Occupational Therapy After Stroke


Trouble speaking and understanding, paralysis or numbness, headache, those are all symptoms of a stroke.  

A KELOLAND woman says she remembers the exact moment she began suffering from one.

“It was a normal day. I had gone to work. It was 40 days before our wedding, so I had gone to a dress fitting, gone home and done laundry and my hands both stopped working and I knew something was wrong,” Miranda Brandt said. 

In that moment, Brandt knew she was having a stroke.

“I couldn’t even lift my hand to exchange rings, my husband had to cut my food for our reception,” Brandt said. 

After a 25 day stay in the hospital Brandt began physical, speech and occupational therapy.

“I had some facial drooping. The whole arm was flaccid or just kind of hung like a limp noodle,” Brandt said. 

Brandt says thanks to occupational therapy she’s regained her independence. 

“Occupational therapy looks at kind of the upper half, the shoulder, the arm, the hand. Some of those fine motor skills that are needed for everyday tasks,” Melissa Halseth said.

Halseth says everyday activities like bathing or getting dressed are taken for granted. 

“Putting earrings in this morning, it’s something that would normally take 15 seconds, took 5 minutes. So, it’s a process but it’s been getting better each day,” Brandt said.

“I mean there are so many small muscles that work together to be able to do those things. It’s a lot of hard work,” Halseth said. 

Hard work that can be frustrating at times.

“Having the patience and just the setbacks, not being able to multi-task like I used to. Another is asking for help, that was a big thing for me,” Brandt said. 

There’s no time limit on recovery, it goes on a patient to patient basis. 

Brandt has been in therapy for about a year, and will continue as long as it takes. 

“To be able to start over and gain those functions back, it’s been really rewarding,” Brandt said. 

But it’s not just Brandt who is happy about the recovery. 

“Words cannot describe how awesome it is to be able to give someone their independence back,” Halseth said.

If you’d like to find out more on occupational therapy, click here. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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