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Adjusting to Life After a Stroke

Adjusting to Life After a Stroke

180 Medical is well-accustomed to supplying customers with a variety of different medical diagnoses, including spina bifida, bladder retention, spinal cord injuries, as well as those who have suffered a stroke. Find out more about strokes as well as life after a stroke in our latest post.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is the interruption of blood to the brain. This interruption damages brain cells in the area are then damaged while also affecting surrounding areas with reduced blood flow.

So what are the types of strokes?

The most common type of stroke is ischemic, which is caused by a blood clot blocking an artery or vessel.

Cerebral hemorrhaging where a blood vessel ruptures can also cause a stroke. This is known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

Side Effects of Suffering a Stroke

The side effects after a stroke depend on the severity and the affected area of the brain. Ultimately, time is a very important factor in preventing long-term damage.

A stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain can affect:

  • Perception, including inability to judge distances
  • Control of the left side of the body
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Disorientation
  • Facial weakness
  • Inability to perform tasks when asked(apraxia)
  • Trouble with bladder and bowel control/li>

A stroke in the left hemisphere can affect:

  • Speech and communication
  • Control of the right side of the body
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Repetitive thoughts and speech
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty reading
  • Limb weakness
  • Cortical blindness

A stroke in the cerebellum can cause:

  • Issues with coordination
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Coordination issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Facial droop

Lastly, the most dangerous stroke occurs in the brain stem, which can cause:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart rate and blood pressure issues
  • Complete paralysis and sensory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Death

Any of these types of stroke can impact the bladder by damaging nerve pathways. This may cause neurogenic bladder. Using an intermittent catheter may help with these issues. Talk to your doctor to determine the best option for you or your loved one.

Adjusting to Life After a Stroke with Rehab Therapy

Life after a stroke can be a difficult adjustment. Rehabilitation therapy may help, such as speech therapy or physical therapy. A therapist can also work with the impacted patient to strengthen motor skills and mobility again.

In addition, you may want to talk to your doctor in severe cases about getting a rehabilitation caseworker. They can prepare you and your family for home health care.

A stroke can change your entire life, including the way you relate to yourself and others. This topic is close to my heart, as my father suffered from a stroke in 2006. There are so many effects from strokes, and each person is different. My father, for example, suffers from many neurological side effects. He was left-handed and lost the primary use of that hand and arm. He is no longer able to drive. The left side of his body is stiff, causing him to limp and even fall.

If your relative had a stroke and they live far away, there are still options. My father lived in Texas when he had his stroke, and I lived in Nebraska. I was worried that if he stayed in Texas that he wouldn’t receive the best care without family present. The social worker assigned to him told me it was impossible to have him brought to Nebraska with the level of care he needed on the road without paying thousands of dollars. I promised my father I would bring him to Nebraska somehow. Upon my research, I found some charitable organizations who volunteer jets, nurses, paramedics, and pilots to transport an ill family member. One of them said yes!

Additional Resources

Air Charity Network
Angel Flight
Northwoods Airlifeline
Corporate Angel Network
MercyMedical Airlift 
NationalStroke Association
American Stroke Association

It is important to everyone at 180 Medical to make our process as easy as possible for our patients to get their urinary catheter supplies. IF you or your loved one needs urinary catheters after a stroke

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

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About the Author
Trish Eklund has worked as an Office Coordinator for 180 Medical for 8 years. When she is not at work, she enjoys writing, photography, reading, and spending time with her family.

(Photo by Don Shepard)