Recovering from a stroke can be challenging and frustrating. Work with your doctor and other healthcare professionals to prevent complications and another stroke. The complications or disabilities you or your loved one face depend on the location and extent of the damage to the brain from the stroke. You may or may not have any of these difficulties. It depends how your stroke affected you.
Don’t let the list below overwhelm you. The list of treatments and supports is just as long. Use it to help you identify the problems to discuss with your doctor and others involved in your rehabilitation to make life easier and feel better after a stroke.
It is very important that you work closely with your doctor to monitor your health after a stroke to address these complications and prevent other problems, including another stroke. Treatment and care for stroke do not end when you leave the hospital. You will need to continue to see your doctor so he or she can prescribe medication and coordinate your other treatment, such as physical therapy and other forms of stroke rehabilitation. With the help of stroke care professionals and your family and friend caregivers you can begin to recover as much of your former ability as possible and find ways to adapt or work around the difficulties stroke has brought to your life.
Eager to Return to Work?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 25 percent of strokes occur in people between the ages of 45 and 65. So, returning to work is a big concern for this group during their rehabilitation. A vocational therapist can work with you and your caregivers to advise you of your right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace and coping with your return to work.
A Special Note about Depression
We all get sad from time to time. We tell ourselves or someone we love to “look at the bright side,” “buck up,” “be thankful for what you have,” or “things always get better” and move on. Things usually do get better. But the depression many people experience after a stroke is different. You may not be able to snap out of it without help. Whether it is the emotional difficulties that you experience in dealing with the day-to-day realities of recovering from a stroke or a physiological side effect of the stroke, it is a serious problem that requires professional treatment and care.
If you feel terribly sad or bad about yourself after your stroke, have trouble sleeping, see little point in living, have lost your appetite, lost interest in your usual activities, or any other emotions that prevent you from feeling better and moving forward with your recovery, talk to your friends, family, and doctor about it. Get help. Depression is not a sign of personal weakness. It is a medical illness with treatment options that can make you feel better and help you recover from your stroke.