Submissions from Readers

Memory problem and finding hard to read

by Samantha Mcniven
(Lanark Scotland)

Question: I'm a 34 year old woman. At the start, I thought I was fine with memory and I'm now noticing that my memory is starting to deteriorate. I'm constantly repeating my self asking the same things.I'm constantly always getting my children to repeat or do things as well. Although I've had physiotherapy for my hand and still doing so I still have numbness and pins and needles. Also at the start I couldn't write that great almost like a 3yr old. I'm getting there but I get all shaky and some pain on my writing fingers. Is any else I can do apart from physio? It's so frustrating and I feel bad for my family as most women my age with kids are fit and healthy and now I can only maybe read a book or just sit and watch them play. Oh and another thing since the stroke my energy levels have dropped dramatically is this also common?

Answer: It is common to be fatigued after stroke. It is important to make sure you get adequate sleep at night, rest after you've been up a while and start feeling fatigued, and to get some type of aerobic exercise. If you have trouble with balance or impact activities, then think of activities that you can do that still allow you to get the aerobic benefit (such as a recumbent stationary bike or maybe water aerobics). Many people do not get enough exercise and feel tired. This is true of people who have had strokes and even the general population. It is easy to get in a rut. One must form a habit (usually takes at least 30 days to form a habit) of regular exercise to reap the benefits of energy that come along with it. The recommended aerobic exercise amount is 30 minutes/day for 5x/week. It can be done in short spurts if you can't do 30 minutes straight and increase the time as you are able. If you are taking medications, check to make sure that side effects are not fatigue. Sometimes meds need to be re-evaluated. Don't be hard on yourself, and don't compare yourself to others. Take a little time to do short spurts of activity with your kids, and know that they will appreciate any time/activity with you regardless if it's different than what another mom might be doing. Try to readjust your thinking and enjoy the small accomplishments. Smaller accomplishments will eventually lead to larger accomplishments.

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