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Had a stroke. Bleeding due to high BP. Short term memory and fight depression. Told as nerve damage

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I had a stroke 3yrs ago. It was a bleed not a clot, my high blood pressure was the cause. I've had much therapy, but my left side is still gone. My short term memory is not good,can read, my speech is good,I get tired and fight depression, but I'm thankful to be as good as I am. My question is, in time will my left side come back or should it have come back months after the stroke. My Dr has told me I have too much nerve damage. Thank you for your comments! My E-Mail is YYYY@YYYY
Posted Thu, 7 Nov 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

Recovering after a stroke may feel like a daunting task. Among other things, your brain must relearn skills it lost when it was damaged by the stroke.

Recent research, though, shows that the brain is amazingly resilient and capable of adapting after a stroke. This means that recovery is more possible than previously thought.

The improvement in your left side bodily functions depends on the extent and location of the bleed. I am sure imaging investigations like CT scan or MRI scan was done for you and that you are aware of the findings. The brain is a complicated structure and the loss of function after a bleed often depends on the area involved. While bleeds in areas like basal ganglia, thalamus, intrnal capsule, brain stem are more debilitating, the ones restricted to a small area of the cortical areas cause much lesser damage. Also the risk of permanent damage is more likely in bleeds involving the areas where vital functions take place.

You may try the following methods to make your brain re learn the normal functions and adapt to it.

Some of the commonly used therapy measures involve:
Move the arm through its full range of motion at least three times a day.
Gently stretch tighter muscles to a point of slight discomfort.
Then hold the stretch for at least 60 seconds.

One technique for encouraging use of the affected arm is called constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). It involves restricting use of the unaffected hand for several hours a day by putting a mitt on it and performing tasks over and over with the affected arm.
Put your fingers around a refrigerator door handle. Or put your fingers around a drawer handle. Open and close the door or drawer.
Hold a plastic shopping bag in your affected hand and carry it across the room. Practice putting something light in the bag.
Pull laundry out of the dryer and carry it in a small bag.
Carry light objects, supporting them against your body with your upper and lower arm.
Put a soap dispenser on your hand. Then put it on the table and turn it over more than once.
Put a tube of toothpaste in your affected hand. Try to squeeze it while you manipulate the tooth brush with your unaffected hand.
Flip a light switch on and off with your affected hand.

I will be glad to know exact details of your bleed and would be in a better position to reply to you more accurately.

I hope this helps.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a stroke. Bleeding due to high BP. Short term memory and fight depression. Told as nerve damage 29 minutes later
The bleed was in the front top of my head toward my forhead. Thank you for answering, but I can't move my hand or squeeze or lift my fingers-your exercise you suggested can't be done, what now?
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in with an update.

The hemorrhage might have affected your basal ganglia region which is a very important area for limb functions.

The damage caused by a stroke can be widespread and long-lasting. Many people need to have a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover their former independence. The process of rehabilitation will be specific to you, and will depend on your symptoms and their severity. A team of specialists are available to help, including physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and specialist nurses and doctors.

The two most common psychological conditions found in people after a stroke are:
Depression – many people experience intense bouts of crying and feel hopeless and withdrawn from social activities
Anxiety disorder – where people experience general feelings of fear and anxiety, often punctuated by intense, uncontrolled feelings of anxiety (anxiety attack)

Advice should be given to help deal with the psychological impact of stroke. This includes the impact on relationships with other family members and any sexual relationship. There should also be a regular review of any problems of depression and anxiety, and psychological and emotional symptoms generally.
These symptoms tend to settle down over time but if symptoms are severe or last a long time, GPs can refer people for expert healthcare from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. For some people, medicines and psychological therapies, such as counselling or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help. CBT is a therapy that aims to change the way you think about things in order to produce a more positive state of mind.

Strokes can cause weakness or paralysis in one side of the body. Also, many people have problems with coordination and balance. Many people suffer from extreme tiredness (fatigue) in the first few weeks after a stroke, and may also have difficulty sleeping, making them even more tired.
As part of your rehabilitation you should be seen by a physiotherapist, who will assess the extent of any physical disability before drawing up a treatment plan.

The physiotherapist should be working with you by setting goals. At first, these may be simple goals like picking up an object. As your condition improves, more demanding long-term goals, such as standing or walking, will be set.
A careworker or carer, such as a member of your family, will be encouraged to become involved in your physiotherapy. The physiotherapist can teach you both simple exercises you can carry out at home.
Sometimes, physiotherapy can last months or even years. The treatment is stopped when it is no longer producing any marked improvement to your condition.

Therefore, your most important query is answered by the fact that physiotherapy can give positive results in months or even years. Please do not give up hope on it.

I hope this helps.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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