Stroke is not an uncommon complication of diseases and as such you or a relative may have experienced a stroke and causing you to have one or two questions bothering your mind. It is expected that you get some specific answers from your doctor to give you a thorough understanding of what your condition looks like and things to expect after your stroke (5).
Here are some of the questions you need to ask your neurologist in your next appointment after your stroke.
1. What was the cause of my stroke? Different things can predispose you to have a stroke. For example, hypertension is one of the leading causes of stroke worldwide. As such, it is important that you ask your doctor and understands the cause of your stroke to help you protect yourself against a reoccurrence of (2).
2. What kind of stroke did I suffer from? A stroke is not just one type, your doctor will explain to you if what you had is an ischemic or a hemorrhagic stroke and explain the unique features of each of the stroke types to you (5).
3. Which part of my brain is affected? Your brain left and right hemispheres. Your doctor will explain to you if what you have is a left hemispheric stroke that will cause the right side of your body to be weak or paralyzed or a right hemispheric stroke that will cause you to have weakness on the left side among other associated symptoms (3).
4. How long will it take me to expect a recovery? Recovery is not the same for every stroke patient as it is dependent on a lot of factors. Your doctor will be able to tell you what recovery looks like for you. (1).
5. What health care resources will I benefit from? The number of resources you will benefit from will be dependent on what is available in the hospital you are admitted. Your doctor will explain to you if you will benefit from home therapies, social welfare services, home occupational and physical therapies, clinical psychologists, and lots more (2).
6. Are there support groups I can join and benefit from? There are numerous support groups for stroke patients, and this is good because you are going to be in the midst of people with similar experiences as what you are passing through, and as such will be able to share their stories and what has kept them going over the years.
They will also share valuable information such as the resources they benefited from, and the types of equipment or gadgets that helped them. All of these will boost your morale, keep you going and stay focused as well (3).
7. Who are the members of my recovery team? Your recovery team will comprise different specialists to give you the best care. These include the neurologist, the physiotherapist, the clinical psychologist, occupational and speech therapists, the social welfare department, and the nursing sisters (4).
8. What treatment options are available for me? If you are in a facility with an active stroke unit, there are lots of treatment options available in the stroke unit right from the admission to your discharge.
Depending on your type of stroke, if you have an ischemic stroke, medications will be given to you to melt the clot in a short time, if you have a hemorrhagic stroke, surgery might be needed to remedy it.
Also, your doctor will immediately send a consult to the physiotherapy unit to start co-managing you immediately because the earlier you start, the earlier you get back to mobility. The occupational and speech therapist will also be involved in your care (4).
9. What are the side effects of my medications? After your stroke, you will be given medications to help prevent a second stroke from happening. Your doctor should tell you the side effects to expect from these medications and how much they can affect you too (2).
10. How do I reduce my chance of having a second stroke? Effective rehabilitation and necessary lifestyle changes will help you to reduce the chance of a second stroke. If your first stroke is from hypertension, you need to continue in activities that will help control your blood pressure because a second stroke can still happen again, and your doctor needs to be actively involved in this prevention process (3).
11. When should I come for a follow-up after my discharge? A lot of discussions will flow during your first doctor visit for a stroke, but you must remember to ask your doctor about subsequent appointments because your doctor will use such visits to monitor your recovery and how well you are responding to treatment, and to check for the side effects of medications and address each of them (3).
12. Do I need to alter my diet after this stroke? Depending on your risk factors, your dietary changes are one of the lifestyle changes you need to do after your first stroke and specially to reduce your risk of a second stroke.
If you are overweight, you might need to watch your diet as obesity is a risk factor for increasing your blood pressure and your blood sugar level as well as causing you to have high-fat diets. Avoiding these risk factors will help to reduce your risk of a second stroke (1).
13. What are the effects of my stroke on my mental health? It is not uncommon for stroke to affect mental health. There have been cases of depression and anxiety after stroke. You should tell your doctor when you feel any of this and ask for help. Your doctor will invite a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist to help you out (4).
Life after a stroke can be difficult and the recovery can take time. A lot of work needs to be done and this starts with having a good neurologist for your care. At Superior Neurology, we are a group of well-trained medical personnel passionate about helping all our patients succeed and get the best neurology care. Our clinic is the highest-rated neurology clinic in Murphy, and we have the top-rated neurologists in Murphy, Texas.