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Struggling with emotions
My husband is 54 and suffered a stroke 4 months ago. Thank God it wasn't severe. He continues therapy twice a week and the hope is he will be able to return to work in a month or two.
I have been reading other posts and my heart goes out those who have situations much more challenging than ours, I am asking for some help/encouragement/support from people that understand where I'm at. I have dear friends who have been my shoulder to cry on and ear to listen, but I need to step out of my comfort zone,
I am struggling with how to respond/react to my husband's lack of empathy.Is this a result of the stroke? Is he depressed and just doesn't care? Should I be angry. sympathetic,or both?
He goes through life his way and let the chips fall where they may, Prior to the stroke, this attitude showed up rarely, but now it's constant. Is this something that will remain & I just need to get use to it? When I talk to him about it, there isn't much talking from him.
I feel like I am lost in this and doing my best to stay positive and encouraging. Any help would be appreciated.
AHAKellie, November 3, 2020 9:15am EST
I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. After someone has a stroke, they definitely need special consideration while recovering or adjusting. They're likely to have ups and downs and potentially seem different than before the stroke. I'm sure others will have some helpful insight, but I can share our resources for caregivers that might give you some additional insight.
As you're taking care of your husband, be sure to take care of yourself, too. Caregiving can be ovrewhelming and stressful, but we're here to help.
Thanks so much for reaching out.
Jpitty1974, November 3, 2020 12:07pm EST
I had a stroke 3 years ago and still have issues as an aftermath of it,
The one thing I can tell you is, writing that his stroke wasnt sevete is unfair to him, I am sure it was a life changing issue and I am sure just like me, he is dealing with allot of things that might not be Physical, but are affecting him as well. The idea that strokes are Physical and leave you paralyse only is a bad way to describe it or believe a stroke is
The first step is to treat the stroke as to what it is, a life changing event, I remember that people kept comparing me to other stroke cases as if they wish I ended up with my left or right side paralysed or my mouth drooping,
But reality is, I havent been able to work in 3 years, I deal with ringing in my ears daily sometimes to the point of nausea, I have headaches daily, body aches, depression, PTSD, mood swings, joint pain, lost of memory, sometimes I cant even remember my kids names.
So when someone addresses my case as not that bad, not severe or even as one doctor told me, just give thanks you are alive, to me is more of an insult than a comfort.
I just encourage you to be patient with what he is dealing with, to listen to his complaints and to take seriously everything he says because we dont know where the pain, the frustration the anxiety is coming from and doctors are vague to give a good path to follow.
Hope this helps
MimiBoop, November 6, 2020 9:15pm EST
I don't want people "fawning" over me. So I haven't told most people that I had 2 strokes, one in June and the second in July. Fortunately, I stay home because of Covid nobody questions why I am "Hiding.". I am fighting HARD to be "normal." I don't want to be a nuisance to my children who have their own problems. So I "soldier on." I can't stop crying. I cry for no reason. I pay a therapist to listen to me. When I complain about being unable to do something, she says that I am putting too much pressure on myself wanting to be "normal." I want my brain back. I want energy. I wish that the strokes had killed me. I want to evaporate. I will not "off" myself. I PAY for her to help me. I pay my doctor to help me. I have worked hard to LOOK right. I don't need a walker or a cane. I don't drool. I can smile. But I feel like "damaged goods." Don't tell me how lucky I am. I wake in the morning crying during the twilight time between sleep and waking. Once I am awake I fight to control the weeping. I cannot control weeping when I am asleep and just waking up. Nobody wants Debby Downer around. So I smile and be nice and polite. Okay, that is enough feeling sorry for myself. I just needed to vent.
AHAKellie, November 8, 2020 2:22pm EST
Oh, JPitty - I'm so sorry for what you're going through. After a stroke, people often experience emotional and behavioral changes; stroke survivors may also feel anxiety, anger or depression. I'm sure your children would want to know what's happened to you so they can help.
Our Life After Stroke Guide may be of help to you, and the American Stroke Association also has a Stroke Warmline (1-888-4-STROKE or 1-888-478-7653 Monday-Friday: 8AM-5PM CST) you can call where one of our team members can provide support, helpful information, or just a listening ear.
Please know that you are not alone in this and that you can share anything and we will be here to listen.
axnr911, November 11, 2020 6:52pm EST
Hi MimiBoop-- I know what you mean about looking "normal" on the outside, but not feeling "normal" on the inside. That's the way I feel,too. But it is all so much better now--2 yrs 3 mos. later. Having a stroke does mess with your emotions. I feel everything more intensely. That is normal. Your crying is to be expected. But if you feel really bad for too long, you might want to ask your doc about anti depressants. Many people get help that way after a stroke to see them through the rough patch. You're still in the early stages of stroke recovery--just a few months. I find I feel better each day even now, after 2 years. My friend told me it took her 4 years to feel like "herself" again. I sense that you might be expecting too much from yourself, and that makes you unhappy when you don't meet your own expectations. Give yoursefl a break! You need a lot of time to heal. Take walks, eat healthy, drink tons and tons of water, sleep. And do things that make you happy. Relax and know that you'll feel better each week. Be patient. I'll remember you in my prayers tonight. Love, Jeanne
MimiBoop, November 12, 2020 2:23pm EST
Axnr THANK YOU. You have given me the only SANE advice. My doctor knows that I had 2 strokes, yet when he noticed an unregular heartbeat, he took me off all my supplements and my antidepressant that I have taken since 1985. That threw me into the pit of hell. I wrote him a letter saying that I will discuss the meds and supplements with the cardiologist that he will be sending me to.. In the meantime, I will take the Celexa and supplements. I am back on the antidepressant and am feeling better. YOU understand what I feel like. Nobody else understands, even my psychologist. Because I can walk and speak okay and look okay, everybody expects me to BE okay. I feel chided for not having energy in the morning. It is a great effort to get dressed, do my hair and makeup if I am not going to work. Thank you. Mimi
pamela121, November 13, 2020 7:57pm EST
Mimiboop, I had 3 strokes and it wasn't diagnosed til much later. There was I time I also cried at the drop of a hat, in my car, in the shower, Walmart, feeling the sun on my face, going to the bathroom. It was nerve racking. I went on Lea pro and my crying stopped almost immediately. I didn't think I was depressed..but what my doctor said is that after your stroke the chemical make up in your brain changes and there is nothing you can do, but try to replace the serotonin things that are missing. You replace or try to fix the chemical imbalance caused by your stroke. Try..not to say it will help but it did for me.