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Difficult Survivors



I received a call today from a fellow stroke survivor.I'll just call her Kay for here. We share a bond of having had our strokes the same day and were in the neuro ward a few rooms apart for about 5 weeks. We both had a right hemi strokes and similar initial damage. I've come along a little better than her so far and we have very different temperaments. We both had the same hospital care and she tells horror stories and I can only relate one mildly inept encounter with an aide that didn't like her job. Our perceptions are polar opposites. We went to the same outpatient rehab for the last 16 months or so She recently was discharged because of Medicaid rules. I understand her being upset and angry about that. I felt frightened when my 90 insurance alloted therapy sessions ran out the first time.


I get along with Kay, we can commiserate on a lot and laugh at some of the darker aspects of this mess. But then the complaints start. The bad therapists, Doctors, care assistants...ad nauseum. I listened to about 15 minutes of it today and my own mood was brought down and I felt some real annoyance with her. I've asked her daughter if her attitude is just since the stroke and she said, no...mom's always been difficult. If this were a well person, I would avoid them;but she's not, and understanding company is hard to come by, even when you're independent and easier to be around. So I want to remain in limited contact with her but I want to cope with her better. Suggestions appreciated.




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"Take it with a grain of salt," you heard that one before? She may not have accepted the stroke as you have. Listen to her, cheer her up when possible, after all you are in the same boat but you are not depressing in your conversations or mind for that matter.


She wants to feel better at this point and she's quick to blame any body or any think for how she is presently. It takes time to recover for all of us but she wants it now, today. Well, it's going to take a while longer like you are doing. That's my suggestion to you! :big_grin: :cocktail:


She's just not in a coping mood right now! :unsure: She's ready to blame the world much less the therapist, doctors and their assistants. Keep your cool!

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Some people always want to put the blame "out there". That way they don't have to be responsible for anything, they can just impress on everyone how bad a deal they have.


I live near someone who is like that. On the whole I am good with it and make appropriate noises. I say "well", "oh dear", "is that right?" I let the conversation flow and don't take it too much to heart. But sometimes, as you say, it drags you down.


So yes, as Fred said,listen to her, cheer her up when possible and relate the story of your recovery in a fun way. You could try reminding her how far you have both come since the stroke then suggest taking her for a coffee and let the atmosphere cheer her up.


You are a good person Lisa and will be a great friend to many. You are an asset to the site. Good for you.



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I can't stand people like those, in the initial stage of my post stroke recovery those people will drag my mood down too, so I will rather stay away from them. Maybe you can make her look at positive sides of the same experience. though people like those make me appreciate my attitude towards circumstances.



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Thank you all for the dose of positive support. It will translate in to more positive resolve on my part. Prestroke I could have shrugged off her behavior. Now with my own struggle to keep my emotional head above water, it's not as easy,but, I need more days that aren't about me, which in turn also benefits me. Nice how that works.

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Leese: Ditto with Asha. Negativity brings me down also and I believe my positive attitude has helped my good rehab and recovery. Turn lemons into lemonade. Maybe you could think of some things "Kay" said and think how you could put a positive spin on it and converse it back to her without criticizing. Like "I was thinking of what you said...and I thought...


I think you get the drift..just another idea. I got involved with someone like that not long ago but the situation just went away - go figure. Stay cool...God is in charge! Hugs, Leah

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