The stroke hangover

I was having a little think in the bath yesterday at how jarring stroke can be. It’s quite staggering how it affects our personality, not just the physical and mental, but sense of character. Before stroke, I was a fairly windswept individual. I had a rugged mindset. I could weather most elements in life, be they literal or figurative. If I were lost, I could agreeably wander for hours until finding my bearings, I could shelter anywhere I pleased, and would agreeably put up with any estrangement. I could suffer a cold bath, wet socks, prolonged queuing, domestic calamities, periods of hunger, and anything else life wanted throw at me. I feel a bit like going from Indiana Jones to Gandalf in a matter of years. Or I’ve suddenly reincarnated from Tom Baker to William Hartnell in the blink of an eye. Please don’t get the wrong impression, I was no action man before having a stroke, in fact, I was fairly risk adverse and a comfort seeker, but my mind was always ready to adapt to circumstance should any situation require it.

I feel this stroke hangover, where my once gritted resilience and propensity to handle life in a ductile manner has been reduced to an overly prudent and self-preserving way of life. It’s not necessarily a negative, but what a change. No more traipsing around in that nonchalant manner I had become accustomed to. I plan every move now. I’ve gone from Hungry Hippo to Chess. I do feel a bit of pressure to keep up with the Joneses. I sometimes wonder how much more people around me will endure of my limitations, and I am always finding fresh ways to be indispensable, mostly for my own peace of mind.

Recently, in a moment of sincerity, my partner admitted that she had hated my shuffling. I had acquired hypometria after stroke which lasted for about a year. At first I was a bit disheartened by such a strong word, but then I understood that I was a mess, and no one likes to look at a mess. She would have witnessed her capable and active partner become a mere shadow of his former self. Perhaps, also, dismay of her own mortality might have been gnawing at the back of her mind. There’s the length of a Hadrian’s wall between acceptance and lumping something. If someone is frustrated by something someone else does that cannot be helped, imagine how the person suffering it feels.

So, I lay in the bath, weighing up the pros ands cons of post stroke, some cancelled each other out, but some were blatantly at odds with each other. But there is certainly a stroke hangover that I feel day to day, especially when I am drunk on feeling capable and pushing myself only to be afflicted by days of disability.

On other matters … I have finally reached a great accord with my pet circle. Much to my chagrin, the other evening, when I went to sit down to have some “animal free” time, and found myself sitting like this.

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@Rups i totally get it Rups. Some days the hangover feeling can out weight what I can achieve in my day.

You are well loved by your 3 pets. Which is a great feeling :hugs::hugs: and by all of us. Thank you for sharing send hugs :hugs:

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@Rups well said. I often find myself saying to my husband if you don’t like it imagine how I feel. This is usually after i’ve shuffled the gravel around on the drive once again as my foot doesn’t lift. He often remarks things like i can always see where you’ve been today.

As for the pets…Your pets love you see…they just need to be with you no matter what :grin::grin:

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Like you Rups I wish people could understand how we feel. I think that is the most frustrating part of the stroke. People say, oh don’t you look well…grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…I could physically punch them.
Anyway, take care, at least we are all not alone in this, thank god for this site.

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Evening @Rups. Thanks for these musings. I am so grateful for you sharing this knowing that it’s not just my head that this stuff plays around in. You are well loved whether you like it or not by your furry family. Julia x

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That is such an eloquent post. I will definitely be using this one " I’ve suddenly reincarnated from Tom Baker to William Hartnell in the blink of an eye." to try to explain what it feels like

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Yes Yups that rings bells with me, still have a great relationship with partner of 40 odd years but feel like The Little Mermaid some days .The last year have made myself more aware of the little thing I can do to help things run more smoothly but still get upset over misunderstandings and minor justifiable criticisms.
This hangover head with nobs on just can’t be explained to someone who’s never experienced one.

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Every move you make
Every step you take
Every word you say
I’ll be watching you

The song by Police, but not necessarily in the right order :wink:
But it’s me watching me! I’ve never observed my so closely and for so long as I have this past 2 years. Constantly on the lookout for every nuance in speech or movement I make.

You look at yourself and your life in a whole new way, adjusting and adapting every step of the way. You don’t just take so much for granted anymore. You make the most you can with what you’ve got now and learn to love the new you.

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Hello Rups,
You write beautifully.
Having suffered a serious stroke myself I concur my whole viewpoint / outlook on life has changed
Occasionally my former self can be glimpsed
Life is tough for all, the main thing is that we live.
Thx for writing., Roland

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Diolch yn fawr @pando, feels good to air my thoughts sometimes, especially when I find myself steeping in them. Indeed, we live. My declaration, to others, soon after being struck, was that I was at least breathing and coherent.

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Bore da @EmeraldEyes, I do like a bit of Sting when I am in the mood. Aye, adjust and adapt, a learning curve for sure. I continuously monitor myself throughout the day, checking my vision and wobbles for this and that sign, keeping track of fatigue, trying to spot improvement, and checking in with my frame of mind.

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We are so self absorbed, aren’t we :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I really understand we’re you are coming from and think this is our all us stroke survivors feel most days a stroke is like bombshell it lands without warning in most cases and leave you with world as you knew destroyed blown apart and it takes a lot of time energy and mental endurance on daily bases but I found that you have to break everything down into small sorts to take each step at a time and like building blocks you slowly put things together have make small achievements to reach your final goal and as you know we have good days and lots bad days along this road of stroke recovery but with have to learn to re just to managing things in smaller steps as everything we knew before as been taking apart everyday mundane things have become obstacle so yes it’s very frustrating both fiscally and mentally but learn to hold on good moments and let go of bad ones which will only destroy you fiscally and mentally it’s not easy but at times life can be like that for everyone but when you achieve any goals not matter how small celebrate this moments take care all best Kaz61

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