What someone needs in the early stages

Hi everyone. First of all I’m so glad I found this forum.
My partner had a stroke last Friday caused by a tear in the artery. He’s still in the recovery part of the hospital after surgery to remove some of his skull to allow for swelling. He can talk but uses few words and hasn’t got movement on his left side. He’s 34 years old and was the picture of health before this.

My question to you all is what did you need from your loved ones in the early stages? Sometimes I talk to him or read to him but other times I’ll be quiet because I might be annoying him.

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You just need to be there in a supportive way. Hand holding and reassurance that you care is essential. Encourage him that he will get home and that things will improve. Expect him to be emotional and tearful. At the same time he will be somewhat ‘out of it’ and need rest. Music might help but let it be your partner’s decision.

My stroke was over six years ago, but I remember those early days vividly. I’m sorry this has happened at such a young age. Make sure you get support too.

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Many of us went largely without visits as it was the covid era.
It is much better to get visits from those we know and love.
It will be difficult for you to get to grips with what is going on, but the stroke association provides leaflets which will give a good idea of what is happening and what you can expect.

So you have made a good start, you are there for him at a time when he really needs you.
The experience, for him, is scary, unreal, strange, not anything he expected, so you are giving him something familiar to hold on to.
The second thing you have done is to find this forum, we will do what we can to support you and him in a journey that is going to continue for longer than at the moment you would imagine.

Don’t expect to find ‘the best answer’ each stroke produces different results and different ways of doing and different time frames. It is here that others in that similar situation can help you deal with things.

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@Itsanadventure hello and welcome to our forum. I am so sorry to hear your partner aged 34 has suffered a stroke at such a young age. Young is good he will be able to gain strength and fight.

I second everything @Bobbi and @John_Jeff_Maynard have said. We are here for you and will support and give our answers of our recovery, hopefully things will settle down for you both when he is home and he will go from strength to strength.

Emotional and disbelief is what I remember 16 months ago. Topped by numbness and dizziness. Patience is what you are going to need. I hope this helps and I wish a speedy recovery best wishes Loraine

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Hi @Itsanadventure , really sorry to hear of your partner’s stroke. Don’t know if you are aware of Different Strokes charity for younger survivors? Personally I prefer these forums as they are much easier to navigate if (like me you don’t use Facebook)…
Not that I’m trying to say that none of us are young! I’m 56 which I thought was young for a stroke but have since found there are many younger than me.

In regards to your question I think just having you come in an sit/talk to him will be a big help. It is a very confusing time for him and as others have said his emotions will be all over the place for a while. I was laughing and crying in all the wrong places so don’t be surprised or offended if it happens.

I didn’t find these forums untill a few months after my stroke but they were and still are a godsend

You will have lots of questions over the coming weeks and months and will probably get clearer and more helpful answers here than perhaps from doctors (in regard to everyday life after stroke). So please ask away and someone will help.

Don’t forget to look after yourself as well because it will affect you too.

Good luck and try to stay positive. He’s young and should recover well.
Mark

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Hi so sorry to hear of your partner’s stroke at such a young age. Do have a look at Different Strokes.co.uk a UK Charity providing a unique service to younger stroke survivors and their families.

One thing I vividly remember about the early days, was sometimes being over whelmed by too many visitors. My husband actually asked people to stay away for a while at one point.
We are here to help, so feel free to ask about anything and I’m sure someone will be able to offer some help and guidance.

Take care of yourself and stay strong.
Regards Sue

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Hello and welcome @Itsanadventure. Sorry you have reason to be here. Just be there for him. Familiar faces, reassurance, familiar food if his swallowing is OK and it’s allowed. Visiting was the absolute highlight of my day. I was quite young at 50, caused by a traumatic tear to an artery (internal carotid). I lost left side movement but it slowly returned over the first few weeks. A year on I have not regained fine motor control of my left hand but I can do most things I put my mind to. All strokes are different however. Wishing you both strength to navigate this time, Julia

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Hi @Itsanadventure welcome, though so sorry to hear about your partner having had a stroke.

Support, encouragement and understanding is what is required. Being there is important, though as others have mentioned visiting time could be overwhelming,I didn’t have visitors, due to covid.

It’s hard to take it all in yourself, loved ones too go through the mill, it’s a balancing act and could be for a while. Be patient with him and be kind to yourself, you will need a little TLC yourself.

There’s lots of advice and support to be gained from this forum, the Stroke Association and Different Strokes.

Best wishes to you both

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@Itsanadventure welcome to the forum although sorry to.hear your partner has had a stroke at a very young age.

When I had my stroke I wasn’t able to have visitors & it made the days very long. Having said that I was so exhausted in the early days i was ok with not having visitors.

Just being there for him providing support and encouragement will be a massive help. Try & encourage him to do things & resist the temptation to do it for him. My husband often would take over if I took too long over something & it drove me mad.

Sounds like you’re doing all the right things already.

Maybe start to think about changes you might need to make at home to make things easier but that isn’t your priority at the moment.

Look after yourself too. It will be important.

Best wishes

Ann xx

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Try to get to your local stroke association meeting with your partner and carer.it was great to meet and talk to people who know the path you are about to tread, this forum is a godsend but seeing survor s in an operational state is an inspiration

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Thanks everyone! It’s one day at a time for me. Sometimes I’m really practical and interested in the science, others I’m emotional but I expect that.

I’m happy to know that being there is the most important because that’s all I can really do but it gives you this feeling of uselessness. I’ll try my best to do the whole self care thing but at the time being I have to be there.

It’s also nice to know everyone is happy to answer questions. I’m sure I’ll have more than I can even remember.

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My husband stayed with me the whole time I was in the hospital. (That was before Covid.) They had a little chair/bed by my bed for him. That really helped to alleviate the fear of the whole situation. So, I know that the most time you can spend by your partner’s side would be helpful. Just to have my husband near was a comfort, even if we didn’t talk. As I got better, we played cards together, watched TV, read etc. It whiled away the otherwise boring hours when I wasn’t doing rehab. Your partner will go through many different stages on the road to recovery, so I hope you’ll contact this website as you go through this. There are many people here with good ideas that have walked your road. I’ll remember you and your partner in my prayers tonight. :slightly_smiling_face: :heart:Jeanne

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Patience is what I needed as I had none with myself, reassurance and encouragement and time on my own every now and then to allow me to process what had happened or just to scream and cry without feeling I’d upset someone else for doing it. Everybody is different and deals with situations very differently but I’m sure what we all experienced is the pure exhaustion that the smallest task caused. We are all here for you both x

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We’re 8 days in now and he has some days he’s alert and some days I might see him alert for an hour. He’s got zero filter when it comes to profanities but the nurses seem to be used to it. If he looks sleepy I just quietly sit.

He’s asked me what happened on the morning of the stroke and asked how bad he looks so he’s more aware each day. I notice tiny things like he itches his nose, burps and sneezes now.

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What is happening to him, also what is happening to you, is a drawn out adjustment to the event and the effects it has.
From the point of view of the hospital it is a continuing assessment, where treatment is adjusted according to the findings. The first things that are addressed are issues that are or can become life threatening. The human body is very complex and the brain manages and controls its functions. In many ways a stroke is random so affected areas are equally random. Some of these will not be obvious and it can take some time before they are observed and an attempt to treat is put in place.

You will see that you are both in the middle of a process that takes some time. After around two months what your particular case needs in the form of treatment and stability will be much closer to being resolved.

What this means is taking everything day by day and not expecting too much information in terms of what the future might hold. As far as you are concerned, there are changes and adjustments that you will get used to. Your support from now on will be something he will need but if he is like me he will easily become conflicted and start seeing himself as a ‘burden’. Sharing the load with others can help.

So after 2 months, you ain’t done yet. Make the effort to put on a smile and continue. You’ll now be dealing with the practical aspects of life and doing various forms of rehabilitation, relearning stuff that has suddenly become difficult. Learning that not only the way that stroke affects each of us differently but also that making progress with it can progress at different speeds. That guy over there is walking around after just a few days, the other guy on the bed next to him has never got up and only seems to sleep all day. This is another time when support is what a stroke survivor uses to strengthen and continue.

After three months you ain’t near the finishing line, so someone out there cheering you on is what you need to hear. Four months, five months, six months, so much change but still a stroke survivor.
Look through posts in this Forum you’ll see the weeks and months turn into years. You’ll build what it all turns into together.

I suppose what I am trying to say that what you will need both now and in the future is time.
Give yourself and him time to kick back and relax, to smile. There will be plenty of demands for effort, but a chance to rest will give you a time to repair.

Don’t forget that this Forum is here. There will always be an ear to listen here. You won’t be judged. Please make use of it as you find your way through what has been thrown at you.

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Thanks Bobbi. It’s exactly like that. You can’t help but compare him to the other people on the same ward and nobody seems to be giving any information. Whereas on the ICU, you had more information than you could process.

Life for me is getting better though. My appetite is back and I’m getting more sleep. I can also do things at the hospital instead of just staring at anything he does so I take that as a good sign.

Just in case nobody ever told you guys, you’re awesome.

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@Itsanadventure many thanks for the praise. We will accept any amount of that ! ! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

But, awesome, you are too ! !

I’ll speak here on behalf of your man, if he hasn’t said it himself, as far as he is concerned then if it is awesome we are talking about, it is you he will immediately think of and you he is looking forward to seeing at each visit. :smiley:

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My husband has told me that my visit is the highlight of his day and when I am not there he is very lonely. I love the praise but get anxious when I think about how alone he feels. Like everyone in his ward he wants to come home. I know it will be a challenge but I hope it happens soon.

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@H5JHR you will be anxious and your husband. Just letting you know we are hear to listen. Best wishes Loraine

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@H5JHR
The hospital will only keep him until the stroke is stabilised and he has reached a level fit to cope with whatever environment he is released. They won’t keep him any longer than necessary. Encourage him to communicate with the others in the beds around him. A bit of chat like that, a moan, a groan, a laugh, all help things along. Of course he will miss home but he can if he wants make the best of a bad job and he’ll have something to tell you when you visit.