Reading stroke recovery stories can be an excellent source of motivation for survivors and their loved ones.
While everyone experiences stroke recovery differently, the fundamentals of recovery remain the same. With highly repetitive, task-specific stimulation, individuals can promote neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to rewire itself) and recover functions affected by stroke.
To inspire you to stay positive and continue to work hard on rehabilitation after stroke, this article will share 7 stroke recovery stories from the family right here at Flint Rehab.
7 Motivating Stroke Recovery Stories
Everyone has a unique stroke recovery story. And while everyone follows a unique journey, it can be inspiring and comforting to see how others overcame their unique obstacles.
Here are seven of our favorite stroke recovery stories:
John Focuses on Engagement and Consistency After Stroke
Our first stroke recovery story is John’s. Following an ischemic stroke, the entire right side of his body was paralyzed.
Because his daughter is an occupational therapist, he understood how important repetitions were for stroke recovery. The problem is, performing the same exercises over and over again can get boring. As a result, individuals stop practicing, which hinders their progress.
To prevent this, John purchased the FitMi, a gamified home rehabilitation device that made it fun and motivating for him to exercise every day.
While he initially couldn’t perform some of the exercises, he was able to gradually recover movement. John’s stroke recovery story demonstrates how important it is to understand the basics of stroke recovery and focus on repetitions.
Anthony Recovers from Stroke at a Young Age
Anthony was only in his mid-30s when he had his stroke. Like many, Anthony overlooked the fact that anyone at any age can experience a stroke.
Because he didn’t seek immediate medical attention for his symptoms, his entire left side ended up paralyzed.
One year later, he is continuing to regain hand functions through consistent movement. Anthony understands that even a little bit of movement can contribute to significant improvements. He also uses an activity tracker to further motivate himself to exercise throughout the day.
Carol Recovers More Than Experts Expected
In 2016, Carol had a stroke which left her entire right side paralyzed. She left inpatient rehab able to walk with the assistance of a cane and with generally enough motor function to get by at home.
Carol continued to go to rehab for 4 months and then was told that she would not recover much more than she already had.
Fortunately, Carol believed differently and purchased the FitMi so that she could work on stroke recovery at home. It helped encourage her to perform the repetitions she needed to stimulate the brain and promote neuroplasticity.
Several years later, Carol regained her confidence and can drive, ride her bike, and travel independently. She’s living proof that there’s always hope for recovery if you’re willing to put in the work.
Mary Overcomes the Stroke Recovery Plateau
This stroke recovery story is about getting past the dreaded stroke recovery plateau, the phase where recovery seems appears to reach a halt.
Like many stroke survivors, Mary was seeing steady progress participating in rehabilitation therapies following her stroke. However, after about 2 years, she hit her plateau.
Instead of accepting that her recovery was as good as it was going to get, Mary researched new ways to promote stroke recovery. The FitMi helped motivate her to do her rehab exercises every day and overcome her plateau.
Wilson’s Family Supports His Recovery from Stroke
Following Wilson’s stroke, he lost mobility in his right hand, which made everyday tasks difficult to perform.
With the support of his daughter and granddaughter, he was able to discover the MusicGlove. He started noticing improvements in his hand functions in just 3 weeks! About 7 months later, Wilson has gradually regained mobility in his affected hand and can perform many self-care tasks on his own.
As you can see from the video, his granddaughter is extremely supportive of his stroke recovery. Having a good support system can significantly improve coping skills and wellbeing after a stroke.
If you’d like to expand your support system, consider joining FlintRehab’s Stroke Support Group on Facebook! There, you can share experiences and help other stroke survivors just like you.
Pat’s Medical Background Helped Her Stroke Recovery
This stroke recovery story is told from a bit of a different perspective. Pat is a nurse, so she understood that every stroke and its recovery process is unique.
However, she also understood that the brain is capable of adapting through consistent practice. She used FitMi in addition to her physical therapy sessions to optimize her recovery.
When she first had her stroke, she could not move her right leg or arm. In fact, when she received the FitMi, she had to wrap a bandage around her hand to do some of the exercises. With consistent practice, she’s significantly improved her motor control and can now perform most of the exercises.
Margaret’s Journey to Regaining Hand Movement
After Margaret’s stroke, she was left with hemiparesis (weakness on one side) and severe spasticity in her affected hand. Here’s her stroke recovery story:
“In 2010, I had a stroke. Since then, my right arm and both of my hands have become increasingly more contracted. I have not been able to open and close my hands. My hands have been clenched and very tight. My arm has been contracted up toward my chest.
In June 2017, I received the FitMi. My caregivers have helped me use the FitMi with my hands. Although I have been unable to use the FitMi every day, I have regularly used it either 2 or 3 days a week.
After years of having clenched hands, my hands are starting to relax. I am able to open and close my hands much more easily.
My arm is relaxing and is not as contracted. I am regaining flexibility of my fingers. I am able to hold the FitMi pucks instead of the caregivers having to hold my hand over the FitMi and moving my hand.
I feel I have made progress in regaining the use of my hands and right arm. My caregivers and Occupational Therapist agree.
I am encouraged and will continue to use the FitMi, and I feel confident I will continue to make progress in regaining my flexibility and use of my hands and right arm. I am very grateful.”
Margaret proves that it’s possible to recover hand movement after stroke — even after years of paralysis.
You Are the Author of Your Stroke Recovery Story
As you can see from these stroke recovery stories, recovery after stroke is possible! No matter your age or how long it has been since your stroke, the brain is always capable of adapting.
The key to stroke recovery is to promote neuroplasticity through highly repetitive movements. Consistent practice helps reinforce demand for that function, which encourages the brain to rewire itself.
We hope these stroke recovery stories inspire and motivate you to keep going. Good luck!
Featured image: : iStock/monkeybusinessimages