You have low energy and brain fog!
You got through the acute phase of your stroke. No more beeping of the ECG or pulse oximeter monitors. You are back in your familiar surroundings. You can sleep better. But you may feel constantly weary, brain fogged and lacking energy or strength in spite of falling into your normal schedule. Maybe the feelings of bone-tired are present even after a rest or sleep.
After the strokes, I was drained after only 5-6 hours after getting up in the morning for at least a year, maybe longer. Jeez…I wanted it to be “over.” Do you? 50% of stroke patients have deep-seated fatigue, at least for some time.
Especially if you had less than two years after you had a stroke, there are many reasons you may be tired. Let’s dig into some of my (and your) causes. To start, I was physically fatigued. My brain was healing. I was stressed because my family was stressed with all our routines messed up. Also, I used up way more energy to do my “normal” activities of daily living (ADL). I was a mess. I imagine you have similar stories.
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You may be depressed or have worries and anxiety. You may find that the fatigue gets worse with stress. You may find sleep may not help at all. The spent feeling is often worse when you wake up in the morning. Maintain your hope because it usually gets better with time. The three ‘Ps’ are a useful guide for conserving energy, managing each day at your pace, and gradually reclaiming your life.
First, you must plan. Make a written list of the things you want to achieve during the day. Don’t attempt to have a mental list. Spread your tasks out wherever possible. You can space your activities throughout the day instead of bunching them up. Be sure to include fun behaviors. You need it!
Second, you need to prioritize. Take your list and rank the activities in the order of importance. Revise your list with the essential things at the top. Ask yourself if you can remove, delay or delegate the duties. If you “can’t,” then you will need to do it.
Lastly, pace yourself. Break down the deeds on your written list into essential actions. Learn to pace yourself by taking short, regular rest breaks. Increase the time of each activity then you would need to take before the stroke happened. “Listen” to your body. Pay attention to what triggers your weariness. When you identify early signs of your lethargy, you can stop, take a break and then continue with your list.
Remember, ask someone for help. Ask for help in dumping, delaying, delegating, or doing tasks. When you have a team of at least one other, it will be easier than to manage on your own.
Check out my YouTube channel and my Facebook group. Go to mystrokerecoverycircle (YT) or The Stroke Recovery Circle (FB). Join it if you want to make the community better!
Thank you! To your success!