. The progress they have made in treatment is awesome. And the chances of catching corona at all is 40 in a million. So, without being complacent, I'm optimistic, and keeping to social distancing, I did use nearly a full hand sanitizer though!

You sound so much better, Julie! Less worried. I'm glad you're feeling more optimistic.  Optimism is the best medicine for any condition.  Just stock up on the hand sanitizer, right?