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Strokes: Life After a Stroke

A stroke can cause drastic changes in a person’s abilities and quality of life.

Changes in quality of life often seen after stroke can fall into a few categories:

  • Physical Changes
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Speech
  • Vision
  • Emotional, Mental or Behavioral
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fear of reoccurrence
  • Irritability
  • Social
  • Need for social support
  • Social isolation

Most patients want to know when they can start driving again or when they can go back to work, but that timing can vary. Every stroke case is different, and each person will have a different level of abilities and functionality during recovery. Rehabilitation through physical, occupational and speech therapy can help patients regain some of the normal function they may have lost. The earlier a patient begins rehabilitation, the better the outcome. Therefore, it is important to discuss what recovery looks like with your physician so a treatment plan can be tailored to your individual condition.

Fear of reoccurrence is also common among stroke patients, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about how to reduce your risk. Some risk factors for stroke are genetic and can’t be changed, but controllable risk factors that can be reduced, include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Inactivity
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Sleep apnea

If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to your physician. Your provider can be a great resource for finding ways that to reduce your risk of stroke.

If you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Cone Health is partnered with local emergency transport services to get patients to designated Stroke Center on Moses Cone Hospital campus.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Jindong Xu is vascular neurologist at Guilford Neurological Associates and member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Xu completed medical school at the Tongji Medical University in Wuhan, China and earned his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto in Canada. He completed his residency in neurology as well as fellowship in vascular neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Xu is board-certified in Neurology.