Post stroke conditions: Stroke is not a disease, but it is a medical condition that needs prompt care. A stroke occurs when there is inadequate blood supply to the brain – either interrupted, disrupted or in decreased quantity. Due to this faulty blood supply, there is a reduced supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain causing the brain cells to die.
Stroke, it must be remembered, is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. The aftermaths of stroke could range from mild to severe conditions and also the duration vary from a short period to hours. Identification of the symptoms and the aftermaths thus, becomes utmost important.
How stroke affects your body?
Stroke causes severe damage to the brain and the effects of stroke depend on the damage incurred by the brain during the stroke. Each stroke is different from another and the affects of it depends on the person’s general health condition, the duration of stroke and the part of the brain affected along with the intensity of damage.
The consequences of stroke (post stroke conditions) are as follows:
Hemi paresis or hemiplegia: this is a medical term for weakness or paralysis. After the stroke, the person may feel weak or paralyzed on a particular side of the body or an arm or a leg. The weakness is observed opposite to the side of the brain damaged during the stroke. The person may feel pain or numbness in the weak side of the body.
Cognitive problems: Cognitive problems refer to the problems with the functioning of the brain. People suffering from cognitive problems suffer from medical conditions like aphasia and/or dysarthia. Aphasia involves difficulty in understanding speech or writing. The condition may be such that the person is able to understand speech, but unable to respond appropriately. A person suffering from dysarthia is aware of the appropriate words, but is unable to say them clearly. Cognitive problems also include trouble in retention or memory, attention power, thinking and learning.
Dysphasia: Dysphasia is a medical condition wherein the affected person has trouble in swallowing food. This may lead to inadequate intake of the required food, and then to a state of malnutrition. This condition must be dealt with utmost concern and care should be taken so that the person gets the needed nutritional requirement.
Incontinence: In most of the people suffering from stroke, incontinence is common. The person is unable to control his bladder. This condition is normally curable.
Foot drop: foot drop is a condition in which the affected person has problem moving or lifting the front part of the foot that prompts them to drag their foot while walking.
Epileptic seizures: post stroke, epileptic seizures are very common as the brain suffers a significant damage.
Sleeping problems: a person who has suffered stroke is liable to experience sleeping disorders.
Muscular spasms: Post stroke, muscle spasms are also very common. In this case, the person experiences severe pain in muscles. This pain may also be felt in joints along with rigidity.
Trouble in vision: Having trouble with vision again is not uncommon with people having a history of stroke.
Apart from these physical and physiological problems following stroke, people also face certain psychological problems.
The psychological problems faced by the people after stroke are as follows:
Depression: Post stroke, many people go into mild to severe depression. The depression could be as a result of the various physical disabilities faced by the patients.
Anxiety: Anxiety is commonly observed among patients who have suffered stroke. After first stroke, people generally become anxious thinking that they would suffer from another stroke attack.
Other psychological problems: Emotional disturbance and a general disinclination towards life could be some of the other psychological aberrations observed among the patients who have suffered from stroke.
Treatment and rehabilitation
Stroke being an emergency medical condition, should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to minimize the damage caused to the brain. The physical and psychological problems that are generally faced by the patients who have suffered from stroke can be cured and treated effectively and successfully with rehabilitation. But, it must be kept in mind that like all rehabilitation processes, stroke rehabilitation needs time and patience.
The role of family and friends
The family plays a vital role in helping the patient recover from the post-stroke symptoms. It is indeed true and valid that a thorough knowledge of the post-stroke symptoms helps in overcoming them, but the family’s role in the whole rehabilitation process cannot be denied. It is the support and reassurance from the family that prompt a stroke patient to feel confident about getting back to a normal life. Any stroke patient needs constant care and monitoring. The medicines should be administered on time. Most importantly, care should be taken to ensure that the person does not involve himself in any activity that may further increase the risk of another stroke.
Post stroke conditions: The problems like foot drop and weakness in parts of the body are also curable with rehabilitation, treatments and therapies like physiotherapy and exercises. The only thing required is time and patience.