When I had my stroke, the word “recovery” meant instant, 100% rebound. After speaking w/my neurologist, I learned it takes a couple of years to recoup, and at that, stabilize at about 90%-95% like I was before. He sent me to an OT, I went till the insurance ran out and wasn’t really bouncing back.
Although I made efforts to move around, it wasn’t till about a year later, I went to a stroke conference where I found the difference between rehab and recovery. The speaker said that Rehab is where we learn tasks to recover. Recovery is what we do at home. What we learned, we practice-practice-practice every day. It seemed like a big burden on ME, but w/the help of a friend, I started with small tasks and moved to bigger goals. One thing I did was walk around the block. The block increased to two, then three, etc. About two years later, I was walking over a mile a day. Slowly and crookedly, but a mile every day with the assistance of a cane. Today, another two years later, I can walk about 1.5 miles. I still carry the cane “just in case”, as my stroke affected my balance and I experience dizziness once in a while.
The other key to me is acceptance. I had to lay my pride down and admit that right now this is how I am and who I am. Thanks to people in face-to-face and online groups, I know that I’m not alone, I’ve come to accept how I am and that I cannot undo the stroke. With that epiphany, I made it my goal to reach out to people who recently had strokes, give some hope, and let them know what I didn’t know in the beginning.