Stroke is a devastating medical condition that contributes to 6.1% of total deaths in Singapore. That’s more than 24,000 deaths a year! In spite of that, there are also many cases where victims survive but are left with lingering symptoms.
This includes numbness, paralysis, speech difficulty and many more. These residual effects can greatly impact the livelihood of an individual and their families. Nevertheless, the initiative to start early treatment can significantly improve your chances of regaining control of your body.
If you or your loved one have already started rehabilitation, then you’re well on your way to recovery! Here are some post-stroke signs of recovery and what you can expect over the course of your treatment.
You Are Starting To Sleep More
Sleepiness and tiredness could be signs of recovery. Stroke survivors often sustain brain trauma, prompting their bodies to use more energy. As a result, they tend to feel more tired and they’d find themselves sleeping more.
Some may mistaken this as a bad thing but sleep is imperative to helping you heal. It’s a sign that the brain is working hard to recover so make sure to rest and recuperate when you feel like it. Nevertheless, excessive sleep without progression is not good either.
Make sure to see your doctor if you don’t see a pattern of progress over a period of time.
Improve Speech And Communication
Speech difficulty is a common problem among stroke survivors. Also known as aphasia, more than 1/3 of stroke survivors in Singapore suffer from speech and communication impairment. Aphasia may also lead to difficulty in reading and writing too.
The recovery of speech and language skills depends on the severity of your aphasia. It also comes down to the level of treatment and therapy you receive. Most individuals experience improvements within the first six months where some might take longer to recover.
However, with time and the right therapists, you might start to see improvements in your speech and communication much faster than expected.
Regaining Movement And Strength
As stroke has the potential to affect your speech, a large number of victims experience muscle weakness, paralysis and spasticity as well. These are probably the most common after effects of having a stroke and they can develop within a week or months after your stroke.
Depending on the affected area of your body, regaining some movement and strength is a great sign of recovery. This may take time however and it will require the support of physiotherapists, health care professionals and family members.
On a side note, the best time to start rehabilitation is as soon as possible. This will boost the chances of recovery but make sure to consult your therapist before performing any exercises.
Better Cognitive Function
Cognitive skills refer to your ability to learn, make decisions and solve problems. These may also be affected in light of a stroke and in worst case scenarios, cause dementia. Nevertheless, cognitive deficits can be improved or even reversed with the help of occupational therapists.
They are trained to help you develop the right strategies to improve your cognitive abilities and perform daily tasks. Overtime, you might start to see improvement in your cognitive abilities. This is a good sign of recovery and the sooner you start the better!
To make your recovery more practical, try engaging in fun and creative activities such as puzzles, art and music.
You’re Increasingly Independent
All in all, the best indicator of recovery is your degree of independence. The more independent you are over time, the more evident your recovery. This includes being able to to perform daily tasks with minimal supervision such as eating, dressing, bathing and many more.
Regaining your independence is the ultimate goal of rehabilitation and as mentioned throughout this article, the sooner you start the better your recovery! It also comes down to hiring the right professional and most importantly, having the mental fortitude to overcome your obstacles.
And this starts by getting over your grief and focusing on the task at hand.
You’re Passed the Grieving Process
Your mind is your strongest ally when it comes to post stroke recovery. Grief is a natural human response to losing something (sense of independence) but it should not have a permanent grasp over your mental state.
There are 5 stages of grief and it all progressively leads to acceptance. Accepting your current state is a good step into getting past your grief and onto the right path of getting better. This takes a lot of mental fortitude and it helps to get some help from professionals and family too!
Stroke is a serious medical condition that can have a major impact on an individual and their families. Be that as it may, recovery is achievable with the right support and treatment. This includes going through rehabilitation and having the determination to get through your hurdles.
If you or your loved ones are going through post-stroke impediments, it’s best to seek medical attention right away. Recovery may get your work cut out for you, but completely attainable nevertheless.