Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht is back to work after recovering from a stroke earlier in the month.
Albrecht, 69, was on a trip with his wife in Mexico when he felt the symptoms of a stroke coming on.
“I was on vacation and had sudden dizziness and numbness in my leg, and a number of other signs of a stroke,” said Albrecht. “Then I was treated at the place we were staying, and then was able to travel home for treatment at the Grand River Hospital and the stroke unit there for three days.”
The incident occurred on January 7, forcing him to cut the trip short and head home, where he was eventually released from the hospital on January 11.
Albrecht is taking the time to recover, meaning a reduced work schedule. Despite this, he said he is feeling much better.
“Oh, 98 per cent,” said Albrecht, of his current condition. “I’m at the office [Monday]. I’m obviously on a much-reduced schedule. The biggest ongoing lingering factor is fatigue, and I think that’s pretty common among people that have had a stroke.
“I can sleep up to 15 hours a day, and I have no problem with sleeping. So that’s very unusual for me. Otherwise, my walking is absolutely normal, my speech is normal. The fatigue is the big factor that I’ve got to watch.”
Strokes can vary widely in severity. In Albrecht’s case, luckily the incident was minor and was treated quickly. The most rapid recovery time occurs during the first three to four months, although some stroke survivors continue to recover one to two years post-incident.
Albrecht was advised to not return to Ottawa until around February 19, just after Family Day. But in the meantime, he is doing work in his Kitchener office.
“I am continuing on,” said Albrecht. “I just had a meeting in my office with stakeholders, and I’m doing lots of correspondence and emails and that sort of thing.
“But I’m trying to limit it to a couple of hours a day until I can have my full energy back – until the doctor gives me the total green light, as well. I don’t want to jeopardize the progress that everybody made.”
Albrecht said he was pleasantly overwhelmed by the community response.
“It’s been an interesting journey,” said Albrecht. “I can’t say enough for the good care I’ve had – first of all from my wife, but the doctor in Mexico, and the staff here at Grand River Hospital as well. Incredible. I’m very, very grateful. Make sure to thank my constituents for their outpouring of care – it’s been overwhelming.”