What does stroke recovery look like?

In 2008 when Gordon was lying in his hospital bed and I was beginning to understand the
severity of Gordon’s stroke, I asked everyone at Rehab what his recovery might look like.  I got no answers other than “Every stroke is different”  which basically means I got no answers.

It was so frustrating!  I desperately needed some frame of reference, some concept of a recovery path that I could learn from.  For this reason, I have kept a log of Gordon’s recovery so that when I meet someone in the beginning of their stroke journey, I can say “This is what happened to us.”

Recovery milestones are harder to come by as time goes on.  I was thrilled last week to mark a big milestone in Gordon’s recovery 6-1/2 years post-stroke!  Swinging BOTH arms while walking is a task we have worked on for years!!  It wasn’t that long ago when he couldn’t swing his right arm at all, even when he was standing still and focusing 100% on just swinging his arm.

In addition to the arm swinging excitement, Gordon was shaking hands with people at my speaking engagement yesterday, using his right hand–and no one noticed!!! The fact that no one noticed means it felt NORMAL.  Another huge step forward in recovery.  Big things are still happening.

Jill Viggiano