Understanding change

Hi
I am new to the forum but not new to a stroke. I had my stroke July 2014 two days before my 5 year old daughter birthday and I thank whoever may be up there that I am still alive. However over three years on my wife has decided to leave the family home and has taken my daughter. It’s only been 5 days and I hope we can sort things out. It has taken an event like my wife leaving to realise I may need some help. Before the stroke we were happy and even though I may be a bit grumpy at times all was ok. After the stroke I could not work for a while so everything was put upon my wife financially and she had to work and run the house herself. I don’t want this post to sound like a moaning session but after reading most posts it seems acceptable to moan on your first post so sorry.
I love my wife to bits and it is hurting me she has left however if I could understand the change the stroke has caused me it may make us both become closer than ever. I am in constant pain on my left side, however, I don’t call it a pain I call it an inconvenience because if you tell people you are in pain you get that sympathetic look which makes me feel awkward.
The inconvenience is worse last thing at night and first thing in the morning with relative inconvenience in between and mild to medium inconvenience during the day. I have always struggled with showing too much emotion but since the stroke sometimes it is as if I don’t care about anything. My short term memory is pretty bad and sometimes if I am told something I can take two steps then forget what I was told. I am very irritable on the bad days and fine on the good. I understand I am not the only person to have a stroke and all I am asking is this behaviour normal and how do you adapt together and live happily ever after.
My wife has been so brave and understanding so far but after me finding out exactly how bad our situation is financially she left and is blaming me for not getting adaquate help in the past, so this is the start of a long journey hopefully back to some sort of normal.
I am also going to try and get help from the medical people.
Moaning over any thoughts would be most helpful

Hi Cutmo. I am sorry about your current situation and hope things work out. When I had my stroke, I could see my partner was distraught, but also knew the after effects could affect our relationship. On the plus side, we had been together for 39 years and that is an important difference between us. What I had to do, however, was talk about it. I am retired, so finances were okay. What I didn’t want was my partner to be a carer who felt duty bound to stay home with me 24.7., So I insisted that some time be spent away from me, so that my partner could relax and chill out without having to have me as the sole focus of attention. Fortunately, I have improved a good deal, so that our lives are more ‘normal’.

I hope things work out for you. The most important thing is to talk to each other and try to resolve things.

Hi

Very sorry to hear of what sounds to be a very difficult time, and you're holding up with a positive approach.

Sounds pretty normal from your side of things. Would it be fair to say your wife has clearly been under some considerable strain for some time? I suppose one question that springs to mind is what has really gotten to her. Could be a number of things either singly or in some combination. The pressure of looking after finances which are sinking, the worry of a changed loved one, the loss of support from a spouse, raising a young daughter... Is there are way to discuss with her what is affecting her most, and then try to fix that? Even starting the journey towards a fix might show her a change she can relate to.

How about your emotions? What do you mean that you show your emotions too much, but now you don't care about anything? Are you thinking that could be affecting your wife?

Just throwing out questions, hoping they help spark off some thoughts. I hope things turn around for all three of you.

Best wishes
Kevin

Thank you all for replies so far. My wife has been under a lot of pressure most of which I did not know about. I know I am not the same person I was before the stroke but somewhere inside I want to be but as you probably know you need to adapt and maybe I have only adapted to make myself function and I have not thought enough about the people around me who obviously care.
My wife at the moment refuses to talk to me so I have no idea what is going on or what I need to fix for her to be happy again. She has treated me like a china doll that you need to look after and I suppose kept things away from me so I don’t get too upset, however, my blood pressure is controlled and the only time it has gone up to hypertension levels is when she left me.
Again thank you for your words of support and hopefully things will sort themselves out.

The china doll/"look at" analogy is a good one, I've not seen it in this context before and it's very expressive. Does nobody any favours.

You've probably already thought of this, but are you able to approach her friends or family (providing they know about this of course)? Might open a line of communication. Apologies if that's an unwanted suggestion, just throwing out ideas.

Best wishes for everything

Kevin

Thanks Kevin all views at the moment are helpful.
I have tried talking to her family and mine but until she is ready to talk I just need to wait. I have spoken to the stroke Association helpline and I have also made an appointment with my GP. I have read leaflets on strokes which I did not do previously and I have found out I am not alone and I have most of the after effects of a stroke. I did not realise how much it had affected my wife but now I do know I hope we can sort it out.

How very sad.
After stroke we are different people and sometimes we can not continue with our friends because we are different.
What is awful is that no one has ever explained to you about the emotional changes etc.
As Kevin says, you seem to have plenty of after effects that plenty of us also have.
Might your wife need a break from you ? And I mean a day or two, not a permanent break. I have insisted my wife gets away from me for a few hours each day and also a few days each month. That has eased a lot of pressures.
Best wishes
Colin

I'd echo John and Colin. Might it help you if establish a period when your wife can take time away from it all, for herself?

I'd also add that you're clearly taking many steps to make a positive difference. When your wife opens up again, I hope she can see this. I hope you can both work together to see the finances stable again and sort any other problems too.

Best wishes
Kevin

I am the wife of Cutmo1967, can I just say I love my husband so much, but the stroke has changed him to a different man. Hopefully now he has seen our GP and told him all the issues I have mentioned to him things can slowly start to rebuild. But this will take time and not be a quick fix, too much hurting has been done. Together4ever x

Hi Mb, How brave and courageous of you to write your post, especially in such difficult circumstances. We respond to survivors like ourselves, because the forum offers a place to express hopes, fears and worries. Stroke is a devastating experience for both the person affected and his or her partner. I hope better days are ahead.take care of yourself. I hope you have seen from our posts that we never apportion blame, but try to be helpful in suggesting ways forward. Look after yourself.

Pages

Category

Share

Charity information

Stroke Association is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales (No 61274). Registered office: Stroke Association House, 240 City Road, London EC1V 2PR.

Registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No 211015) and in Scotland (SC037789). Also registered in Northern Ireland (XT33805), Isle of Man (No 945) Jersey (NPO 369).