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She may walk again
by: Corinne

Hello,
Although it's rather difficult to answer your question without knowing your mother and what kind of a stroke she had, unless her bones have (since) been damaged or her nerves all eaten-up, so to speak, by acidity, there isn't any reason as to why she could not walk again at some point, if she has the will to do so, and the right knowledge on how to go about it, so as not to injure herself further.

I've been assaulted, and the head and liver injuries sustained have led me to have 4 strokes in the space of 3 years, although I'm very healthy otherwise. The last stroke, wasn't one of the type you recover from or else only in a vegetative state.

It's tough, and I'm far from being back to my former self, but I taught myself and willed myself to get there. As a result, although I could not stand on my legs at first either and was told to consider myself lucky I was still alive, I can now walk, if not under every condition or everywhere. I can read and write again and I'm even regaining some of my foreign languages, and bits of knowledge in other fields which had been wiped out following the assault. Too much stress has me down in a flash though, and I do get a lot of that unfortunately, so I hope your mother doesn't have to also cope with external stress, as I do. There you could help her perhaps, if she does, but it isn't always easy, I know that !

There is a huge difference between not being able to stand on your legs (knee and nerve ankle injuries during a stroke are the typical reason why you'd do further damage to yourself standing up and walking too much too soon) and never being able to walk again.

One must try though to DO AS IF they were walking still from the very beginning, if possible.
While on my bed, I used to make my legs move on the bed (not raising them, so as not to damage the knees) while imagining myself swimming in the sea doing those movements or lying on the sand prior to getting up and running to the waves. Once that was done for a few minutes, I would be keeping my legs still and only moving as frenetically as possible my toes only for 15 to 30s, imagining a very quick-tempo music to which I'd be dancing with my toes, sitting on a chair in a nice hotel, wishing it were not so posh there that I could not stand up and dance to that music.
i would never get up and dance just like that at a hotel in real-life, but that was the whole point. I wasn't putting myself into the role of a cripple who would never be able to stand up again, bt instead I could be feeling that this music was an invite to dancing, but that while in such a palace, I would only have my toes discreetly dancing to the music in my shoes, without getting up to dance. Thus I was telling myself, this feeling means getting up, I'm not getting up now because the place doesn't call for it, if you've got manners, but otherwise I would be.

It may sound weird but it is the surest way to go if you want to walk again when badly hurt after a stroke. You see, the stroke itself will not only have produced acid waste damaging bones and nerve tissues, which would then require rehab more akin to that after a leg injury sustained in a fall or whatever accident without a head injury involved.
In the case of a stroke, it will also have damaged parts of the connection system between brain and body. So that rehab alone doesn't work in the more serious scenarios of connection loss.

Did your mother get that double-vision and inability to put objects into place for long or still suffer from this?

Visualizing herself in a situation where she'd be walking, when she gently and briefly exercises on her legs, visualizing herself sensing excitement and the need to get up when she activates her toes, that will help her brain recreate working connections between the brain ordering a movement to the legs and the legs understanding it and obeying. Otherwise, you train the leg muscles, but the brain doesn't follow and as soon as the syroke-survivor attempts to send a message to their legs to walk, they collapse and can at times forever damage their legs, and even lead to septicemia if the injury is bad.

Other than that, a tip : make sure that when she lies or sits, her head and heart are staying well above stomach/butt levels and that her feet are above stomach level a bit, yet below the heart, and that there are cushions or a folded duvet under her lower legs as well as under neck and head when sleeping, so that she doesn't have to harden into a fixed position her joints there to remain in that position.
No physical pressure should be put against her head, all the more so where the injuries sustained are located. That's not easy when sleeping, but it does help a lot, as under physical pressure the brain then diminished reaction even further, and can make the heart stops even, in extreme cases.
I thus have invested on pillows (some firm for against the mattress, some soft but well-filled for on top of the firm ones, and even at time make a kind of patchy pillow thing, with some sewing to ensure that I have a lot of fluff around the pillow, but almost none in the centre part, so that I almost only have air between the two pieces of fabric making the pillow right under my head, but a good support at neck level and on the outer parts of the pillow so that I do not have my head falling backwards either. While sitting, I used to have to wear a neck pillow to limit the pressure keeping my neck in a standing position was putting on my brain. And I sleep on two duvets, even in the summer, to avoid adding pressure to my spine and head. I am also aware that I can't cope with extreme temperatures (and not even with the slightest cold on bad days, although I had never been sensitive to cold before), thus I do not care what people will say, I'll wear a warm shawl when it's below 20¨C if I feel the need for one and most importantly something on my head to prevent escaping of body heat, even if before I'd have walked in a plain cotton shirt and skirt by freezing temperatures. Excessive heat is just as bad, so ice cold water remains close at all times, and yes, windows are wide opened a lot, come rain or come shine, even by freezing weather, but then only for ten or 15 minutes at a time. Oxygen, you keep lacking of after a stroke, so air needs to be full of it, and of as little CO2 as possible (grilling and smoking are out, or for the former includes it being done by someone other than your mother and only outside or with windows wide opened the whole time and your mother in a different room. Or else, that lack of oxugen or excess of CO2 will damage her brain, and make her further unable to walk among other things. Plenty of ocygen and I walk. If you want to kow how little oxygen there is in a room, I need only try to walk in it, if my muscles are all hard and stiff, I can barely drag my feet on the floor instead of raising my legs to walk, and my head gets dizzy, there is a lot of CO2 there, even if not too much for a non-stroke survivor.

Anything making your mother's head boil or start shaking with cold will badly damage her weakened brain, so keep in mind that ridicule doesn't kill but a stroke does !
Invest in fabric you can make nice and elegant hats into, that way your mother could say she's just discovered she was very fond of hats and intends on wearing as many, as often as possible from now on. If they are cute, they'll not pass as anything else but a fashionable statement on her part, which will also lift up her spirits, which helps.
Since doing that, I am able to wake up fully alert and most of the time could right away discuss Philosophy or whatever, just like I used to be fully alert and operational upon waking up. Before that though, I used to wake up feeling worse than I had been going to sleep, and wondering if all the progress had been lost, it would take me hours to regain some energy and full clarity, I could not type anything nor read anything and so on. I know that I can often have to sleep in a not very comfortable position in an armchair with a stool for my lower legs and atravel pillow around my neck, but I'll do that rather than go back to losing all my progress, whenever I'm in-between two states of improvement or under heavy stress, and it is next to impossible to figure out then, what level of lying down will seem fine before I fall asleep and yet will bring me closer to death once asleep. At least almost fully seated, with only the legs in a bed-time position, I won't have that happen to my brain. Ask your mother if she'd not try that and see. She must move though, even if that is only for very very short period of time, numerous times a day. If nothing else at first, from bed to armchair to bed to armchair to bed, with the armchair only two steps fromher bed.
Best wishes to you and to your mother !

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