I had a stroke

I had a stroke, that sentence, those 4 words say something and nothing.

Yes, it says I survived what for many sadly, can be life ending but it doesn’t tell you what kind or what area of the brain was affected.

It doesn’t tell others what I now have to deal with every day, how I may never be the same person I once was.

It doesn’t tell others that I’m in mourning for the loss of that person, the person I was, that grief can be just as powerful as losing a loved one, it’s a process akin to the 5 stages of grief. The road ahead is long and difficult, every day can be a struggle, obstacles to overcome and adapt to.

I had a stroke… how I dislike that sentence. However that’s progress, I used to loathe and hate that sentence. At the beginning I couldn’t even say the word ‘stroke’ without having an anxiety/panic attack. It shows how far along in my post stroke journey I am.

To be honest, I knew very little about a stroke beforehand, I only knew the basics, that a stroke on one side of the brain affected the other side of the body, I didn’t know about the emotional turmoil it causes, all the physical deficits to be overcome, the mental and cognitive issues, the utter devastation it causes to the person and their families.

I consider myself fortunate, I can’t say I would consider myself lucky, if I was lucky, I wouldn’t have had a stroke, I’m fortunate because I’m a survivor, the outcome could have been so much worse.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone here for their support and encouragement over the last 6 months, I’ve learned a lot from you all, I’ve taken strength from knowing I’m not in this alone. You are all remarkable, courageous people, be proud of yourselves and the progress you’ve made.

My thanks and best wishes to all my fellow survivors and their carers and family :clap::grinning::+1:

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Thank you Mahoney. I was told by my doctor that accepting the stroke is the first step in moving forward. Like you, I knew little of stroke and thought myself fit. As survivors we have the same problem, but with other people. Others assume a stroke is a bit like measles and you get well again. Only the other day I was asked ‘will you get better’. I tend to say I don’t know but I’ll keep trying.

I miss those things I can’t do, but live in the things I can do. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t get angry and frustrated but I don’t dwell on those emotions. I had a stroke but I’m still here.

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This is a positive thought to hang on to. We may have some disability now, but we also have ability. I am trying to build on the ability that I have.

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@John_Jeff_Maynard Acceptance is what I’m working towards, I’m getting closer to that however like yourself I have ‘off’ moments when the frustration wins, it’ll just take a little more time, I’m on the way :grinning:

They say ‘time is a great healer’, it is if we let it heal our emotions and try to stop dwelling on the past.

I like that :+1:

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@sunnyday Yes, stay strong and positive to build on your ability :grinning:

Big hugs :hugs:

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Thank you, brilliant piece, I’m sure that could’ve been written by many of us on this forum. Beautifully written.

Has anyone been following the stroke story line in Emmerdale ? I am finding it a difficult watch but seem to enjoy torturing myself and force myself to watch each painful episode. The same way I can’t stop myself watching videos of special family occasions before my stroke.

Is it a subconscious way of accepting the situation ? Who knows ?

Keep up the good work everyone. Happy Mother’s Day

Regards Sue

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@Mahoney what a lovely write up and so true. Thank you and I mirror your words to everyone bless you all Loraine :blush:

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@Susan_Jane i don’t watch Emmerdale so I haven’t followed the storyline, sorry. I can imagine how difficult it is to watch, on the plus side, if it can educate others about the aftermath of stroke, it’s a good thing that the story is out there for all to see.

We all have to do whatever it takes for us to accept our situation, hopefully the videos of your family get togethers bring you joy and happiness and do not bring you down :hugs:

Happy Mother’s Day to you too :bouquet:

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Hi @Mahoney - your eloquent writing has surely encapsulated what so many of us have thought since having a stroke. Thank you for representing us all.

I too consider myself fortunate. To survive of course; to not be as badly affected as some are; to be old enough to retire with my work pension (still haven’t got my state pension of course).

Not long before I had the stroke I read Amor Towles’ brilliant book, A Gentleman In Moscow. The theme is ‘master your circumstances otherwise they’ll master you’. I’ve often thought of that over the last three and a half years and taken it as inspiration to work to improve my situation.

Pre-stroke I had a great life (and did realise it). Happily I can say that post-stroke I still have a great life. Yes it’s different, but no less good than it was. At the gym session I do a fellow stroke survivor asked me “is having a stroke a good thing or a bad thing”? Obviously it’s a bad thing but on the other hand I’ve made new friends because of it and making new friends is always a good thing.

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@JSCAPM i would agree, making new friends is always good.

That book sounds an interesting read, I’m always on the lookout for a good book, many thanks for recommending it :grinning:

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@Mahoney Hello and thank you for voicing alot of where I am right now. It is such a support that my feelings are valid because others in a similar situation feel the same. Well intentioned people can express “I’m sorry” etc but they are not wearing our shoes and they can’t imagine how hard it is putting those shoes on every morning and trying to just get on. A heartfelt thank you❤️ Julia x

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@Mahoney think you’ve summed up how many of us feel. It’s written so eloquently. I too consider myself fortunate as I know so many others have it a lot worse than I do. That doesn’t mean I have accepted it or that I don’t have down moments. This week I have been down a lot as been so fatigued and last night felt really rough. Today is a bit of a better day so all good. I think this group is amazing and have found a lot of comfort from everyone’s messages and advice.
@Susan_Jane I have been watching the Emmerdale story line. My stroke was completely different to this story as my symptoms came on over days and weren’t the “typical” ones either. Having said that anything that can educate/inform people has to be a good thing. It is a bit emotional watching but like you I think I like torturing myself. :grin:
Onwards and upwards everyone. Keep celebrating the little successes and eventually they will make a big successes.

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@Mrs5K sorry to hear you’ve had a rough few days, but pleased to hear you’re having a better day today :grinning:

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Great post @Mahoney , well (& nicely) said. Sums things up beautifully.
I agree it’s great having you lot as friends/support but I wish I had never met you! :joy:.
I also took little interest in stroke before and only knew the basics.
Anyway we’re all here now so let’s make the most of it and help as many new comers as possible.
All the best to you all and happy thoughts.

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@Ingo66 :rofl::rofl:I’ll not take offence Mark, I wish none of us had to meet in these circumstances.

As you say, we’ll stick together and support each other as best we can :+1:

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A very well written piece. I don’t watch Emmerdale but if the story is well done it will help those with no clue (that was me before the Stroke) to understand a bit more

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@Mahoney, a wonderful piece, and yes, we are all carrying our inner burdens that tend to make life more viscous.

The other day, I was sitting outside chatting in the fine with weather. A few other people arrived, and I decided to get up and plant some betony in the garden (about seven pots). One of the people sitting with me said, ‘Why are you leaving?’, I replied that if I stayed I’d be exhausted, and unable to plant my plants. They just could not understand how a conversation could be more exhausting than gardening.

Most, if not all, things in life centre around our brains, and so our injuries disrupt that experience.

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I am three years on from my stroke, just returning to Portsmouth by ferry from Santander after three months away.
I am fortunate to have recovered most of what was taken with the support & encouragement of my wife & family,

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That’s wonderful to hear @prlblue , hope you enjoyed the nice long break away too

@Rups you know your own limitations and others unfortunately don’t, we have to make priority choices each day as to what we can and can’t do with our time :grinning:

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