Jun 27
Lena45
Lena45 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Spouse of stroke survivor in need of support

Hello, I am 4 years separated from my husband of 16 years. We are extremely close since he assisted in the raising of my son from a prior relationship and we both suffer from chronic conditions. Ultimately I thought we would divorce, however after separating his chronic conditions got much worse and he had to take a disability retirement from his employer. At that point he needed rides back and forth to his doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc due to vision impairment from diabetes in which I have been assisting him with all of this for the past four years while still living separate. It probably seems odd that I would tell such personal information wondering what this would have to do with his stroke, however I believe this is why I struggle and look to assistance from this community and other forums. Approximately 6 months ago prior to the stroke we decided to sell our home where he was living and buy another with less steps and try to make a fresh start with our marriage. We were together almost daily anyways and I was helping in getting him to and from appointments, stores, etc. We did not know if this would work out in the long run but I was willing to try. Come June 2nd I get a call from him and I can't understand anything he's saying. I hung up called paramedics immediately and come to find he had a intracerebal stroke. Due to the stroke impairing his swallowing in addition to the stroke he got pneumonia and was on a ventilator for a week. He's now been moved to the rehab part of the hospital and is set to be discharged in two weeks. Again we are still living separately and he lives alone with a dog. Due to all of this I had the realtor take the house off the market. This is so extremely difficult. I am shocked to learn he has no movement in his right arm, cannot stand up on his own, in addition to having to be catheterized every couple hours. His stroke was on his left side of his brain which impaired the right side. In addition to the physical part of this he doesn't remember anything. He doesn't remember our listing the house to sell or the house we were possibly going to buy, even after showing him several pictures. I think the worst part in this is that he tries to talk and I don't understand much of anything he is saying which is frustrating for him for good reason. The doctors say this could be up to a year for anything to come back. He's doing PT,OT, and speech daily at the rehab but are talking about a discharge in less then two weeks. Since I have health issues of my own and work part time I just do not see that I am capable of moving back into the home to care for him. The doctors mentioned skilled nursing after rehab since no one lives in the home.  I guess what I'm hoping to gain from this forum is knowledge on how people coped with a family member experiencing a similar problem where they did not live in the same house. I'm also hoping to gain knowledge on "will this ever get better"? In his therapy he could not identify a fork from a knife. It's very painful to watch him and breaks my heart to see really a different person entirely right now. I had no knowledge about strokes prior to this. I hope to read people stories on here to learn the stages some stroke victims go through that had this type of stroke. I realize everyone is different and you can't compare but just reading others personal stories will help me in getting through this very very difficult time. Any comments or personal experiences with this type of stroke are welcomed and I'm sure will be very helpful. Again I also intend to read through others experiences and comments to help me along in this very difficult time. I've read others saying that just coming on the forum and writing about it has helped and I have to say that I agree with that. Thank you 
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