If you are or know someone who has suffered from a stroke, you know that it is a scary time. Aside from strokes being known as the silent killer, strokes leave victims in a different shape than they were pre-stroke, so stroke recovery is vital.
Strokes happen when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain are blocked or burst. When that happens, the brain is not getting blood and oxygen. Your brain must get blood and oxygen for humans to survive, or brain cells die.
Although strokes affect people differently, there are some things to expect when recovering from a stroke. While it may be hard for the person recovering, knowing what to expect may make their recovery smoother.
Please continue reading to learn more about strokes and what to expect during stroke recovery.
Paralysis During Stroke Recovery
When something traumatic happens to your brain, it can cause paralysis, the inability to move specific parts of your body. Paralysis from a stroke can be temporary or long-term. In most cases, paralysis from a stroke occurs on the opposite side of the body from where the brain has been damaged. So, if you had a stroke in the left part of your brain, the right side of your body may be paralyzed, and vice versa.
Three types of strokes can cause paralysis. Those are the following:
Transient Ischemic Stroke
A transient ischemic stroke is also known as a mini-stroke. It occurs when there is no blood going to the brain and indicates that a more severe stroke could happen.
Ischemic stroke occurs due to a clot blocking blood flow to the brain. It could be a clot that moves from another body to the brain.
A hemorrhage stroke happens when a blood vessel ruptures inside the brain and covers it with blood. Some types of hemorrhage strokes include an aneurysm and arteriovenous malformation.
Struggles with Thinking and Learning During Stroke Recovery
Problems thinking and learning, or cognitive problems, occur after a stroke because of the damage to the brain. The cognitive problems are diagnosed by a therapist who specializes in stroke injuries. In addition to thinking and learning, some cognitive issues that stroke patients face are concentration, memory, problem-solving, recognition, and spatial neglect.
Struggles with Forming Speech During Stroke Recovery
Some people who have had strokes have problems reading, writing, and speaking after the stroke occurs. That is because communicating is done through different parts of our brain, and if it gets damaged by the stroke, communication is difficult. Most communication problems caused by a stroke can be helped or corrected with language in speech therapy.
Communication problems that occur after a stroke can be aphasia, which affects your ability to speak and understand what others say. Dysarthria can also occur because the muscles in the face and throat become damaged due to the stroke. Lastly, apraxia occurs when survivors can’t move the muscles in their faces.
Numbness During Stroke Recovery
It is not uncommon for a person who has suffered a stroke to experience numbness in different parts of their body afterward. Numbness is considered a secondary effect of a stroke. Those who suffer from certain types of stroke notice numbness more than others.
Although all strokes are different, there are treatments for those who suffer afterward. Some of those treatments are mirror therapy, electroacupuncture, sensory retraining exercises, and rehabilitation devices. All of these treatments should be effective in stroke recovery.
Depression During Recovery
With so many changes after a stroke, becoming depressed or having an overall feeling of malaise is very common. It has to do with the biochemical changes that occur in the brain after a stroke. Often doctors recommend a low dosage of antidepressants to help patients.
Families can help stroke victims who suffer from depression or malaise by encouraging them to pick up hobbies and activities they liked before their stroke. Light exercise can also help with depression.
As you have read, strokes are scary and can affect people’s lives in different ways. Although there are some injuries from a stroke that last a lifetime, there are many that either resolve themselves or can be resolved with treatment and therapies.
Those who have suffered from strokes or who have loved ones who they are helping along the way after a stroke should be aware of some of the common issues that people face after a stroke. A few of those are listed above. However, with some research, there is a lot to learn about strokes, stroke recovery, and how strokes affect different people.