The title of this post was a search term on my blog today. ‘How to cheer up stroke victim.’ Ummm, I’m sure the person that wrote this is newly devastated but I’ve been dealing with this crap for nearly 5 years and I’m a bit jaded. It’s wonderful that someone cared enough to search that. I’m pretty sure that something like that was never searched for by the main players in my life on how to deal with me and interact with me. You really can’t cheer the person up, maybe you can, I don’t know. For me, I just wished I had died. The most you can hope to do within those first couple of years after a brain injury is provide fleeting moments of joy through laughter, perhaps through Grumpy Cat pictures. This was the case for me anyway. Maybe there are other stroke survivors that didn’t badly want to be released by death from the hellish existence they were forced to live. I did. Does anyone else want to comment on how you may have been cheered up? I couldn’t be cheered up. I was in a deep, deep, deep depression and had lost any and all hope. The fact that I was able to pull myself out of that is quite amazing. It’s pretty much all up to the individual, I think. You can suggest all kinds of things that you think would help, read my blog, read Dean’s blog for all kinds of suggestions. But you can’t do anything for the person, you can only recommend stuff, and hope they oblige.
But I’m going to do a post soon that is quite the opposite of the message of this post and tell recent strokees that life can get better, way better.
A side note, it has been said by Dean that e-mail after e-mail goes unanswered by the ASA and NSA. I have sung the praises of Peter G. Levine’s book Stronger After Stroke, have recommended it to a bunch of people and have been a big supporter of his blog and have it listed on my homepage under ‘The Most Important Recovery Links You Need’ category. And I have no plans of deleting it. I still think this book is the best one that exists about stroke recovery right now. This will change when I write a book. But multiple e-mails of mine to him about meditation have gone unanswered and meditation is only briefly mentioned twice I think on his blog. I can provide thousands of research articles about the benefits of meditation on the brain. A plethora of evidence that would take months to read through. Is anyone out there genuinely trying to help people without expecting anything in return with no personal agenda? My heart aches for humanity right now.
Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.
To try to cheer up a stroke victim…..
My aunt has been going to physical therapy for a few months for some hip pain. She told me she is feeling a whole lot better but that there are still some nagging symptoms that haven’t been relieved. I think there is probably a spinal component to her symptoms that hasn’t been diagnosed so I told her to come over and hopefully between my brain(the good part) and the PT she’s going to we’ll be able to figure this out. Usually when there are symptoms left over that haven’t improved with other stuff, something is going on in the spine. Little secret: most pain you get in the back is due to discs. Saying the word ‘disc’ to people usually freaks them out, but 99% of the time it’s no reason to be really scared. I mean, it should be addressed through different body positions and posture and stuff, but don’t freak out. The spine is weird, discs are weird. Sometimes a disc sticks out a little bit and presses on a nerve and causes pain or numbness or tingling. Then it goes back to where it should be and the symptoms stop.
When you should be more concerned, and what I’m going to tell my aunt when she comes over, is that the time to be more concerned is when those symptoms are constant and don’t go away no matter what position you are in. You’d much rather have intermittent symptoms, symptoms that come and go and that you can figure out a way to get relief. This means the symptoms are purely mechanical, that position of the bones, muscles, body as a whole are causing them. This is an easy fix – well, sometimes. Get into certain positions, do certain exercises and let those nerves heal up and the problem usually goes away.
With constant symptoms, it may still be a mechanical issue of the body and certain positioning and certain directional exercises will help the problem. I’ve had patients in the past that came in with constant pain then the symptoms turned intermittent – then gone. When there is absolutely nothing that can be done to change the symptoms no matter what direction/positions you put the body in, something else is probably going on.
A search term on my blog yesterday was “rotator cuff exercises for stroke patient.” The exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff are the same whether you had a stroke or not. The muscles and nerves are all the same as before a stroke. The rotator cuff is the rotator cuff, it doesn’t change just because you had a stroke. What changes is the ability to do some of these exercises properly and modifications might have to be made in order to work the correct muscles. In some cases, major modifications. If that is the case, you would probably need to see a PT in order make sure the correct muscles are firing. But essentially, it’s the same as the day before you stroked.