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MCallis

Dad not same after stroke, mom & I r freaking out

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After my husband had his third stroke I was looking for someplace I could turn to so I could find some answers to questions I had about caregiving, recovery, life after stroke and comfort too. I turned to the internet and in April 2005 found The Stroke Network. I'm one of those irritating people who found help here. I have found support and friendship.

 

I feel sorry for MC......yes, I feel sorry for her. I feel badly that she hurts phycically and emotionally. I feel sorry for every newcomer here. I feel sorry for those who stick around and for those who leave. Goodness, I feel sorry for the survivors and I feel sorry for me. HOWEVER - what exactly does feeling sorry for another or one's self accomplish?

 

There......I've said that. Now I will say this. If we post here we need to have some purpose in doing so. When MC posted I saw several things that could be suggested to her that might help her situation. Everytime someone posted with suggestions that might help - based on their experience - they were basically told she was different, her situation was different and nothing that was suggested would work.

 

In her particular case, if the social services department was alerted her parents may be forced to go into a nursing facility. Never mind that her mother does not want to do so. She is not well herself. Her dad may be fine (for 84) physically, but if he is not able to care for himself due to the brain damage caused by the stroke the state could well intervene. When our folks are into their 80's they NEED to be cared for. They may yell and scream - but it is a fact. When suggestions were made to deal with her situation related to her dad's stroke and mother's health issues she was angry that her needs seemed to be ignored. The focus of this site IS the stroke survivor and the caregiver's needs and questions about caring for the survivor. It's not that we don't care that she has fibromyalgia - it's just that all we can do is offer suggestions that might help her manage her fibromyalgia through getting help for her folks so the stress she's feeling from that part of her life might be lifted. Repeatedly I read - what about ME? I saw the suggestions as ways people WERE thinking about her needs.

 

The support I needed and have found here has been found in specific suggestions I could use in my situation. The funny thing is I have received many suggestions from many people everytime I have come here with a need. I've always been encouraged that I need to take care of myself in order to be a good caregiver.

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Ann -

 

Exactly so!

 

Okay, I apologize DG, maybe "pity party was not the politically correct term to use, sorry if I offended- that was not my intention.

 

To reinforce what Ann (a long time member and caregiver) has said - if someone comes to the board for support and recieves suggestions which are continually rejected, then it becomes very difficult to continue to try to help. We as an internet circle can only do so much to help - we can listen (read) and try to help (make suggestions) - if the help is always rebuffed as not applicable becausemy situatio is worse or so much out of control, etc.....then it becomes quite difficult to continue the conversation.

 

I would, again, heartily and humbly recommend McCallis getting real "in-person" counseling and assistance - facing the situations that she faces, I know that I would crunble without real live personal help -

 

Okay, everybody take a deep breath again :forgive_me?:

 

I can actually speak from experience as I am now a caregiver as well- my husband suffered a minor heart attack and stroke this past weekend - no real lingering effects except the paralyzing fear(he is my caregiver and love - what do I do if he's gone and how will that affect my thirteen year old daughter?)....but my counselor and social services have already kicked in with help.......not looking for pity here - just simply illustrating that we all have or demons and trials to deal with, please find a safe way to express your anger but I'm begging you not to take it out on those who offer their experience and suggestioins, we've all had our fair share of being hurt, no need to add to it please - truce?

 

Please don't be afraid to accept the help offered even if it dooesn't seem to absolutely apply to your exact situation, there are kernels of wisdom and nuggets of warmth in the most unexpected places.

 

Wishing all peace, hope, and strength-

Mel

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I am new to this group, my husband had a massive stroke 8 months ago and a friend said to me "you are so brave in how I was coping" I replied it is not a case of being brave we just have to get on with it.

 

I also have health problems, to many to mention but one one of them is a rare Autoimmune liver disease (my immune system is destroying the bile ducts in my liver) and at end stage requires liver transplant and I am near end stage and my biggest fear is what will happen to my husband when that happens and I need a transplant.

 

He was my carer before his stroke, we don't have family here in Australia apart from son and daughter who both live far away so it is only me looking after my husband. Friends don't come over any more as they can't have a conversation with my husband he has Aphasia and can only say a few words clearly the rest we use gestures it is like playing charades.

 

I know it must be very very hard for you to try and cope but you will find a way and I do wish you and your family all the best and hope you can get help with your dad and mom.

 

Hugs

Doreen

 

 

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of corse you feel overwhelmed,all these things you mentioned are a strain but put them all together and it sounds like way too much.As far as your dad goes,I have been there and believe me an anti-depressant is what he needs,just remember that they take time to work so don't expect great things after one or two days its more like one or two months.I have also found that when caring for an ill person the best thing to do is walk away for a few minutes to clear your head,drive around the block,have a cup of te or coffee on the back porch just a little breathing room for 20 30 minutes.You might see if his insurance will pay for so many hours a few days a week for someone to come and help out. Your dad will come around but it does take time and talking to a professional could help as well.I was depressed and did not know it and after seeing and talking to someone,I was told my concerns were normal and that normal is a state of mind.I know I am not what I was before but I am normal for me now.It takes alot of self modivation to try to work on yourself mentally and physically,the anti depressants will help to motivate and to feel more like himself.My thoughts are with you,hope all goes well.Take care of you...Laree

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But nobody is tending to mine and my mom's EMOTIONAL needs! We are grieving for the dad and husband who literally was changed overnight by this stroke. This was a man who at age 84 was fixing other people's cars, repairing his dead twin brother's damaged home for resale, tending his own large garden, mowing his own grass, and keeping up his own house all at the same time. I often bragged that he could outwork a young man in his 20's. For the entire family and the neighborhood, he was the "go-to" person whenever something was broken or someone had a need. That person is GONE, and no one is telling my mom and I (and my husband and 2 adult sons) how to cope with the loss!

 

MCallis, I feel the same way. My dad (71) had a stroke in October, and I have said to friends that MY dad who made me laugh, was independant and who always had a comment about EVERYTHING died on October 15th when he had his stroke. My dad also just sits and watches tv - doesn't read though, and was always an avid crossword puzzle. I was frustrated because the man I brought home to San Diego from Oklahoma is a stranger and no longer my best friend. I too am frustrated, but my conscious is clear, because I told him how I felt. That he wasn't the same man. He told me why he doesn't talk anymore, and why he is the way he is. (I just did that this past week). I feel better about the situation and so does he, he has now started talking a little bit more. However, you have to grasp the reality that he won't be the same person, but take note in the little glimpses of his old self and cherrish those moments. I cherish the times when he gets my name right when he calls out, and the winks he gives me when we catch each others glances. Unfortunately, I don't think he'll be able to speak as clearly nor as quickly as he used to, so I think back to when I spoke with him and when he made me laugh, and cherish those moments and accept the current situation as reality.

 

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