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cinque (@cinque)

What to do?? Life after a stroke

Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases | Last Active: Sep 30, 2022 | Replies (24)

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My husband 64 yrs. had 2 strokes. One on 9/8/2020 the other 9/18/2020. He has made great progress. He's physically fine and speech is good. His biggest problem is apathy. He has zero motivation. Doesn't really care about much.
Has anyone experienced this?

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Replies to "My husband 64 yrs. had 2 strokes. One on 9/8/2020 the other 9/18/2020. He has made..."

Hi Nicky – I had a thalamic stroke last Memorial Day. Yes, one can experience apathy as well as a lot of fatigue, but with all this Covid stuff going on there may be some of that that affects him as well. Being separated from family and friends is very difficult. What keeps me going is my husband takes me for walks every morning – doing something physical and getting out in the fresh air helps. Also, my daughter calls me daily with Facetime so I can see my little granddaughter and my daughter-in-law and grandkids post videos on "Marco Polo" and ap where you can video back and forth so I can see the other grandkids as well. Part of his apathy may also be from seeing that he is a mere mortal. If he could actually connect on this group or a local support group would help him. This I know as I also have gone through cancer and being in a support group where you can talk freely with "your own kind" helps immensely. All the best to you both.

Hi, sorry to hear about your husbands stroke. I had a stroke 2019 and I find my self relaxing more than I should with Covid being retired since the stroke. I do know everyone is different and recover different. I worked really hard on getting my eye sight and left arm and hand up to where it should be. You would never ever had known I had a stroke by looking or talking to me. I knew things were not right. Still going on three years later I notice something's, but I keep working at it. I am more tired than I was before, so be patient and remember it was his stroke and he alone can make it better.

Hi @nicki7

Sorry to hear of your husband's stroke, keep affirming to him that there is life after stroke. Sounds like he is at that 6 months after stroke period, from what I have read this is called the chronic period, and the recovery can really slow down or plateau. This is when you really have to go to work to facilitate the neuroplasticity. There are literally thousands of us out there that are fighting this fight. I am 65 and I had a moderate to severe cerebellar stroke in September of 2019, I was very active prior to this, teaching Spin classes, fly fishing, rafting, bow hunting, biking. etc. My stroke certainly took the wind out of my sails, it significantly affected my balance and coordination. I also have experienced the apathy your husband is going through. Unfortunately, in my case anyway, there is no easy cure, it just takes lots of work. Many days I don't feel like doing anything, but if I just get out there and stop feeling sorry for myself, everything slowly, emphasis on slowly, starts to get better and then you begin to see a glimmer of hope. See if you can find something, anything, that he might be interested in, and help him get set up to do that. Key to anything working for him will be baby steps at first, start and increase slowly. I know a lot of this seems pretty obvious, but sometimes you just have to hear it anyway. I have read several books on stroke recovery, "Stroke Rebel" and "Stronger after Stroke" are two good ones. Another one that really helped me come out of the after stroke funk was, "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday, this is not about stroke recovery, but mainly about dealing with all the obstacles that life puts in our paths. It's about Stoicism, and references some of the great stoics like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, etc. It is a quick read and was very helpful for me. If he is not up for reading, might be good for you to read, or even see about getting something on Audible so he can just listen. It will be work for both of you, just get him going on something and he will thank you in a year or two.

I really feel for you. My husband had several strokes before they found out the cause and fixed it through surgery. Until his last stroke, he would bounce back very quickly but this last one affected his brain so badly that he now has issues with short-term memory, apathy, his empathy has disappeared, he has absolutely no motivation to do anything but lay in bed and watch television and is extremely fatigued. I took him to speech therapists until they stated that due to his lack of motivation they had gone as far as they could. I then took him to a cognitive specialist who dealt specifically with stroke patients but because my insurance didn't cover her it got quite expensive and there was no change anyway so we stopped after 6 months which is when COVID reared it's nasty head anyway. Keep in mind that your husband's strokes were very close together and fatigue also can cause apathetic behaviour. It sometimes takes a while for the fatigue to get better. I had to force my husband to take small walks with me every day and explained that laying around just causes more fatigue. He tried it for about 3 months and then told me he was done with it. However, I have seen many people who didn't have as many strokes as my hubby and didn't have as severe damage and they were back to full abilities and their fatigue got better over time so keep working at it and see what occurs. There might be times he might seem to improve and then go backwards and then go forward again so don't get discouraged.