You are never too old to recover
Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed —William James
You are never too old to recover from stroke: not everyone can make a complete recovery, but most of us, over time, can manage a major improvement in our condition.
The keys to a quality life after stroke are support, guidance, rehabilitation and, most important of all, the will to get well. For those of us who are alone in the world, the will to get well can be the deciding factor. The first ten days after stroke are the most cruel. After that, with adequate aftercare and the right attitude of mind, things can get progressively better.
Make no mistake, recovering from stroke is never easy. For some it will prove to be the toughest challenge of their lives but for the chance to win back our health, with all the rewards, opportunities, and treats that will accompany success, are we not willing to do whatever it takes to get well?
Just for a moment, let us suppose that the forthcoming struggle to recover our health will be an adventure, not an impossibility. In order to understand how and why, at almost any age, we have a phenomenal ability to recover from stroke, allow me to give you an insight to what is happening inside your brain. You may be reassured to discover that your brain is quite capable of navigating around the stroke-damaged areas of itself in much the same way that you might take a detour if your usual route home was blocked by an accident. Your brain has spare capacity for emergencies such as this.
EXPRESS RECOVERY TIP
Commit to the best possible recovery you can manage.
Damage by stroke occurs only in the brain. Nothing at all has happened to the muscles. They malfunction on one side of the body after stroke because they are not getting the usual messages for movement from the brain. With time, physiotherapy and perseverance, the stroke patient who survives the initial trauma can often recover lost or impaired faculties as the brain finds alternative pathways around the damaged areas.
I know only too well from my own experiences of recovering from two strokes that you must be feeling frustrated and frightened right now. A stroke defies definition in so many ways. No two strokes are the same. Suddenly, unexpectedly, your whole life implodes. The saddest thing about stroke is that your nearest and dearest can help you but they can’t enter into the struggle. No one but you can win.
Despite your misfortune, if you can somehow summon the will to read on, this book will hold your hand and guide you every step of the way through the marvels of your own recovery. The essential first step is to commit your heart and soul to recovery, the best possible recovery that you can manage.