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Hi Again!


Cathleende

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Hi Again Everyone!

 

I really wish I had more time for this, but I'll take what I can get. First of all, congratulations to Nancy on your new grandbaby. I have two myself, it's the best thing ever!

 

I really enjoyed reading the blogs this week. Of course, I really appreciate your replies to my last blog. You all seem to understand things that I never even mentioned. Nancy, you couldn't be more right about John having to watch me do things and fix things he used to do. Like your Dan, not only could he fix cars, he could fix or build anything. It absolutely kills him to watch me do those things now. And Fred, I read all you posts. As I read them I often think to myself; I hope John can someday do the things that Fred can do.

 

As I read all the posts, I couldn't help but think about something my Dad and I always talked about. He used to say to me, "Cathy I felt bad for the man who had no shoes, until I saw the man with no feet". I used to laugh and tell him it didn't work for me that way. For me, I would then feel bad for both of them. And then I would go on to explain to him that I have never felt better simply because somebody else felt worse. However, as read all of the posts here on the site, I find myself feeling very grateful for the abilities John has retained. When I read about Julie's Larry having trouble swallowing, I can't image worrying about John getting the nutrition that he needs. Actually, I have the opposite problem, not a darn thing wrong with his appetite. In fact, while he was in rehab they always told him he was a member of the clean plate club. As I read, my heart goes out to all you, survivors and caregivers alike. John's speech and cognitive abilities were not affected. He has however developed what I call a flat affect. He used tear up at the drop of a hat, especially if dogs or kids were involved. Now I am lucky to get a I-might-be-feeling-something look. Although he is able to express himself with words. I just kind of miss seeing his emotions.

 

I hope that someday I, like Asha, will look back and see this stroke as a "speed bumb". Speaking of Asha, didread some where that you live Manchester, MO? I am was born and raised in North St. Louis County and was living in Ofallon, MO when we moved to Georgia. My husband was born and raised in St. Charles, MO. Hmmmm.......I had some of my best teen years in Manchester. I played fast pitch softball there for the Manchester Hawkettes. Many, many years ago. Had some of my not-so-proud moments there, but boy did I have fun. I was only 16! Speaking of St. Louis, I wanted to let Stingray (not sure of your real name yet, sorry) know that we have already made a trip to St. Louis. John and I actually traveled there in October 2013. I told him that not going home was not an option. We drove and stopped halfway and did great with the trip. We were suppose to be leaving this Sunday for another trip, but we need to delay the trip. We really need to deal with his depression, so we delayed the trip. I have some things lined up that might help. Going to the Neurologist tomorrow and have a new plan for therapy that might give him a reason to get out of bed most days. We have rescheduled the trip for the week of the 4th of July. And Julie, we just might have to swing by Chesterfield and say Hi! And I just wanted to let Englishlady and Asha know that I can only speak for myself, but caring for John is an absolute labor of love. I am sure it is for your husbands as well.

 

Oh my gosh, I go on. I have eluded to the fact that John is struggling right now. The depression is overwhelming him, but I have some plans to get that dealt with. We will be getting a recommendation from the Neurologist for a Pshyciatrist and I have some plans for his therapy that will give him a reason to get out of bed on most days. Indeed, life can be struggle when living with stroke. But I live by one simple motto. You have two choices in life, you either go on, or you don't. And the latter is not an option.

 

My Heart Is With You All,

 

 

Cathy

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Cathy, I mentioned this in a reply to your last post, please comment on it. John IS on an anti-depressant, right? This is vital for a stroke patient. You can't expect them to deal with the loss of their entire self image and still be able to function. They have to be able to be positive to get thru what life has given them.

 

I will say that after Bob's initial 100 days of home therapy, then months of out therapy (really good insurance), there was a spot in between somewhere that we were not in therapy. Bob kinda flattened out, like "so this is my life". It was all too new and raw then... everything that he had been robbed of that was how he defined himself as himself.

 

However, since we stopped our therapy mid Dec for this last year, we spent the winter snowed in, and by now, he can think better and is learning to read again (which MUCH work) and he likes spending time in his hobby room where he practices reading, enjoys his hotwheels, builds things with lincoln logs and just goofs around, listening to his old ipod who used to bike & run with.

 

He sees himself more, other than just by the standard of all the things he's lost. This takes time. The brain is horrified by all it lost, and it can't identity 'who am I' anymore. The things that made us who we were, are all gone. I remember the day we went to clean out his office. The next day when he woke up, he said, "I'm Bob... I'm Bob.... I'm Bob". I said, yea.... I know you are. He said, "I'm Bob... I'm Bob..." I said, yea, but why do you keep saying that? He said, "I'm Bob... but when other people see me, do they still see Bob? or just some old guy?" I could see the struggle he was having... heartbreaking.... to see himself still after everything he identified himself as, was taken away... and wondering if others could still see Bob, as Bob... the one they knew.

I think the therapies are crucial, especially in the beginning when they are floundering. I do a lot of home therapy with him, also. I tell him 'this is your job now, let's get to work!'

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PS - Bob's appetite... the reason why every dish and piece of silverware in the kitchen is always dirty.... and he's skinny... wish I could say the same about me....

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Cathy :

 

I enjoy reading your blogBTW before realizing my stroke as just speed bump in my life's journey I went through severe depression after loosing of my job &ofcourse feeling worthless. I questioned who am I, if I am not Asha Software Engineer who made big fat paycheck then who I am, & what's the point of surviving & become burden on my family. Thanks to support of my amazing husband & our young son I found my purpose in living again. Though after struglling in the begining when if I am not getting ready for work then why get out of bed. So I have created myself routine for myself which helps me look forward to my day. my routine is mundane but it works for me, like I exercise M,T then wednesday is my break day where I catch up on my laundry & other house duties & again thursday, friday exercise. I have found blogging and chatting with other survivors very therapeutic for my soul. Also writing 5 things to be greatful in my gratitude journal helps me. So there you have all my secret now. BTW I am originally from India but have settled in USA for last 20 years.

 

Asha

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Hi Cathy. So good to see you here again. We were just getting ready to watch our Cardinals. I'm sure you will be tuning in too. : )

 

It sounds like you have made some big strides with John. So great that you could travel. Yes, do come to see us. We are close to Chesterfield Mall and I'm sure you know where that is. Larry use to live in Manchester and his kids went to Parkway South. That was before me. (BJ) lol Larry is originally from Indiana and I am from southern Illinois.

 

Yes, the flat affect is with Larry too. No tears or laughter here, and he will smile that crooked smile once in a while, especially if prompted. I miss it the emotional effects too. Larry would tell jokes or say something funny and laugh until he made you laugh.

 

Good luck with your psychiatric visit with John's depression. I know you will find something that works for him. Let us know how that goes if you will.

 

I enjoy your blogs also. Keep up with the great caregiving job you are doing .

Best to you both in John's recovery.

 

Julie

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Cathy: good to hear from you and get an update as to your new journey. Do let us know how John is faring with the depression. There are many choices out there. I do hope a good regime is found for John.

 

Lots of pix please if you hook up with Julie and Larry. That will be great fun for all of you. Hope to see you back in Chat. Debbie

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depression single worst ailment ( my opinion) of strokes….. they are the root of so much …… and although dan is better in terms of depression it still is day by day… right now we are in mn again and i am at a motel bar - on stroke net ( for crying out loud lol) and dan is in the room being iV'd -- the trip took it out of him…. but i did promise the kids we would come back and see the baby again with april so we have….hang tough -- it gets better - or we get better ?? in terms of intervention ?? nancyl

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Hi Cathy, great to hear from you. Depression is Mr.Stroke calling card. At first I would not go and talk to the doctor, it was my daughter and grandkids who got me to go. I would sit in my bedroom, watch my husband go to work , son go to school, telling then Iam okay. I would just sit in a chair and look at the celing thinking"bad thoughts". I even stop getting out of my night dress, i was mean to my husband. My grandkids came and ask "what was wrong with me" my grandson I was mean. That broke my heart, and my daughter got me to the doctor, best thing for me, and I was not on then for long.

 

Great that you are travelling, you go girl.

Since everyone is telling where they are from, Iam from England, my husband is an American, I have been in America for 24years, but still speak like I just come over LOL

 

Yvonne

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