I was daydreaming today, kind of reviewing the last four + years. I know all of us were advised out the gate to stress therapy. And really Insurance Companies want it over and done with. I am wondering if they have stats hidden somewhere about all of this - and since it involves money, I am pretty sure of it.
The thinking is get a stroke victim back on board immediately. And I don't disagree with that, but as we get into this and educate ourselves and share stories, most of us Caregivers, I think, would agree that until that brain swelling resolves and reconnections are being made, most of the complex recovery doesn't really start until about a year post.
Educate us to get them out of bed, showered, dressed. Set up those home services that are paid for. Retrain elimination as need be. Get the standard medications on board and then let us figure out what is needed, get some professional input from our Home Caregivers and then let us tap into the money allowed us towards recovery.
Bruce needed Speech immediately. Julie's Larry did not need it until about year two. Both very different reasons, but the same therapy. Colleen's Ray and Nancy's Dan had to get seizures under control before they could consider PT and OT. Regulating blood levels of any medication takes months, if you get the right one right out of the gate.
But then I was thinking about the guys. Guys think differently. Their priorities are specific. As wives of many years, we communicate differently. A look, gesture, smile. Verbal communication is different. I do know that Bruce hates when he hears me say "We have to talk" LOL.
I reflect on Colleen, Nancy and I at the Casino. All three guys very different, except maybe not. Dan enjoying the slots, Bruce kind of going back and forth between groups, Ray just liking people watching. I am thinking if we put all three guys in a bar. Ask the Bartender to put on a good game - any game. Ordered each of them a beer (none really drink beer right now, but again a guy thing) some hors d'ouevres-picking food; Colleen, Nancy and I could have left them, had some time to meet and share. None of us are gamblers, but sit outside with an iced tea and just get to know one another. Then do a welfare check at about an hour and a half.
All of us noticed how well the guys communicated - aphasia and all. Thumbs up or down, smiles, head nods. and I am not saying they are simple, but I think maybe men try not to think too deeply, especially with other guys. They have their partners and Besties for that. Guy to guy, it is really fun and camaraderie. If they had to meet pre-stroke it would have been the same thing.
I am thinking that I was thinking too complexly - adding layers where they were not necessary. Simplicity, maybe. Get yourself washed up, teeth, morning paper. Nap, exercise. Maybe some reading, balance checkbook another day. Maybe that is all he is capable of right now. If he can toilet himself safely, really how much more do I need right now. Just some thoughts. Debbie