Change in family dynamics

Are anyone experienced a change in family dynamics since having a stroke.

Yes, I am the ‘go to person’, the ‘fixer’, in the family, I am the one that sorts everything out, arranges things, has autonomy, makes decisions etc. I’m fortunate that I still can do these things following stroke, albeit at a slower pace than previously.

Now my husband is constantly telling me to sit down, stop stressing (even if I’m only writing a shopping list for example), he tells me to pack in work (goodness knows how we’d pay the bills if I did) treating me as if I’m made of glass. He wants to wrap me up in cotton wool.

I know it’s done with love, concern and caring, which on one hand is lovely, but on the other it can be frustrating. I’m lucky to have a caring, loving husband.

Hopefully in time he’ll relax again, he says he doesn’t want to lose me, it really scared him I suppose made him think of my mortality, stroke has so much to answer for.

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Yes, 100%. I have all sorts of complications now. I have no impulse control which my partner is fully aware of but extended family are less forgiving. My father is okay as he is a solitary soul and seems to be affable but he never asks about the stroke or recovery. This topic is interesting and many stroke survivors don’t talk about it, perhaps because it is personal and interactions change not always for the better. There are many misconceptions about stroke, I think my cousin put it best when he wrote to me while I was in hospital, “You always have to be the first.” It was a joke but the implication was that none of our family have experienced this, apart from my grandmother in her thirties, but that was only revealed to the family this year. My extended family have been the most problematic, I’ve experience a whole torrent of attitudes that I would never have expected before, because I have never been in this position. I liken it to ducks. Or birds in general. If there is a lame duck, the other ducks bully it because it can not keep up with the brood. I have felt like this a few times. I guess, like it or not, families have perceived pecking orders also.

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Hi Joy–I’m the same type of person you are. I guess I’d be called “Type A” personality as well, and a little OCD on the side. In that respect having a stroke did me a big favor. I began to sit back and let others, usually my husband, take over. It’s been great! He is doing things I thought only I could do.
There’s two oxen pulling the cart now. He has grown in confidence. I have learned to back off, relax and allow the bedspread to have wrinkles, the produce to be put away in different order, etc., etc., etc. My love and admiration have grown even greater for him, and he seems very pleased to be “taking care of things–and me”. We have become closer and more loving because of it. Also, now my grown kids do the hosting of affairs and parties, and mom relaxes and has a good time. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t just sit around and have people wait on me. I still do the bills, share meal making and gardening and do other things. But I don’t do it all anymore. I tire more easily now. So, I let myself take it easy when needed. Just another point of view on the subject. :slightly_smiling_face: :heart:Jeanne

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Thank you @Rups @axnr911 and @Mahoney for sharing your experiences. Like you said Rupert many survivors choose not to talk about this area and yet it is an area that affects many survivors. So thank you for sharing a personal experiencess

I agree that there is a sort of pecking order when it comes to families and that the lame duck will be picked on. The hierarchy is families is highly regarded especially in African families where there are unwritten rules that children, no matter how old they are, have to abide by.

I am always wary of such rules, dared to tell my father when he was wrong and refused to be disrespected especially by older people who felt that it okay to bully and walk all over the younger generation.

In African culture when someone is sick it is the mother or the eldest daughter who will look after the patient. In my case this didn’t happen as my mother died 7 years ago from pancreatic cancer, so I was hoping that my sister would step into her shoes. It was a genuine expectation given how close we were. But all that changed in the blink of an eye. I never expected to have to deal with the trauma of the stroke and the mistreatment by my family.

In terms of the chance in my relationship with my partner, the stroke made our bond even stronger as he became my carer. I had to allow him to take over the reins, turn my neat apartment inside out and do what was necessary to help me with my recovery.

I wonder if there are any members of the African community on this forum who have had similar experience due to cultural issues.

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Yes big changes for me but all positive, I was the one doing everything I have no Brothers or Sisters my Mum has been ill for a long time, I was her sole carer as she refused Homecare but when I had my stroke she had to accept the Carers my Sons also do a lot now, I’m sure they would’ve if I’d asked before but I just soldiered on. Same with my Dad he’s well but has anxiety and got in a bit of a state worrying about Covid so I did all his shopping etc he’s back to doing everything himself. So the Stroke did me a favour and has took all the pressure off me, I still help my Sons help them by ordering a online shop, pay some bills etc but I’m not running about running three homes being stressed out anymore it’s wonderful.

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Hi joy, Am keen to chat with you because I have had much to to with South Africa in the past. During WW2 I was a young evacuee from Egypt and lived for some years in Margate, Natal and in Jo’burg. I have also been to a boarding school in Swaziland. Many years later I learned to fly with the RAF in Southern Rhodesia and once hitchiked down to Joburg to look up old friends during holidays. My sister married a South African gold mine electrician after meeting him in UK, so I have many contacts with the country and still have relatives there.
I now live in New Zealand where our problems are rather minor in comparison with those of Africa and every assistance is given to stroke victims in their search for recovery.
Deigh

Hi @Deigh thank you for your message. These past two weeks have been very overwhelming for me for reasons not directly connected with my stroke.

I will get in contact with you at the end of the week when I am more focused.

Regards,

Joy