Aftereffects of A Stroke: A Sense of Great Loss.

 (All of my posts are free to be copied and used in any way.)

My husband said to me last night, “I’ve lost myself.” I said, “No, you’ve lost some of yourself, but not all. You are just the same as you always were, you just have to do things and think things slower. Your character and who you are as a person is the same.”

“Really?” he said. I don’t feel the same.” I asked him in what way. He said, “When I went to the hospital today for my cancer treatment, (he has carcinoid tumors) I felt different around the nurses who know me. I couldn’t talk as much and joke with them as I always have in the past.”

I told him I was sorry he felt that way. I told him I believed he would get stronger physically and mentally. The doctors just said it would take a long time. I hope that helped him a bit. I told him I was glad he was sharing about his feelings, something he rarely did before.

His head has been hurting more, but I think it is because of the cancer treatment and the time it took to get him ready to go there. I also think he was embarrassed to be seen in a wheelchair being pushed by my granddaughter.

My husband has always thought of himself as a strong man, which indeed is how all the family sees him. He was not only physically strong; he was strong mentally. He stuck with me through my mental breakdowns. He tried to lift my spirits and never seemed discouraged by my disabilities. He many times said the wrong thing in trying to make me feel better, because he isn’t a psychologist, but I understood that.

Now he sees himself as weak. He worries if I leave the door unlocked, he can’t protect me. He worries I might fall and get hurt (I have a balance problem. One time I fell into the Christmas tree. Lol). He didn’t used to worry so much, but I guess he sees how fragile life is and how quickly things can go wrong.

I’ve always known that. In fact, I’m surprised and thrilled when things go right. I tend to look at the dark side of life because of my childhood abuse. My husband was abused too, in a different way, but he took that experience and told himself he would be strong and then he would be okay. He told himself that if someone didn’t like him, “It’s their loss and my gain.” Lol.

He was really surprised about having a stroke. I wasn’t because we are both old, 69 and 70. I’m surprised I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure and a bad heart! But my husband was incredibly optimistic about everything. Overly optimistic, I thought.

He woke up this morning and seemed more cheerful. I told him we need to do some mind games, so we started a puzzle. He didn’t last long until his head started hurting and he wanted to stop. I am going to phone his Occupational Therapist on Monday and ask how hard I should push him. They used to push hard at the hospital, so I have to understand this part of his recovery.

The low-salt diet is going very well. It turned out at first it was going too well. His blood pressure started to drop down to the 90s. Apparently, 120 is ideal. So, I started letting him have a bit more salt in his diet and it is now between 100 to 123. I found a recipe for tomato sauce that is low-salt and he loved the taste. I didn’t like it at first, but after sitting a night in the fridge, it was pretty good.

No more fast-food. Pretty well all of it has tons of salt. One meal is more than enough salt for a day. I found out the salad I usually ordered had more salt than a hamburger! I usually hate cooking and we used to order in a lot, but I have found, with God’s assistance, I don’t mind the cooking and it is going very well.

This is just an update of my husband’s stroke. I thought it might help those who live with and take care of someone who has had a stroke. Thanks again for your concern and prayers. God is here with us helping, comforting and strengthening us. May God be beside all of you doing the same.