Today was my second counselling session organised by my GP to help me with the effects of the stroke I had a year ago this month. I can’t really believe it was a year ago on the 25th February that I woke up in a confused state and finally at the end of April following an MRI scan was told I’d had a lacunar infarct, most likely the cause of the confusion and the stroke.
I’ve found it emotionally draining and have realised I’ve not come to terms with the effect the stroke has had on my relationship with friends and old work colleagues who I have mostly lost touch with. I have had problems with short term memory loss which has been very hard, but which is slowly improving day by day. I’ve also find the emotional side of stroke very distressing.
I recently joined my local stroke group and have found it so helpful, we all have different problems but everyone is so supportive. It helps a lot and gives me a sense of independence from my husband being able to go on my own to the group. I sometimes struggle with words and my memory is a bit confused at times but I know I’m not as injured as some are.
So a year on what have I learned, well mostly that I’m responsible for my own recovery and will continue to do more to improve my memory as much as I can. I also hope to travel abroad again, we are off to Derbyshire this year which we are both looking forward to, but maybe next year, others on this site give me great hope that it’s achievable. Also to support others on this site, it’s a daunting thing having a stroke and I have been very grateful for the support I’ve received here.
Congratulations for when you achieve your first post stroke anniversary. Mine is March 14th.
The one thing being on this site has taught me is that our recovery is in our hands but there is help available. Some more accessible than others.
I hope you achieve your goals. It sounds like you're a strong and independent lady who sees your post stroke self as someone the rest of the world needs to know. Post a stroke we're all a little unique but that's what's makes us all the more worth getting to know. If your old friends and colleagues don't see that, it just makes more room in your life to meet new people.
Good luck on your the next phase of your recovery who knows where it could take you.
Thanks for your encouragement, I don’t feel that strong at the moment but once I get over this emotional period maybe I’ll see things differently. Being emotional after a stroke seems to be really hard to deal with and I feel really embarrassed bursting in to tears when I see someone I know, so much so that I’ve stopped going to certain places in case I bump into anyone ( crazy isn’t it).This is the main reason I’ve started to have CBT and is something I have to get used to, I can’t go on avoiding everyone so I’m hoping this will help.
My emotionality hung around for about 18 months. It was getting less and less severe. Now it is trivial. None of us are the same but many symptoms are similar so I reckon you are approaching a good reduction in emotionality. Its worse because we cant notice the improvements, they are just too slowto identify. I keep a stroke diary so I can look back and applaud myself on progress.
I had counselling very early on and it worked very well for me. I had post traumatic shock and it helped me put that in to perspective. I now attend monthly relax classes which incorprate counselling as and when needed.
It is usually a good idea to gently get ourselves in to the real world, however I think that bursting in to tears is perhaps something that will not go down too well. I would only venture to events where I knew I could quickly escape to a quiet place whilst the tears flowed their course.
You need to get back to society at your pace, not at anyone elses pace. Yes you are almost certainly missing out. And that will often be permanent. We are new people and we can not have the same place as before. Forcing the situation will not work. New Ann must flower as and when she is ready and able.
I hope you go to stroke groups or meetings. They understand. They dont flinch at the tears (and for the those who laugh rather than cry).
Your on a long but very slow journey. Horse and cart slow, not high speed train.
Thanks Colin, wise words as always. I do attend a stroke group and you’re right they do understand the tears, they have been a welcoming friendly group who I would probably not have met had I not had the stroke. I’m so glad I found them.
I think the emotional side of stroke is one of the most difficult I have to deal with but given time I’ll get used to it and be able to control it more. It also makes SF and tinnitus worse for a while I have realised.
I try to keep a diary when I remember to but with short term memory loss in the equation as well it’s easily forgotten about. At the moment I remember to keep it every 3-4 days
Thankfully all our snow has gone so we can get out and about as usual.
Sorry to hear you’ve had a horrible day today, I had no idea.
I agree the mental side for me is terrible at times as well. When I get SF I also get tinnitus, although now I have a hearing aid through which you can have white noise which seems to calm down the tinnitus. I’m still getting used to the hearing aid but it’s nice being able to quieten the tinnitus for a while. However when I get SF I’m finding if I can I go to sleep for at least 1hr I will, so I think it also has a physical effect on the body as well as a mental effect.
Stroke groups give me hope, the people I’ve met understand what you’re going through but also show you that you can still do most things you want to do you just have to plan a bit more than you did before.
Sorry you've had a rubbish day. But it's great to see that you can still find a positive and keep moving forward. I've enclosed a few extra smiles for your smile therapy ???. Hope today's a good one! ?
Hi Colin - everything crossed for you, hoping you have a better day today. Maybe these high winds we're experiencing in East Anglia will blow all of nasties away ?You are always so ready to support others, and rarely complain, so I know you must be feeling down if you've mentioned your dreadful day. Surely something good will come along on this SS roller coaster.
Take good care, keep smiling we're all thinking of you xx ?
Thank you. Wednesday was terrible. I have gout and when it flares then I take medication and this upsets my tummy big time. I have to try and balance how many tablets. Too few and I suffer the agony of gout. Too many and I am suffering the tummy stuff. Well I misjudged and took too many tablets.
I am also disappointed that the nurse can not extract some wax stuck in my bad ear. Nor can she treat the infection.
Needless to say the SF started to march off the scale. I didnt sleep until 6am. The good news is that the tummy was sufficiently nasty to make me forget the tinnitus and even the SF.
I aim to have 7.5hrs sleepy sleep and about three half hour stroke naps. If we get insufficient sleep then we are in trouble. Rest rest and more rest.
I got a good nights sleep last night and everything is so improved today. I am beginning to eat. Got down the garden and back. And so on. yes the world likes me again.
Stroke groups are just wonderful. Wish I had one nearer than I do.
I do think its good to work at the assumption that we can do things despite the stroke. I think we must moderate our expectations. I am an FCA with specialist knowledge of personal tax, pensions etc. There is no chance of doing that work again, I would be lethal. So I set more modest tasks. I do 3 hours a month of a voluntary admin nature. And I make tea, coffee and wait on tables. I am pleased that I can do this. At first I couldnt recall the teas and coffees needed. Now I can do about ten at a time. I am useful. That matters a lot. At the very first I was paralysed. Clearung cups from tables was thus a huge progression.
My institute of chartered avccountants insist that I can keep the letters after my name. They have also given me a free annual subscription for life. I was impressed with that.
I am enjoying success with a tinnitus relaxer. A simple version that cost under £30. If needs be I will upgrade to an in pillow version (or alternatively divorce from the missu) which is no doubt lots more money. I loke the relaxer.
My tea is getting cold and tipping point cant live without my input
Yes your real smiles counted. And yes they made me smile as well.
I can tell when I am having sleepy sleep as opposed to stroke naps. The stroke naps have no dreams and no difficulty on wakening. In the early days the stroke naps were longer and I actually miss those longer naps. I often get nightmares from sleepy sleep. And sometimes night terrors. But it all eases as the months tick by.
If I cant sleep I make a bed on the settee and have the TV on. Often that works.
I sense a good night tonight....if I can stay awake this evening.
It sounds like you have had a few things going on at the same time which has caused you much discomfort. I can appreciate it would make the SF so much worse and that coupled with not being able to sleep, there’s nothing worse for making your mind work overtime.
I’m glad it was only one night and you seem much better today, have been able to eat and get outdoors for a while I’m sure you’ll feel better for it.
When I first had the stroke I was only sleeping for about 4 - 5 hours a night which I found very hard to cope with, I know now it was a symptom of the stroke but it felt like a vicious circle trying to sleep, not being able to sleep, being anxious about not sleeping. Thankfully I sleep really well now, at least 7.5hrs, although I take medication which helps.
I’m interested to hear how you get on with the tinnitus relaxer. I’m finding the hearing aid really helpful, when I have had it in all day on taking it out at bedtime I find the tinnitus has gone, its sooo peaceful for a little while.
How good that you and Kay are also fans of tipping point, it’s such a good show based on a fairground game but with questions. My hubby and I try and watch it if we can.
Heres to another good day for us all tomorrow. Its stroke club for me tomorrow so looking forward to it.
Me too. 4pm is settle down with a cup of tea a biscuit then watch the quizz master willing the pretty girls to win so he can give them a hug. Then The Chase which does up the ante in brain power. If I am on my best form I enjoy the quizzes but on bad or average days I get despondent that my brain is so slow and forgetful. I also am lucky because TV and PC do not tire me and the quizzes are good rest times. Ironically reading does tire me so books are not much use. Even the newspaper is limited use.
On a cold day I have my large and flash woodburner going and thats just a lovely time to sit in the warm as the sun disappears for the night. Cat is usually with us, curled up and snoozing.
I am getting on well with my tinnitus relaxer. It gets me off to sleep and that sleep is calm and restful. It has white noise in the background and there is a white noise only setting. I dont get on with the white noise only. I opt for the wave setting and I am always asleep before it turns itself off (30 minutes). Quite a boost.
My tinnitus is not severe and it is not 24x7. So to guys with the full blown variety I am not in the same league. Thank goodness.
I did make a note about your hearing aid white noise. I have a new hearing aid but with the ear problems I am not wearing it. I am now using fizzy drops and hoping that clears the blocked ear feeling.
I have found that sleep is crucial to our recoveries. I am delighted that you now sleep well. In the early days I slept perhaps 14 hours a day. Nights could be awful but I (wrongly) put it down to having so much daytime sleeping. I need stroke naps, so that my brain can work its magic and I need sleepy sleep to make me string enough to progress recovery.
I did have a few bad days and you are spot on. There is an avalanche of problems once the SF mixes in.
I try to see plus points. Being able to deal with ear problems is indicative of an improvement to my recovery. So many bits of me dont work but whilst SF rules these other things seem trivial. At this stage I think the age card kicks in. Us oldies get lots of deterioration and with stroke being so prolonged its hard to tell whats what.