Did you know that post-stroke symptoms are diagnosed on a per-patient basis? Because of the variability in the lesion or damaged area in the brain caused by stroke, each person elicits different symptoms, from weak muscle contractions to spastic clenching. After meeting with the post-stroke community in the K/W area, the team learned a lot about the daily struggles of someone afflicted with post-stroke hemiplegia. The most surprising revelation we learned about was that price, availability, and mostly awareness of different technologies are what hinder the rehabilitation of upper limb motion. For example, most of the people we talked to noted that the exercises they do involve only regular exercise equipment and only two of the stroke survivors had used functional electrical stimulation. We learned about how they deal with the most simple daily tasks in new ways, such as using their teeth or the wall for an extra helping hand.
Special thanks to Rick, Dan, and John from the Stroke Recovery KW Chapter of March of Dimes for allowing us to visit and for sharing their stories with us, as well as Barbara for connecting us with the rest of the March of Dimes Canada community. They have great community for stroke survivors and caregivers that you can check out here.