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Twice today (and numerous other times) I was told not to overthink.  What they don't realize is, anytime I think, I overthink.  That's HOW I think now.  

 

How do you explain to people?  I had my stroke 6 1/2 years ago and, just in the last year or so, have been going to Speech Therapy.  It has been quite an adventure.  I didn't have any physical effect from my stroke, just cognitive stuff.  And then, not all the time.  From the beginning I could walk and talk, but I was cloudy.  

 

Sometimes now it seems that I'm worse now that I'm realizing how much affects me and throws me off.  Does this make sense to anyone?

 

A have so many questions.  Some are answered when I read  through the topics but then a little different too. Why is it so hard to get thoughts out?  They are there, I can hear them in my head.  When I go to type, nothing. I'll stare at the screen trying to figure out how to start.  

 

I look forward to getting to know people here and friendship that understands.

 

 

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Karen,

 

  I has been a long time since you been here. Welcome back..

 

I agree with you that we 'over think' it . how else do I do it? I have to  really think anymore to do anything.

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If you have cognition problems this probably won't help but maybe there's a reverse variant of it.  I tend to concentrate too hard ( i.e over think) when walking even though my motor skills are starting to return to automatic, so my trainer gets me to think about something else when she wants to do a gait check so she'll get me to count out load in odd patterns, which lets the automatic systems take over and relaxes my gait.  I would guess the opposite way for you would be to do something physical when you need to work on speech.  Maybe see what happens if you walk while doing your speech exercises?

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Hi Karen, it's very nice to meet you.

 

It's been a lot of years since my strokes when I was 34, but I can easily relate to what you're saying.  My deficits were severe aphasia and cognitive issues (still some residuals).  I think it takes a while for the "brain fog" to wear off, and that's when we begin to realize the challenges we're facing.  

 

You asked "Why is it so hard to get thoughts out?"  "Why do you overthink?"  I know that both Kelli and I face this at times....I think perhaps it happens when our brains are just overtired, and despite wanting to try, the effort is too much.  The thoughts that are on your mind that you can't write when you want to, sounds like a form of aphasia; when I knew the words I wanted to say, I had great difficulty to verbally express it.  You may want to check with your speech therapist about this.  "How do you explain it to others?"   Sorry, Karen, I've stopped attempting to do that.

 

A strange thing that still happens to me:  After writing something, I proofread it (doesn't mean I catch all my mistakes, lol) and I'll come across a word I used and start questioning myself "Is that really a word??"   I can't leave it until I check the computer dictionary!  

 

So, it's a bit bizarre, lol.  (And I just checked "bizarre")   After this many years, I don't let it bother me much.  I find out the words are alright, and get on with life....Life has many joys and that's all that really matters, right?

 

Wish I could help you more, Karen.  All the best, :hug:

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Karen, When I started rehab after my stroke, I just did, or tried to do, whatever they said. Now, I pause, just thinking about the task, or asking questions. The reasons for the difference between then and now are that now, I have a  knowledge of my deficits, and a history of incomplete movements and falls. I'm less confident-- just because I did something yesterday, does not mean that I can do it today. "OVERTHINKING?" Maybe. But it's one of the things you learn to do when you can't trust your body/mind to consistently do what you want them to do. JMO.  Becky

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Becky,

I do the same thing for the same reason, I'm never sure if I will perform the task. Last weekend I got up off the bed to rub my wifes aching feet and just fell face first onto the bed where I knocked a lens out of my glasses. Couldn't walk and ended up having to fix my glasses. Oh, yes my wife did get her foot rub it was just delayed a bit.

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Thank you everyone!!  As I read each person's post I want to comment on each one.  Here's the overthinking....do I reply to each one or try to address everyone in one post?  Each one is a little different and room for more discussion.

 

 

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Karen, Nice thought answering everyone individually but it isn't necessary!

I am two and a half years past my stroke and have had to call for help with my speech recently. I can talk and everyone tells me I'm doing well but I'm still very embarrassed with how I sound. Walking is fairly comfortable for me and I usually cover a couple of Kilometers a day. My fingers are pretty active and flexible but still lacking in strength. I work pretty hard every day at improving them still.

Welcome to the club.

Deigh    :hi:

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Karen,

My brain injury was in May 2013, so I am 4 years out.  I face mostly cognitive issues.  Impaired verbal working memory, slow processing, short term memory kind of stuff.  I had seizures at first but they have passed.

 

I can come across confident and competent in conversation... most of the time.  So people don't readily realize I have an injury, or it's impact of the stroke.  Then, I try to recall a specific memory from the past and I stall often.  Eventually it usually comes.  Or, I'll have a conversation with my wife/other, and later in the day/week have no recollection of it.  Or, as is often the case, a false memory.  I can't recall people I have met.  When tired I get worse.  At time when talking I repeat a word or phrase.

 

So to your points, and those of others...

1. Now I try to explain myself less and less. One thing that has helped me is that I no longer need to care what others think.  I have income, a place to live, a wife to help where I can't, and love of my family.  As long as I am not mean or unfair to another, it just does not matter what they think.  I just do the best I can with out thinking (as I would have at work) I have to be on my game and impress them.  So communicating with others is now less stressful with that mindset.

2. I realize I am getting worse over time (per Neuropsych testing).  I still try to do things and when it goes well I wonder if I am able to return to work.  Then my wife in a nice way points out clear evidence I can't.  I used to get so frustrated at what I could no longer do.   I still try to do things, but am forgiving of myself when I fail partially or completely.  So like you, I feel things are (actually are) worse.  But I still keep trying.  I think after these years I am accepting my reduced abilities.

3. I used to be a very strong contributer in high tech.  Now I am not.  It took a great deal of introspection to have a new identity as I identified with work very strongly in the past.  Now it is more about relationships than "work objectives".  Realizing/accepting my new identity was a huge step forward for me.

4. Like your typing experience (thoughts not coming forward), I can have that talking. I can't get a thought to come forward or a memory.  My conversation stops then.  Now I find I am calm, and wait for it instead of getting anxious and stressed waiting.  It is improved self confidence too I think.  Maybe your new you will have to wait for thoughts to come out, and the change is to have more patience more than actually fixing it.

 

Okay, enough rambling.  I am glad you are here. I hope knowing you are not alone helps.

Carl

 

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Very well said, Carl, about trying not to be anxious about speaking.    BTW, are you the same Carl that I've met in the chat room a couple of times??

 

On 8/8/2017 at 3:43 PM, KarenE said:

I was told not to overthink.  What they don't realize is, anytime I think, I overthink.  That's HOW I think now.  

 

How do you explain to people?

 

Are things going any better for you now, Karen?  I've got something that will make you smile:  Life Is Too Short To Worry About What Others Say Or Think About You      Thinking of you,

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Hi Lin.  Yes, I am in the 3pm EST chat room often.  It has helped me in so many ways. 

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23 hours ago, cgj said:

Karen,

My brain injury was in May 2013, so I am 4 years out.  I face mostly cognitive issues.  Impaired verbal working memory, slow processing, short term memory kind of stuff.  I had seizures at first but they have passed.

 

I can come across confident and competent in conversation... most of the time.  So people don't readily realize I have an injury, or it's impact of the stroke.  Then, I try to recall a specific memory from the past and I stall often.  Eventually it usually comes.  Or, I'll have a conversation with my wife/other, and later in the day/week have no recollection of it.  Or, as is often the case, a false memory.  I can't recall people I have met.  When tired I get worse.  At time when talking I repeat a word or phrase.

 

So to your points, and those of others...

1. Now I try to explain myself less and less. One thing that has helped me is that I no longer need to care what others think.  I have income, a place to live, a wife to help where I can't, and love of my family.  As long as I am not mean or unfair to another, it just does not matter what they think.  I just do the best I can with out thinking (as I would have at work) I have to be on my game and impress them.  So communicating with others is now less stressful with that mindset.

2. I realize I am getting worse over time (per Neuropsych testing).  I still try to do things and when it goes well I wonder if I am able to return to work.  Then my wife in a nice way points out clear evidence I can't.  I used to get so frustrated at what I could no longer do.   I still try to do things, but am forgiving of myself when I fail partially or completely.  So like you, I feel things are (actually are) worse.  But I still keep trying.  I think after these years I am accepting my reduced abilities.

3. I used to be a very strong contributer in high tech.  Now I am not.  It took a great deal of introspection to have a new identity as I identified with work very strongly in the past.  Now it is more about relationships than "work objectives".  Realizing/accepting my new identity was a huge step forward for me.

4. Like your typing experience (thoughts not coming forward), I can have that talking. I can't get a thought to come forward or a memory.  My conversation stops then.  Now I find I am calm, and wait for it instead of getting anxious and stressed waiting.  It is improved self confidence too I think.  Maybe your new you will have to wait for thoughts to come out, and the change is to have more patience more than actually fixing it.

 

Okay, enough rambling.  I am glad you are here. I hope knowing you are not alone helps.

Carl

 

Karen, Carl and I are basically in the same boat and yes I over think all the time. 

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HI Lin and Carl,

Thank you both!  It is a great help to know that I am not alone. 

 

Carl, thank you for sharing what you experience.  I'm much the same.  I can hold a conversation like nothing is wrong but either won't remember it the next day or remember it differently.  At one of my local support group meet ups we start by telling a little about ourselves if there is someone new, one lady was telling her story and her husband said, "that's not how it happened" correcting a detail and I thought...man, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that!

 

I had been at a place of peace and acceptance, not only with my "new me" but also that I was my father's caregiver.  But, then he died and his medical team did not come to the house anymore. I lost not only my dad, but my support system too and have been feeling like...now what?  I'm only 50.  I certainly realize that things could be much worse.  I try to work or multi-task but it tends to make me worse.

 

I'm still waiting for a disability hearing which could take at least another year.  Living with month to month stress has set me back quite a bit.  In addition to the stroke I have neck and lower back disc issues that create muscle spasms wherever they decide to show up.  Being already cognitively challenged, when I take even half of a muscle relaxer I'm so much slower and all my senses get over loaded.  

 

I am trying to be seen by a neuro-psych but that's not covered by my insurance which is like medicaid.  So I'm searching for other options.

 

I continue to be hopeful doing my best not to sink into a depression again.  I want to communicate on here more but sometimes I just can't.  After I read other's posts, my mind has all sorts of comments but it's too hard to put into words.

 

Thank you again, I'll make it a point to check in more often.

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Wow!  There's a tidal wave of sympathy heading your way from Canada!  You are far from alone.

 

Having dealt with disability insurers , I will send all my psychic powers South to help speed up your hearing.

 

My stroke was just under two years ago, so I'm a comparative noob, but I can relate.

 

Some aspects of life are difficult to navigate with cognitive problems but no (or few) physical symptoms.  Many people are intolerant, as they do not _see_ a disability.  I have had co-workers think that I am just goofing off or drunk on the job at times, and fatigue can be a major issue.  

 

I used to be a master-multi-tasker (hey, that rhymes!); now I have retrained myself to work on one thing at a time and make copious notes along the way, so that I can remember what I am doing.

 

I don't have any sage advice, just know that you are not alone, and that there are a whole pile of us out there who are rooting for you.  And you will aways find love and friendship and sympathy here.

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Hi again, Karen, you're facing a lot of problems.  It's so true that the harder you try to speak without making mistakes, actually leads to making mistakes (I learned the hard way!).  

 

The stress and muscle spasms may be relieved somewhat if you do deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.  I use these techniques a lot; and find the muscle relaxation helps me fall asleep at night.  You can get info at https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm

 

We're all thinking of you, and hope you do stay in touch.   Don't worry about typos, missing words, etc.; we'll be able to understand what you're saying.  :hug:

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I just returned to physical therapy. I get 30 therapy visits a year from my insurance and I split them between my physical and speech-language. I’m not exactly sure why but I get my speech-language therapy from an intern and the facility was not assigned one this semester. That way tho, she can give me an hour each session instead of 1/2 hr. which gives me more therapy. 

Anyway, during my evaluation with physical (new prescription) I discussed with Jason my difficulty with creating my own home routine and goals. I admitted that I’ve accepted that these spasm attacks and my confused times are going to happen.....randomly and I have to do the best I can to exercise regularly to help avoid them.

All this time I spend withdrawn, sitting hunched over playing games on my phone, is what causes more pain and atrophy. I didn’t have an evident physical damage from my stroke. A car accident caused that, and sitting incorrectly as a nail tech for 12 years. Sometimes I worked 12 hour days and usually 6 days a week. 

When I had my accident in 2005 the doctor said my back was screwed up already and then I sprained it. Over the years I’ve basically kept fit. I’d go through phases of joining the gym and worked out regularly for a good while, then slack, then go back again. I’m so glad I did what I DID do because I think I’d be much worse and probably need surgery. 

As far a relaxation,  I have intentions and will do things for a little bit then slack. I see now how important it is to make these things part of my daily routine so I can feel good. I spray some lavender essential oil on my pillow right before bedtime, get ice or heat pack, elevate the head of the bed(the foot part broke) so I use a leg elevation pillow from my dad. I do my spinal rotation stretches from head to tailbone taking deep breaths with each stretch. I find that is a form of meditation for my and also helps with relaxation. Meditation is wonderful too. 

Wow, I’m typing as if we’re talking, seemed to flow better. 

Anyway, so glad to be back in touch. I need to get on my laptop and check out the forums. 

Have a great weekend. 

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