• Lian Yun-Perng, Physiotherapist

Stroke- Is there LIFE after stroke?


What is Stroke?

Stroke is a result of brain damage caused by blood supply interruption in the brain. The cause can be either a blockage or a bleed. When the brain’s blood supply is affected, it is deprived of oxygen which leads to brain cells death.

Stroke usually occurs after the age of 65 for most but there is an increasing trend where people as young as 20 are getting strokes. Several factors that increases your risk of getting a stroke are stress, family history of stroke, heart disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, poor diet control, low physical activity to name a few.

The public is taught the acronym F.A.S.T for stroke screening and there is a better chance of survival/good recovery if the person is sent to the hospital within 4 hours of having a stroke because there are certain procedures which can lessen the effects of stroke.

Is there life after stroke?

YES, why not?

There is life after anything that happens to us. It is how we overcome it that defines life. Stroke is not the end of one’s life. I have seen many patients recovering (not fully) from stroke. They are no different than those who are “normal”. Indeed, their movements may be slow, sluggish, weak or uncoordinated, but they still get enjoy life. The most important action to take is to start physiotherapy as soon as the person is medically stable; DO NOT WAIT! The sooner you start, the sooner your brain gets to repair and regenerate.

Stroke recovery is not without hard work, tears and sweat. Most will only regain their function after doing physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The physiotherapist will be there to train with them, educate them and to give them assurance that they will be alright. The physiotherapist will be someone that holds their hand till their rehabilitation journey is completed. It is like how a parent will hold their children’s hand till they are strong enough to walk on their own.

Doing physiotherapy will require discipline and will. The saying goes “When there’s a will, there’s a way”. The “will” comes from the patient and the “way” comes from the physiotherapist. There are many “ways” a physiotherapist can help their stroke recovery, but the fundamental approach should be active rehabilitation.

Is there life after stroke?

No, why?

Reason 1: The person, themselves

What does the person expect if they do nothing? Don’t expect the person to walk if they don’t walk. Don’t expect the person to recover if they don’t try.

Reason 2: Family members

I might sound mean for saying this. Some family members deprive their loved ones of care/physiotherapy. It can be due to the lack of time, funds, space or whatever reasons they have but it is still unacceptable. They will surely find a physiotherapy centre that suits their needs if they try. (Otherwise, drop me a message and I will direct you to one)

Reason 3: Doctors

They did not recommend physiotherapy (Not sure why but this has happened to some of my patients).

Reason 4: Low standard physiotherapy

The physiotherapist simply did not do their job properly. They pay no attention to the patient’s needs and the patient will be doing most of their rehabilitation by themselves without any supervision or assistance.

Reason 5: Massive stroke

This is not a good reason for not having life after stroke, but some may never be able to regain function. They will be fully dependent on others for daily care.

Bottom line

1. There is life after stroke. It depends on what they want to achieve and how they plan to achieve it. Be realistic but don’t give up.

2. Don’t deprive your loved one from the care they require.

Please drop us a message if you need any help or advice on stroke. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

Thank you.

Image credits

https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/types_of_stroke.htm

https://healthcentral.nz/whanganui-district-health-board-supports-new-fast-stroke-awareness-campaign/

#Neuro #Reflection #Opinions

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Lian Yun-Perng  

UK Qualified Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Keele University, United Kingdom
Diploma in Physiotherapy

AIMST University, Malaysia