My Dad: 1 year on

My dad had a stroke last November and at the time I felt I was coping. However nearly a year on I'm struggling to come to terms with everything and through reflection, i realise that I didn't ask for the support I needed, I was 22 at the time and didn't know who I could talk too
 (I was always a daddy's girl). Every so often it will hit me that my dad will never be the same again (he suffered left side paralysis and has no use of his arm and limited use of his leg) after 6 months in hospital before he was allowed home, I still find it hard to see him in a wheel chair or his arm without his brace/sling on. I don't feel I can talk to anyone as I have left it so late.
I wish I took more time off work to be with him and was more involved with his recovery. I feel guilty when I think of this considering he was the one who has had his life altered by the stroke, does anyone else feel like this? Or recommend how I can start to move forward?

Hi

It's hard, my sympathy to you.

In terms of help, it's never too late to receive it. In practical terms, I don't know if the GPs etc will offer it or not, hopefully someone here will know. But there can't be any harm in asking, whether your GP for local contacts or whether a helpline such as this one : 0303 3033 100

Incidentally, you shouldn't feel guilty. Yes your dad has had a big shock and change. But so have you, you're very closely connected with him of course it'll affect you deeply too. In many ways it's very difficult in a different way, because there will be less attention paid to supporting you and less understanding of what strains you are trying to handle.

Do you have friends or family you can talk this out with at all, or do you keep things within yourself?

It's not an easy thing, and I do hope things get better for you with time.

Best wishes
Kevin

Dear Kit Kat
Well done in how you are handling some of the issues of your Dads stroke. You have grasped that he is not going to recover to his previous state. So many of us struggle with this fact and don't get the hang of what is going on for many many months. Then we are shocked by how difficult it is to get ourselves back in to society.
You have identified that you can not do everything. Please don't reprimand yourself when you have clearly supported Dad beyond the call of duty.
Those of us lucky enough to survive need to effect much of our own recovery. Much of this recovery is up to us. Not the doctors, not our family and not our carers.

It was not your fault that caused a stroke to get Dad. You should be quietly pleased that you helped Dad a great deal without asking others.
In the event that you can not shake off the guilt trip then counselling helps many.
Well done Kit Kat
Colin

Hi Kevin and Colin.
Many thanks for your replies. It helped just to receive them, I didn't feel quite so alone. I have often thought about the stroke association helpline just could never get the courage to do so. I will deffinitely try this out. It's coming up to a year since my dad's stroke so finding this time of year particularly difficult at the moment so will find it helpful.
Thank you once again!

Good luck!

You're always welcome to voice things on here too.

Best wishes
Kevin

Hi,
I completely understand you, 100%! My dad also suffered a bad stroke, its also been roughly a year. He was left much like your dad, very limited use of his left leg and no use of his left arm. Add to that the cruel blow that his speech never fully recovered, so I can no longer have conversations with him. Before my dad had his stroke, 6 months before my parents moved house and decided to live on a boat (this was like winning the lottery for my dad!), sadly because of the disabilities my dad was left with they had to abandon the boat and move back into a house. He was in a stroke rehab facility for quite a long time, as my mum also fell ill around the same time and was diagnosed with cancer, so the process of finding somewhere to house them both took longer than usual. I visited my dad every single day whilst he was in the stroke rehab place, for almost 7 months until my parents eventually found a place that was suitable for them both. Seeing my dad in the stroke facility was hard, but since he left and has been living at home with my mum, I find it even harder to deal with each time I see him. Im not sure why, perhaps the hospital setting that he was in prior to that made it seem a bit more bearable, I dont know, its difficult to explain. But seeing him at home, in his wheelchair, makes me so sad. When I remember how he was before the stroke, he was very active, and always had some hobby on the go. He used to love cooking, and reading, was also tinkering with things, loved taking his dog on long walks. Now when I see him it seems the only thing he has is to enjoy is TV. It breaks my heart.The stroke he had damaged the part of his brain that deals with language, reading, writing, communication, his speech is quite bad and it takes a long time to try and understand what he is trying to say. That was another thing with my dad as well, before the stroke, he used to talk an awful lot about anything and everything lol. Sorry for rambling, but going back to your post, I also feel guilt each time I visit, guilt that Im able to go about my daily life and do the things I enjoy, when my dad is trapped in a body that no longer works properly. If I could take on my dads problems so that he could live a full life for the rest of his days, I would, no question about it. I often think of my dad randomly throughout each day and it makes me so sad, and it seems that the thoughts are becoming a lot more frequent and my sadness harder to contain :(

Dear Devo
Your comments struck a real chord with me. Looking from the carers viewpoint rather than from my viewpoint.
Recovery goes on as long as we want it to go on. Its better/easier recovery in the first two years. So Dad has a lot of months ahead for him to get better speech and to get more mobility. My speech wasn't badly hit. But it took 3 months to get reasonable communication and 15 months before I could hold proper conversations. Things do improve.

Colin

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