What We Want You to Know About Recovering From a Stroke

Mar 21, 2024
What We Want You to Know About Recovering From a Stroke
Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, and how they come out the other side can vary greatly. Here's a look at a few points to keep in mind when rehabbing from a stroke.

Nearly 800,000 Americans have a stroke each year — there’s one every 40 seconds — and what happens as a result can range from full recovery to death, and everything in between.

Whether you’re reading this for yourself or for a loved one, the good news is that you (or they) made it through the stroke. Now that you’re looking at the stroke from the other side, you want to know what to expect in terms of recovery. The short answer is: It depends.

As a leading neurologist in the Houston, Texas, area, Gill Neuroscience’s namesake, Dr. Paul Gill, has considerable experience helping patients get through the critical months after a stroke, and here’s a look at what we’ve learned.

Immediately after your stroke

In the days following the stroke, we need to identify the underlying cause of the brain attack so we can prevent another one. The reality is that 1 in 4 stroke survivors has another stroke within five years. 

And if you had a transient ischemic attack, you have up to a 17% risk of having another one within 90 days.

So to avoid another stroke event, we want to quickly identify the underlying cause of the stroke, which might be traced back to:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

Once we identify your risk factors, we can take steps to offset or minimize these risks to reduce your chances of having another stroke.

Early stroke rehabilitation is important

After we identify and address your stroke recurrence risks, we turn our attention to rehabilitation. First, we assess the aftereffects of the stroke, which can include:

  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Trouble with speech
  • Trouble with memory
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Trouble chewing and swallowing
  • Poor emotion regulation
  • Depression
  • Pain in your extremities 

If you had a stroke that was caught early and you received prompt treatment, you may only have mild symptoms afterward. But if your stroke was severe and your treatment was delayed, the results can be far more significant.

After a comprehensive assessment, which will include MRI imaging of your brain, Dr. Gill figures out the extent of any deficits and disabilities and then devises a rehabilitation plan accordingly. 

We want to note that this early care is important, as most brain recovery takes place in the first few months. 

What your stroke rehabilitation might include

Everyone’s needs after a stroke differ, but typical stroke rehabilitation includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

As a neurologist, Dr. Gill oversees the rehab and monitors your progress to make sure you’re on the right track for optimal recovery.

It’s hard to be more specific here, because everyone’s recovery after a stroke is unique. To figure out the best stroke rehabilitation program for your needs, we invite you to call our office in Houston, Texas, at 832-912-7777, or use our online request form to schedule an appointment.