My brain stroke blog » Blog Archives

Tag Archives: brain stroke

in my opinion loosing weight my stroke rehabilitation stroke survivors strokes

Secondary prevention after stroke

Published by:

regardless of whether you are a stroke survivor, a caretaker or just a good friend, the “never again!” thought will cross your mind sooner or later. This thought will transmute into fear once you are told that chances of a second stroke are pretty high. You can reject and deny it, you can agonize about it, but the most reasonable thing to do is try hard not to fall ill again.  A haunting vision of a second stroke (and every successive stroke) gives most of us sleepless nights.

Frankly, can we be sure that it will never happen again? Can we minimize the risk of a second stroke? Absolutely. Preventing the disease from recurring is called secondary prevention.   

kasia lewaczka.pl in the truck full of carrotsIt’s much better worded at the portal: PZH

Secondary prevention (2nd phase) is about early diagnosis and prompt intervention in order to arrest the disease process – and thus, about identifying risk factors and their elimination. It is addressed to persons at risk and encompasses, among others, screening tests like screening for breast cancer (mammography) or cervical cancer (cytology), periodic check-ups, control of risk factors, counselling.

It is commonly divided into secondary and long-term prevention – and the latter has to become a regular part of our lives. However, this doesn’t mean that every single day of your life your mind will go “oh gosh prevention prevention”. I believe, we can’t go on like that:) What I mean is rather the need to integrate new habits into our lives.

In the case of stroke survivors, the secondary prevention process starts (at least, should start …) in hospital. From the very beginning we, along with our closest family, are instructed what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what to avoid. Is it helpful? Sometimes yes, sometimes not too much, it depends on the medical staff. In some cases, doctors find the time and attention to give us some useful advice, sometimes not. How do I know that, me being the lucky one that, in most cases, received sound advice? I know it from your emails, and believe me, over these last 5 years (yes, this May it’s exactly five years since my first post on Lewaczka.pl!) I have mailed and talked to many people who felt like they were wandering in the fog, surrounded by darkness, after they had left the hospital.

The hospital discharge form contains a line which says: medical recommendations and patient care recommendations. I can’t recall anymore whether they come in the same line, but this is where the attending doctor puts what should be done next, e.g. consult a specialist in XXX, further diagnostics  …Generally, what needs to be checked and treated. Patient care recommendations, on the other hand, can be detailed or limited to just three words, e.g. “Mediterranean diet recommended”.

Ok, ok, let’s get to the point. There are a few basic rules to follow to help you regain health, strength and prevent strokes from recurring. And so

How to prevent a stroke from recurring – basic rules:

  1. Quit smoking. Sorry, chain smokers, and you, social smokers! Cigarettes are the biggest (along with age) risk factor for stroke. So start here. Quit. I did:) And I believe you too will manage to quit. Fingers crossed!
  2. Take your meds regularly – unfortunately, most probably, we will take some of them (e.g. anti-platelet drugs) until our very last breath. Sad, but true.
  3. Diagnostics and treatment of other diseases – knowledge about diabetes, hypertension, blood coagulation diseases, arrhythmia, aneurysms etc. – gives you a chance to treat them in time or limit their effects, including – surprise! – the chance of another stroke:)
  4. Regular medical checkups. We all understand their importance.
  5. Weight loss – insert a sad face here; I have been fighting this battle for years and at the moment I’m the fattest I’ve ever been. Nothing to boast about, and a lot to worry about.
  6. Move more – physiotherapy won’t do it all. You need to move more at home, outdoors, just about anywhere. Of course, this is super difficult for bedridden patients, but those of you who use a wheelchair or are able to walk, can move more. Although I’m doing pretty well, sometimes I sink into depression and I can’t drag myself out of bed. Fortunately, I found a solution. I got myself a dog! So now, I have to go on walks a few times a day, even when my body is heavy like a sack of flour and every step feels like a Mount Everest climb. And now guess: who walks whom?
  7. A healthy, well-balanced diet – yes, diet is very important. I mentioned above the Mediterranean diet, but generally it’s about eating healthy – fulfilling one’s nutritional needs in a balanced way, including foods that reduce the risk of stroke. Take vitamins! Vitamin deficiencies are one of the stroke risk factors.
  8. Of course, those of you who are able to exercise, would benefit from 3-4 cardio sessions a week, but now I can see some of your faces saying “yeah, sure”. It’s good to do that routine, but sure – after TIA your workout is limited to dangling a cane – so what you can do then is just a walk, some stretching or swimming. Let’s stay reasonable.
  9. Stop or cut down on alcohol consumption. Sorry!. After my first stroke, my attending said to me, roughly: „Miss Kasia, stick rather to a wine of glass with your lunch and not a bottle of vodka at a party, ok?” I’m fine with that:) These days I don’t drink at all because of the antiepileptic meds. From a party girl (university days) I turned into a teetotaler. And I’m fine!:)
  10. Less stress – yes, really. Again it’s something that’s easy to say, difficult to incorporate in our lives. By the way, there is no hard proof that stress leads to strokes, but… ongoing, constant stress undoubtedly exhausts human body, and according to some doctors, increases the risk of stroke.
  11. Drink water – plenty of it – it’s incredibly important for our bodies. If I remember right, research shows that 60% of patients admitted to stroke wards is dehydrated. And in such case, blood becomes thicker. You well know what it means for patients who were hospitalized because of a thrombus (blood clots). No need to convince you any further how important it is to stay hydrated, right?
  12. Change your lifestyle – I find this point hilarious, as this one is usually a summary of all the previous tips. Cause a change of diet, quitting smoking, almost daily exercise etc. sounds like a revolutionary change, right?

A lot of new habits need to be incorporated into our lives, but nothing is too much or too difficult to prevent another stroke.

The list may look daunting, but in fact it can be shortened to just two points: take care of your health and change your lifestyle. The rest may be intimidating, but let me tell you why it’s just a first glance impression.

All of the above things are interconnected; one stems from the other, and the other from yet another one. And still, the most important thing is to make changes in your lifestyle.

Ultimately, it’s about creating new habits and routines. It’s tough, but doable. And yet, if you ask me if I have changed my life to incorporate all of the above points – I have to say, not really. Not all of them. Unfortunately. But I’m still working on it! I know how important the new routine is.

PS

This post is based on my experience and input I found here:

https://neurologia-praktyczna.pl/a517/Wtorna-profilaktyka-udaru—–nowe-wytyczne.html

https://podyplomie.pl/medycyna/31904,prewencja-wtorna-udaru-niedokrwiennego-mozgu?page=4

https://journals.viamedica.pl/polski_przeglad_neurologiczny/article/viewFile/20071/15774

https://www.mp.pl/oit/krazenia/56313,rozpoznanie-leczenie-i-profilaktyka-wtorna-udaru-niedokrwiennego-mozgu-i-napadow-przemijajacego-niedokrwienia-mozgu-wytyczne-european-stroke-organisation-2008

KTYKA WTÓRNA PO UDARZE MÓZGU

 

my stroke rehabilitation stroke survivors

Me and Tara – I love my dog so much!:)

Published by:

To tell the truth, since I moved out of my parents I have wanted a dog. very much. very very much. and when I decided on having one, I started searching for my new BFF. I overcame many difficulties like price  (when I was looking at purebred dogs), the size (my puppy to be from the shelter suddenly got huge, and I really need small dog), and changes of the time of pickup.

Now I have a dog. Three months old dachshund which has just discovered that the walls can be bitten as well.

I fell in love immediately, but it does not mean that we do not have problems. Continue reading

epilepsy my stroke Uncategorized

I had a fantasy of driving with a driving instructor

Published by:

And I dropped this splendid idea.

lefthandLately, I’ve sat behind the wheel of our car. My brother encouraged me and, I guess, he’s been regretting this move till today.

I was supposed to drive about 20 meters and park. Nothing complicated?

You couldn’t be more wrong. I just forgot how to use a car. I forgot about the existence of accelerator. Actually, I think that I KNEW that something was missing, but I didn’t know what.

Anyways. After a while, with the great tutor next to me, I started to drive. And I parked.

Then I had an idea: what about the supplementary training of driving? Not to come back on the roads (epilepsy…), but for fun. It would mean driving with someone, who could stop the car if necessary.

My fear is strong. would brakes save me from such thing?

And remember, that my TIA (ministroke) happened in the car.

I’m scared. So no driving. No driving until I’m sure about being safe from seizures. Let’s wait and see.

my stroke rehabilitation

Parasport, my my disability, my doubts.

Published by:

And if I am too healthy? (((;

shooting range comptetion shots Sometimes this question bugs me. Unbelievable. But only in the context of shooting.

I’ve been shooting in the sports club for a while now and it became my best hobby.

It is funny, astonishing and worrying at the same time.

I`ll explain to you what it is about.

Parasport (a so-called sport done by the disabled) is a category for the physically disabled. I hadn`t known about it until I started to fix papers for an international competition which was very important for me (I write about it here) – then I realized that parasport is a category for people without a leg, without a hand, with paresis, paralysis, spasms and so on and not for those who have problems w chronic tiredness, problems with reading or cognitive problems, with aphasia or mental impairment. Simply that.

And me?

Well, my physical disability expresses with subtlety – I don`t have a normal feeling in my left hand, I still have impairment of my left hand which is a stiff. My left foot toes still switch form spasms to bending upwards. Sometimes, when I don`t remember to remember I start to limp a little (grrrrrrrrrrrr).

Once, a friend from my club told me that you cannot see anything when you look at me. And it is true. Continue reading

my stroke stroke survivors

Insomnia after a stroke – our common trouble.

Published by:

Well, unfortunately. Stroke survivors, in this sphere, are in the doghouse too. Insomnia after a stroke is more common than among healthy people.

Who would have expected? ; )

You know what? I am writing this text at 5 a.m., so there is a grain of truth in it. : )

It`s our tough luck. At last, you have a little time to sleep off toils of life after a stroke and over half of us suffer from insomnia. Studies have shown that stroke survivors generally:

  • fall asleep with more difficulty (mememe!)
  • wake up more often (also me!)
  • suffer from a lower quality of sleep (probably me…
  • fall asleep for a nap harder (is it me?).

Ok, I admit. I had problems with sleep before the stroke too. But periodical. Now, if I sleep through the night, I jump (mentally of course ;p) with joy. Continue reading

Uncategorized

Well… I got a job. I lost a job. That’s life

Published by:

lefthandNot easy come, but easy go. I`ve lost my job.

Exactly 3 years and 5 months after the stroke I took my first job after the stroke. Almost exactly 3 years and 7 motnhsafter the strome I lost it. My 3-month contract for a trial period is not going to be renewed. So my first job after a stroke did not turn out to be such a success as I had counted for.

What went wrong?

Was it a false start or had I waited too long?

What was a obstacle – a hand or concentration?

Too many naps or maybe too few?

Was it me who failed?

I would like to have answers for even a few of these questions.

How do I feel?

Well, you may expect that not really good. I just feel that I disappointed myself. And that I did not manage. It may be true and false. I see a lot of fault in my failure on the firm`s side. But let`s be honest: if I had been a worker of the year, I would probably not have lost this job. If I hadn`t made mistakes, they would not ave written I made them. Simple things. I am analyzing everything and my head is unfortunately full of questions as well as reasons, arguments, words both comforting and blaming me, the firm and the whole world.

I have a sense of failure. I would have it after being fired from any job. It`s not something I could ignore by shrugging arms. It just isn`t.

I was obserinv my progress at work. And I am really glad with it.

It`s turned out that in my case job after the stroke is not impossible.

But it`s terribly difficult.

However, I had not been able to do more.

I hope I will not look for next job for another three and half years.

 

my stroke stroke survivors Uncategorized

life after stroke – conference meeting

Published by:

Again crazy week with the even crazier weekend.

I think that I should be prepared for unexpected by now and in a way I am but from time to time I have small pinches of the feeling which I like: yaaay, my life isn’t as boring as I usually think!

anyways. on Tuesday my fellow strokie, Louis Gustin, invited me to a conference(meeting, whatever you should call it) to Warsaw. As a proper yes-woman, I agreed immediately, not even thinking about it. I thought that it would be pretty cool to meet Louis and even cooler to find out more about

life after stroke.

Continue reading

Uncategorized

I hate my birthday. But it’s a good time to wrap up the year

Published by:

rebirth, stroke anniversary, hospitalEvery year on 3rd of January I wake up in an extremely bad mood which doesn’t leave me until midnight. Typical birthday blues. I try to have a full agenda, but this year… I had a migraine again. Vomited in the medical laboratory, the world was more painful than usual.

However, my birthday is the perfect time to share with you successes and failures of 2017. I’m gonna use numbers.

My first hero is 2:

  • 2 amazing months: July and November, when I felt well. They were full of joy, warmth and peace. Sources of their awesomeness were very different from each other but in the end, I spent two months almost without pain and depression, cherishing normal life
  • For the past two months, I haven’t been rehabilitating myself and exercising. I can’t explain it. It’s about being extremely busy and extremely lazy.
  • I started doing two cool things. I opened my business an started volunteering for poor people and against food waste. Shop gave my unemployed life bit of meaning, work for less fortunate made my need of helping others less meaningless.
  • Two things I’m actually proud of: my Lewaczka.pl blog (this one too;p) and first money earned since the stroke.
  • Two job offers. Nothing worked out of it, I have no clue why, but still: someone believed in me enough to offer me a place in his team.
  • Two brilliant blog entries from a guest star:) In Polish only, sorry!;)

12:

  • Pills I’m taking daily,
  • months since last birthday blues,
  • months till my 30th birthday

3:

  • three new diagnoses. Lupus: most likely I’ve been living with it for the past 10-15 years, not knowing about it, carotid artery dissection – could be the cause of strokes. Lupus, dissection, hole in my heart, I have many things to choose from;)
  • three hospitals I was admitted. All three admissions were planned.
  • For the third time, I was guaranteed social security money. Yay. I’m kind of covered till September.
  • 3 amazing trips. Denmark with a friend, Cyprus with family, Emirates for NCD Alliance conference... All of them were really great. Denmark was like completing lifelong dream, Cyprus nice time with my beloved people, Emirates: oh wow, it was my blog-wise achievement. Big one. I can’t stress enough how I enjoyed the time there.

1:

  • neurolupus, new kind of lupus thrown into my face. It’s about to be confirmed, now I imagine it as a little worm eating my brain and leaving me with depression, dementia and meaningless life,
  • one participation in an event of a big importance;)  well, at least for sick people,
  • new, brilliant psychotherapist,
  • one physiotherapist who has left me for the man. But I can’t be upset about it. I wish her best of luck with him, they deserve perfect life:)
  • One pronouncement saying that I’m disabled. It’s official. It’s good. It gives me a discount for a train. Twice a year;)
  • One magazine cover my face was on. I’m a cover girl;p
  • One sport I started to practice. I’m lousy. But Olympic games are once every 4 years, no worries here;)
  • Foreigner, I’m helping in settling here. He’s a friend and we are very happy to see his life easier from time to time.
  • Epilepsy attack. unexpected. Adding two years to my auto-ban;) (do not mistake with autobahn;p I mean I’m banned from driving for 2 additional years).
  • Website about spasticity I’ve consulted,
  • Day of the retired people I was celebrating,
  • the brother whom I love. But my love starts to be conditional. I don’t love him that much when he puts glass full of water on my back.

15:

  • kilos I’ve lost,

million:

  • of series that I completed,
  • hours in bed,
  • smiles and pleasant things that happened to me,
  • litres of water I drunk,
  • hours of not moving while I should move,
  • interviews I gave. It feels like a million anyway.
  • Minutes of escaping the reality.
  • of good, kind people I have around and I’ve met.

115:

  • texts for my polish blog (!!!). Only…

26

  • texts for an English version of my strokie blog. Poor result.

Zero:

  • of new strokes! None!
  • plans for that years. Many dreams though;)

It was a weird year. Horrible in many ways, but still kept finding reasons to smile. But dear my 29. and dear 2018:

by the way… one of the first songs I learned to play on a guitar. very bad. But for now it’d be perfect. Gotta try!:)

my stroke Uncategorized

Sharjah – Dubai. NCD Alliance Global Forum 2017. Turistic entry;)

Published by:

I was telling people that I had been a participant in the conference of sick people in Dubai, but it wasn’t the conference of sick people in Dubai. It was the NCD Alliance Global Forum 2017 which means it was a forum of professors, NGOs, politicians, people advocating for patients and sick people themselves.

I came back. Now I’m able to tell you how it went;) Of course, I have plenty of thoughts on a subject of the conference – NCD Alliance Global Forum 2017, but I have the feeling that my readers are equally interested in the basics. how did I handle the trip? Was I very tired? Did I skip classes?;) What did I see in Dubai?;)

Warning: it’s gonna e a long entry, so I divided it into few parts so that people having difficulties in reading could read it part by part.

Trips

Plenty of you was asking me about flights and journey itself. Of course, I had to fly to UAE. Two flights each way. I didn’t experience any problems connected to flying. I mean none. Nothing hurt, even my ears weren’t hurting me during landing. After coming to the hotel I got a headache, but I bet the reason was exhaustion, not change of height:)

I know that plenty of people who suffered the brain stroke has huge problems with flying. I feel much better in a car than on a plane. In this case, it was the same. Sorry mom, the drive you gave me to the airport was much worse than the flight itself. Taxis, cars, buses were my nightmare. No exception in UAE. Sorry about that. Continue reading

my stroke Uncategorized

My third rebirthday. Annual entry for stroke anniversary:)

Published by:

Today I have my third rebirthday.

on 21st Dec 3 years ago I had a brain stroke. That means that I’m at the same time 28-year-old, 63-year-old and 3 years old.

rebirth, stroke anniversary, hospitalEach year I feel very weird on this day. I really feel that this date is important to me, even more than my birthday. celebrating the day you were born, its something natural, but I didn’t choose the way of my growth, right? My mom says that I didn’t say ‚no’ to food, but it’s not like I was choosing it. After my brain stroke, I conducted my life consciously to the point that I could. From the diaper to the place I’m in.

Last year was a bit peculiar to me. It cant be related in few words, so I’ll leave it until the new years eve;)

Today I’m gonna be traditional. I’m gonna tell you the ways my life changed in a good way. Areas that are better now.

As you know, the life of a strokie isn’t that great. Frequently it seems to be hopeless and horrible. But there can be found things that changed for better. I truly believe that each and every one of us can find at least one such thing, even if his or her life is miserable.

Well, I have to admit, that few things changed for worse last year. surprisingly I feel weaker than last before. Strange. This year I haven’t had a stroke, the year before I did. how to explain that?:o

so many things are going for worse, I’m not gonna focus on them because there are plenty which changed my life for better. Since last year I’ve noticed a big growth. I’m letting the list expand, even if it grows that big, that it’s too long to read.

so.

what has changed in my life for better after stroke?
    1. I take better care of myself,
    2. I’ve met few new, nice people,
    3. I’ve let go few people, who were bringing me pain. emotionally it’s a great thing for me,
    4. I’m less stressed with small things,
    5. I don’t have a stressful and horrible job anymore,
    6. I’ve learned knitting,
    7. I quit smoking,
    8. sometimes I’m rested,
    9. the card ‚you know, I’ve had a stroke’ still works for me,
    10. I know why I’m oversensitive to sun,
    11. I have a PFO fixed,
    12. I’ve I’ve found a new, great psychologist and i feel that she’s the one,
    13. i’m fixing, one by one, everything that’s broken in me,
    14. i have the first thing in my life that i’m proud of. I mean my blogs.
    15.  My blogs give me satisfaction. It’s a really nice, previously known feeling.
    16. I have the energy to learn new things,
    17. I’m overcoming my boundaries and things I’m scared of,
    18. I’m more peaceful than before. I feel less irritated,
    19. I’ve learned Spanish. I can communicate in this language. And I learned it by myself,
    20. I’ve lost 15 kilos,
    21. I don’t have to give my granny rides to shops. Not being able to drive sucks, but on the other hand, I love this excuse,
    22. I see that I’m helping people,
    23. My hair fall out less,
    24. i’m thinking about myself more,
    25. I started dating,
    26. I have a small collection of figures of goats,
    27. I understand people better,
    28. I’m not that worried about money. I know its very horrible, as my parents are providing for me, but on the other hand, before I was counting each zloty with a fear, and now I’m still counting, but without fear,
    29. I get long depressive states less frequently,
    30. I get rid of stuff rather than I collect them,
    31. I’m learning to have an order around myself,
    32. If its even possible, I’m closer to my brother than anytime before,
    33. again I appreciate being outside,
    34. I have the hammock!
    35. I can do things in WordPress better and better,
    36. I have ‚my own’ business. It goes badly, but it’ll be better. one day.
    37. I have a feeling that I’m more active.

Comparing to the Polish version this list is shorter for two points;)

But still it’s impressive, isn’t it?

I like the points about being proud of myself, as for the first time I really feel pride and satisfaction. It’s a new, great feeling to think about yourself well. For a change;)

Maybe you should try to think about such list yourself? Even in despair, we can find something. For me, the first thing was realising in a hospital that I have nicer skin.

It started with one. Now list is that long!:)