Suffering a stroke can be a very traumatizing and life altering experience for a person. It results in the rapid loss of brain functions, leading to a loss of motor control, inability to understand and formulate speech, partial or complete loss of vision and even paralysis.
The degree of impact depends on the extent of damage caused to the brain. At times, the stroke may not cause any visible symptoms, but still continue to damage the brain and increase the risk of a major stroke in the future. Conversely, the patients who have suffered a major stroke may still be at risk of suffering minor strokes and further brain damage. It is therefore important to understand the effects of the stroke and make efforts to improve the quality of life.
Coping With the Effects of A Stroke
Mental and Emotional Support
The most important step towards treatment of the stroke patient includes understanding and accepting the situation, while keeping aside the negative feelings of worthlessness and frustration.
Accepting the changes in your life post the stroke can help you cope with the effects of stroke in a better way. It is important for the family and friends of the stroke victim to strike a balance so that they are loving and caring to the patient, but can be persuasive as well, when necessary.
Rehabilitation of Stroke Victim
Stroke rehabilitation refers to the process where the team of health care providers work together to help the victim regain the brain functions lost due to stroke. It is a comprehensive program which maximizes the chances of recovery if the patient joins immediately after being discharged from the hospital.
The team of professionals includes speech therapists, physical therapists, physicians and occupational therapists. The aim of rehabilitation program is to help the brain reorganize itself and reverse the loss of functions.
The in-house therapy for rehabilitation continues for 16 days followed by many weeks and months of rehabilitation in an outside facility. Most of the stroke victims show substantial recovery of brain functions upon following the therapy, albeit with a great deal of perseverance and dedication.
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Treatment for Aphasia
Aphasia refers to the inability of a person to comprehend and formulate speech. A large majority of stroke victims develop aphasia as a result of brain damage. The treatment for aphasia involves the use of multiple sensory stimuli to stimulate the brain. The use of medication such as, amphetamines, donezepil and piribedil, together with pragmatic therapy can effectively improve the speech abilities of the patient.
The aim of the physical therapy is to maintain physical integrity and prevent further complications, while promoting functional recovery. Physical therapy helps in regaining and improving the motor functions and sensory functions.
Treatment for Incontinence
The loss of bladder control may lead to urinary incontinence in stroke victims. The condition might be temporary and improve with time or may be more serious in nature needing medical treatment.
The doctors may prescribe medication for your condition or advice exercises and bladder training. Meanwhile, you can use certain equipments for toilet assistance and adaptations for toilet facilities.
Managing the Central Post Stroke Pain
Some of the stroke victims may experience a shooting and throbbing pain post the stroke which does not respond to painkillers. However, it can be treated with medicines.
Group Therapy and Support Groups
Group therapy and support groups can help the stroke victim meet other people who are experiencing the same symptoms. Sharing experiences and information can help you understand your symptoms better and equip you with the knowledge to improve them.
Stroke can cause hemiplegia or epilepsy fits, both of which are severe complications and need considerable efforts for treatment and managing daily activities. It is normal for a stroke victim to lose patience and feel depressed as the treatment continues for a very long time and yields very slow results. However, with the continued efforts of the doctors, the patient and the people surrounding him/her, it is possible for thestroke victim to live a normal life and that is the best way of coping with the effects of a stroke.
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