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stessie

What did stroke rob from you?

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With stroke we lose friends, dignity, self-confidence, short-term memory, long-term memory, the ability to drive, energy, the ability to work, and etc.

I'm missing a lot...please jump in and add to this list. We have much to be thankful for but there are also some things to mourn.

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Stess, you pretty much said it all, no offense most of us have got this far now that we should not dwell on the past and go forth with our new life,everytime I think of that day I get a sickly feeling & also if I think of what I miss I will get upset, so I rather move along to each new achievement I make,is a new milestone for me!

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Hi Stessie: Good Post my friend and I think it will truly help those newcomers we receive who are feeling those very emotions but can't get a grip on it. As they travel their journey, they will move past them and learn to appreciate what recovery they have gotten.

I wanted to share something I had written the first year after my rehab and all. I haven't read it for years since the day I was in this spot. I stroked Nov 2003, I was in rehab 2004 and I had written this in Feb of 2005. I think I got the dates correct, I looked over paperwork that I kept. Anyway, the dates don't really mean a lot as the content of my words is what is important. When I read your post, I immediately thought of this poem and the spot I was in ... Wow, how far I have traveled. I also agree with you, I had a "funeral" for the things that I lost and died from the old me. That really did help me to move forward and since it was a funeral, I didn't have to go back to that spot ever again. I travel or I try to travel with positive thoughts, happy thoughts, happy days, be the best I can be. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and get through. I just take each second at a time.

Phil, I can see your point as well Mate. I guess what is good for a person is what counts. We are all a snowflake, we are all different and unique and there are no two alike.

We each have a mind of our own, just realize we are SURVIVORS, We all are wonderful people. We have self worth, we are loving and we all have a special Guardian Angel watching over us that holds us in his loving arms. If it wasn't for God, I truly don't know where I would be today.

Ok, here is my poem.

 

 

 

Who Am I Now?

 

So much has happened, so much is still unknown

The person I am now is not who I once one

Where did she go and why?

Six months ago my life took a really big change

 

Apparently, I've hurt people and it was not

meant to happen

I've always strived on being someone sincere

and one who really cared

I can't stand being in my own skin

So how can I expect others to want to

spend time with me either

 

God, I've loved you and have always strived

to be the daughter you intended me to be

But now I don't know which way to turn

 

So many changes

so much stress and frustration

I wish others would look at what and

who I am now and what I am going through

I wouldn't wish this on a single person

 

So many tears have been shed

Such sadness I have felt

I've lost the person I once was

and miss the life I once had

 

I know deep within my soul

I would never have made it thus far without

Jesus, for he's my all

 

The damage that my body has taken

The strokes have really done their job

especially that darn BrainStem Stroke

My eye sight have suffered and I can

no longer drive my car

Being a person who always was there

for my friends and volunteer work

and now I'm the one whose in need

I know my faults

I'm demanding, aggressive and it seems

I'm so "Needy" but I also

know how to show grateful thanks

Now it just seems I can't seem to do anything right!

 

I don't like being so needy and not having a say

I don't like not being able to do for myself

and having things in my normal way

I don't know God but I do know one thing

You have the reason and rhyme of this

and in your timing, it will surely be revealed

Yes, I miss my old self

But I have no choice but to keep looking forward

 

I look in the mirror and don't like what I see

So much time I've lost for I don't seem to

remember a blasted thing!

 

Have I expected to much from my family and friends?

I didn't mean to do so....

I am so down in the dumps

Dr. Collinson says it's an "Open Heart Surgery Depression"

which is a normal thing so he says

But I can't stand to be so negative

I find no joy in my life these days

I miss being able to get up and walk when

it was easy as a breeze

I miss my normal eyesight

and being able to cook and clean

Simple things such as doing my laundry

and doing errands

Even walking to the mailbox to get the mail

I feel I have no purpose anymore in life

It seems these days, I can't do anything right

 

I meant for this to be a poem

but instead, it has become a "Letter From My Heart"

I will reread it from time to time

I will e-mail it to my special friends

as a way to really open up and send it

right away to God

But I have a feeling, he already has read it

I feel he's right here beside me watching me

Yes, I'm sorry so very sorry for anything I

have done, for any hurt feelings I have caused

I truly appreciate all anyone has done

from a simple phone call to a card that was sent

It didn't matter what was done

For it meant so much to me and really meant a lot

The visits, the love and care helped me get through

it all

Well, this letter it just about done

Let me say Goodbye and I hope you will maybe

understand where I'm at right here and now

 

Written with Love,

Jan

2/25/05

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Stroke robbed me of my personality, social skills, my friends, my good looks, my future, my short term memory, my confidence and my respect. I have managed to learn a few of these things again through trial and error, but some things may never return fully. I dont get the respect I use to, and I completely understand why, but I dont always want people to treat me differently. Life after stroke can be torture

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Strokes took from me the ability to eat "cheese fries" with bacon and scallion bits. Don't forget the ranch dressing. Fried chicken with skin. Twizzlers. Uhhhhh, more cheese fries......Margueritas.......Nacho's and cheese and all the other dripping grease stuff. 60-80 hour work weeks. Yelling and time lines from superiors.

 

What I gained !!!!! A new outlook on living....There is a life after working.....Birds have colors...Grass is greener and is fabulous to watch grow. My new true friends I have gained in strokenet that will never desert me....

A sense of life assisting others with brain injuries......Daily uses to figure out where to put my stroke arm and leg.....Try and understand how my leg does this goofy limp. Walking and greeting other stroke survivors just by knowing they walk like you.

There is so much I gained, but you have to get out or to a window. Did I mention cheese fries?

 

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Hi, Stessie:

 

I love this question because while, yes, we should be thankful we survived and made it this far, StrokeNet is the perfect (only) forum where everyone understands about stroke and its frustrations. I'm a firm believer that when you have a bad day, feel angry about stroke or need to vent, by all means, get it out!

 

I'm almost three years post. If you looked at me and spoke with me, you would never know I had a stroke. But, stroke robbed me of my self-confidence pretty badly. It replaced a quiet contentment with fear. I hate that I am so fearful of and nervous about everything since that day. We've all experienced a lot of loss with this monster, whether it be our former selves, friends or jobs. Some days are better than others. I was beginning to feel empowered for a while post-stroke until I was laid off my job in August '08. I've been on the roller coaster of emotions since then. Although it may or may not be stroke-related, I can honestly say that going into the very few interviews I've had that I'm nowhere near the confident person I was pre-stroke. And, I do miss that pre-stroke girl with the spitfire attitude. . .but I think that the compassionate and empathetic person I've become post-stroke is a better human being. Sometimes, I'm not sure it's a better trade-off, but it's what I've got.

 

Thanks for posing the question.

Karen

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I am a bit "torn" on how to answer this question. Yes stroke took things from me. I can no longer do a job I loved. I was also given advice here from another member

"Don't compare yourself to "pre stroke" compare how you are today, to how you were a day or 2 or a week "post" stroke. The Event happened. no one asks for it. but it happened.

 

I can't run and play badminton or soccer with the grandkids..... but what we do now, are read books, walk through the garden, find bugs, plant flower seeds. Do arts and crafts, color pictures... these are special times also. Stroke made me work hard to re-learn and appreciate the thiings I can still do. I am also 6 years older than when stroke entered my life.. Illness , heartattacks, cancer.... all kinds of things "hit" people. With stroke we get a chance .. we slow down.. not by choice usually, but we adapt and learn to do things differently.

 

Life is still good, I will not let it rob me. I still have much life to live, I have much I can give. Take time to grieve, yes we have lost some abilities to do things the same, but we can be inventive and adaptive. We still live, love, laugh. Life is still worth living and enjoying.

 

I found this site and have met wonderful people , I would have never known. I get the word out about stroke to others, People who meet me, are learning.. not all strokes are the same.. and there is recovery .. yes there are things I miss, but I try to focus on the things I can do and enjoy.

 

Bonnie

 

 

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Excellent topic Stessie. I lost me on 1-1-05. The me who worked full time in social services helping families straighten out their lives and to be able to parent their children once again. I also ended up losing the townhome I was purchasing as I had to hurry and sell before foreclosure hit me (darn mortgage company). I lost close friendships with co-workers and former friends/staff from when I was a department supervisor with another company (left that position merely 5 months before stroke). I also lost the ability to go out dancing and enjoying outings with friends. I had to medically retire from my type A personality as well.

 

Those days are gone - I cannot change the past, I cannot reverse the impact that stroke has had in my life. I now have today and must realize that I am blessed to still be above the ground walking - though I look like a penguin. I was given another chance at life to be with my daughter and see her mature, see her obtain her first part-time job, see her excelling in high school, be with her as she plans her future of attending college. I was given another chance to spend my days with my beloved cat, Crystal and to acquire another furbaby/kitten, Lili Marie, and watch her grow into an adult cat (though she is a brat LOL).

 

I was given the opportunity to find and join The Stroke Network where I have been a volunteer for 2 years now. I have made friends who understand and support me - for me - they don't care that I walk like a penguin, type one-handed, and have daily aches and pains as a result of being smacked up along side my head by stroke.

 

I have been brought to a place where I can deeply appreciate friends and family, including my cyber friends/family. I was given another chance to live life, enjoy life though different. I am now closer with my God than I ever was as before I realize I took Him for granted. Now I thank him daily for sparing me and not taking me Home just yet.

 

Granted daily living remains a challenge at times but it could be worse. I can walk when I was told I would not ever get out of a wheelchair. My affected leg is getting stronger. My arm is getting stronger as well though it and the hand remain in need of excercise and strengthening.

 

To all the newbies who read this and to those who "need" encouragement - keep at it - don't let stroke win over you - please PLEASE remember you are a SURVIVOR.

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As far as "me and my stroke" you covered it, but I imagine if you lose a loved one it's a bit different. I did lose friends, ability to walk unassisted, everything else I manage fairly well as I did before my stroke. Like work, eat, have sex.

 

Or did I miss your meaning? I jumped in, that's my list!

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Well Stessie, I've never thought I was pretty or beautiful, but dog gone it, I always thought I was sexy in my heels! I could style my hair well too. Both of these important abilities I lost or at least have become minimally proficient at doing. ^_^ I still wear pretty lounging clothes and always wear my lipstick, perfume and cologne everyday. I still date so I guess I'm doing ok, but just this past weekend I attended a banquet and attempted to wear small heels but alas, alak my ballerina flats had to do. I did get several compliments though. All kidding aside, I think my stroke stole a piece of my glamour which I never took seriously anyway but just thought it was fun. In my reality now, I still have fun with it though I mourned over getting rid of my heels when I moved about 3 weeks ago. I did keep a few pair . . . just in case . . . there's always that chance . . . cuz recovery still continues . . .RIGHT! :cocktail:

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Thank you for your responses. I have enjoyed reading them. We definitely mourn and then move on.

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I lost me. I find things that remind me of me, it is not the same. Part of me wants me back and part of me is content to grow with what remains. What I know is every time I concentrate on what I lost that day I end up losing many thiings I value the most about the courage of the new me. I think I am getting comfortable in my new skin and content. I am ever grateful to the Lord that I am here to bless and be blessed by those whom I love and those who love me. Karen

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Hi Stessie.....

 

I lost certain of my physical abilities, sometimes a short term memory, and stamina.....

The State pulled my driver's license..

 

What I gained...well, it was forced upon me.... was a new way of life....

 

I reference back to the day after my stroke as a starting point....and life has moved me a long way...

 

I look forward to what else it might bring....

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Great question. As a caregiver, stroke robbed me of a Mother who was independant, who could take care of herself and sometimes of me. However, it gave me the opportunity to take care of her, to be more physically and emotionally present in her life, and to ensure that she truly understands how much I love her.

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[/b Right after suffering my stroke blood clot to my brain Biggest suspect use of the drug Vioxx for 3 years before my stroke. Taken for a spinal cord injury suffered in 1998. It worked great less pain less powerful narcotic drugs needed to control constant pain. Ya everything was fine until the morning of July 4th 2003 when a tiny clot skipped through my arteries and lodged in my brain. What did my stroke rob from me? Everything Dude, I mean everything. Thank God that perception finally began fade and friends, family and fellow strokenet members helped to make me realize that it isn't the stroke that robs us but rather it is what we feel we could never have lived without that actually begins to come like a thief in the night and begins to rob us.I would love to say that everything went perfect with my recorvey, alas it was not to be. Bouts of serve depression doged me likw an angry ex wife that hasn't recieved her alimoney check yet. I tried suicide ended up in the local mental health facility and finally opted for eltro shock therapy. Nothing seemed to help finally my shrink said listen I'll be honest organic depression, depression thatis caused by a TBI brain injury such as my stroke. Are more more difficult to deal with. Knowing my medical history tri- althlete finished 15th in the 2001 Iron- man compation in Hawaii. Graduated with honors from Columbia University in 1971. He continued I know you're no quitter but the more time you dwell what you've lost the less likely it is that you will ever recover it. All right I'm off the soap box. I joined StrokeNet in November 2003 membership no. no.38. Now I believe there are close to 10,000 members. I will be a member until I draw my last breath. With this Organizatios support and some hard work and soul searching of my own, I can now for the first time say in all honesty my stroke stole nothing rather it allowed me to continue to live with a much more intune person. Namely myself.

 

Remember that goals and destinations are very important but the journey is where one learns. Ctaylor

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Guest electric Heart

What a great question.

Let's see, peace of mind, feeling on one side, ability to have an orgasm, coordination, confidence, self-esteem.

love,

Ally

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Among other things I miss my bladder control and my ability to walk a straight line without losing my balance or the fear of losing my balance.

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I lost Greta and what made me me.

Greta

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