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Loss of friends??

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I am wondering, does anyone else feel as if they have lost friends since having a stroke? I mean, I accept that thing will be different, since clearly there are thing I can no longer do as easy as I could before, but I am starting to feel very depressed. I feel like a lot of friends have just given up on even trying to hang out with me, and as an adult, it is not that easy to make new friends, even harder when you don't leave the house that much except for theapy or doctors appointments. It is very depressing.

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Yes, many of us find our friends move on. I'm sad to say your age group could be playing a part. People cam be very kind and supportive but long-term they just can't deal and will shy away. It is their own discomfort rather than something that is wrong with you. They often don't know what to say or do and feel helpless or bad that they don't.

 

Younger people are active and love exciting and stimulating things and we just can't handle that post-stroke. So we get passed by.

 

My suggestion is to look into a "day center" where others with similar situations gather. I went to one once and it helped fill a hole for me. Besides having socialization during the day, we also went other places enjoyment...Like an "open mic" night that was more fun than I thought it would be.

 

You can't give up on trying to make friends. Think of ways you can get out and about. Sometimes things are so hard that we can't see that there is a lot of life left for living.

 

Jamie

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I just have a close circle of freinds and all of them stayed with me. Which I feel fortunate that they have. I am not bedridden but I do have a little baggage assiocated with the stroke. Right after my stroke I could tell that they were checking to see what had changed.I am pretty good at hiding some of my defiecets. Even from my family. No one knows that my right arm and hand remain numb. If I drop something its usually because of my mis judgement and they would just think I am clumlsy. At first I could not hang with crowds very well, another nice little side effect I keep for the most part hidden. We camp alot and I am usually the one that is social even with my social disability. With my sleeping habits changed, I am up early and walking around the campground. Have gotten to know a few people that way. ( even though it is extreamly hard for me) Just keep trying different things to get you out of the house. Alot of nice peope out there!

 

Terry

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I find that if your friends are true and close friends, they will stick with you, only maybe not as often. In our case, Larry's friends from his work are the ones who still keep in touch. One co-worker use to visit 2-3 times a week. He seemed to be there almost too much. After Larry came home, we didn't see him come to visit or even phone. Some of my friends have somewhat disappeared also, only because I cannot always be around with them. It is hard to make new friends but joining a support group or church group is a good idea. Also, if you are able to volunteer somehow that may help.

 

Julie

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I think a lot of people are not sure how to act around someone who has been ill. In my experience,I find that the person ill or disabled sometimes has to take the initiative. I know, it doesn't seem fair to have this extra task placed on us, but it works. We have to reach out, make jokes and do what we can to put the other person at ease. I noticed this before my stroke with people I know who have disabilities. The ones who worked at putting the rest of us at ease had many friends, etc. I went to lunch this summer with a group of my classmates, most of whom are more casual friends. I made jokes and took an interest in their lives and one of them told me that I had made them less afraid of stroke. I thought--Good! And I had fun, too. Maybe try calling some of your friends and ask them over for coffee, etc. Joke and talk with them. My big joke is I say "at least I quit drooling!" It won't work with everyone, but I bet you'll be surprised at how many friends you still have. And everyone is right-- you will make new friends, too.

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Yes that does happen after you had a stroke it seems that people are uncomfortable around you because they don"t know what they should do in order to help. However I have found that if you have a very close and dear friends you can always talk to him or her and to work things out for you at least that's what I did.

All the best to you in finding your true friends.

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HI I LOST FRIENDS WHEN I HAD MY STROKE.I FOUND ALOT OF THE STUFF I DID PRE STROKE, I NO LONGER HAD OR COULD DO THE SAME THINGS AFTER MY STROKE. I HAVE KEPT MY DEAR AND CLOSE FRIENDS, I MADE 2 FRIENDS THAT I SEE NOW , THAT I LOST CONTACT WITH MANY YRS AGO. AND I HAVE JOINED A STROKE CLUB AND MADE MANY NEW AND WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIPS THERE. I DONT DRIVE ANYMORE SINCE MY STROKE, IM 52 AND I TAKE A SMART BUS TO MY STROKE CLUB. WE MET 1X A WEEK, THE BUS DRIVER, MARV PICKS US UP, ABOUT 6 OF US AND TAKES US TO OUR CLASS TO TALK, ABOUT EVERYDAY THINGS, OR BINGO OR LIKE LAST WEEK ABOUT 15 OF US STROKE PEOPLE WERE PICKED UP AND WE WENT OUT TO DINNER.NEXT WEEK WE LL CELEBRATE NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS AND NOVEMBER STROKE SURVIVOR. PATTY

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Lita, one day at a time!!! You are stretching your mind out to far... Family, friends they all take a hike for the most part when tragedy strikes... many don't mean to they are just unable to handle adversity themselves. so they just leave.... I't is sad and scarey. And I wish your family would be more supportive.And because you "look normal" and apparently don't have a lot of cognitve or physical deficits they think you should just be better... My husband has sever cognitive and physical deficits. but when people see him they all say If I didn't know he had a stroke I couldnt tell. Dan has mastered the the "hi how are you." and handshake.. but after that its pretty much words that only make sense to his family. like push , push ( means any forward motion or more) and click clock all is well ( which can mean all is ok or he is being sarcastic and things are not ok). of course the classic no means yes or yes means no. all that. his neuropsych says he functions basically at zero. in terms of he learns but forgets almost as quick ( unless repeated over and over). and his rt side is paralyzed so he walks with a quad cane with arm in arm assisted. But yet people say wow I'd have never known. So your looks can really fool a person. and of course you have good and bad days. so on a good day you visit with family and they think wow she is really comiong along... then the next time your not doing as well.... they are not understanding the emotional aspect of the stroke.. how it messes with your emotions., your memory, and your interpetation of information... They may not realize that you took a joke "literally" because on certain days your "cognition" is differnt than others. You are still only a year out from all the reading I have done the emotional part and cognitve part continues to "heal" for a long time.... you will see more improvement. maybe not on your time line (unfortunatley). But it will happen, you will get better. Now as far as the children go who helps out??? is your family helping ? If they are and you do not fear for your children let them ( your family) take care of them for a little while. get yourself together. quality vs quanity... which do you choose at this point? IF family is helping with the kids relinquish some of that control ( just for now). concentrate on yourself. you can't take care of the kids till you feel better. Suicide is not a answer or an option -- it would be a terrible legacy to your children... I know you are in pain ( i see it with my husband- when i see this man cry and say he is so sad)... but please understand the lifelong harm you would subject your children to. they are worth being here for. they are worth everything... let them know how much they matter - . Depression is a terrible , terrible thing. and your stroke was a terrible, terrible thing. But are you gonna let it defeat you. are you gonna let the stroke keep taking from you? from your children? NO you are stronger than that. You survived the stroke. now pick yourself up dust your self off and continue on the road to recovery. have you checked with your medical doctor or nuerologist to rule out any other physical issues ( underlying) that may be causing your depression to be worse? are you on a depression med. ( I am) as the caretaker and dan is as the stroke affected person. It is what it is.. I could not make it if I didnt take a antidepressant. Having a stroke or not having a stroke friends, family ( at times) will treat each other like crap. Friends pull away they just can't do it.... Most of my friends no longer are, dans family basically no longer are. I lost my mother during this whole stroke ordeal ( car accident while running my errands). I do have one bro and one sis 60 miles away who come periodically and support me me but can't really "help" me. I have one 15 daughter at home so there is that as well. she does help with her dad- she has been amazing that way-- but the loss(s) i have had over the last year are knee buckeling. dans stroke ,is my stroke, believe me. but my brain can still function normally ( if any of us are normal). So I have that advantage. So I can see all the friends pulling away, the complete failure dans famly is and it hurts. for you its just so devastating cause you can't always trust what you say or express yourself as well as you would like. But it will get better- i bet if you look back over the past year you can see how much improvement you have made. Its just not fast enough... But you'll get there just hang in there. Remember your kids are WORTH it so no more suicidal thoughts, or attempts. You are stronger than that... I would have given you a call but you can see I'm on nights. so it makes it difficult. but I'm more than happy to correspond with you... but if your not seeing a psychologist go and see one today. if you need meds go and get them today. If you feel suicidal go and hug your kid RIGHT NOW. you are their mother ,you have a responsiblity to them and staying alive is certainley part of that resposibility.... god bless nancyl

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yes and no. it seems as though some people i have known for years have just let me go. as though i am not worth the effort. it makes me a little sad. at the same time though, there are others who are very supportive and helpful. then there are the people i see that i used to work with, they all say i'm lookking great*: i ran into one guy that looks like death warmed over. he's had several surgeries and needs portable oxygen. i thought it was great to see him out and about.

*i remember being visited by one guy that thought my face would be mush and couldn't speak.

 

i also put effort into making new friends. i befriended my medical team at harborview(medical center).

then i made friends of the nurses and caregivers at the nursing home where i stayed. same story at the adult family home.

 

 

when i returned to my own home, i again befriended my caregivers, in addition to learning they are my sisters—in Christ.

 

and i started going to church again, making more friends,

and i am going to volunteer at the humane society so i can help make more friends ( some of them small and furry.

 

bottom line, it's sad your friends let you go, but it really wasn't your fault, and now you can let them go and make new friends.

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I had the same experience. So far only one friend has stopped by to visit. I do have one friend who texts me often to check in with me but she cant come over due to her battle with cancer. (I was one of her support/care people). I think friends feel uncomfortable with the situation. After all are we not uncomfortable with our situation as well? For me I am kinda glad my friends dont come to visit or expect me to hang out as that keeps me from having to decline an invitation or get too tired. When I get better they will be there with their arms open and hugs galore!

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The ones who are gone, it was meant to be. And I know it seems like pretty much everyone. Someone just sent me a Facebook message: Worrying does not take away tomorrow's problems, but it does take away today's peace. One day at a time, unfortunately.

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I have found that there are some who just do. Carl comes most Friday nights. I could break this down psychologically, but to what end? Bruce is important to him and we have all know each other a long time. Debi and Carole have worked with Bruce for years. Debi has known Bruce as long as I have. They enjoy their night out. And as much as their connection is with Bruce, they send me packing, always clean up the kitchen and help unloading the car if I have done shopping and all three would be here in a heartbeat if I needed it.

 

My sister, 2 hours away and in the car as soon as she hears any distress in my voice. My paid caregivers=no problem as long as I can pick them up, neither has a vehicle-lol.

 

Others? Early on I had great difficulty asking for help. And I soon found out that those that should step up honestly did not know how to. They were very uncomfortable with stroke and unlike those of us directly involved, were not able to educate themselves as to how to deal with their new person.

 

So almost three years in, I have finally learned to make the call. If they say no, really didn't change anything and I reached out and let them know they were still important to us.

 

We try and we learn. Debbie

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I lost most of my friends after my strokes and it sux. I think that I was only 37 it freaked them out a bit

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yeah feel like i pretty much lost all friends. i was ok to hang out with when i was their big body guard, had money and could drive. now however i dont even hear from them much less see them. :/

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yeah feel like i pretty much lost all friends. i was ok to hang out with when i was their big body guard, had money and could drive. now however i dont even hear from them much less see them. :/

 

I feel the same way. I don't see any of my friends. I was the one who drove, and paid for things. Now I don't hear from half of my friends. I really feel sucky tonight.

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I sometimes think the loss of friends (and family!) is about as bad as the stroke itself. Only solution, make NEW friends, but easier said than done.

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I am wondering, does anyone else feel as if they have lost friends since having a stroke? I mean, I accept that thing will be different, since clearly there are thing I can no longer do as easy as I could before, but I am starting to feel very depressed. I feel like a lot of friends have just given up on even trying to hang out with me, and as an adult, it is not that easy to make new friends, even harder when you don't leave the house that much except for theapy or doctors appointments. It is very depressing.

 

I have lost just about every friend since my stroke. I don't go outr like I used to. I am not the same person as before. I got a dog to help with the loneiness, helps some. Depression comes and goes. Just need to make new frends, something I am have relunctant to do myself. Get a new hobby,. meet some folk.

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Hi

 

I had my stroke at the age of 37. I still have residual effects on my right side with limited use of my arm and leg. As stroke survivors,

it is our job to make people comfortable around us. We must do everything we can by ourselves, and don't be afraid to ask for help when needed. Throwing away our inhibitions is crucial. People will feel comfortable around us, as long as we are comfortable around ourselves. We can all accomplish more than we think we can if we accept the fact that the results of our efforts might not produce the same results as pre- stroke. Believe me, going from an expert skier to the bunny hill is a challenge to the ego. Having a sense of humor

is a key ingredient to making people comfortable. We must be able to laugh if something is funny. Remember, someone is always worse off than we are! I am now 60 years old and I still love life! Good luck, and have fun.

 

coachscho

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Most of my friends have bailed. Only the ones that are real special to me have hung around. I have to pay someone for what I used to do. I pay $15.00US an hour. I would kill for $15.00 an hour. I can't get anybody to do work out here. We live in the country about over 10 miles away from any civilization. And, it's real hard having somebody come out this way. My friend who moved to Alaska when he retired is down here for a couple of months is helping me. Good thing, he doesn't require any pay. His Mother had a stroke and he understands how difficult for us stroke victims. Only problem, the cold chased him down here and he's going back soon. Bummer!

He'll be back. The cold has chased him back. He's gonna sell his place in Alaska and return to the Cleveland area-in a coupla of months or until he sells his home back in Alaska.

The friends I lost over the years weren't real friends anyway. I suffer from Aphasia as well which makes it doubly difficult! I still go out only once a month. We stroke patients like to go new places. It's so sad hearing of the others isolation. I just watch a lotta TV and I have a Tivo machine and I'm on the computer a lot of the time.

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I was 38 when I had the stroke, I was in my prime, life was everything I had wanted it to be (well almost) I was the person that I had always wanted to be. Stroke changed all that. I lost all the friends that I had at the time. Most came to visit me in hospital whilst I was in the coma (they did not have to try to make conversation then, did not have to hang around longer than a few minutes) and once I came home? Did not see any of them for dust. I had to drive across town to see them, which I did because I wanted to renew the friendship. That was useless, they had got on with their lives without me, filled the small gap that I had left and taking me, disabled, unemployed, fat and poor, back into their lives would have meant to much work for them, too much of an upheaval.

So I am left with a partner who does not really want me in his life, and the neighbours as acquaintances. I joined a stroke support group about 2 years after the stroke, but at 40, with most of them in the seventies or eighties, I did not want them to be my social group for the rest of my life - hanging around with a bunch of old, disabled, unemployed people with nothing to talk about but being sick, or their grandchildren.

So my social life has deteriorated to just seeing the neighbours two or three times a week, and talking to people in the same situation as myself on the Net. And, of course the physiotherapy and medical appointments, which, sadly, I look forward to. As the girl wrote in Banghok Hilton "Life Sux"

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yah i know the type... i lost all ( most ) of my friends when dan had his stroke and dan lost basically all his ( he really never was a social butterfly). my friends still sincerley care but i am just to focused on dan even if i get out for aa little bit ( ive done this once in the last six months except for work) i'm ready to just go home. the days wear me out so staying up past 11 pm just is to to much. so most my information and co-miserating is done here... to bad we do not live closer together and could help one another out. but i think the fact we jaust bolster each other is huge in terms of helping each other out... nancyl

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We are newbies. My husband had a stroke in March 2012. We are 36 and 37. We have seen almost the opposite. My husband does not have any close friends, except 1 from his childhood. He has work friends, but he does not "hang out" outside of work. I have not met any of them. Hubby kind of hopped onto my friendships, which is fine. Our friends have stepped up. My close girlfriends, have come over just to sit and watch a movie with us. When his mom was here to help, they took me out for fun and a break. His work friends called, texted and brought covered dishes for us. They have tried to take him out to lunch, but he is not ready for that.

 

If any of you has a caregiver, spouse, significant other, parent. Enlist their help to keep your friendships alive. For 2 months, I did all of the talking. I provided updates and thanks and responses to their well wishes. I kept the friendship going while he could not. The friends felt included and close. Now he is able to communicate and he talks of the future. He does not want to talk about the stroke with his friends (still upsetting to him). So, they are the curious ones who want to talk about it, not him. He talks to me and his mom. I can talk stroke all day long. Maybe I will not feel this way if this is going on 6 months, a year, 5 years down the road. Not sure. I hope that I would still be supportive. I think having a stroke shows you who your true friends are and those who were "good time" friends. The "good times" friends are not bad people, but they are not capable of being there for you if it is a bad time. Try to find just 1 or 2 and reach out to them. Be honest with them. "I need someone to talk to you. I do not expect you to solve my problems, but it can be helpful just to talk things out." Also, although your world now may revolve around stroke recovery theirs do not. So, try to be invested (as much as you are able) in their lives. How is their family, children, work, activities?" Talking about their lives may provide you with some welcome distraction. Your friends who have disappeared may surprise you. Not everyone will be a good friend, but some may be better than you know. I wish you all hope on your journey.

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Maree: I was thinking in reading your post, if you drive, maybe you could think about teaching or life style coaching, maybe at a local gym: nutrition, exercise, or short term issues through an Adult Education program in your town. Think of something you love or are good at: cooking, book reviewing, nutrition, basket weaving. Go for something non-stroke. You may have to work it in at some point, due to any disabilities you may have.

 

Local Animal shelter or rescue, help out at a consignment shop. Just something you are interested in, would get you out with people and have nothing to do with stroke. Debbie

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you have great insite for a newbie ( hahah)--- most friends will leave sooner or later and there will be ones who suprise you... dan was never a real socializer either- still isent... i miss it but then who wants to hang out with "fair weather friends" anyhow.... i agree find a new venue, you might be suprised. people who volunteer usually are the "better humans" anyhow.

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I read an article that estimated you will lose a large percentage of your friends (I believe it was 85%? sounds about right), and recommended that you find new friends that didn't know you before and won't be comparing then to now. They will accept you as you are. I am trying to follow this advice because it makes sense. You'd be amazed how many people you meet that have been through stroke or brain injury with a loved one and know as much or more about it than you. Don't dwell in the past, instead keep an open mind when you're out and about, and make a few new friends who you don't have to worry about so much.

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