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Post Stroke Fatigue

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.

post-stroke-fatigue

On the night of the 5th June 2019 I had a stroke.

The actual event came quickly and unexpectedly and left me paralyzed down the left hand side of my body. Leg, arm, hand and face. I had no feeling in them whatsoever. As I was alone and incapacitated it took me a couple of days before I got to a hospital.

In the meantime the most severe part of my symptoms had mostly, but not all, passed away.

Tests and CT scan confirmed that I had had not just one stroke but two.

Today I am mobile and very aware how lucky I am. Friends and acquaintances have been affected by strokes far worse than myself if they have survived at all.

Upon reflection I should have seen the stroke coming months or weeks before and if I had gone to the hospital then I could possibly have avoided it altogether. However what is done is done and it is no use crying over spilt milk.


Post Stroke Fatigue

What I have learned is that one of the major results of having a stroke (well it is for me) is Post Stroke Fatigue. Not everyone is affected and it doesn't often get too much of a mention. It affects me each and every day. Some days are worse than others. Slowly too it becomes worse as time goes on. Two plus years later it is worse than it was in the earlier months.

Even after a good nights sleep I wake up tired as often as not. The urge to nap frequently is always there. Coffee helps.

How Does It Feel?

How does it feel?

For me it is constant tiredness. It doesn't matter how much sleep (if I can sleep) I get, I will, most of the time, wake up tired. It isn't just physical tiredness but mental tiredness too. I must nap for a time each afternoon but I never feel any benefit from it.

I force myself to walk a distance every day but I rarely reach as far as I would like. It does however keep my joints working and sets me a goal.

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post-stroke-fatigue

How long does Post Stroke Fatigue last?

How long does Post Stroke Fatigue last?

It would appear that duration is very much an individual thing.

Post Stroke Fatigue may last up to 6 months, whereas if chronic, it can stay with 40% of patients even after 2 years. Another study reported fatigue to be still be present in one-third of patients up to 6 years after stroke onset.

With me it has worsened each year and not improved at all. My doctor tells me that the constant need to rest is the body giving time to the brain to heal itself.

At this rate I will probably make a full recovery after I have died.


Meanwhile

Meanwhile I have little to no feeling in the fingers and thumb of my left hand but through constant daily exercise I can use it. My left arm and shoulder are next to useless at times. I walk daily to keep my left leg working but sometimes it lets me down and I stagger a bit as if drunk.

I cannot jump up or down even the smallest of steps. There are other little things amiss which may be stroke related but there again it may be due to age and as I have never been old before I really don't know.

I try to keep my mind active by reading the newspaper and doing the sudoku. I used to be a master of sudoku but I now make mistakes more often than I would like.

As for the past thirty plus years I continue to work daily on my ZooNews Digest to keep zoo professionals updated on what is happening in the zoo world.

I remain happy 99% of the time and enjoy my life as far as I can. I would far rather go out with a bang than a whimper.


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