|09-07-2009, 08:21 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
my dad had a stroke in May and I'm the one having a hard time dealing with it...
Not looking for pity and possibly noone here can offer advice but I guess I'm just looking to vent.
My dad had a fairly low level stroke in May that affected his right side, speech and language centres and the forward portion of his brain that controls impulse, etc. (the same portion that is the last to develop in teenagers). He's made lots of improvements in his gross motor skills, to the point he's legally allowed to drive and use all our farm machinery, but absolutley refuses to do anything more in the form of therapy. He hated rehab, thought all the therapists were "full of sh$55" (his words) and claims he has no time to do anything anyway.
We work together and I'm really struggling to let him have his own stroke and not push him about therapy. We can't discuss it at all because he gets very excitable and, of course as his daughter I know NOTHING! Apparently I have no life skills, education etc etc...you can imagine the drill.
What I'm really having the hardest time dealing with now is his excitability, parinoia and apparent OCD. He gets fixated on small things, will not let a conversation drop or continually brings things back up. He darn near spent thousands of dollars on a vehicle last week on the spurr of the moment because he just decided he wanted it. Thankfully I think the salesman might have wrongly assumed my dad was drunk (his nerve damage and throat and face muscle weakness make him slurr his words and his gait is still off) so he told him there was none available until the week after.
Of course because he feels frustrated over the language problems he's having he takes it out on my mom and I. Apparently we are the only people that don't understand him so any problems are all our fault. He has some short term memory loss so often it comes down to him accusing us of not telling him something ect. Also, he's been bullying my children to the point I need to step in and I think he's doing irrepairable damage to his relationship to them. Today he blew up when I repeated a question my mom had asked him so I did the only thing I could do and walked away. I was mostly upset because I had just gotten done telling my mom we had had a good day, one of the few when I hadn't been in tears at some point during the day.
My mom came to my home after supper to tell me that for the first time my dad had hit her in frustration after I left. Not hard and it didn't hurt but that wasn't the point. I'm at a loss.....this can't be allowed to escelate but I don't know what to do or what she should do. My mom suffers from depression and fibromyalgia and I feel like I'm constantly worrying about the two of them. I just wish that my dad would respect someone enough in the medical field to be able to sit down with them and have them tell him what is really going on with his stroke and have him accept their opinions instead of writing them off as crackpots.
When he first had his stroke people would tell us that they knew people that stroked and a year later you would never know. Well 4 months out we're thinking dad won't be in that category and we're struggling to know what of these deficits will remain, especially in light of the fact he thinks he's as good as he's ever going to be and refuses to help himself. I see my mom backsliding and what breaks my heart is that dad doesn't. There was a time not very long ago, and that still lingers, that I worried about my mother killing herself and truthfully I think if she didn't have my children around she wouldn't feel there was much to keep her here.
Thanks for letting me vent. Sometimes I just need to blow it off to people who aren't close to us and aren't involved. The only thing I can think to do is talk to my parents doctor and tell them what is going on but how he would handle it from there without it coming back on me and blowing up even further I don't know.
|09-08-2009, 07:05 PM||#2|
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hey! I've got two college degrees and a steady job. if I wanna watch mindless TV, so what?
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North GA
You may or may not know that this kind of alteration is not uncommon after stroke or any other kind of head injury. Caregivers and family are stressed to their limit dealing with all the behaviors and changes. It's exhausting and demoralizing. I hope you can all get some relief and set some boundaries with your dad. If nothing else works, consider taking your mom with you to visit a therapist. I imagine you all would have a lot to sort out there.
Never underestimate the determination of the mother with a handicapped child
|09-11-2009, 07:33 AM||#3|
Me read the Navigator? I don't think so
tsk, tsk said in my best Bahsten accent
Tommy made Flubber
Join Date: May 2000
I truly have no experience with strokes other than my Mom passed after having one during open heart surgery.. so I did not deal with the aftermath of the stroke itself..
I am thinking here you need to protect your Mom... clearly your Dad needs to have some help, therapy, to deal with what has been damaged in his brain from this stroke. I have heard there can be anger and anger directed at those who are there daily in the caregiving and that anger can turn to violence as a result of the trauma to the brain.
I am no expert, but if it were me and I was the daughter, I would either make an appt with his doctor and take him and tell the doctor what is happening.. or make sure I made the next appt that might be already scheduled and share your concerns. He is angry...and not thinking clearly and if this is left unresolved, I too feel it could escalate and this is not what you want for either of them..
Hugs to you.. not easy to see and not easy to have to step in and handle, but I think you will have to intervene here for your Mom's sake. I see that the previous poster already pretty much said what I just did, good job Minkydog. Make that appt and go with them and speak up because unfortunately the fallout will fall on you I am afraid.. hugs, hugs, hugs. So difficult to watch as parents age and are not in great health... I lost my parents very young, Dad at 52, Mom at 72, still too young, and I never saw any of this..
Please vent anytime you need to..
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|09-11-2009, 07:55 AM||#4|
Join Date: Mar 2008
May God Bless you all.
My dad was a stroke patient. He was never the same both physically and mentally. Stroke patients become very self centered and they take on characteristics that they didn't have before the stroke. They say and do things out of the norm. My dad also refused alot of the therapies that were offered to him. He wanted to get better but didn't want to work at it. My mom took care of my dad for 11 years and he was quite verbally abusive to her. But yet when he was very ill and dying, he told her how much he loved her. I lived out of state so I was not there on a regular basis, so I did not have to deal with it every day but when I was around, it was not always pleasant. I admired my mom for sticking with him and always keeping her cool. She definately deserved a medal.
Kudos to you and everyone else that has to endure caring for a stroke patient. I know it's not an easy task.
It would be a good idea to talk to his doctor. See if you can set it up without your dad there so you can talk openly. Just remember your dad isn't the same man that he was before the stroke.
CBR 6/06 ---- POR 9/08 ---- RPR@ Universal 9/09 ----POR 12/09----CSR 9/11
|10-18-2009, 08:23 PM||#5|
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The little town in California. <3
My grandpa recently had a stoke in surgrey. It affected all of his eyesite and his memory. He recently began to get his eyesite back and his memory is fully back. Miracles do happen. The reovery is long and hard but worth it if you push them thru.
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|10-24-2009, 04:53 AM||#6|
If I ever have a garage sale the neighbors will think I have major wine and condiment addictions
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: middle of nowhere washington
i'm not excusing your father's behaviour-and i strongly suggest you take steps to protect your family from physical and mental abuse, but i'm hoping what i'm about to post might provide some insight/help.
i'm 48 years old-9 years ago i had my first t.i.a. which is also referred to as a 'mini-stroke'. it is similar in nature to a stroke with the aphasia (speech issues), loss of muscle strength, drooping facial muscles, weakness and the like but the symptoms pass in 24-48 hours. no cause was found to allow me to take preventative measures and within a year i had 2 full blown strokes.
with my strokes i incurred aphasia, short term and some long term memory impairment, right sided weakness, right sided vision loss (peripheral), and right sided hearing loss-some issues have greatly improved themselves, some issues have not, and some issues reoccur sporadicaly (though some with predictable precursers).
it's frustrating beyond understanding if you've not personaly gone through it. you don't mean to lose your temper (or burst into tears, or rant about a certain subject) it's just not within your control. with your temper it's like you're a champagne bottle with an improperly positioned cork-the slightest thing shake you up and that cork blows. try as you might it just blows. with the tears-well, if you've ever been pregnant or gone through menopause think of how a hallmark greeting card commercial could send you sobbing. very similar only without any apparant cue. with rants it can be that you don't even realize you're doing it until you're mid way through (it's like the words start tumbling out before your brain catches up to put on the brakes).
with aphasia it's just insanely frustrating-your brain and your ears honest to god think/hear you saying the words right, often its only because of the reaction on people's faces that you realize you're not making sense. some stroke patients give up trying to speak because they are so embarrassed. some of us seem to get totaly past it, but when we are tired or ill (with me if i'm having a migrane or push myself too hard) i can feel it coming back and it's a struggle to keep the words intelligible.
memory is a strange thing-i can remember stuff more clearly than before the stroke, odd things i realy don't need to (worked in government and i can recite rules and regulations i always had to refer to reference materials for pre-stroke), but i can't remember how to do basic math. i can't do basic addition or subtraction on paper without a big struggle i can remember recipies and measure out ingredients with ease-but i keep losing count when i scoop out the coffee into the filter. i can watch a tv show and remember it perfectly but a second show i watch that nite i can't tell you an hour later what the plot line was.
my weakness is much better but my balance is shot. and again-if i'm tired or not feeling well it's worse. with my fine motor skills, they ended up pretty much in tact-well except for the oddity you may have noticed in my posting: despite being a very fast and accurate typist most of my adult life, my brain and my fingers won't work such that i cant co-ordinate using the caps keys (when i try it becomes like hunt and peck).
you might do well to talk to an occupational therapist and find out what kind of things your father does at home could be utilized to provide therapy. then if he needs work in a particular area and he already has an activity, task or chore that would support it you could encourage him to focus more on it (esp. if you work together and share job tasks, you could encourage him to do the ones that would let him still work but will provide a theraputic benefit to him).
i think it can be trememdously beneficial to look into support groups, but not just the ones for those who care for stroke survivors, those that include survivors so they can share what it's like from the other side. it's a side/perspective i would'nt wish on anyone-and it can be profoundly frustrating and humiliating esp. if you've traditionaly held the caretaker's role (my youngest was in kindergarten when mine occured) to be put into a position where you know you need help but you feel that your needs are burdensome to your family.
in closing i want to say that i'm personaly offended to see a sweeping generalization being made that stroke patients become self centered. that may be the case with some individuals but it is not the case with many if not most others. the sad reality is that having a stroke puts an individual at a much increased potential for subsequent strokes and t.i.a.'s and there is a significant percentage of those who suffer these to try to hide them from family. if you ask them why they try to hide these it's rare for them to have a self-centered reason, it's commonly that they (1) did'nt want a spouse/adult child to worry, (2) did'nt want to "spoil"/distrupt plans/day to day activities/family events-VERY common during the holidays, (3) did'nt want everyone to have drop what they were doing and focus attention on them. it's a wierd mind set but it seems to be shared among many of us. and we can hide things realy well-when the aphasia starts kicking in we might get quieter or claim not to feel well and take to our bed for a nap. when we feel weak we may feign that we 'overdid it' and need to take it easy for a couple days off our feet.
again-i believe you need to protect your family, and seek the means to do so. also you need to find out what you can do to protect your dad. with a hair trigger temper and what's been proven to be a physical attack he could endanger himself. you also need to take steps to protect him and your mom financialy. if he's having manic episodes that involve spending it's something his neurologist needs to know, and your mom may have to take steps to gain full control of their finances.
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|10-24-2009, 05:05 AM||#7|
Join Date: Aug 2006
I so agree with the above poster. Thanks, Barkley for taking the time to educate us about the personal and physical aspects of surviving a stroke.
Of course you're having a hard time coping. He's your farther, he's very ill, and he's behaving dramatically differently. He needs help but he's refused. It's then up to you to encourage your mother and to facilitate her ability to meet with his doctors, the family attorney re finances, and a support group for you and your mother, even if your father refuses. It's really important that you do these things to protect your family's physical, financial, and psychological well-being.
I wish you the best of luck, lots of patience, and fortitude as your whole family adjusts.
Elizabeth (mama to Xiomara)
1st Family Trip: Dec 16-23 '06, Wilderness Lodge!
2nd Family Trip: Dec 15-23 '07, Wilderness Lodge
3rd Family Trip: Dec 23-28 '09, Wilderness Lodge
4th Family Trip: Jun 19-26, '12, Disneyland, Candy Cane Inn
5th Family Trip: Dec 14-22, '13, Contemporary Resort Tower, MK View
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