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     That describes me! My husband had a hemmoragic stroke 2/16/2018. That stroke took everything from me. On that day I lost my marriage, my husband and my life as I knew it! Nothing will ever be the same. My husband was 62 and I was 52 when it happened. At first I was a real trooper! Determined to help in whatever way was needed. I felt lucky because my husband didn’t seem to lose very much from the stroke. It seemed as if it were all physical. He still had his quick wit, he only had a slight slur which eventually cleared all together. 

    After 3 weeks in the hospital we spent the next 6 weeks in a rehab facility. He was doing really well. Progressing very nicely. It was very encouraging. The day before he was to be discharged he didn’t seem quite right. I brought it to the attention of the nurses and docs. They took him for mri’s and CT scans. They came back saying they didn’t show any changes.  They tried telling me it was because of the meds that he had been on for about 8 weeks that were discontinued earlier that week  (Lyrica). I believe he had a TIA stroke. The kept him in the rehab only one extra day and then released him. 

     When he had the stroke we were in Florida. I on vacation and he on a business trip. I had driven to Florida. He told me to stay there since he was going to be there for work and we’d drive back together. We reside in Texas. The trip was a long one to say the least. Since the TIA stroke he spoke very little. He wouldn’t initiate any conversation and when he was asked a question his reply’s were as brief as possible.

     Since we’ve been home over a year now it has been very difficult. Now I find myself being very angry! My husband has a very short fuse! He’s rude, impatient and very insensitive. He sleeps all day everyday. He never wants to do anything. On the rare times I can get him to do anything he is complaining of pain within an hour.  There is absolutely no intimacy between us. My role has been reduced to caregiver only. 

     I suppose I am just a very selfish person. I’m not ready to give up physical activities or sex. I can’t imagine never being intimate again, to never be touched or kissed or held in that special way. I’m too young to lose that. But what am I to do?  I miss my husband. I wish I could get him back. I know that there is no way I can turn what is left of my husband back into the man I married. It’s just not fair!

     I’m also very angry at the fact that my husband has 3 adult children and not one of them has even made an effort to see their dad since he had his stroke. They are all very selfish. I guarantee they’ll be there when he passes away trying to make claim on anything he had!

     My husbands best friend lives across the street from us. However, even that relationship has gone by the way side. It’s so sad to see that happen.

    People just don’t know how to act around or treat my husband. He can be very difficult and sometimes even embarrassing too. 

    I tried finding a support group to go to. The one here was geared more towards the stroke survivor, not the caregiver.

    I hate strokes. I hate what it has done to my husband, to me and to our relationship. It’s very depressing.

 

     Thank you for letting me vent. Like I said, I suppose I am just being selfish and petty. Maybe I’m just acting like a spoiled brat. If I am, so be it. I apologize. 

 

Chris....

 

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Hi Chris, I'm a survivor not a caregiver, so my response may not be what you are looking for. Although I'm sure one of the caregivers will be along to answer you shortly too. 

First up you are not being a spoiled brat. This thing is hard from both sides of the fence.  It sounds like the TIA (second stroke) has affected both your husband's speech and his emotional centers.   Although he may just be being a sh*t because he feels sh*tty and with his speech affected he has no other way to express his own frustration and anger.  He may not be speaking much because he either can't find the words or can't get them past his tongue. One crazy thing about stroke speech effects is that swear words and anger seem to use a different part of the brain to everyday speech so those things can be said when other things can't.  Also one thing often lost in a stroke is the ability to censor and control your expression of emotion. we call it "no filter" it's common and takes much training/work to overcome.

 

Sleeping a lot is also common it's part of the brains recovery mechanism.  Let him sleep and get your stuff done while he sleeps. Get out and get some exercise, build up your own energy and resilience, do something that makes you feel good.

 

I don't believe the man you married is not in there somewhere. He's probably wailing at the bars of the cage his body has become. It sounds like you need to try and get him into some sort of residential rehab program for a few months. It it still early days in his recovery (this thing is measured in years not months) and much can be done with therapy.  If there's no inpatient available get him into out patient or in home therapy.  Although therapy needs to be something he wants to do and is willing to work at if it's going to achieve anything.  Have you tried asking him what he wants? and explaining how his behaviour is affecting you?  From what I've seen Men are much harder on themselves than women when they suddenly find themselves unable to do the things they used to do, the loss of control over yourself is very hard on the psyche.  finding ways to give him back some control may help.

 

Also don't forget to look after you. Caring for the carer is just as important as caring for the survivor.

 

Have you actually asked his kids for help and given them something concrete to do?  Make a list of what you need help with and make a point of using it. write the kids off only once they prove they can't/won't help. Many people are busy with their own lives and don't know what to do, so they do nothing.

 

Hang in there it's not as bad as it feels right now.  Feel free to rant and wail here when you need to. We will listen and understand.  We've all been there and done it

Hugs

-Heather

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Hi Chris

 

At first, my husband didn't cope well. I found myself being caregiver to my caregiver!

 

Since I'm the survivor, I don't think I have any real advice for you. 

 

All I can say is that he's trying to figure out the new person he has become.  Unfortunately there is no time limit for that.

 

Please feel free to come here and talk  whenever. 

 

That's what we are here for. 

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Chris, There's so much that I want to say to you, but I would probably overwhelm and confuse you. First off, you don't sound selfish at all. Unfortunately, stroke can affect everyone in the- family, not just the survivor. Your life was affected too. This isn't what you signed on for. And no one asked you if you wanted to change course mid-stream, did they? Bottom line is that you have every right to be angry.

   There are several explanations for your husband's behavior. One is that he had stroke damage in the part of his brain that regulates behavior. If this is the case, he may not be aware of it, and may not be able to control it even if he is aware of it. Have you tried to talk to him about it? Another possible cause is medication. Sometimes the side,-effects of meds are worse than what the med is trying to cure!  Is he in pain anywhere? By that, I don't mean little aches and pains, but severe, constant pain.

   You also mentioned that he wants to sleep all of the time, doesn't want to go anywhere, socialize,.and has no sex drive. These behaviors can be caused by any of the above, or depression. It might be worthwhile to take him to his doc, and see if an antidepressant is worth a try.

   In fact, you might benefit from an antidepressant, too, and maybe some individual counseling to help you cope with all of the changes in your life. Best, Becky

 

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Chris, 

you have verbally stated what so many people think  I respect the honesty and , speaking from a survivor, many of your thoughts are what I thought about my husband ( now ex but not entirely stroke related)

I felt horrible for him to have to deal with me. It took a while for me to gain some of me back. There is a balance we have to make and you are grieving your loss and that's normal.

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?/topic/857-the-five-stages-of-grief/

 Grief can come in all different times and stages.. there is no order 

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Chris

I can speak on behalf of your husband as I too had a stroke and spent 6 weeks in the hospital and another 6 weeks in rehab, i'm that guy that could work non stop, could fix anything and did, wife did not work and life was for the most part great other than little things that pop up unexpectedly,  I feel terrible, I think I let my family down, I cant work, have practicality zero stamina, i'm dizzy all the time.

I will tell you it does not make me feel like the man of the house, rather if make me feel like the one that caused it all and its tough living with that, one of my daughters understand but lives 550 miles away, I don't want her to worry about me she's got her own life, the other two are tired of hearing about how I don't feel good most of the time so I just hunker down and keep to myself. 

As far as my wife she told me 4-5 weeks after getting out of rehab she wanted to leave and to be honest she has a new significant other in her life that happens to be her best friend another women, I can deal with most of it but the last part tears me apart and I just stay home most days.

Don't give up on him, I know its hard but without you and your smile he will be broken beyond repair unless you cant take it any more or he is violent,

Hang in there because you have something, your husband and we have lost our souls or what makes us who we were

Strokes are nasty and ruin lives, try to work thru it

Ed 

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To edkel1

    Thank you for your response. I think of your words when I start to get annoyed with my husband. It does make it a little easier. I'm not saying it was a cure all but it helps. I just wanted to thank you! I wish the best for you!

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Thank You and i'm glad I could help you out.

Remember all you need to do is just ask and someone will be along with an answer or idea that might help.

Don't give up on him unless it turns violent and remember those vows we all took, " In sickness and in health "

Good luck

Ed

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hi chris :

 

stroke affects whole family, I feel its big adjustment for all parties involved, but together you can rebuild your new normal. I stroke at age 34 which left me paralyzed on my left side & retired me from the job I loved, I never thought I would find joy in living again, but together we have built our new normal, its different but still very enjoyable, you need to hold the fort till your husband find its footing in the ground, I am sure he would have done the same for you had role been reversed.

 

Asha

 

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No apology PLEASE Chris. I had a hemorrhagic stroke in Feb. 2015 and am familiar with all you speak to. I was 64 at the time and my wife and caregiver was 59 at this time. Let me reread your content a few more times the next day or so and see if I can offer any hope to you. You are so right, this is not fair to anyone involved in these things.

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