What are some of the effects of a stroke?
The following are the most common effects of stroke:
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
- Problems with speech and language
- Poor balance or clumsy movement
- Not knowing what happens on one side of the body
- Trouble swallowing
- Problems with bladder or bowel control
- Problems with memory, thinking or problem solving
- Poor vision and/or changes in vision
- Problems getting around and caring for yourself
What about depression after a stroke?
Emotional changes may occur from stroke because of brain injury and loss of function. After a stroke, your moods may change more quickly than before, or you may become depressed. You may suddenly start crying or laughing for no reason.
Soon after the stroke, you may find it difficult to control your emotions. Usually this gets better over time. It is understandable if you feel depressed, sad or frustrated. These feelings are a part of getting used to the changes brought on by the stroke. Emotional reactions and depression are common after a stroke, but they can be treated. Talk to your doctor about feeling depressed and sad.
What about driving a car again after a stroke?
Driving gives a feeling of independence, and you may want to drive after your stroke. However, a stroke can affect your mobility, vision, thinking and communication skills. Your reaction time may also be slowed. Think carefully about how these changes may affect your own safety and the safety of others. Your doctor can help you decide when and if it is safe for you to drive after the stroke.
Call your state department of motor vehicles and ask about the rules for people who have had a stroke. You may receive a driver assessment, classroom instruction and suggestions for modifying your vehicle. Driver training programs are often available through rehabilitation centers.
If you can't drive, try to take comfort in the fact that you have made the responsible choice for your safety and the safety of others. There are other ways for you to get around, including public transportation, specialized vans, taxis and rides from friends and family. Find out about community resources, such as senior citizen groups and local volunteer agencies.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff