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Hello,

   Im at an emotional breaking point. For better or worse....im a caring person, i do anything in my power to help not only my wife who had the stroke but my entire family. My wifes stroke will be 2 years next month. I know and our whole family knows she isnt doing anything to help herself. Ive posted the rest of my story before...but emotionally and mentally exhausted and shot. Its hard for me to keep trying so hard and nothing helping or making a difference. Me and my wifes mom lives with us we talk when wife isnt around, and this whole thing is dragging her down and...im to the point i want to run away. Ive put my life on hold for 2 years to help her, and all me and her mom get is critized, questioned. She yells at her mom. Some things i dont see, mother in law told me the other day my daughter who is 14 is always joking around and goofing around and she made a funny face mocking mother in law and my wife goes, what was that about in a loud voice. Now, i dont think that happens often, but it did happen. I care, but at what price? Im beyond miserable. I want to run away, i dont want to be around anyone or socialize and i see no future for myself. I just want to disappear. Ive talked to my dad, he is just old school and tells me to brush it off. I dont know how to. I cant have an adult conversation with her. My shrink has told me that im protecting my wife, i dont want to vent or complain because i know she has been through hell. I cant imagine what she is going through...but im human and dont know how much more i can take.

or how to deal, cope with or what to do. Help please.

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Losthubby I can feel your anxiety as I read your post. I am a survivor but I am so aware that a loved ones stroke has a huge impact on their loved ones. Being a caretaker is one of the most noble but stressful jobs in the world in my opinion. It usually comes with exhaustion and little appreciation many times. It wears on the caretaker and can cause depression, indifference and loneliness. I see that you have a Psychiatrist but do you have a Psychologist/Therapist? Consider getting some outside help if you can even if only a couple of times a week for self care. Your wife's stroke may have impacted the area in her brain that affects her responses as well as motivation and other areas. Talk to your wife's Neurologist about any therapies or help that may be out there. Please know that I hear your pain and do not disregard it. Also, have you considered looking for a local stroke survivors and caretaker group? Talking with other caregivers can be great. My best of hope that you will find some peace ahead.

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I feel selfish for asking this question...but how can I be happy again, or see a future for me. She can’t do anything that she use to do, sits watching soaps and lifetime. Idea of like an adult day care....something to force her to learn how others do things and do with others....she went ballistic on me for that. I’m out of ideas to help her and see nothing but mysry for me. Just would like to be happy and be able to relax. 3 month headache doesn’t help either. Just wish I felt anything I did I would get....I guess satisfaction from it. Instead it’s grief. Only solution I see is cabin in middle of nowhere, no electricity, internet. Just peace and quiet in nature.

 Unfortunately there is only 1 group that is at a time I can make, an hour north of me. But the day is tough with the kids.

 I never understood the difference between all those Psych* 

thank you

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A Psychiatrist oversees medication and diagnosis and all the things associated with that. A psychologist gives therapy (there are many types) and spends time with the patient usually talking through emotions and feelings as well as suggestions for improving. The patient is an active participant in therapy. I feel so bad for you and feel your emergence. In my opinion I think you both could benefit from Psychotherapy and seeing a Psychiatrist. It sounds so much like not only are you depressed but your wife as well. I can only give you my opinions I am certainly not a Doctor and I also believe you have to be willing and want to gain improvement together. My best goes out to you both. You can't force your wife to improve or follow others it comes from inside her. I strongly feel that a person's motivation and attitude has so much to do with their level of depression...it's a biological thing...and there is help and hope.

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As Tracy said, if she doesn't want to be helped no one can make her better. It's the old thing about taking a horse to water.  So if she won't let you help her look after you. Maybe if she sees you enjoying a new sort of life she'll decide to join you.

 

There's a lot to be said for fake it til you make it.  I understand that right now it all looks hopeless and you don't see how you can ever be happy again. Hopefully you can find a therapist who can help you work through that and out the other side. It'll probably be a long hard road but there are plenty of people here who can and will cheer you on as much as you let us.  Hang in there and maybe think about doing family therapy with your daughter if your wife won't participate.  Stroke affects everyone in the family and she probably needs help as much as you do.

 

Hugs for all of you.

-Heather

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Thank you all. She was seeing a neuropsychologist along with psychologist. The first did 2 - 1/2 days of testing to determine what was affected mental. In short logical thinking and reasoning. Me being a “logical” person... anyway she did NOT like hearing that, the results and wouldn’t go back. The only way I can describe how I feel...if you don’t know the song, Fade To Black by Metallica...you don’t have to listen to the song, just read the lyrics. I just don’t want to try ....anything anymore.

 Thanks you again for the words of advice 

 

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You are in a tough spot, you want to be there for her but its killing you......I know where she is coming from but she needs you as she cant do most things herself.

Wish I had an answer but honestly I don't, never was a Metallica fan but the lyrics for that song are perfect.

Ed

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Maybe some spiritual or professional process may help your family heal from this avalanche that has hidden the real family you used to be. 

 

As a stroke survivor, 

I know the future is unknown, but is worth fighting for.

 

 

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P. S. Maybe you can get out and play some sports, or go watch some. It has more therapeutic value than is recognized. 

Sometimes fun is a natural healer and motivator. 

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I don't think that there is ONE answer to your situation, there are different things that you can try to see if they help. Your wife has to have professional help. FIND ANOTHER NEUROPSYCHIATRIST, and I'll tell you why: Neuropsychs have medical training, just as doctors do,and are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat your wife's symptoms. Because they are MD's as well as psychiatrists, they can write 'scripts, whereas, the other "psychs" cannot. And this is important because your wife probably won't respond to "talk" therapy, and will require medication. You may want to talk to the neuropsych before your wife's appt, and tell him what happened the last time so that he can avoid making the same mistake.  You may not feel comfortable doing something "behind your wife's back", but this is a situation in which 'the end justifies the means", "The end" being keeping her in therapy.

      As for you, I hope you'll stay in therapy, and get on an antidepressant if you're not on one.  Then, make a life, best as you can, without her.  By that, I mean that your daughter, and any other kids you may have, probably feels as if she has lost both parents. One parent can't parent, and the other is focused on the first. Make a point of putting most of your focus on your children for the week-end. Take them to get pizza, swimming, or any other age-appropriate activities. Or, stay at home, have pizza delivered, and have "movie night".  Whatever suits you all. Don't forget to devote some time to yourself. Develop a hobby, or pursue something you're interested in. Good luck, and know that we're rooting for ya'll.   Becky

 

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Losthubby how are? I just keep looking back at this thread and hoping to see you posting. If you read this and just don't want to respond I understand. Please just seek out a professional I think first for yourself so he/she can help you work through your own emotions and what seems to be hopelessness. We are here for support and understand how you must be feeling and I just want to make sure you are ok. Please let us know when you can.

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I just finish reading this post. My heart goes out to the whole family. That is what a Stroke does, it can destroy a family, have to be determine to work  too save it. Becky ideas was wonderful, help for everyone. Get help for you and your wife.  I improved my Spiritual life, and also got a Social Worker, who got me into a Club, that offered Keep Fit classes c play games like Bingo, and go on field trips like shopping, eating out, and going to the Park. It was like a breath of fresh Air,  getting out was wonderful. Also look after yourself, and please spend time with your kids, very important, they are also feeling  at odds. 

 

God Bless to You all, we are rooting for you all.

 

Yvonne

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Thank you all for the thoughts. Therapist brought up of putting me on a 72 hour watch. Didn’t do it ...at least yet. 3 or 4 years ago, was in the best shape of my life. Doing 1/2 marathons, du-athalons and other races. Had lost 50 or 60lbs...2 years I put my life and running on hold. Weight back on, just like starting over. Which the 1 thing I could use is, something positive to get me some confidence. Our family spends a lot of time outside. Something I got for my wife to use is a stationary bike, has a back to it so don’t have to balance herself. The hopefully she could get 1 of those bikes that lays back and we could go riding together. She has used it 3 times in past year. I can’t find anything to encourage her to do anything to help her get back outside...not like it was, but just get out side. No luck at all. I can’t afford to get everything. What am I supposed to do with my life? My batteries are drained, live on a working cattle farm, the have my regular job. I can’t have a “normal/adult” conversation with her. Just sick of the crap accusations from her. My daughter is sick of them. Our best friends down the road are sick of them. Best friend had told me that he would have told her to get lost a while ago. I’m trying to be understanding...but something has to change. Part of issue is my therapist told me that I’m scared to death and don’t want to directly or indirectly hurt her. Between that and mysery....don’t know where to go from here. Only solution to me is, disappear off the grid somewhere in northwestern Montana and never be seen again.

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I pray that you and your wife get the help you need. Facing your own reality is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. Realizing that one person has not " done" this to you but that a serious life changing medical event happened that is causing after effects that seem personal. My advice of seeking help for yourself 1st still stands. You have to be in a place to make unbiased decisions for you and your family. I understand it sucks to be thrown in this position where you feel you are damned if you do or damned if you don't. No one chose your situation and no one chose hers. I do believe you need to be stable yourself before making life changing decisions for others who may depend on you. Choose to GET HELP. That doesn't mean that you just have to accept your circumstances but get yourself into a position to be responsible to choose your choices and to see that your significant other is taken well care of. If this can't be you then ok...get help for her in another source. She and you deserve the right to be safe and loved. Stroke can change your personality, thought process, abilities to comprehend, and abilities to communicate as well as so many others. You may not realize and she may not realize the reality of this. I can tell you there is help and resources...for you together and for both of you separate. I pray that you will be proactive for yourself and your wife. God bless.

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When one person gets help, the whole family benefits. But what kind of help are we talking about?   For help for you may not be same as for your wife who has suffered a stroke. Maybe she may not want to go outside because perhaps she suffers some perceptual difficulties when she is outdoors. For example, when I go outdoors, I feel like I am floating in outerspace, so I had to learn how to feel safe and secure when there are not 4 walls for my brain to calculate where I am in relation to them. This probably sounds crazy if you have no idea what kinds of things a stroke can do to a person. It sounded weird to me too until I learned about stuff. And where did I learn it?? In physical therapy, occupational therapy, and even in speech therapy. Perhaps she will consider going to those medical appointments. And through personal evaluation, I learned what was going on with me and my weirdness made sense.

Stroke involves a recovery process in my experience, but let me know where to go for a miracle. Perhaps this is who your wife is now and your adult conversation may be understood by her even if she cannot speak back.

Your own journey through this life event is something else. You can choose many options. I hope you find support for your daughter.

It is possible for families to grow stronger bonds of love through adversity. You can find great tips from the caregivers group here. It is common to initially feel like you must cure the stroke. We all felt that, we try, and then life goes on and we find our way at our own pace, sometimes heartbreakingly slow. I found a good place to start at a university medical center, if you are near one.

 

 

 

 

 

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I wish I could think of other suggestions, but I have none. The best you can hope for I think, is that your wife sees another shrink who starts her on meds which help her function a little better. Your wife is not any more in control of her behavior than you are. She's gonna need help to get even partially in control again. And, there's nothing you can do but find help for her. I know that this won't be an easy task, but all you can do is to try. Good luck, Becky

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losthubby,

firstly.. I know that song well and that is a very deep feeling.

 

As with everyone has said earlier,  knowing she doesn't want to do for herself is on her. I think you are doing your best and I think you should focus on your child(s) and allot time just for you. Take a daddy-daughter day. I love my DD days.. Many caregivers, not directing this to you, assume that many survivors with come to terms with their situation within a certain period of time. As Becky said, your wife isn't in control of her emotions and seeking another 'shrink' who understands stroke survivors and how to talk to them without just blabbing out the truth as cold facts and give truths with a gentle side of sugar. Some survivors, me for sure, hear how their mentally faculties were cut in half  ( I learned my brain basically went from x iq to WAY lower) ( example:. basically, for me, instead of thinking like a college thinker, I now process like a 3rd grader) 

 

You are doing a great job. 

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Kelli, Then you're the smartest 3rd grader I've ever met! (Meant as a compliment).   Becky

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This weekend has been rough. Everyone has been brought up in different ways, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses. I was brought up to believe that no matter what this situation is, can find a way to help, make things better or fix. Yesterday....I was a beaten and defeated person. Believing that I could at least make things better no matter what the situation was. Things feel like getting worse. Me giving up on her makes me feel like a complete failure, and it’s hard for me to accept that, but I don’t know how much more I can take. I would almost feel better off dead or just disappearing into the wilderness and never be seen again. I feel defeated, miserable but feeling like I would let everyone down. Completely torn over how I feel vs right and wrong vs “the right thing to do”. I’m questioning everything about myself now. Weak, confused and defeated..... I don’t know 

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I can understand why you feel as you do, and I think that you are being too hard on yourself. You did not give this stroke to your wife, nor can you heal her. You are battling the effects of a stroke, something neither your wife, or  you, or her docs can control.  So, please stop beating yourself up, and do the only thing you can do, and get everyone in the family some help.   Becky 

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I 100% agree with Becky. You can't control this or "fix" this and that is not any negative reflection of you. I understand that you are overwhelmed and you are fighting with yourself as to what not being able to be your wife's caretaker means to you. I don't think either way makes you a loser or weak or a failure. The facts that we know are that you are not emotionally or physically prepared to care take for your wife, that your wife has stroke defecits that affect her in several ways and that in my humble opinion you are both depressed. Depression is common for both stroke survivor as well as stroke caregivers (husbands, wives, siblings, children, 3rd party, etc.). No matter your decisions you both need help in this area for multiple reasons. Just seek help....tomorrow. Just do it. Don't continue this self destruction...just get help. No one will judge you here. No one will fault you here. Don't think...do. My best wishes and support.

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It could be used for you both.  Talking to someone like this can offer tips you both can use for communicating with each other. The way she is communicating right now could be the only way she knows how so talking with someone who understands stroke survivors ( this is important) can offer tools for sharing and understanding cues. I know this sucks for you. It sucks for her, I can tell you that I was so rude to my ex husband ( divorce not stroke related) for I thought if I was mean enough he would leave me for I felt selfish for he never asked for this life. It now sounds so crazy but when your mind isn't working correctly, I say mine is broken, you say and think some messed up stuff 

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Man I couldn't agree more Kelli. Losthubby I think that both of you seeking this kind of help will be beneficial for you both and for each of you separately. Kelli is so right about finding someone with knowledge of stroke patients. You can talk to her Neurologist or therapists to get some good referrals.

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