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Russ

Anxiety, anger, isolation, and depression

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Hello, my name is Russ.  I have a fair amount of stress in my life because I have a wife of 29 years, a 24 year old daughter, and 18 year old quadruplets. I had a massive cerebellar stroke two years ago from an arterial dissection. Now I feel anxious, angry, and depressed almost constantly. I can be very rude to people. The people at work have been positively horrible upon my return, and I've been pretty nasty in retaliation and even had 911 called once at work to have me removed.

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Hi Russ

 

With quads as well as an older child, you must really have your hands full.

 

I also had an arterial dissection about 2 years back, some damage (mostly vision and memory), but probably not as much as you.  I also found that my personality (and mood) changed significantly.  In my case, I became very withdrawn and depressed.  Also major anxiety and a fair amount of anger.  And super super sensitive to anything that I thought was aimed at my deficits.

 

There are a couple of things that help.  First (and probably biggest) is time.  Also a very supportive family.  Lots of exercise.  Mindfulness meditation.  And continually telling myself to let it go. It's easy to say, not so easy to do.

 

What sort of horribleness have you been getting at work?  I have generally found people to be sympathetic and helpful, reminding me tactfully when I forget things.  I have lost a large number of clients, though (I'm a self-employed network engineer).

 

Have you tried talking to people about the issues that you face?  I tried to cover up for my memory holes initially, as I didn't want to scare everyone off.  Once they saw that I was still able to get the job done, I was able to open up and be candid about my issues (memory, fatigue).  I lost about half my client base, the remained have actually been very supportive, as I am now a human being not just a task list.

 

You'll find a whole heap of people here who can give you far better advice than I can.

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Russ :

 

welcome to best online stroke support group. feeling anxious after stroke is very normal, but taking out on others is not. have you talked to your doctor about anti anxiety meds. I stroked at age 34 which retired me from the job I loved. I tried going to work for few months before decided to go on disability, since I saw how people's behavior towards me & my work had changed & I realized quickly that in high tech field there is no job security, minute you don't perform to your previous level, you could be laid off & then I will end up in  very bad shape. It was one of the toughest decision of my life to go on LTD, looking hindsight it turned out to be best decision for our family. I got to raise our only child & enjoy every minute with him(good, bad or ugly but I got to enjoy it). I found blogging & chatting with other survivirs very therapeutic for my soul. We do have scheduled chats every day here in the afternoon 3-4 EST & evening 8-9 on MW & F. hope to bump into those.

 

Asha

 

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16 minutes ago, PaulNash said:

Hi Russ

 

With quads as well as an older child, you must really have your hands full.

 

I also had an arterial dissection about 2 years back, some damage (mostly vision and memory), but probably not as much as you.  I also found that my personality (and mood) changed significantly.  In my case, I became very withdrawn and depressed.  Also major anxiety and a fair amount of anger.  And super super sensitive to anything that I thought was aimed at my deficits.

 

There are a couple of things that help.  First (and probably biggest) is time.  Also a very supportive family.  Lots of exercise.  Mindfulness meditation.  And continually telling myself to let it go. It's easy to say, not so easy to do.

 

What sort of horribleness have you been getting at work?  I have generally found people to be sympathetic and helpful, reminding me tactfully when I forget things.  I have lost a large number of clients, though (I'm a self-employed network engineer).

 

Have you tried talking to people about the issues that you face?  I tried to cover up for my memory holes initially, as I didn't want to scare everyone off.  Once they saw that I was still able to get the job done, I was able to open up and be candid about my issues (memory, fatigue).  I lost about half my client base, the remained have actually been very supportive, as I am now a human being not just a task list.

 

You'll find a whole heap of people here who can give you far better advice than I can.

One of my coworkers was saying how useless I was because I'm on a small route.  I get accused of milking my stroke.  My coordination, vision, hearing, and speech are fine.  All of my deficits are mood, a balloon headed feeling, nausea, defensiveness, and anxiety.  I have roughly 38% of my cerebellum and 5% of my brain stem damaged.  It is kind of a miracle I can even walk or am alive.  I also get motion sick and fatigued really easy.

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>> One of my coworkers was saying how useless I was because I'm on a small route.  I get accused of milking my stroke. 

 

I'm afraid that I am not very good at sympathy -- I'm an engineer because I can cope with machines and numbers better than I can cope with humans.  I'd love to be able to give you a ton of sympathy and make you feel better about yourself and your situation, but my personality just doesn't work that way (and never did).  Sorry.  So here goes with the practical stuff instead:

 

They obviously do not have a clue what it is like.  I have been quite lucky with work, but then again I do contract and freelance stuff and the folk who are nervous or think that I am slacking off have just dumped me.   It has played havoc with my income, but at least my remaining customer base is fairly sympathetic and have come to understand that I cannot work as I did before.

 

The one thing that has helped my mood more than anything else is mindfulness meditation -- sitting quietly, listening to my thoughts, acknowledging them and asking them to give me some peace.  I do this twice a day (morning and evening) as a minimum, and grab 10 minutes to find a quiet spot if I'm feeling stressed during the day or at social occasions.

 

Try to focus on the co-workers who are sympathetic.  I don't know what your work situation is like, but I spent some time with a couple of colleagues and some of my clients to explain the impact of the deficits  This was mostly over coffee, away from the office.  Once they understood, they were able to help by reaching out to others who were being more aggressive, and also by giving me nudges from time to time.

 

There was at least one person who made some nasty cracks about how lucky I was to have a partial disability insurance payout while still able to work.  I was able to sit down with him (a while later, when I had calmed down) and explain what the impact was on my work life, home life and general state of mind.  He stopped being rude to my face, and over time came to help me a fair amount as he understood what was happening.

 

None of this happened overnight; all of these things take time.  My stroke was two years ago, and I still get the wobblies when I forget to pace myself and get too fatigued.  I still take umbrage when people (even my kids) make bad jokes about my deficits.  I still feel nervous that people will see through the facade and decide that I am as useless as I feel at times.  I still worry about being able to bring in my (smaller) share of the family income.  

 

When that happens, I try to remember that most people mercifully have not got a clue what we are going through, and that a lot of them mean well.  I try to take things one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time (whatever I think I can cope with in the moment).  Or I find a quiet spot to sit down and cry for a while, and then meditate and clear my mind if I can.

 

I hope that things improve, and that you find some peace and acceptance.  Also medication or counselling to help deal with mood issues.

 

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3 minutes ago, PaulNash said:

>> One of my coworkers was saying how useless I was because I'm on a small route.  I get accused of milking my stroke. 

 

I'm afraid that I am not very good at sympathy -- I'm an engineer because I can cope with machines and numbers better than I can cope with humans.  I'd love to be able to give you a ton of sympathy and make you feel better about yourself and your situation, but my personality just doesn't work that way (and never did).  Sorry.  So here goes with the practical stuff instead:

 

They obviously do not have a clue what it is like.  I have been quite lucky with work, but then again I do contract and freelance stuff and the folk who are nervous or think that I am slacking off have just dumped me.   It has played havoc with my income, but at least my remaining customer base is fairly sympathetic and have come to understand that I cannot work as I did before.

 

The one thing that has helped my mood more than anything else is mindfulness meditation -- sitting quietly, listening to my thoughts, acknowledging them and asking them to give me some peace.  I do this twice a day (morning and evening) as a minimum, and grab 10 minutes to find a quiet spot if I'm feeling stressed during the day or at social occasions.

 

Try to focus on the co-workers who are sympathetic.  I don't know what your work situation is like, but I spent some time with a couple of colleagues and some of my clients to explain the impact of the deficits  This was mostly over coffee, away from the office.  Once they understood, they were able to help by reaching out to others who were being more aggressive, and also by giving me nudges from time to time.

 

There was at least one person who made some nasty cracks about how lucky I was to have a partial disability insurance payout while still able to work.  I was able to sit down with him (a while later, when I had calmed down) and explain what the impact was on my work life, home life and general state of mind.  He stopped being rude to my face, and over time came to help me a fair amount as he understood what was happening.

 

None of this happened overnight; all of these things take time.  My stroke was two years ago, and I still get the wobblies when I forget to pace myself and get too fatigued.  I still take umbrage when people (even my kids) make bad jokes about my deficits.  I still feel nervous that people will see through the facade and decide that I am as useless as I feel at times.  I still worry about being able to bring in my (smaller) share of the family income.  

 

When that happens, I try to remember that most people mercifully have not got a clue what we are going through, and that a lot of them mean well.  I try to take things one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time (whatever I think I can cope with in the moment).  Or I find a quiet spot to sit down and cry for a while, and then meditate and clear my mind if I can.

 

I hope that things improve, and that you find some peace and acceptance.  Also medication or counselling to help deal with mood issues.

 

Thank you for the response.  I retreat into music when I want to wind down.  I have many great headphones and digital high resolution music players. Don't feel bad about not being sympathetic, because I have total problems being sympathetic now to anybody. I will look into mindfulness and appreciate the information. Good luck with you and I hope you're able to maintain a really good client base and improve daily.

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 11:28 AM, Russ said:

Hello, my name is Russ.  I have a fair amount of stress in my life because I have a wife of 29 years, a 24 year old daughter, and 18 year old quadruplets. I had a massive cerebellar stroke two years ago from an arterial dissection. Now I feel anxious, angry, and depressed almost constantly. I can be very rude to people. The people at work have been positively horrible upon my return, and I've been pretty nasty in retaliation and even had 911 called once at work to have me removed.

ok my heart stopped at quadruplets. *gulp*  I had a dissection that caused damage to my cerebellum and I have not been able to go back to work, it's been almost 9 years.

Again I keep going back to YOU WERE IN ESTROGEN HELL. lol My father was alone in a house with my mom and twin sister . With the headphones, if I wear mine around people I'm more relaxed. I know your plate is full but are you working full time or part? It may have been to soon.?

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6 hours ago, ksmith said:

ok my heart stopped at quadruplets. *gulp*  I had a dissection that caused damage to my cerebellum and I have not been able to go back to work, it's been almost 9 years.

Again I keep going back to YOU WERE IN ESTROGEN HELL. lol My father was alone in a house with my mom and twin sister . With the headphones, if I wear mine around people I'm more relaxed. I know your plate is full but are you working full time or part? It may have been to soon.?

I am working part time.  I get very motion sick at my job and am interviewing for a sedentary full-time job next week.  I am missing close to 38% of my cerebellum.  The kids can be intense, but they're all great kids.

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Greetings Russ,

i had an AVM (artery vein malformation)

rupture on at age 46, 12/1/96. This was located deep in my brain. Effected executive part of brain. Paralyzed entire right side. Relearned with help from expert inpatient PT and OT how to walk, speak, write, dress, feeling came back over months of therapy. Lower leg is still paralyzed. I can drive w left foot gas & break pedal. But only in mornings early afternoons in small town. I wore head phones w music to keep out noise. Then had out-patient therapy. Had 2 girls C-section before rupture. My wonderful husband and I and girls age 7&8. Decided to adopt boy before stroke. Had them for a yr. at the time of hemorrhage. Jeff was a special ed child. All the way through school. And his younger sister was a smart but troubled child. She is now 26 & lives in Vermont where she’s going to nursing school. She’s doing well.

Had a big adjustment learning the “new me”!!  reading never returned nor memory.

on evenings hard to concentrate or speak.

Use walker. Live with much pain(

(arthritis,osteoporosis, Scholios, within last year Tore shoulder Rotator Cuff( bone to bone) elected to do shots instead of new Rotator Cuff in left shoulder. 

Anyways that’s my story. Very active before stroke. Big adjustment to slow down.  But so long ago I don’t remember much. And getting use to the new me! Hard on family, but now their older it’s easier. We lost Amy in 2008, who is our Angel in the heavens now.

all the best to you Russ!

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1 hour ago, Farrell said:

Greetings Russ,

i had an AVM (artery vein malformation)

rupture on at age 46, 12/1/96. This was located deep in my brain. Effected executive part of brain. Paralyzed entire right side. Relearned with help from expert inpatient PT and OT how to walk, speak, write, dress, feeling came back over months of therapy. Lower leg is still paralyzed. I can drive w left foot gas & break pedal. But only in mornings early afternoons in small town. I wore head phones w music to keep out noise. Then had out-patient therapy. Had 2 girls C-section before rupture. My wonderful husband and I and girls age 7&8. Decided to adopt boy before stroke. Had them for a yr. at the time of hemorrhage. Jeff was a special ed child. All the way through school. And his younger sister was a smart but troubled child. She is now 26 & lives in Vermont where she’s going to nursing school. She’s doing well.

Had a big adjustment learning the “new me”!!  reading never returned nor memory.

on evenings hard to concentrate or speak.

Use walker. Live with much pain(

(arthritis,osteoporosis, Scholios, within last year Tore shoulder Rotator Cuff( bone to bone) elected to do shots instead of new Rotator Cuff in left shoulder. 

Anyways that’s my story. Very active before stroke. Big adjustment to slow down.  But so long ago I don’t remember much. And getting use to the new me! Hard on family, but now their older it’s easier. We lost Amy in 2008, who is our Angel in the heavens now.

all the best to you Russ!

I am so sorry for your loss. It is very hard to slow down so much.  I am glad you are pushing on. I hope things can improve with your shoulder.

 

Russ.

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Thank you Russ! We are all in this together and understanding each other’s struggles. Strokeboard has been so good for all to help find their compass where there at today:)

we know our daughter we loss is safe 

in the heavens with Jesus!

Hope you are doing well this day❗️

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Hey Russ

Hope you get the relief you so desire, as far as rude people at work tell them your doing the best you can and if that's not good enough tell them to kiss your ass 

Good luck

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2 minutes ago, edkel1 said:

Hey Russ

Hope you get the relief you so desire, as far as rude people at work tell them your doing the best you can and if that's not good enough tell them to kiss your ass 

Good luck

:-)

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2 hours ago, Russ said:

:-)

Thank you.  I just had a big interview yesterday, and I'm trying to get out of my current crappy place of employment.

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Good luck and do your best

I can only do a mere fraction of what I once took for granted and that's why I am upset

Ed

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4 minutes ago, edkel1 said:

Good luck and do your best

I can only do a mere fraction of what I once took for granted and that's why I am upset

Ed

I am sorry.  I can do most of the stuff I used to do except for I am perpetually balloon headed and nauseous with bad temperament and fatigue.  I guess everybody here must have their own set of challenges.

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 My dad told me last night that he was sick of hearing about my stroke in a conversation. He told me it was in the past and I shouldn't worry about it anymore. Some people are Beyond thick-headed.

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