The Foundation is starting a new series to help stroke survivors during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Once again, stroke survivors are “taking it in the belly” during our current situation.
I am sure that you have heard the phrase that with stroke, “Time Is Brain.” That means many things. For example, the faster you are initially treated for a stroke, the better the likely outcome. Hopefully, most hospitals and stroke centers have been responsive and not overwhelmed by their COVID-19 patients, to the disadvantage of their stroke patients.
Now, let us get some stroke coaching ideas going which might help survivors and their caregiver partners.
“Time is Brain” has other meanings – the sooner you start rehabilitation the more gains you are likely to achieve. That has to do with the brain’s plasticity. While gains can be achieved during your entire life, the most rapid gains are achieved the sooner rehabilitation occurs after your stroke. But with the lock-downs, many survivors had to put their rehabilitation on hold. With the brain’s plasticity those survivors may not achieve their maximum recoveries.
The suggestion – as these lock-downs end, or become less restrictive, take steps to get your rehabilitation going in a meaningful way, if you have not done so already.
IMPORTANT – HAVE AN EYE EXAMINATION AFTER A STROKE!
After a stroke, a survivor needs an eye examination to determine if the stroke impacted their eyesight. (From my book, Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor – available on Amazon Prime.)
When I walked around, I was unaware of my sight losses. I did not realize that my sight had diminished on my right side. So having an eye examination, and if you are going to drive, a driver evaluation are both really important.
Having said that, very few stroke survivors or their caregivers are ever advised to get the examination. For example, I recently had a phone conversation with a Pennsylvania woman who is in her late sixties and is a stroke survivor. She had had an eye examination, so I asked her who advised her to have it. She said, “no one but my career was as a hospital administrator, so I knew enough to get one. But nobody ever told me to.”
And that has been my experience as a stroke coach for many survivors. In fact, they are surprised that I mention it at all.
COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon no matter what you may hear on the TV. So, we will continue to respectfully make helpful suggestions to the stroke community. If you have questions, others may have the same questions. Please contact us at info@StrokeRF.org and we will try to assist you.
Best of Luck, Stay Safe and Healthy!
Stroke Recovery Foundation Coaching Team