What are the chances of my arm, that hasn’t move at all after a hemorrhagic stroke, getting better? I’ve been doing exercises on and off for 5 years and I occasionally fell for lack of balance.
I was told that I have a three-month window from the date I had the stroke for improvement to happen. Is that the standard now?
Concerned in Dallas
Most occupational therapists who were recently trained starting about five years ago and later don’t say that phrase anymore about windows for improvement. The reason? It’s not necessarily true.
Some people improve constantly whereas others, no matter what they do, improve slowly or, at some future point, stop improving. Putting a very narrow, spoken timeline for improvement is just harsh and takes away the motivation to improve. That’s why a common saying is, Don’t give up!
Falling in the biggest barrier for improvement. Aside from getting the initial shock, falling takes people back a step or two. Then people try again with a few days rest but, for example, they aren’t where they were a month ago.
The most important thing you said: “I’ve been doing exercises on and off for 5 years.” Keep doing the exercises that have been given to you constantly as long as you have zero chance of falling. Consistency will sometimes pay off! Or maybe you’re at that point where improvement has stopped.
If you have insurance, or can afford to pay out-of-pocket, see an Occupational Therapist (OT) another time. Maybe there are exercises you haven’t tried yet. If it’s possible, I found that a variety of OTs can have a different spin on the same function.
Time will tell.
Brought to you by Strokefocus and one of its associations, Northwest Brain Network