There are changes after a stroke which are not only physical – your personality often changes too. These alterations have an impact on your family, who are not prepared for this. They cannot see these variations to your persona, only the physical changes are apparent. You can become short tempered, irrational and uncooperative, in fact quite unlike your old self. It often takes a long time for your family and colleagues to appreciate these changes to your personality.
The stroke can decrease your “Executive Function”. This means your ability to make responsible and rational decisions as these thought processes become impaired and your concentration becomes limited. You may want to hide these changes and worry about them alone hoping matters will improve, and, of course, this is possible. However by far the best approach is to share these worries of loss of memory etc. with your loved ones. They are not at all concerned at, say, memory loss of times gone by, people’s names or birthdays. The family is just delighted to have you with them again, to share in future exploits, however limited.
Another often undiagnosed outcome for you is depression – it is sometimes overlooked even by the medical profession. Your spouse may become affected too and also other members of your family. Speak to your doctor about these experiences and he will offer advice, perhaps medication and maybe even suggest you join a Rehabilitation Clinic where you will meet other similar stroke victims.
The greatest success seems to come for stroke survivors who fight to regain their losses. Yes, you are alone to some extent but it comes down to the information in the ‘Serenity Prayer’: Having the courage to change what you can, the humility to accept what you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference!
Always remember to ENJOY LIFE, however limited. Always remember your loved ones want you and, yes, need you, and that the journey is not over until someone else calls “Time”.
Helping Aids – Perhaps you could use a computer to find out if second hand items are available to aid your mobility, i.e. electric ride-on vehicles, walking frames or chairs which can be operated to help you get up more easily. You could collate all of this information onto a “news Sheet” and give it to hospitals, clinics and various other outlets. Not everyone has a computer or knows hot to operate one. This information could prove to be invaluable to fellow sufferers and will make you feel you’ve made a very worthwhile contribution to Society. It could also mean you make a new circle of friends. The ramifications are enormous – Good Luck!