"Surviving a stroke is only half the battle. The real fight begins afterwards."

An interesting read by our Physiotherapist Mr. Kim Roberts:

Imagine this: Suddenly you have a body that doesn’t belong to you. An arm that doesn’t move when you try to reach for a drink. You use your other arm to reach for it, but you still can’t quench your thirst, your lips aren’t closing around the edge of the cup. It spills, you are embarrassed. You need help to do something that is so simple, something you have been doing all your life. 

You are uncomfortable in the position you are lying in, but you can’t move yourself. Why won’t your trunk turn itself? Your leg can’t hold my weight and your face doesn’t remotely resemble what it looked like when you last saw yourself in a mirror. 

You used to be a private person but that’s completely demolished as your daughter, whose diaper I used to change, is undressing you, carrying you to the bathroom. She is not leaving you there and closing the door behind her as she leaves because you need her to stay. You need someone to keep you from falling as you sit on the loo to empty your bladder. All you can think of is how you took this for granted when you could so this alone. 

You haven’t had a moment out of your bedroom in days, you lay there waiting for someone to come in and visit with you. Keep you company. You hear the television and the conversation in the living room. 

But you lay here alone. Waiting. 

You're leaving your bedroom today. You have another doctor’s appointment. Your husband tries his best to move you to your new wheelchair, but every time he does it is so painful, so scary. You plead with all you might that he does not let you fall, because you won’t be able to stand up from the floor. 

Imagine being enough of a warrior to endure something as terrifying as a stroke, and then just existing afterwards. 

Independence in activities in daily living, residential and community re integration are what I am passionate about. Surviving a stroke is only half the battle. The real fight begins afterwards.