When pain is good…

Amanda was fed by a strictly – controlled nasal drip for the first three weeks after her stroke. For the following 3 months, except for occasional weekend visits home and food I took in, she ate a perfectly acceptable hospital diet, rotated, we soon discovered, on a fortnightly basis.

As many will know, stroke recovery takes an enormous amount of both physical and emotional energy. So, despite being relatively immobile for a few months, she lost a considerable amount of weight.30.04.17 10.41amPerversely this made her look younger and healthier!

She was discharged from hospital in May and from that point she has eaten a healthy home -cooked diet; plenty of fresh vegetable and fruit, nuts and with the onset of summer, lots of berries!

But as her body and mind recovered, a combination of a bad winter and post-stroke fatigue meant that Amanda was unable to exercise as much as she probably should have.

So, post- Christmas she has decided to challenge herself (aided by a Fitbit and a lot of prompting and encouragement by me), to walk 10,000 steps a day.

Things started OK and she was soon heading towards 7,000 steps, despite this summer’s sweltering temperatures.

We had already discovered that after walking for around 30 minutes her affected right leg would begin tingling in a similar way to when feeling starts to return after pins & needles. We took this as a positive sign that normal feeling is slowly beginning to return.

On Sunday, after a 60 -minute walk around the local streets she sat down and wiggled her right foot.

“Ow, that hurts!”

Amanda’s right leg and foot has been swollen for a few months now. The doctors can find nothing medically wrong and we’ve put it down to a lack of muscle stimulation affecting blood flow. Her legs are beginning to look noticeably less swollen as the walks have increased in distance.

Another effect of her stroke is both right wrist and ankle weakness and they both tend to roll inwards. She wears a splint for 6 hours a day to counteract the spasticity in her wrist but her ankle has no such support and I’m unable to roll my own ankle over as far as hers goes involuntarily even when sitting still without causing myself pain.

On Sunday her right ankle was noticeably swollen. When she stands and puts the foot to the floor sensation disappears and she can walk normally and so any potential damage is masked.

The fact she is feeling ‘proper’ pain in her right foot must be a positive sign her nerves are healing and not just sending confusing random messages.

So a visit to the doctors is booked for tomorrow when hopefully we can get the painful ankle diagnosed and treated so we can can back on track to 10,000 steps.



  1. Hi, my ankle got so bad I needed surgical intervention. Still swells badly and at times painful . I use a combination of a orthotic insert to support arch and a splint by a company called air cast available from physiotherapists. This is s soft dplintthat’s prevents ankle roll is rigid on either side of the ankle


  2. Hi,
    Very interesting post. I have a friend with a stroke and I noticed certain parts of his body swell up about a month after the stroke. I always wondered if the swelling was stroke related. “Hunger Orthotics” makes good foot braces that may help with swelling. I know some stroke survivors get central pain syndrome so you might want to keep tabs on how much pain to ensure its not that.

    On a side note I recently made a film about a stroke survivor that you and Amanda may like. Link to watch the film for free is here http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php


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