Managing Post-Stroke Spasticity: Hub’s Story
Hub experienced a hemorrhagic stroke in 2021 as a result of bleeding in the brain. Like many stroke survivors, Hub experiences spasticity, a condition in which muscles contract uncontrollably leading to pain, stiffness and limited movement. As a father of three, Hub was determined to recover and put significant emphasis on seeking the care he needed, including spending five weeks in a rehabilitation facility.
Spasticity is a common condition that can be experienced by those who have had a stroke, affecting 25% to 43% of people in the first year following the stroke. It can impact day-to-day life, including a person’s ability to move and can cause pain that impacts sleep or doing simple tasks like dressing, walking, or getting in and out of a chair. In addition to the physical challenges, the emotional impact of living with spasticity can trigger feelings of sadness, frustration, and isolation related to the significant changes to a person‘s previous lifestyle.
Hub experiences spasticity in his hand, causing issues with some tasks that were previously second nature, such as writing or typing on a computer. To practice writing, his young son brings home extra writing homework, and the pair practice together. Hub is thankful for this time with his son, saying, “It’s very fun and it’s about the experience.”
Although faced with a long road to recovery, Hub credits his support system for helping him stay positive and motivated – specifically the support of his family, friends, and doctors. Speaking to one of his favorite memories when he returned home, he explains that his oldest son loves cooking on the grill and he invited friends over for a grill party, where Hub cooked burgers and ribs for everyone.
Hub notes that you can’t expect a change overnight in a recovery journey. While it is challenging, he recommends being patient and looking at how far you’ve come since the beginning. Some days are more difficult than others, and Hub remembers that progress is what’s important, saying, “Sometimes bad things happen and you got to keep moving forward. You can’t give up. We can’t stop. Keep moving on.”
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