Meet Luisa. She is 68 years old, and she suffered a stroke in 1995. Since then she had problems with arm and hand movement. Though her own stroke and recovery story was not published in a scientific journal, we at Strokemark figured that her story is worth telling. The reason is that Luisa’s story sheds light on the complex and surprising nature of stroke: sometimes a progress is just around the corner. We asked Luisa to share her story in her own words.
“22 years after my stroke I still had problems opening and closing my hand, and my arm function was also not very good. I had one hour physical therapy per week, which did not change anything for the last few years. My condition was pretty much static, it did not matter how hard i tried”.
“Then I came across an article about a method no one told me about before: constraint-induced therapy. Turns out that in this therapy the arms are restrained with special lishes to force the body into some movement. At the beginning it looks weird, almost creepy, like a reverse psychology trick. But I figured I have nothing to lose and I better change my routine, stop routines that do not really help and switch to something new. The closest clinic I could find was few driving hours from my home. Nonetheless, I decided to do it. I booked a hotel room and went down there for an intensive three weeks rehabilitation program. 4-5 hours a day, I was exhausted at the end of every day!”
“But it all paid off: I regained function in my arm and hand, something I had never believed could happen after so many years. Unfortunately, my insurance did not fully cover this therapy, so I am now saving up so I can do these rehab sessions twice a year. I am still in contact with the Strokemark team to update on my progress and to catch up with new science”.