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lissa22

New stroke survivor spouse/caretaker

8 posts in this topic

Hi all. My husband had a stroke in June.  It affected balance, swallowing, cognitive skills,  and  left-hand coordination but with a lot of therapy and his determination that has improved drastically.   We are blessed it wasn't worse and my heart goes out to other spouses and family caretakers who's loved one suffered a stroke at young age especially. he is 42 so we were very shocked.  My question or pose his that his emotions have been all over the place in last 3 weeks since he's been home from the hospital.  I've been scared at times due to irritability and I have been emotional wreck myself still trying to process all this that happened and life changes and due to his reactions.   Have any of you other caregivers seen iritability, unusual actions/behaviors towards you with anger, and emotional roller coaster. What did you do or where did you turn?? Advice appreciated.  Feeling sad, lonely and not cared about. -newbiePA

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Welcome Lissa! Amped up emotions are very common for a stroke survivor. Mine were for months until I was put on medicine that helped a great deal. I would fly off the handle at the least thing, with my hubs, and scream at him//cry uncontrollably. 

 

See your/his doc about this. It will help him -- AND you.

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Lissa having a stroke does different things to different people, some people  become emotional, angry, taking out their anger and frustrations ( and it is very frustrating to lose your abilities) on their nearest and dearest, some like my husband lose the emotions and seem almost emotionless at times.  Keep reading on here and you will learn a lot of what other people have been through being a caregiver.  Welcome to Strokenet, I hope you make some good friends here as  have. My husband was 47 when he had his first stroke, died four years ago aged 70 after having many more. It was a long and somewhat painful journey but I am glad we did it together.

 

Sue.

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Lissa,  It is not unusual for a stroke survivor to have emotions that are "all over the place". It's called "emotional lability",  and has both physiological and psychological causes. In short, it means that your husband is not in control of his emotions. It's like a having a switch in your brain for emotions turned "on"- he is as much at the mercy of his emotions as you are. Talk to his doc, tell him what your husband has been doing. There is medication for this, and your husband may need it to help turn that switch in is brain to the "off" position. This type of meds doesn't work right away, as it has to build up in your system to be effective. That can take 2-4 wks., so, you may want to contact his doc ASAP. I am particularly concerned because you said that his behavior sometimes scares you. If you ever feel that your personal safety is at risk, then you may have to remove yourself from the environment. While you're waiting on his meds to work, you may want to find a neuropsychiatrist for him. This kind of doc is somewhat rare, and can be hard to find, but they're experts at treating behaviors that are caused by neurological damage, such as a stroke. Ask his doc if he knows of any. Good luck with everything, Becky 

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Lissa, as a stroke victim I can assure you that the emotional outbursts are fairly common. I was a while recognising it in myself, initially  I realised that my hearing was acute, sensitivity on a knife edge and eyes unable to cope with bright sunlight. It was a while before I recognised how short my temper was and still find myself 'explosive'. I have so far managed to keep things comfortable with my wife who naturally is going to take the brunt of my behaviour but at times this takes a lot of doing.

I am extremely fortunate in as much as Valerie is very understanding of the situation and manages to calm me down when I am ready to go out with fists flying when a neighbour offends me. Fighting is the last thing I should even consider!

Please let me assure you that it does improve but like all stroke problems it is a long hard struggle.

Deigh  

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I had a stroke last December at the age of 46. I have emotional outbursts, get angry at insignificant things, am super sensitive to light and sound. I have a short temper and am learning how to deal with it. My husband is extremely supportive but I know I try his patience on a daily basis. I was recently given tablets for anxiety by my doctor and they have helped me chill out a bit. I'm waiting for an appointment for a neuropsychologist but won't be hearing from them until after summer. I'm new to all this too but I would have to say I agree with the posts above, seek help from medical professionals and from whatever other sources are available to you. 

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17 hours ago, whotheheckamInow said:

I was recently given tablets for anxiety by my doctor and they have helped me chill out a bit.

My doctor also prescribed medicine for anxiety.  They helped me control my emotions tremendously.  It took always a year but I gradually gained control.  Go to this web page for more information about it. 

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On 7/15/2017 at 8:03 PM, lissa22 said:

  It affected balance, swallowing, cognitive skills,  and  left-hand coordination but with a lot of therapy and his determination that has improved drastically

Lissa, I can tell you I had a terrible time in the beginning, I still sometimes choke, but over time and in therapy I was able to learn again and really swallow.  Same with the balance however depending on the reason of the balance, will determine when/how/if that will get better. I still have issues but I've been able to manage it WAY better than when I first entered therapy. Mine is caused by my eyes, damage to the cerebellum. So I'm still working on my eyes but I have Nystagmus ( bouncing) in both eye and are still not straight, a little doubled still. My point is I've have a lot of the same issues,  I have had cognitive behavior therapy now I'm in cognitive thinking therapy. I started 7.5 years to late but still effective. I recommend starting cognitive therapy soon for it will help with his thinking and could come in very helpful during his recovery.It's only been a few weeks. Recovery often takes a long time. Most family, caregivers, spouses that think that after a stroke,  their loved ones will bounce back after a few weeks. He is doing a lot of recovery, unfortunately, most of his recovery is being done "behind the curtain." He is doing his very best and yes, it is stressful for you, I can't even imagine how you must feel right now but know he isn't happy with this change either.

 

I'm so glad you came here for just because you are a caregiver/spouse it's so important to give yourself 'de-stress time'. Come here on Tuesday nights 8-9pm*est and chat with other caregivers that understand the struggles you have. The most important thing is ** IT'S OK TO TAKE ME TIME** I know that there will be times that you will feel guilty for doing something for yourself but it's assurance to keep your mental stability. It works both way for I know for me, when I was left alone, I felt like "finally free time" but of course it became better for me once I figured new ways to do my regular tasks.

 

I had my stroke at 34 so I understand the frustrations of life after stroke on top of being young. As some have stated before, emotional outbursts are very common and difficult at times. Even before the stroke, I had a hard time with anxiety.  I did and do take mood stabilizers, and cognitive behavioral therapy helps out alot. Some people can handle emotions without using meds but I could not so they were a life savior. Like Steve said ::

8 hours ago, smallory said:

.  Go to this web page for more information about it. 

check out this website. I hope to meet you on Tuesday and possibly when./if your husband wants to visit  

 

Kelli:smile:

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