• Steve Boatwright

It's OK, help is on the way!

I'm told that every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke. On the road to recovery, it seems we usually think about one’s physical changes. Which can include helping someone recover from the loss of strength, regaining the ability to communicate, memory problems, or helping someone return and live comfortably at home. However, with stroke survivors, there are often emotional changes. We may concentrate on the physical changes in the first days after a stroke — but it’s also very important to be aware of the emotional changes.

For example, these may include:

Personality changes or Mood changes. It all depends on the type of stroke, some survivors can feel apathy, not pay attention to one side of the body, or become impulsive and not understand the consequences.

Grief. A stroke survivor may feel guilty or ashamed that a stroke happened or they may dwell on what has been lost.

Helpless. Some stroke survivors know that there are now chores and other things they used to that they are no longer able to do, making them feel helpless.

Emotions. It is possible that stroke survivors can lose control of their emotions. They may suddenly laugh or cry when it’s not appropriate. The cause of this behavior may be a disconnect between the different parts of the brain that control emotions and reflexes.

Some of these feelings are perfectly natural, it’s also important for stroke survivors to immediately cope and accept their new reality. If you're a stroke survivor, it’s important to be social and communicate openly about what you are feeling. But help is on the way, that's why I recommend joining a local stroke group if you have one, or you can go online to The American Health & Stroke Association for some great advice and assistance. You're also welcome to join me in my group,

SAO-Stroke Awareness Oregon at

As I like to say..."There's always a choice, and it's your choice". Choose wisely how you'll handle this situation. I wish you the very best in life!

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