Emotional changes

My mum had a stroke earlier this year and naturally all our focus is on her which is what we'd expected (without bitterness ). We nearly lost her and we are so grateful that we didn't it was honestly the worst night of our lives. The problem is there is noone that quite understands the impact on families. My mum has gone through such an awful devastating thing yet she is awful to us. She is hurtful and angry with everyone and anyone. We've been as patient as can be with her she just takes that as, us being condescending. If I hear my mum say or anyone that she's had a stroke one more time, like I'm being selfish I'll lose it. I'm exhausted and worn out with it all. I'm sick of my mum's 'I've had a stroke so I can treat everyone like dirt' mentality. Is it the stroke or is she using this as a tool? This sounds shocking but my mum was a very negative person before. It's as if the stroke has emphasised what was already there but at least she showed us some love before. I don't know. What do others think? Is it the stroke or is it within her control? She seems to turn the negative on and off depending on her visitor hence why I ask the question.

Emotional reactions are part of the way we deal with things. It is usually influenced by a person’s character. I have had moments of rage and the odd day of depression. I do not like using my stroke as a stick to hit people with or to get sympathy. I just try to get on with things. Stroke is such a devastating experience, that I can understanding people being obsessed with it. However, I try to appreciate that other people have lives too and that nobody likes a moaning minnie. Have you talked to the Stroke Association helpline about this or contacted a carers group? Might be worth it.

Thank you John no I haven't it might be worth a try. Thank you for sharing it's helpful hearing a fresh perspective I really appreciate that.

Dear Patience
You raise a very interesting point.
As John rightly says, stroke changes emotions. Sometimes for the better, but nearly always different.
The next thing is that Mum is not the Mum she used to be and she will not go back to the Mum you once knew. So please don't imagine that her nasty reactions will necessarily go away.
It is early days and her emotionality needs time to settle.
I have found that the most difficult thing in this long recovery is trying to fit back in to society. I am not the same person, but I remember how I used to react and I cant do that now. In my case I was outspoken and now I am very quiet.
Only another stroke survivor can understand what Mum is going through. And its logical that only another family can understand what its like for you.
It is not good that she keeps saying she has had a stroke. We need to eventually accept that our disabilities are real and permanent or semi permanent. And we need to then live our lives as best we can. We do not fully recover. Part of our brain is dead and it does not regrow.
On day one, I realized I needed my wife and that she needed consideration. So I insisted she spent a couple of hours every day, away from me. Then, after a couple of months, that she spent a few nights away. This keeps her sane and it helps me to be independent and allows me to sort my head out.
There is a level of behaviour that is not acceptable. Stroke or no stroke, there is a line. I am not saying Mum has crossed the line and really its up to you to fix that line.
You can not make Mum better. The Doctors can not make Mum better. She has to do this herself.
Finally, the stroke survivors I have come across are not nasty nor inconsiderate. And they do appreciate the help given to them. But every stroke is different
I do sympathize

Colin

Thank you Colin it is hard to accept that mum is not the same mum I knew but she has said it herself and of course you're right she isn't. Thank you for your honesty and taking the time to share. I will take on board your comments and it has been helpful thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has posted their own experiences of post stroke symptoms both physical and emotional. I suffered a stroke on 1st September and was fortunate to have a very good team of physio and O/T who discharged me after 5 weeks. My left side has improved and I can walk, even if veering to the left, but my left arm still feels quite heavy. I have managed to keep possitve but recently my fatigue has been really bad and I am feeling quite down, then I came across The stroke Association and all your comments have made me feel so much better as I now realise what I am am suffering is normal! Thank you to you all, I don't feel on my own now. I hope you all make a good recovery!

Dear Marcia
I am so sorry to learn of your stroke
What a lovely post, thank you for writing.
Do try to fight off the depression. If depression gets a hold then it will delay your recoveries.
Smile four times a day.
Be positive
You aren't alone, lots of us are out here for you. Only another SS can understand what you are going through.
Things got hard for me around 6 to 9 months, but the recovery continued. And there have been wonderful days. A sudden little burst of recovery (as described on here a Whoosh) is fantastic. And the realisation that another tiny bit of you has started to work again is just so nice.
I can drive, get up a step ladder, bake a cake etc etc. Migraines have virtually ceased. And I got to a stroke group last month. To be with fellow survivors was like being wrapped in a warm blanket.
You are probably suffering the stroke fatigue (?). If you are then don't fight it. Rest and work around it.
Best wishes
Colin

Hello Colin
Thank you for your reply, yes definitely stroke fatigue and I do realise now that this will last for a long time!
I will just have to give in to it. I do find it hard when I was previously very active and working full time at 67 which I really enjoyed, but your advice really has helped and I am feeling much more positive today. I do hope you are having a good day.
Marcia

Dear Marcia
The stroke bit me when I had just turned 68. I don't smoke, not overweight, drink in moderation and above all don't smoke. I am quite active, especially with a long garden to maintain. Mine was ischemic right lacunar infarct. And no complications, a "simple" and uncomplicated stroke.
I had really been enjoying retirement to a delightful village and an inherited bungalow refurbished to suit my wife and I.
If there is anything you want to discuss, do ask. I have no medical training but I do have the experience !
Colin

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