Life after a stroke
Author Ольга Кияница
Stroke is a severe brain tissue damage caused by inadequate blood circulation or rupture of a blood vessel. There are two main forms of stroke - hemorrhagic and ischemic, among which the second type of disease develops more often.
Stroke ranked second after coronary heart disease by prevalence throughout the world.
Many patients after treatment face the need to reorganize their way of life, work, sometimes even have to give up some of their hobbies. All this is due to the fact that after an attack, there are often complications in the form of impaired speech, sensitivity or motor activity. Also, the risk of a recurrence increases dramatically. But a properly organized life after a stroke allows such a thing to be avoided.
Video: What is the essence of rehabilitation after a stroke and can I go through it at home?
The first steps towards recovery
Rethinking, and even more so the agreement, with what has happened, may take some time. Sometimes you need to discuss your internal problems with the person you trust. In this case, most patients who have experienced a stroke, there are many different emotions and feelings, such as:
- Fears and anxieties - shock, mistrust and a sense of loss can affect the patient and his family. It is often frightening changes in memory or there is concern that there may be another attack.
- Anger and frustration - increased irritation at what happened, or confusion, because it is impossible to do what was usual before the stroke, often displays the stroke from oneself. Sometimes an attack can make a person more irritable to the people around him, or a tendency to mood swings. This often complicates relations in the family of a patient and people close to him.
- Depression and anxiety - those who have suffered a stroke often feel anxious or unwilling to do anything. The feeling is natural for a certain period after the stroke. But if the person most of the time feels depressed, then this should be talked with the doctor to follow his recommendations for improvement.
- Loss of confidence - low self-esteem and lack of confidence are often found after a stroke. It is still important to focus on the return of an independent state, for which it is worth using any opportunities to increase your own assessment.This is possible due to more active participation in decision-making in everyday matters, learning new skills or identifying realistic goals.
- Lack of motivation - recovery after a stroke is usually carried out gradually and consists of small but significant achievements. If the patient feels tired, it can affect his motivation to recover and exit from a negative state. It is worthwhile to establish small, achievable goals, which will help to feel as positive and motivated as possible.
- Experiencing anxious, anxious, angry or angry emotions is especially common among patients after a stroke, most often in the first few weeks and months after the lesion. These feelings are quite normal, and over time they probably come to naught. A good way to stay positive is to receive positive information and follow up medical recommendations.
There are procedures and methods of treatment that can help in improving the emotional state after a stroke.Sometimes psychotherapy with a trained therapist is useful. This allows some patients to learn how to freely talk about what worries them, as a result, they manage to better cope with their emotions. Medications such as antidepressants can also be used, but only for medical recommendations.
Daily home treatments
At home you can conduct quite useful for health classes. They allow you to spend a full day and move in accordance with the laid-in energy resources.
It may not be possible to do everything that was performed before the attack. Therefore it is important to plan your day, to think about your own needs, as well as about the needs of those who live at home close by.
It is necessary to plan in advance the daily tasks that the patient will be able to perform independently or even with some help from the beginning to the end.
You should also think about the time that may be needed to complete the tasks presented.
If there is fatigue, you can try to make the most energy-intensive tasks during the day or even a week, when there will be more energy and desire, but it will be worthwhile to remain flexible and plan your rest time, and not work to exhaustion.
It is necessary to try to act as actively as possible. You can build short, but frequent time intervals throughout the day, which will allow you to practice any exercises recommended for doing a home. Also, if possible, try to continue to pursue their hobbies, interests, social and family obligations.
You need to keep in touch
Some people, after suffering a stroke, start to feel defective and too changed. This can lead to unwillingness to see friends and go out, as well as conduct any social activity. In such cases, the initiation of communication is an important step in recovery from a stroke.
A survivor of a stroke can be difficult to get to where his relatives and acquaintances visited, because of physical problems. In such cases it may seem that it is easier to stay at home and not to see anyone. But this can lead to isolation, loneliness and bad mood, and sometimes severe depression. For such situations, there is a solution to overcome practical difficulties, for example, with the support of others or with a wheelchair, if it helps in moving. It is important to try to stay in touch with your loved ones, friends, you can encourage them to visit or, if the patient can manage themselves, it is important to plan short trips, even with outside support.
At first, new friendships and new social activities may seem complicated, but meeting new people can be very useful.Many people find that staying with other people who have had a stroke is extremely useful for them to share experience and information.
It is worth remembering that you need to remain positive, maintain active and friendly relations, which is an important part in the recovery process.
Return to work after a stroke
The consequences of a stroke can create special problems for the patient, especially for those who have worked. This can have a big impact on the life of the victim in terms of earning a living and providing for himself, his family and friends. The role of the patient in his family and in society is also often changed.
It is important to try to maintain realism at the stage of returning to work, also it is necessary not to start working too quickly. The presence of fatigue and cognitive problems, such as loss of memory and difficulty concentrating, may mean that a return to the old work will not be possible.
The first step is to speak honestly with the employer so that you do not have to undergo too much pressure. Then, the possibility of making changes in working obligations or in the workplace, if possible, can be considered. For example, a part-time or reduced workload option may be used.
Many people even after a stroke succeed when they return to work. But you do not need to work too hard, because it can disrupt your health. Some people see this as an opportunity to try something else, work at home or do a new activity.
Driving after a stroke
After an attack, the ability to drive safely can be compromised, since there is often both physical and visual deterioration in health. Also, survivors of stroke often have difficulty concentrating.
Should I report that I had a stroke?
Usually, you do not need to report to the appropriate services that there was one stroke or TIA. However, in some cases, you need to notify:
- There was more than one recent stroke or TIA
- There are such problems as weakness of the hands or feet, visual impairment or problems with coordination, memory or understanding
- There are convulsive conditions
- Should be performed on the brain for treatment after a stroke
- There is a vehicle with a large load-carrying capacity or a passenger vehicle of the minibus type
If it is difficult to determine if you need to report a stroke or not, then you can consult a doctor. You may also need to talk with a representative of the insurance company, which will avoid unnecessary difficulties with travel.
In some countries, for example in Scotland, it is supposed to receive a blue badge after a stroke. What is it for?
If the mobility of the driver is limited, after receiving the application, a parking permit with a disability is issued (blue icon). The Blue Badge scheme allows people with disabilities (traveling drivers or passengers) to park in certain areas for people with disabilities, which allows the disabled person to approach the place with the comfort provided.
Also in Scotland for people with a reduced ability to ride some local councils provide public transport schemes. As a result, the survivor has the right to receive a National Access Card, which is essentially a bus pass. This allows you to travel for free on most buses and on many long-distance trains between Scottish cities.
Flights after a stroke
The ability to fly after a stroke is a very individual decision. Any potential risks should be discussed with the attending physician. It is also necessary to consider practical issues, insurance rules and airlines that provide services to patients after an attack.
When can I fly after a stroke?
It is recommended not to fly during the first 2-3 weeks after a stroke. Further it is best to get advice from your doctor about how safe it is to fly. In addition, you need to talk with an airline representative before you book a place to learn the basic recommendations and conditions for a flight.
What kind of help is available for flights with mobility problems?
Airport operators must provide assistance to enable anyone who travels with limited mobility to board, get off and change between flights. Therefore, the airline must be notified in advance of the flight of a person with disabilities, which will allow them to provide all the necessary assistance.
What help can I get if there is a problem with communication?
Understanding how the patient has the opportunity to communicate, and the ways that he uses to communicate, will help determine what support he may need for the flight.
In some countries, you can contact a dedicated service for a free Aphasia Friendly card. Its use will allow to warn airport personnel and airline crews about the nature of the problem in the patient, the possibilities for him to communicate, which will encourage others to speak slowly and clearly, and give the patient time to answer any questions.
It is important to take a written copy of your tourist itinerary with you. This can be asked by anyone whom the patient will meet while traveling through the airport.
If a person after a stroke travels alone, you need to have contacts of the nearest friend, which you can contact if you have any questions.
Transportation or assistance at the airport can be provided to a person after a stroke if he has previously agreed with the airline about it.
Can I get medical equipment on board the aircraft?
It is necessary to talk with a representative of the airline in advance about what is allowed to take on board from medical equipment (for example, oxygen equipment). Some airlines do not allow themselves to carry oxygen on board, but they can provide it on request, for which, as a rule, a separate fee is charged.
Most airlines provide medical equipment for people with reduced mobility for free. Similar check is necessary in advance at the representative of airline.
If you need to exceed your baggage limit due to drugs or medical equipment, you must notify the airline in advance. It may be necessary to provide a letter from the doctor to confirm the need for this. Also, if necessary, the airline staff will provide some assistance to the patient on board. However, they will not be able to provide personalized care, so you may have to travel with an escort.
Video: Video School "Life after a stroke"
Relations and sex after a stroke
Stroke affects not only one patient, but all his surroundings. The disease can affect relationships with family and friends, as well as affect the sex life. But there are many recommendations that help to cope with the consequences of an attack, including relationships with loved ones.
To reconcile with what happened it may take time, and stroke affects people in different ways:
- It may seem uncomfortable that you have to depend on others, and you can feel that independence or confidence is completely lost
- After a stroke, some parts of the brain that control emotions can be damaged and this can make ordinary things even more difficult for the patient.
- There may be physical changes after a stroke, including fatigue, pain, muscle tone, or problems with vision or speech.
All these changes, be it physical or emotional, can have a huge impact on the patient's daily life, affinity with the partner and relationships with family and friends.
Influence on family and friends
Stroke, undoubtedly, causes anxiety and insecurity in all relatives, family and friends of the patient. Perhaps the roles in the family after a stroke in one of its members have changed. Children, especially, often have to assume new roles and responsibilities because of anxiety that there may be another blow to the native person. All this greatly affects the life of the patient and people close to him.
The most important thing that a stroke victim can do is to be open and honest with others. You can also find other sources of support from health professionals such as a doctor, local support groups, a counseling team or support services.
Influence on relations with a partner
After a stroke, close relationships often suffer changes, and the process of habituation can take some time. A close person should take on the primary caregiver over the patient and the family as a whole, and if possible become the main financial provider. These changes can affect how people see each other and how they relate to each other. Fears, emotions, moods and frustrations in relationships and during communication can increase and increase feelings of tension and resentment. All this may mean that it is very difficult for both partners to cope with the changes after the attack. At this time, it is worth trying to keep in touch and give some time to restore the broken relationship. It is important to remember about each other's needs as much as possible, than about one's own.
Sex after a stroke
If sex was important for the patient before the stroke, there is no reason why he can not lead an active, full sex life after an attack. Some people report a loss of intimacy with their partner after a stroke. However, keeping a sensible mind, eliminating any physical and emotional problems and giving yourself time to adjust, often there is an opportunity for the return of sexual life in the right direction.
You can be worried that sex will cause a second stroke. This is a fairly common opinion among many survivors of the attack, but it is unlikely that this will happen, and in most cases there is no reason why a person should refuse intimacy.
At the big doubts it is necessary to talk to the doctor with whom it is comfortable to communicate. It is important not to be embarrassed, because in the process of counseling you can identify important points that you have not previously had to pay attention to.
Video: Sex after a stroke. Part 1