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Hello, Gill


Borderreiver
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Hello, I am only here because my great friend has suffered a terrible Haemorrhage, only in her early forties and I would like to know more. I want to give the best help and support to her and the family and this seems a good place to find out how.

Already from the little I have read I can tell that there are some truly amazing people here, making me feel very humble indeed.

In the past my friend L and I have shared a common interest in horses and we used to ride together. At present she can't even walk or talk, six months after the event. But at least inside she is the same person thank goodness this comes shining through.

I look forward to 'meeting' some of you here.

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Hi there

And warm welcome to the site..

sorry to hear about your friend but time is most definatly a great healer, just being there and supporting her is good but the more you learn the better equipt you'll be...

glad you found the site.....

take care

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Hi Gill, welcome to the site!

I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. I can't imagine how helpless you must feel. Many of us on here say it's easier for us going through it than it is for our spouses, family, and friends who have to watch. It's good that you recognize she's still 'in there'. She is. I just finished reading 'My Stroke of Insight' by Jill Bolte Taylor and she says among other things that she just wanted people to 'come find her'. She was still there even though she couldn't communicate at first. You can find her lectures in the Internet, they are usually only 20 minutes long and they might help you along with support from this site. Louise is right about time. It can take a long time and the little baby steps of progress are sometimes missed. Encourage her and love her. You sound like a great friend! Hugs to you Gill.

Sandi K. Xo

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Hello and welcome. Having experienced both sides of the coin (my mother had a stroke 4 1/2 years before my SAH), I'd say it's harder for the friends and relatives! Hang in there and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have here. What a good friend you are!

My mum was 74 when she had her stroke and was in nappies and couldn't speak, paralysed down one side. Over time, in rehab, she made great strides and now lives along again, with just a home help and cleaner. Her speech is still improving even now.

I have also met many survivors through the Stroke Association and I've started a Different Strokes group - I have learned to have more hope than I had before this happened! One of the ladies in the group had an SAH 18 years ago, aged 40. She was in a coma for 6 months! But now, although her speech is still very affected and she still has paralysis down one side, she leads a very full life.... See, it's important you don't give up on your friend!

Take care and wishing you and your friend all the best.

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Thank you so much for the warm welcome.

'Borderreiver' because my homebred Highland pony is called that, and we are in Northumberland.

Already I see lots of helpful posts on here. I am concerned that L seems very disabled compared to many posters? She has lost the use of her whole r side, at present (6 mths since it happened), is in a wheelchair, can't talk coherently, though we still manage to converse. She has a notepad to help communicate.

She is still in rehab hospital during the week, home for weekends. This weekend we had an adventure as she, other half and two kids came to stay overnight with us on our smallholding. We have an accessible ensuite which made this possible. It was great to take L out to see, touch, smell the horses, out in the fresh air. She managed to brush a quiet horse, just like normal, from her wheelchair. I hope her family had a bit of a break too and that we can do it again soon. She has a really great family.

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Hello!

Not only does your friend have a great family, but she seems to have a great friend in you too. How lovely that you have continued your friendship. A lot of us here have seen people we were friendly with disappear. Something like this really does expose the true nature of people.

Six months is still very early in terms of recovery. The normal benchmark is around two years, but even then, people see improvements five years and beyond.

I would imagine the night spent at your smallholding did wonders for your friend. Moments like that will help her wellbeing massively; and I believe we recover better if the environmental factors around us are conducive.

In terms of offering you advice in how to support your friend, I do not think you need much guidance! You seem to be doing brilliantly!

To help you understand the medical side of things, try reading about ABI; that is an 'acquired brain injury.' A haemorrhage, amongst other things, can cause ABI and it may help you to understand what is happening to your friend's brain.

There is a charity called Headway which helps people with brain injuries. Families and friends can seek support here too.This is their website: -

http://www.headway.org.uk/home.aspx

Chat soon,

Lynne

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Hi, that is such good news!! She would have received such a boost by her weekend spent on your small holding. Horses understand too, don't they!!

Our horse was chosen just two months following on from my sah. My daughter was desperate for a horse and we chose hers all because he showed sensitivity to my head; he just stood quietly by and nestled his cheek on my head and shoulders. I hasten to add, I had been fearful of the big beasts, and would have run a mile from any horse, except this one was different in showing his concern. Then again, perhaps he was vying for us to buy him!!

My friend Pollyanna joined the forum the other day. She suffered a catastrophic stroke which has left her rt sided hemiplegic. I met her soon afterwards and she has made/is continuing to progress. From that day to this she has come along leaps and bounds. Like your friend, she had very limited communication. Now looking at her, she keeps her ground on conversation/arguments and always has the last say! Your friend is in there and needs time to repair.

SandiK recommended Jill Bolte Taylor as a good read, on which I agree. Also another book titled 'My Year Off' might be another good read, as this is a biography by Robert McCrum on his recovery. Perhaps L would be too tired to focus, but at least it will give you an understanding of her condition.

You are a true friend for supporting her through this, and boy, will she appreciate it!!!

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Hi Gill

I thought you couldn't be too far away when I read Border Reiver!

The most important thing we need is support and understanding. What you did for your friend is just lovely. I'm sure she has had a great boost from her weekend.

Your friend is still very early in her recovery. We all have different starting points in our recovery and our brain will improve at it's own pace. I had a brain stem stroke during my coiling procedure which left me with left sided weakness. I had quite a bad tremour in my left arm and had physio for this. But it was still about 15 months post SAH before this started to improve.

I know a man who had a major stroke in his mid 40s. It left him in a wheelchair and unable to speak. It took him 2 years to be able to get around without the wheelchair. Then another 4 years later and his speech started to come back. I met him in the supermarket several weeks ago and we had a good chat. He's now in his mid 50s and living a full life. I asked him how he felt during the 6 years when most of his recovery took place and he said that he just never gave up. He had some very dark days but he also said that in the big scheme of his lifetime, 6 years recovery didn't seem that bad at all! A positive attitude is one of the biggest aids in our recovery too!

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Liz thank you so much. That is just the kind of inspiring story to keep everyone going. L was a lovely bubbly positive person and I'm sure she can be again. Even in her current predicament I think she is amazing as life as she knew it has been wiped away.

This could happen to any of us as all you lovely folk on here know only too well.

I really don't think having them here was any big deal, just a bit of normal life. We are lucky we can offer it. Currently we are nearly ready to open a small B&B so the more accessible room is part of that. L certainly enjoyed having a bath. It had never occurred to me that she has been limited to showers all this time and even when at home can't go upstairs yet. So that was a little luxury too.

You sound such a great bunch on here so I hope I can get to know you better. It is so helpful to share experiences. I remember my mum having a small stroke years ago and there didn't seem to be any help at all, we just got on with it. Before the internet, hard to recall those days!

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Hi Gill & welcome to the forum

My dad had a pretty major stroke over 15 years ago (sadly he is no longer with us) & he couldn't talk or walk. He spent a year in a rehab unit & when he came out the could walk & talk & even drive with an adapted car (he couldn't dress himself of make a meal as his left hand was paralysed) but the difference was amazing. i'm sure with a more positive frame of mind he could have done a lot more so keep encouraging your friend & if it helps get her to keep a journal of what she achieves so she can see how far she has come.It is very much baby steps so sometimes it's hard to see the improvements.

Good luck to you both xxx

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Hello Gill

Welcome to the site.

Sorry to hear about your friend.

It looks as though you already have some very inspiring stories to help you and your friend through this difficult time.

I would imagine your friend loved staying with you at the weekend. You offered some sanity, normality, being close to horses, some proper rest and relaxation, and a bath too! You are a fantastic and supportive friend, and I think it is amazing that you are taking the time to find out all you can, to help out.

I just hope your friend can recover as well as others have done so.

Take care, and hope to hear more from you soon

Kel x

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Hi Gill,

A warm welcome to you.

Like others have said, it's great that you are seeking help and support for your friend. I believe that there is always so much hope in these situations and although it takes a lot of time and hard work, improvements can be made. I know many of us on here who have survived a sah, realise how fortunate we are not to have severe disabilities whilst others have not been so lucky. I am sure you and her family will continue to give L the support and encouragement she deserves- the fact that you are able to accommodate her for occasional weekends, with her favourite animals around, will be a great tonic.

I'm sure, as you work your way through the stories on here, you will hopefully gain a lot of information.

Sarah

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