A glimpse of me?

I had a stroke a year ago and as I keep being reminded by family and friends I was “lucky”as it “just” affected my eye nerves so I had double vision for 4/5 months . I didn’t feel Ill so I thought once  my sight was better I would be fine and back to normal ! 

So a couple of weeks ago I realised I was suffering emotionally and I wasn’t going to improve without some help so I reached out to the professionals and saw a  therapist  really quickly.just talking with someone who wasn’t judging me and knew what I was feeling was a revelation.i have become a recluse over the year as I felt safe at home and less vulnerable and being told this is a very normal reaction and not me just being weak and not helping myself ( family’s words - they sound cruel but they just want me back !) I think having a few positive things to try from the therapist made me get in my car yesterday and Drive to the shops and my daughters house for the first time in a year. Small steps but at least a step back to independence and a life. I’m still angry at the stroke as I don’t drink or smoke I’m not overweight and I used to exercise regularly and I was 53 with low blood pressure so I have to come to terms with it was just one of those things !

I just felt I wanted to share a small victory for me after this year of negativity I ve been through .

Andrea, Thank you for your post and congratulations on taking that first important step to your new life. There are many of us who will identify with your post. ‘Home’ does become a safe haven, but you have to force yourself to leave it if you want to progress. I am sure we are all angry at our strokes and a lot of us considered ourselves to be relatively fit people beforehand. I still mourn my old self and that feeling might never leave me. However, I refuse to be a victim and always see myself as a survivor and there must be a reason for that. I miss my ability to go out ‘at will’ and having to rely on my partner to take me everywhere. However, I refuse to make my partial disability a burden and can laugh at myself as much as I swear at my lack of competence to do certain tasks. That doesn’t stop me from trying. Please continue the good work you have started....go out more but be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Enjoy!

Dear Andrea

Thank you for sharing your victory. It is a good idea that we all look at what we cando and not at what we can not. So your post was uplifting.

Friends family and just about everyone else simply havent a clue what a stroke is like.

In their defence, most of us look well and its an impossibility for a fellow human to see you look OK and accept we are not. They cant see the inside of our heads.

Only another SS understands. My little joke is that we should all move to the Isle of Wight (or Malta or IoMan etc) so that everyone we meet does understand.

Emotionality is a very common after effect of stroke. Tears come so easily. I have found it has eased gradually and now its just funerals that I cant cope with. And the odd TV program. I never cried before stroke. Now I do.

I am a great believer in counselling and therapy. You have done well to get that help.

I had counselling to get me over the shock of the stroking. Post trauma shock. That was a few weeks after stroke. Then I got group therapy and I still have it. I learn so much.

Not sure your family are doing you any favours, perhaps I am misreading your post.

Quite out the blue I drove for 80 minutes acouple of weeks back. Up till then it was only 30 minutes max.

Not surprising we like to stay at home. Making new friends is such hard work.

We are never going back to "normal". A bit of our brain is dead and it wont regrow so  its going to be new Andrea. Old Andrea is not coming back.

And well done for dodging the phrase "my stroke". 

Smiling frequently helps.

Lots of us are here for you Andrea, you are never alone.

Colin

 

Hi Andrea,

I had most of the symptoms you’ve mentioned, the stroke I had, mainly affected my eyesight ( which after eight weeks is back to what it was pre stroke),l can now drive ok, and everyone can’t believe I’d had a stroke. Of course unless anyone is a SS, others don’t realise how it affects you mentally. Pre - stroke I was living life to the full, doing everything that was unhealthy for me, so I thought I had an answer to why the stroke occurred? Also, I found out from the specialist up at the hospital, that I had an irregular heart beat! An explanation as to why a stroke occurred is reassuringly helpful ,without knowing, you’re always left wondering why it happened?,especially if you were reasonably healthy before the stroke. I hope you manage to get some readdress for yourself?

Brugge