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post stroke fatigue
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post stroke fatigue

I am 40 years old, 14 months post stroke and experience a lot of fatigue.  pre-stroke I went to bed ~11pm.  Now, sometimes I'm in bed before 8.  Tired uring the day often.  I could take a nap every day I think.  I have a job, wife, 3 kids, pretty acive life. I want to have more energy to be active and not peter out so easily.

Does anyone have any advise/experience for this kind of thing?  I have heard some say Ritalin can help. Going back to my rehab dr in 2 weeks.

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Avatar_m_tn
I had a stroke 6 years ago and post stroke fatigue is still a problem for me -- the only really limiting problem I'm left with. Nothing I've tried has 'cured' anything, but here's what helped:
   -- Exercise. Walking every day for at least an hour and going to a gym for cardio and weight lifting. Counter-intuitively, the exertion never added to the fatigue. It didn't subtract much, either, but it helped me feel better in other ways.
   -- Acupuncture. Despite my skepticism, I tried acupuncture and it seemed to help some.
   -- Adjusting. I usually have a low point mid-day when I feel like a nap, but I resist (although I sometimes doze in my chair). It doesn't last more than an hour. I start to fade again early in the evening and am pretty useless after 9 (although engaging activity does help), but I get up early.
   -- Activity. Certain types of mental activity are very tiring for me, but others are not, like focused tasks and social engagement (the non-stressful variety). I had to retire from my work, which involved a good deal of multitasking and meeting others' demands, but now volunteer in a situation where I set my own pace, take frequent mental breaks and function very well.

What didn't work for me:
   -- Drugs. Nothing that was offered to me did any good. I never tried Ritalin. Coffee works well until the body learns to adjust, which only takes days and then it's worse than useless because it damages sleep.
   -- Sleep. Sleeping longer did little or nothing to help the next day, so I try to limit myself to 8 hours. Well, I don't have to "try" since I sleep crappy, which may be one source of the problem.
   -- Doctors. I like doctors and they know a great deal about a lot of things, among which is NOT post-stroke fatigue. It's a mysterious condition.

I hope this helps. Post-stroke fatigue has been a maddening problem for me, but one does adjust after acceptance.

--Craig

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