Hello, I’m 37, I had a stroke in November caused by a tear in an artery in my neck that produced a clot that went up to me brain causing the stroke. I had a thrombectomy which has been largely successfull I’m recovering well. Got most of my abilities back but still get fatigue, little bit of forgetfulness and blankness. I was invited out earlier with some friends and noticed that I wasn’t as talkative as I used to be, quite blank and felt unable to respond in the quick witted and aggravating way I used to,i always had a sense of humour nothing really offends me but found it difficult to respond in a conversation or if they tried to aggravate me like they used to like my mind would go blank. I felt like a bit of a bore and responses were slow or absent and I’m reflecting on it and I’m finding it kinda frustrating and a little upsetting so left early. Do any of you feel the same and if so how do you cope or deal with it?
Hi, Yes I have the same. It is such early days for you and it will all take time. You will get there, just don’t try to force it. It takes our brains a long time to rewire and adapt to the situation, so just explain to your friends how you feel and if they are good friends they will understand. The fatigue you have can stay with you a long time ( don’t want to depress you ) but it is a fact that we have to get used to. Get as much rest as you can, if the fatigue hits just give in to it, this is my way of coping and it seems to work!!!
Good luck I will be thinking of you. Jane.
Thank you Jane, yeah I think I may need to just give them an heads up on what it’s like and I can’t help it, spent most of my time with them with my mind trying to play catch up and maybe that burnt me out a bit aswell.
I think I said welcome before; but if I haven’t then I’m sorry to see you’ve had cause to join us - Once arrived it’s a comforting place to visit with folk who understand.
You’ve a long journey and it started by being teleported to a place that wasn’t on your normal path. No one including you yet knows how far removed nor whether the future is in the same general direction. In part I’m reminded of the scene from the movie Sliding Doors where two story lines evolve based on the second’s difference between making it in time to catch a train or not
Whether and which subset of ‘qualities’ of the past you, you still have unchanged or will return or are replaced by new thoughts emotions interests relationships etc will unfold and is a little influence-able with thought and effort
I think I’ve seen three broad generalisations about post stroke. There are those for whom life returns to near normal: thus little of note in the long term (opportunity lost?), there are those for whom life becomes a predominantly backward looking regret and can lead to anger and continuing losses from the fall out etc and the third is those who mourn and then move on to make the most opportunity from their new normal. A challenge bested.
Some of the latter group say “I wouldn’t have chosen a stroke but there are benefits to this new life”.
You will evolve your path and your post above reads to me that you’ve started to observe and reflect on the the 2ndry affects of the outward ripples of stroke. reflections on them is, Im sure a very healthy start to adjustments - Forewarned is forearmed?
I suggest any thinking in terms of ‘when normality returns’ isn’t useful. Thinking in terms of 'this is the normal what old behaviours are habits that don’t fit, which habits or relationships need adapting, dropping or new ones need acquiring?" Is part of ‘recovery’
The realisation that’s key imho is the changes aren’t just required by you but everyone of the people you’ve had in your life before who continue after.
Thanx for the opportunity to set down words that describe my thoughts and grope towards my understanding my own journey - I hope they are as helpful to you as they are to me. Imho that’s what this forum affords us. Chance to reflect on the swerve that was in our the road
@Jayman i found it easier to explain to people the affects my stroke has had; especially the invisible ones so they know if I go quiet or have to leave early that it’s not me being difficult.
They have all been great & try their best not to exhaust me.
You’ll find it gets better in time.
@Jayman your brain is a little different now, it has to find new/different pathways around the damaged area and that can be exhausting, hence the fatigue and also the neurological responses a tad slower, hence the blanks/slow responses.
It’s only been a few months since your brain was damaged and you have to be patient with yourself, from what you say you are doing great in such a short timeframe.
Please continue to meet up with your friends and enjoy each other’s company, true friends will understand if you ask them to be patient with you. Stroke is often misunderstood, people will ask ‘are you better now’ as if you’ve had a virus, in reality you may have ongoing unseen effects for quite some time afterwards.
For me, social situations improved over time. The first year after being struck, I used to sit with my eyes closed and just listen to what people were saying but only occasionally committing myself to the conversation. I was always the one with a ready pun or bit of satire to lighten the mood of topics, but often I had to leave gatherings to get some quiet time on my own. Two years on, my brain has no problem with social situations, although I do tend to avoid deeply probing topics, especially politics.
People don’t understand what effects a stroke can have, I was a member of a committee but when I had my stroke other committee members thought I would get over it like a cold, expecting me to rise to a challenge ,the chairman had just retired, tried to say but couldn’t express myself suffering from stroke fog and weakness on RT side balance poor loss of cognitive speech. No physical signs just mental ones. I was frightened that I would give advice that was incorrect or dangerous so I decided to resign from the committee.
Sorry to say there was no recognition of my problems, perhaps I expected too much, Stroke survival is not recognised in all its forms but should be better published. Still I can now stop worrying about the committee problems and concentrate on me and mine.
Thanks for letting me get it off my chest and best wishes to each of my fellow survivors and their families
Hi Allan @Allan_4389 It’s tough isn’t it. I was a Parish Councillor when I had my stroke. Like you really struggled understanding things & felt I couldn’t offer the full capabilities needed for the role. I’m not sure the rest of the councillors understood the affect my stroke had had on me either. I took the decision to resign even though they wanted me to stay. The role was quite a stressful one on top of my full time employment so felt it was the right thing to do as don’t need any extra stress. Looking back i definitely made the right decision but it stung a bit at the time.
Hopefully if & when the time is right you might find something else you want to do.
Hi @Jayman, welcome.
As others have said it is still early and the slow responses perfectly normal post stroke.
You’ve probably noticed everything is harder than it was before and processing conversations (especially when several people may talk together) is one of the hardest things for many of us.
The good news is that it will improve over time. How much and how quickly will vary with every stroke as each one is unique. The hardest thing for most of your friends, family and acquaintances is that they can’t see a great deal of the symptoms like fatigue and mental processing. I think I may have said something similar on a different post but if you were in a car crash and had lots of facial scars then people would constantly be reminded you may have a brain injury but with stroke it’s very easy for them to forget. I am 20onths post stroke and now find a lot of this so much easier (on a good day I’ll seem much like my old self)…but the fatigue will always be a problem so you will certainly need to learn to how to manage it.
One of the things I consider to be an improvement to my life is that stroke has forced me to slow down. Everyone rushes around at 100mph trying to fill every minute of their day and burning the candle at both ends but I’m preferring a bit of a slow down.
Sorry for the long post.
Than you all, it definitely is like some of you described like a fog sometimes and yes I have done the shut my eyes thing while being spoken to it seems easier to listen to multiple conversations but relaxing at same time that way but does sometimes come across as rude I suppose. I was always very busy before definitely burning the candle at both ends my father actually said the same thing to me.
I am taking things easier these days, I realise I have t, I just find moments of frustration when things like blankness/fog kind of takes over
I hope your recoveries are going well and thank you for your advice and experiences, makes me realise I’m not alone and there are others in far worse condition than I
Thanks for your note, thought it was just me,but the support of others helps me keep grounded and not getting frustrated, i was a chef a long time ago but now i am loosing my skills, working arround the problems is hard work but mostly rewarding. Once again thank you
Dear Jayman and forum members,
I am 4+ years post-stroke and am grateful for the camaraderie that I find here. Jayman’s post regarding blankness and being unable to respond during conversations is a very timely issue for me. I thought that maybe it was just me, that my aging (combined with the stroke) has dulled my wit or made me more forgetful. What I think has happened is that the stroke has definitely impacted how I process conversations, especially when a lot is going on. [Several have alluded to the hidden scars of stroke–this is one of them.]
I am finding that I am becoming a better, more thoughtful listener and really trying hard to hang on to details. As you said, Jayman, it can be kinda frustrating and a little upsetting but keep in mind that this is your new reality and it can be fulfilling as well. Perhaps you are just now hearing and seeing what you may have missed out on before. As Ingo66 so eloquently stated, "stroke has forced me to slow down. Everyone rushes around at 100mph trying to fill every minute of their day and burning the candle at both ends." This is so true!
Thank you, every one of you, for your posts which always make me think and reflect on my own situation. As I learned early on in my teaching career “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
@Timcayer agreed. And we need the positive accentuated because the negatives get natural airing and need to be balanced
Thanx for uplifting post