I was wondering if there are any other English/UK ex pats out there?
I am cool with my own company but since my stroke sometimes I can become lonely. All stroke specific support groups are, obviously, in the native language to the country I now live in. I have found the second language uses up so much limited brain power. I can understand most of what is being said but my brain just cannot not cope with switching to talking it. My neurologist and doctors speak English and they get why I need it. However, some care givers don’t and it becomes a problem.
The stroke community groups, as I said will be in a foreign language and living in a rural small town there are no options. Support material is all in non English, so I find it all overwhelming to wade through.
It is me and my really supportive husband that have navigated a course for ourselves in it all. Generally, we are doing well. However, I have lost my independence - I’m no longer able to drive (which I loved to go and explore places) due to how quickly and unpredictable my brain reacts to processing movement.
Both the stroke and status migrainosus leaves me really sensitive to sounds, motions and light. I have special glasses and noise protectors but this really cancels out most social activity places. This isn’t a pity party, honestly, it is the way it is and I have accepted it.
It has all had a real knock to my confidence as everything has to be considered in every instance. As my husband knows my symptoms so well, he is really the only one I feel really safe to go anywhere with - even the supermarket is an onslaught to my over sensitive senses!
I am grateful that to look at me you would never know anything has happened or that there is deficits, but that in itself is a double edged sword! Add in a language barrier in a country where personal space is not a thing and people are always in a rush, I feel very vulnerable as I need time and when people get too close and move to fast, my brain reacts!
This has turned into a bit of a word vomit, hasn’t it?! I guess, what I would like to know is if there is anyone else who has a language and cultural difference to navigate on top of learning to live with the challenges a stroke presents?
I miss having the opportunity to just speak my language, freely, without considering if the recipient understands me and having company that understands what it is like to have a stroke.
Thanks for getting this far