personality changes?

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i had my stroke 9/23/7. it was a clot in the right interior capsule and adjacent thalamus. I have also had bilateral mini stokes that I didn't know that I had until I had my big one, (I have been told that I have chronic strokes) . I have noticed that I am not the same person I was before my "big one." I mean physically I am the same...I was very lucky and got all of the physical back (left side), but I notice little things that have changed...I used to have patients with my husband and my little boys, now I seem to get mad and go off at the small things. I know that I am doing it but I can't seem to stop. I am on anti depressants for depression and I think that that is taken care of. Like I said it it just small stuff. I didn't know if anyone else had noticed things like this...sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. I have to remind my self that I DID have a stroke, and I do get worn out more easily than I did before I had my stroke.. :head_hurts:.but I take one day at a time...I also wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you....I have been so alone in all of this because I haven't had anyone to talk to about any of mom tries (she was an rn for many years), but she kinda wants to "forget" that it happened. That I should be the way I was before my stroke...I shouldn't sleep more, I should't get tired, I should just be the prestroke me. I am doing the best that I can, what more can I do?



leah k

Ischemic survivor since 9/23/7

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Leah, your mom might be an RN but she hasn't had experience of what happens to a stroke survivor long term. Ray had his first stroke in 1990, after six months he went back to work and everyone said he had "got everything back" but it was not so. He would walk in from work, drop into an armchair, sleep till dinner was on the table, eat dinner and go off to bed. On weekends he would get up late, do a couple of hours work in the yard and sleep the rest of the time. No-one told me this was NORMAL as a residual from a stroke. No-one goes back to what they were and fatigue is a major problem as a post-stroke deficit.


Try to get into a routine as much as you can with housework, family etc. Ask your husband to cut you some slack. Tell the kids :"Mom is tired now and we'll do whatever later." You are a survivor, you do not have the energy levels you did pre-stroke. You might build up more energy as you continue to heal but for now you need to be guided by your body and rest when you need to.


When you feel as if you are about to blow up call some time out, go for a walk, look at a magazine, do whatever usually relaxes you. If hubby complains tell him this is your time and he can always do whatever he wants you to do himself. It is long term survival that counts and you need to make short term goals now to make sure you go on to lead a long and happy life.


(((Hugs))) from Sue.

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Hi Leah


No matter what anybody says you are not the same after you have a stroke, you might get back to close pre stroke but never 100%.

All you can do is go at your own pace do not try to rush it, slow down and enjoy what you are doing, take time out to rest or just sit and read etc.

Believe me at first i thought i was ok but you soon come to relize that is not the case.


Best wishes



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It is very difficult for someone who has not walked in our shoes to fully understand what being a stroke survivor entails. We have good and bad days just like everyone else; however, with us our deficits can and do have a greater impact on us.


I am 3 years post; I still have times when I need to retreat to the quiet confines of my room until I am more relaxed and able to deal with everyday life - things that before the stroke I accepted as the ways things were. Stress is believed to be a cause of stroke and none of us want to have reocurrences. Take the time for yourself, be gentle with yourself. We are our own worse critics.


You're a survivor and you're not alone.

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leah, welcome to this great website, i hope you are able to learn alot here about strokes and how they affect survivors and their families. as the others have said. you are not going to be back to your old self. that person is gone, now you have to work on the new you with your families help. patience is a hard thing to master after a stroke. but it will get better if you work on it. maybe your doctor might need to put you on a mild tranquilizer to help calm you. mine had to give me 1 after my stroke and it does help. everyones recovery from a stroke is different, as are our deficits. no one can truly understand how we feel until they have walked in our shoes. don't be to hard on yourself and do what you need to do to feel better. if family doesn't understand, i wouldn't worry about it. get better and know we all are here for you with support and understanding and ((((hugs)))) when you need them. let us know how you are doing as times passes.

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Leah ~


I can say Amen to all your going through. Been there, felt that. And my stroke and brain hemrage was 13 yrs. ago. I felt so alone till I found this wonderful site with encouraging friends with caring hearts as big as a mountain! So hang in there Leah, I'll say a little prayer for you.

Take care my friend, may you gain strength as each day shines brighter. My family is very caring! But can get very frustrated at times. This gets me feeling insecure as i can't do anything

about it. Like words just flowing out. Not using wisdom to forsee different situations.

Take care ~ Nancy

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Hi Leah:


Every thing I just read on this thread sounds so familiar. It is hard to know that you have some deficits, while everyone around you tell your the same as before. That is what happens with my family and friends also. I had a ischemic stroke last September, and like you I am trying to "fit" a new me in old skin!


My only suggestion is keep plugging on....and come and visit this site often. The folks here are wonderful and supportive.....keep me sane many days!!



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it's impossible to know for sure if these changes will be permanent or if they will intensify or diminish. stroke is a traumatic injury to our nerological system. i found out from others here that it'is important to understand and accept our own limitations. allow an appropriate time for recovery. we need to be patient with ourselves, but keep our minds active. self-worth, confidence and enjoyment of life will gradually return.



it may be helpful if you read these articles that will help you and others to understand more about the emotional challenges stroke survivors have to deal with ---


<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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I am more emotionl since the stroke. maybe life is to short to hold stuff in now. I find I am more "sensitive" to tones of voice.. I hate being patfronized, and I can have quite a sharp tongue. I try to bite it at times, so I dont have to end up with my foot in my mouth.. my husband probably gets the brunt of it.


He has a "tone" of voice at times.... that if it was legal.. and I could get away with it I would probably punch him... (he is 6' tall actually a very gentle person, and I m a 5 ft tall spitfire.


My opinion.. Family DO not want to see the deficits.. they will see the progress. and they can be in denial BIG time. for awhile .. if I did something or got upset... I did say.. ah... brain damage...


I will get better, your skin and emotions will get better.. and sometimes you will just tell someone.. 'bite me"...oh well life goes on... try to think...


is this really important .. to make a fuss over. will it be a big deal tomorrow? next week, next year? If not. try to let it go.. life is short .. live it love it and have fun



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  • 2 weeks later...



Welcome to the forum, I Stroked in Feb 07, and I too, have noticed that I now have a VERY short fuse now, to what I refer to as "stupid people" People that don't use common sense, people that I feel should know what they are asking me, or know certain things. There are just certain things that annoy me all to hell, and the thing is, is that I work in IT, and deal with people all day long, I just vent after talking to the people, and move on, sometime I need to get up and go for a walk, and get away from my desk.


Driving................that's another place that I have REALLY noticed it, as well has my wife, other drivers really get to me now, you know the one's that get on a freeway at 15 MPH, drive in the fast lane at 30, etc. Just things that I used to just say "eh, whatever............."



Hang in there.

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yes all of the emotions after a stroke, are sometimes hard to contain. believe i know, i try to bite my tongue many times to avoid sayimg something i will regret probably. then other times it just comes flowing out. oh well, it happens, as bonnie said "BITE ME" is a common term around my house,LOL. i have always been outspoken, that didn't change with my stroke, its hard leah and we do understand, families need to be understanding with us and try to see things through our eyes sometimes. hang in there and remember we are all in this together. it will get easier.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest beatle bailey


Thanks Leahk

I'm very new to this site , , and very slow on trying to figure out how to use this site to my advantage , , , when I read what you had to say , I could identify right down the line . .

so how do we find the answers to all the questions . . like how do I know if the blood thinner is even working , , I also have a blood clot in the upper right front part of my brain , , you said you had strokes even before your major stroke , , , what did they feel like , , I remember at time feeling like electric shocks were going off in my head , , ,but on june 4th + 5th I had a series of 5 or 6 mini strokes that had quite a differant effect , , , like you it seems like I have had a full recovery , but I know I am differant . . that being said . I now seem to have a hieghtened sence of emotions , , , I really don't even know what or who to ask all the question , , I live alone

Beatle Bailey

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We often talk about IEED in terms of how it effects us outwardly but where it stems from most likely is present in many of us even if we do not have it do the extreme that makes it visibly noticeable.

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Hi Leah....


The thing of it is...folks who aren't walking down the same path have trouble knowing what you're going through.....


Now...I didn't recover right side is kinda semi functional...walk with a cane and a brace....

So in a way, I advertise the situation...


But if folks are seeing without a physical manifestation...they'll tend to forget.....


The tendency is for them to think yer cured.....Heck...they want ya to be cured.....


But it's most likely not in the cards for that.....


Just be aware of your limitations, and remind other folks of them, when you run up against one....


Yer kinda stuck with having to educate them.....

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Hi Leah,


I agree with everything that has been posted, no matter what anyone says or wishes you will forever be different than you were pre stroke. I'm not surprised about what your mother wishes, many nurses not directly involved with stroke patients have a very small knowledge about stroke and what it does to a body, usually it's something they've heard or been told by a nurse whose been in the fray, so don't be too hard on her.


Get plenty or rest, and look after yourself.

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I sometimes wish that even I could forget that stroke had entered my life.

And YES I'm much different than I was pre stroke.

My temper,

once easily controlled now seems like it is always lurking around the corner waiting to strike at the 1st unsuspecting victem to come along which usually is one of my kids or my wife

Who thinks that just because physically I no longer appear to have any limitations

What she can't see is the mental aspect of it that I STILL deal with daily.

I've started trying to use my pent up frustrations by channeling them through my daily excersises

which are starting to get more intense these days (a GOOD thing I hope).

All you can really do is try to avoid going "ballistic on others but when it happens be willing to say "I'm sorry"

Best of luck to you Leah....



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Hi LEah ~


I'm back, your comment has really rung true to my situation on a daily basis & it has

given me confidence to go on in this life. I get misunderstood by those close to me, because

I am a very sensitive person I take too much to heart & get hurt by those that have supported

me through thick & thin. My change came 13 yrs ago. I'm cerainly not that same person as I

was, can't do the same active things I use to. But God kept me alive to watch my children grow

up & be happy which makes me happy.

:forgive_me?: We have to keep forging on. Any change can upset my applecart. I'll remember always the nurse came to me the day before I got out of rehab & said never expect your family to see you any other way than normal. This statement has proven so true. As

Kimmie said I try to bite my tongue to prevent from saying something I regret, it doesn't

always work b/c I can't control words that just slip out @ times. I better get to bed, I'm getting tired but thanks so much to all of you for your acceptance & love. Here's to you Leah for

bringing this sensitive subject up.

Tomorrow's a new day!....Nancy

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I can identify with your remarks about your Mom, because my children want to "forget" and refuse to understand when asked to help with simple chores. They seem ashamed of me and don't want to be around me. It has helped to read the posts on StrokeNet from others who have felt this. I try hard not to call attention to my deficits and to put my energy into achieving more independence. My thoughts are with you. Anne

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i just wanted to say thank you all sooooo much.


I am sitting here reading all of the posts and crying because it means so much to me that you understand. I thank you all for your thoughts and I want you to know that i am thinking about all of you too!! i have to go for now but i'll be back!!


thank you



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Leah, I've not been back on since I joined but I can certainly relate to what you're going through. I had my major stroke in August 2005 and being three years out (tomorrow, Tuesday to be exact), I keep thinking that things should be back to "normal." Well, they're not! I still cannot fully use my right hand, and I still have a slight limp. Moreover, I still get tired easily. For a while post-stroke I felt pretty good, and thought that the tiredness would dissipate, and it did for a while (or so I thought). But, then too, I had other medical issues at the same time.


But, cleaning my apartment might take me two days, rather than the half-day previously. I was very cranky and jumpy after the stroke and that lasted for about two years. Now, I can't take large crowds and I can't involve myself in other peoples' nonsense and game-playing. I've always had somewhat of a short fuse, but now, it's almost as though the stroke "dulled" part of my emotional being. I don't have as as short a fuse now so I don't know if it's because of stroke, maturity or both. And yes, for those who have not experienced stroke first-hand, it's a mind-blowing experience. I'm no longer cranky but the telephone occasionally startles me.


One thing I've learned is; everyone's stroke is different. And, I think that's why it is so difficult for some medical professionals to tailor a rehab program exactly to our inddividual needs. I've asked my doctors questions, and the responses I recieve are vague and arbitrary; "Oh yes, it could be," or "Maybe it's this-or-that." You get what I mean don't you?


Well, Leah, continue to hang in there and just "keep on keepin' on."



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