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Avatar universal

How do I improve strength, stamina and overall fitness after an Ischemic stroke

I had an Ischemic stroke about 7 years ago. I was 41 years old. Left side very weak and tingly. I could not walk. I spent a week in the ICU and 3 more weeks in home rehabilitation. I was waking within a few days in the hospital, but it took me a good 6 to 8 months to walk without a limp. I was able to return to my job within a month of the stroke. I know that I am very luck as a stroke patient and I'm very thankful for that. But I do have some residual effects that will likely be with me the rest of my life (weak/heavy/tingly left side, minor equalibrium problems if I turn too fast or bend over) What I'm hoping to get help with is, finding a good source of information for an exercise program I can do at home and/or the gym to optimize and improve my health.

Aside from the obvious eating right and general sensible exercise programs, what can I do to maximize my strength in my weak side?  You see I look normal to most people, but if I had to run, I simply can't do it. I can walk fast, but I run the risk of tripping and hurting myself if I actually try to run. I'm not looking to run for exersise, I want to be able to run if necessary.  

Is it feasible for me to be able to run again, improve my balance and compensate for the weak side?

My doctor is OK with any sensible exercise program and has no restrictions on me. He just wants me to becareful so as not to injure myself. I'm ok with starting slow and taking my time, I know my limitations, I just want to overcome as many of them as I can. I'd appreciate suggestions for books, websites, forums, etc. for help!

Thanks!
14 Responses
Avatar universal
Check out www.brainstrokes.com
Avatar universal
Tressa,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post the link. I looked the site over and while there is some good general information, there wasn't much information that would help me posted on the site. I did send an email asking for more information.

What I'm really looking for is books and sites I can find self help information.

Thanks.

Avatar universal
No, the Vasa prog is individualized.  You email her then send a video with webcam or video camera or even mailed VHS and she gives you specific exercises which change every week or so.  I wrote a bit about my husband's program somewhere below.  I think the thread title is Physical Therapy.  

Avatar universal
How is your husband improving now on the program???  I think now that my dad is getting ready to go home I am going to send the video and try to start the program...
Avatar universal
Hi, lahinva.  Haven't heard from you for a while.  I wrote about my husband's progress in a message above.  Dr. Vasa is in Switzerland for month of Oct., so I'm not sure if she'll start a new patient.  Give it a try, but if she's not available I can give you a few tips on getting started.
Avatar universal
Tressa999 I would love to hear any tips that you may be able to give me while we are trying to get started.  My dad seems to be getting stronger, but his standing is just terrible. If you would like to email me directly, my email is ***@****. Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you....
Avatar universal
Hi,

I have only recently discovered this site and have been reading a lot of your comments with interest. My partner suffered a right side ischemic stroke in July 2005, leaving him with severe weakness on the left side. He has no functional use of his left arm (although he has some movement in arm and hand) but can walk, if with difficulty and not for very far.

He is now 44.

Through your comments and other postings on this site, I read mention of Dr Rajul Vasa, who seems to have a very interesting approach to helping stroke survivors. I feel this would be beneficial for my partner, Bobby. However, I have tried to contact her via the brainstrokes website, only to have the email returned with the message "no such user here".

I realise that this is not strictly the sort of comment that your site recieves, but if anyone knows how I can track down Dr Vasa, that would be enormously helpful.

We have been told many times now that Bobby should not expect to regain any use of his arm, but we do not want to give up.

Also, has anyone heard of beneficial effects from immersing a limb in ice? I was recently told that this worked very well for one woman who regained a fair amount of function more than two years after having her (left side) stroke.

I hope to hear from someone. Many thanks.

Avatar universal
By the way. my partner and I are based in London, England.
Avatar universal
I have had the same issue with Dr. Vasa.  I was able to get to her a couple of months ago, but now the email keeps being returned.

Avatar universal
Dr. Vasa is in Switzerland for the month of October.  She sent my husband two long demonstration videos of what he was to work on in her absence.  I haven't tried to contact her during Oct. so know nothing of her emails being returned, but the address I've always used is

***@****

You might try copying this into your address instead of clicking on the contact on her website.  But even if it's not returned, don't expect a prompt reply.  She'll have a pile of emails to work through when she gets back to Mumbai in November.  Until she left for Switzerland she was always very prompt in replying, and she gave me an emergency contact in Switzerland, which is just for her current patients.  I think extremely highly of her contribution to my husband's recovery.  Any 44 yr old who has been told to expect no further recovery should definitely go on her program and start seeing further recovery!

We have been told many times now that Bobby should not expect to regain any use of his arm, but we do not want to give up.  DON'T GIVE UP WITHOUT GIVING THE VASA PROGRAM A TRY!

Also, has anyone heard of beneficial effects from immersing a limb in ice?
DR. VASA HAS ME OCCASIONALLY MAKE A COUPLE OF QUICK SWIPES WITH AN ICE CUBE ON MY HUSBAND'S FACE (AROUND EYES, AROUND MOUTH, &/OR ON CHEEKS) &/OR A COUPLE A SPOTS ON HIS BACK--DIFFERENT SPOT EACH TIME==TO WAKE HIM UP.  IF I DO IT RARELY HE RATHER LIKES IT.  IF I DO IT TOO FREQUENTLY HE COMPLAINS.  SHE ALSO RECOMMENDS MORE TIME IN SUN TO WAKE UP A GROGGY STROKE SURVIVOR.  MY HUSBAND HAD ENTERED A PERIOD OF NOT EATING, AND WHEN I STARTED DOING THESE TWO THINGS (ICE & MORE SUN) TO WAKE HIM UP IT HAD THE UNEXPECTED BENEFIT OF WAKING UP HIS APPETITE AND HE STARTED EATING AGAIN.  I WOULD WORRY ABOUT NERVE INJURY WITH LEAVING ICE ON LIMB FOR VERY LONG.
I was recently told that this worked very well for one woman who regained a fair amount of function more than two years after having her (left side) stroke.
Avatar universal
Apparently ***@**** has an unusually strong spam protector and you two just didn't make the cut!  But I got through to her at that address last night (apparently I appear safer than you do) and she is back in India and gave me two more addresses for you to try.

***@****

***@****
Avatar universal
Hi lahinva and Tressa.

Many thanks for your comments and great news to get alternative contact details for Dr Vassa. I'm going to get in touch right now.

It is so comforting to find support, ideas and encouragement from other people out there!

Thanks


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