Help! I'm sticking my foot in my mouth!
[/size][/color][/b](Sorry for length) I am doing this as a blog because I really didn't know where to put it. It is for caregivers and I know many come here.
First let me say that I have the utmost respect for you and realize that you do what you do because of your love for your survivor. Lately, though, I have had a problem and I need some imput from those who would know.
There is a couple that comes to stroke support. The husband is a very sweet man and has aphasia BUT, he is one who is fortunate in that he has no physical disability. His caregiver, of course, is his wife. They moved her a little over a year ago and really haven't made close friends with people as they would have had they remained where they were. I'm not sure why they came to this area from South Florida but they did.
The gentleman desires some male friends that he could go to the gym with. It's not a case of going to the gym and meeting someone because he "can't" speak. Actually, I believe that he can and would speak more if it weren't for his wife. There, I said it. One time after they had come to support a few times he actually said a few words and I was shocked - it was the first time. Anyway, back to where I was. His wife speaks constantly and machine gun fast. He really can't say anything because her mouth is always going, always speaking for him. (Yes, I understand that if he can't speak), she probably feels she must.) The thing is, the few times I have been in the group with her and when she called me to discuss something, I wanted to tell her to shut up! She really got on my nerves and I am only in her presence an hour or 2 at a time. OK, perhaps she doesn't realize she is doing it. They have been married a zillion years and I guess he understands.
We are going to have weekly get-togethers and she has taken over and "started arrangements" after discussing it in general. That's fine. I had copied the things that the successful Orlando Stroke support group had when Florida was listed as members meeting members. There is no way that the 2 groups would be in competition because of distance; but we should be picking up as an east coast group for people in this area. I had given the information to the ST who is in charge of the group (but that's another story) She glanced at it and handed it back to me, so because she was sitting next to me and was all gungho, I gave it to the wife. She was glad to get it and did call me about it.r
Her basic idea is good - we should meet weekly when out group doesn't meet - and when it does, every week but that one at the library which will give us a room to use. That way, no one would not be able to come because of cost. Personally, there are places we could go to as a group once a month that wouldn't be much. Im fact, a new woman, who has aphasia but apparently has a simpler case, had said she and her husband go to Taco Bell every week and if anyone wanted to join them that would be great. It was her idea since eating and meeting had not been mentioned. I jokingly said I would not go to Taco Bell because they fired the chihuahua that was in their ads - which were great. (Actually, I did stop going but didn't go often because I don't like spicy foods.)
Anyway, I am finally getting to my point. How could I possibly get this man to speak and take part without telling her to keep quiet. I don't know if he goes to any therapy and he seems to be at the mercy of the constant nagging. What can I say, as a member of the group that would involve him to the point of joining in the "conversation" without his wife answering for him. Unfortunately, the other men have physical problems and would not be able to go to the gym. The one man who would have been great is the man who had the brain tumor and they have moved to be near a son. There is a new man, who doesn't have aphasia who would understand, but the problem with him is he had surgery for heart problems and the gym he goes to is the cardiac gym. Any ideas of how to untie this man from his wife's apron strings - and give me some peace and quiet also? :uhm: [/font]