Surviving A Stroke - a conversation with March of Dimes Canada
Surviving a stroke and reclaiming your life
A conversation with Barbara Moore, March of Dimes ... part one
No one wakes up in the morning and says, yes, today is the day I’m going to have a stroke. No one. But it happens everyday to people across Canada, and it’s not just the elderly. The average age range for strokes in Canada is 26 to 50 years of age.
What is a stroke?
Stroke is an injury to a part of the brain. It causes a pattern of symptoms that arise when something obstructs blood flow to parts of the brain depriving cells of the oxygen necessary to stay alive. If blood supply to the brain is interrupted for as little as four minutes, brain cells begin to die. They are not replaced. A stroke is a medical emergency.
Stroke Recovery Canada® – March of Dimes Canada Program
“What we do is enable stroke survivors to re-engage in their life and their community by helping them connect to the services they need,” says Barbara Moore, Community Coordinator at Linking Survivors with Survivors. “It’s going to be a new normal for them and our role is to link experienced stroke survivors — people who have already adjusted to their new life style — to new stroke survivors, as soon as possible, to help them reclaim their life and their place in community.
Strokes are not the same for everyone, but sharing recovery experiences can help people understand they don’t have to journey down this long path on their own. Others have been before.
Is incontinence an issue in stroke recovery?
Very much so. For both women and men, incontinence is one of the many challenges for survivors to get used to and in many places overcome. But it takes work. The level of leakage depends on where the stroke path is. For example, muscle density and tone is impacted by the stroke, so personal mobility can be an issue. Stroke survivors are often not able to get to the bathroom quickly or without assistance. So using incontinence products such as briefs or pull-ons can be necessary at the beginning of recovery.
Is incontinence forever?
With some stroke survivors managing incontinence absolutely improves as time goes on, in others, incontinence can be part of the new way you embrace life. Knowing that you are not alone and that incontinence is here forever can help you plan your future needs. Remember surviving strokes is very individual and based on your ability and your recovery path. Stroke surviving is not a quick fix, it’s a lifelong path.
Barbara Moore is a Community Coordinator with the Linking Survivors with Survivors Program at the March of Dimes Canada. She loves her job and the work she does in the community. Watch this space as she will share more experiences working with stroke survivors in future blog posts with MyLiberty.Life.
About the Stroke Recovery Canada® – One of Canada’s best keep secrets, the Stroke Recovery Program has been working in communities across Canada for more than 60 years. Supported by March of Dimes Canada, Stroke Recovery Canada is a completely volunteer-led program, that provides information for stroke survivors, their family members, caregivers and friends. You can call for information at the Stroke Recovery Canada® Warmline (1-888-540-6666).
- Cindy Clegg