• entry
    1
  • comments
    12
  • views
    1,979

Is this normal?


Loralye11

1,571 views

My better half had two strokes in the past month. July 1st and July 25th. Both in the same spot, on the cerebral cortex, it is affecting his motor controls, his strenght is gone and he is having trouble swallowing.

 

I have been noticing personality changes, like being quick to fly off the handle and to escalate the fight. And then it is over and he acts like nothing happens.

 

Is this normal in some stroke patients?

 

Is it normal for me to grieve the life I used to have and the man I used to love, because he is nothing like him personality wise.

 

I am so overwhelmed with everything but these things bother me the most.

12 Comments


Recommended Comments

Well his strokes are very new, it takes awhile for things to level off. The first year or so, my husband was very mellow (totally unlike him) and still to this day, 2 1/2 years later, gets over any upsets within a half hour. I think it's a short term memory deficit, but I'll take it. He sure doesn't hold any grudges.

 

It takes awhile to accept that this is brain damage, not some disease that the body will cure with time. And as far as grieving, stick around and you'll find out you're not alone.

Link to comment

Hello and welcome, I will say from what I know as a stroke survivor of 9 years it is very normal in many survivors however in some me included, there are no personality changes. By that I'm saying the person remains the same person but now have survived a stroke of whatever kind and there are many.

 

Just like some can walk shortly after the stroke and some can't while others still need a Wheel Chair for a while. I will say from what I have read on this board the ones that get angry fast or want to fight really hate this happened to them and they just don't want to accept the fact they had a stroke.

 

In my case I'm the same since the stroke as I was before the stroke for my attitude towards my wife and others too. I don't fight, argue, or get mad at all so no depression, sadness, or why me attitudes. I was in great shape physically but again this can happen to anyone at anytime even young kids and babies too.

 

I hope your relationship gets better with time and back to like it was prior to the stroke.

Link to comment

my dan is not the same either... some traits are still there, but amplified to the point of - who is this guy? dan was always clean - now he is way over the top OCD about it... and makes me do things like flush the toilet twice or walk through the house making sure every light is off.. - sounds like a good thing , trust me it is not... it takes much dedication to stay in a relationship after a severe stroke.. and no one can really tell you what is best.. everyones sitution is to different ,the ghosts in the closet from the past fly out.. if you have chidren ( we have 4) or have been together a long time 29 yrs... so my choice is a bit easier because of the strong ties... i also do get some family support from our kids.... by the by the affected spouses family usually say " see ya!" sp not normally a good source of support... and dans family tends to gloss over the stroke - easily done when you are NOT here.. But the good news it is still very early !!! LOTS can change -- so do give it a good try.. he is angry ( who wouldnt be) grieving his loss and he feels super bad about being overly dependent on you as well.. might even push buttons just trying to get you to leave... who knows and that is the key here -- who knows-- ummm strokes- some walk away from them, some limp away from them, some cant walk away from them, and some die from them... my thoughts and observations.... and the biggest nemesis i have met to date compliments of the stroke-- depression - now that is UGLY .. be alert and if hubby will take antidepressents now you could prevent much in the future... Good luck- we are here -- nancyl

Link to comment

Loralye: Welcome. I found this wonderful site at 9 months post stroke, when I was on the roof! Well, they talked me down, got me through the toughest time - that first year - and here I still am 4 1/2 years later.

 

Your first stepping stone is 6 months - there is no getting past that and you have to settle in and learn somehow to accept it. Stroke is injury to the brain, with any injury comes swelling and it can take up to six months for that brain swelling to resolve. Just the body's normal way of healing. As pressure (swelling) reduces; areas will spread out, redefine themselves. I was advised and it was certainly true of us, that the "essence" of Bruce pre-stroke was still there. He did have emotional ups and downs but that has evened out.

 

Now, it is standard post-stroke protocol to have an antihypertensive, something to lower cholesterol and an antidepressant ordered immediately. When Bruce was past the six month threshold, I asked that the antidepressant be ordered and just recently his PCP up'd it. So while you may have one on board - and consider one if not, know it may have to be tweaked as recovery continues.

 

As Colleen suggests, short term memory goes. It takes time and constant reinforcement to get back. Short term memory is lazy. If it is not reminded every two hours, it will forget. Start working on it now. Pick one thing: we have to pick up milk on the way home. Make him write it, take the note with you. Remind him verbally every few hours. Yes it is annoying. He will get frustrated. But unless you work on it, it will not rewire. So accept the anger and frustration. Only focus on one thing and stick to it.

 

As to you. Please do post on the board under Caregivers. MC will greet you and give you some postings to get through. Lots of info there and one is the Stages of Grieving. BOTH of you have to go through this and you will not do it together. It is a natural process and very individual.

 

There is not a day goes by I don't think about what he/we lost. Mostly I have reached Acceptance, but will tell you I still do have my down days. I can tell you not all is lost, because the stroke is still so new. Many of us will be checking in with you. Some have our partners back cognitively, some never will or are still in progress. But I will tell you it will be easier once you understand that this is a long haul. There is no quick fix - get up tomorrow and things are back to pre-stroke. My Bruce has made his most cognitive improvement just this past year.

 

Please do get through the postings. Come often, let us know how you are doing, what is going on, what is working. And do ask away, because while not all responses are exact to your issues, there will be some positive, something worth thinking about and trying that will fit.

 

Debbie, caregiver to husband Bruce, stroke March 2009

Link to comment

Hi Loralye. After my husband's stroke Feb 29, 2012, I'd sneak into his room where he kept his clothes, and smell the fresh smell of mens' cologne/aftershave (don't know) on his shirts. It would bring such a vivid picture of him, I'd cry my eyes out, and cling to that picture. Now I can't do that anymore. It's easier for me to say, 'this is our life, maybe not the one we picked or planned on, but we are going to live everyday to get the most out of it we can'. It tookk time for me to get here. One day I realized that holding onto the other picture was just too painful, and kept me in the vulnerable state. I still don't believe it, but I don't try to bring the memory back... although it can sneak up on you.

 

I remember early on, I was in Walmart and the song came over the speakers "you're still the one I run to, the only one I belong to, still the one I long to kiss' and I ran to the back wall so no one could see me bawling my eyes out. I wasn't expecting a nerve to be hit at walmart, you know, so had no defense against it. Other times I get taken by surprise, as I am driving home and see my husband's car sitting in the driveway, and my heart jumps and I think, 'what's he doing home early?' A tear falls, as I remember.

 

But I no longer seek it out, I am trying to live in the present and pull joy out of everyday, for the life we still have. Too many of our friends just had their husband fall dead. I still have mine, so I count it a blessing and consider each day a day that we stold from fate,

Link to comment

hi loralye :

 

welcome to best online stroke support group. Stroke affects whole family, I suffered stroke at age 34 which left me paralyzed on my left side, I thought I will never find joy in living again. I hanged tightly on hubby's strength till I got my inner strength back. today after 9+ years on this post stroke journey I view my stroke as just speed bump in my life, it allowed me to slow down & enjoy scenery along the way.

 

Asha

Link to comment

Dear Loralye....My husband had a series of strokes over ? time. He changed, too. I do believe it is normal for us to grieve over what is lost...I did. He was always quick of temper and quick to forget but, now he avoided confrontation more. He had a lot of problems - very frustrating for me. He changed, I changed, our life changed. Grieve all you want - it's real. Just don't become mired in self pity. You will have to move on because there is no going back. He will improve to some degree and is feeling grief for what he lost, too. You came to the right place...you can cry, whine, learn, and take strength from us here. Best of wishes to you both.

Link to comment

Hi Loralye and welcome. It's good you found this site so soon. I didn't find it until 6 months after Larry's stroke and I have been helped and supported so much here. I wish I had my old Larry back too but some of him came back later. He never had the temper flare ups, just passive and unemotional. He was able to get home therapy and then on to O.P. therapy later. The O.P. therapy got him out of the wheelchair and walking with a cane. It takes time and lots and lots of therapy and exercise. He will recover more and a lot of it is motivation on his part and the ever present encouraging on your part.

 

As others have said above, come and let us know how things are going and voice your concerns anytime.

 

Julie, caregiver to spouse Larry, stroke 2/5/10.

Link to comment

Thank you all for the words of encouragement. I am here for the long hall. We have had 20 yrs together and lots and lots of ups and downs. I am just so freaked out about the fact that I seem to be doing this with minimal support from family. Our daughter is great but she's 26 and I don't want her to give up her life to become a care taker. So I am working full time and trying to get everything taken care of. And no one understands, some of the challanges. My Mother in law flipped out because I gave him some silverware with foam on it, so he could grip it better. I just want people to either help or go away.

Link to comment

Loralye: Just a tip. Do not refuse any help you are offered because it is often short-lived and will dissolve eventually. Example: Bruce's best friend has criticized every choice I have made since day one. But she sends meals every week, gets hubbie or one of the kids over here every few weeks to help out. And has truly been on-board as long as she has her say. We see her now twice a year - and anyone can deal with that. But the help is weekly even tho it is not her.

 

Let MIL rock on. Have her say. Remember your Mom - words can hurt but they do not define you. And really Hubbie has his Mom there for him. You encourage and support that because his relationship with her is not your relationship with her. Let her do her own thing with her son. You relish the time away - and you do need to get away when family is there to help. Get in your lady shower, do errands or just get out for a coffee.

 

Don't take the attitude that it has to be your way. Yes, you know best. You are there 24/7. You know what works and what doesn't. And you have to plan ahead to accomodate your work schedule. But as this journey progresses, you will find that a couple of hours changes nothing. And you have someone in to spell you off.

 

You are sensitive right now - way too many things to shuffle and deal with. But take strength in knowing you have gone through all the training, have seen the positive results, are willing to discuss and educate as to strategies to making Hubbie more independent. And then walk away and let the comments roll right off you.

 

I remember Bruce's friend visiting, sinking into a 30 year old chair and saying "Debbie, you need new furniture!" My response "OK, you stay with Bruce a few hours and I'll go furniture shopping!" People just don't think. Plus they have no clue. Keep that in mind. But do cash in on any help offered. Debbie

Link to comment

Maddie - why don't you copy your note (then delete it here) and go up to your name on the top right and see where it says MANAGE BLOGS when you click on the little white arrow beside your name. Go in there and start your blog. You will want to have all the things you are thinking and feeling in one place, so you don't have to look and wonder where someone's reply was that you'd like to read again. It's good to know where to look for our posts and responses, and it's like a history to what we are going thru. I'll hold back commenting till it's on your blog, so your answer doesn't get lost on Loralye's blog :)

Link to comment

I am totally new to this site. My husband had a stroke on July 30. He didn't show any of the classic signs but had fallen at home. We found out in the ER. He had another stroke while in the hospital. He hasn't suffered any paralysis but has vision problems and is extremely tired all the time. He also seems to be experiencing some short term memory loss. He came home Monday of this week. Just getting up in the morning, shaving and taking a shower totally wears him out. Has this been your experience? I just don't really know what to expect and what is normal in the recovery process. Hospital personnel kept telling us how lucky he was and I realize that, it could have been so much worse but this is all new to us and any help and encouragement we can get is greatly appreciated. I guess at this point I don't even know what questions to ask. I feel helpless.

 

My husband had 2 strokes in 1997, the thing to remember, each patient is different. There is no normal recovery. I was told my husband would never walk again, but he does! You have to take each day as it comes and celebrate the little victories. Be patient, ask the questions. Yes, my husband still becomes very tired, we plan our activities based on how he feels each day and each day is different. Are you in rehab, or PT? My husband has short term memory loss as well, but at least he does't stay made at me for long! This can be a very scary time for you both get support and talk about it. I'll be happy to answer any.

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.