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How to deal (nicely) with the silly things people say?


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I am just wondering how to deal with the strange and seemingly thoughtless comments that others come out with?

I try not to be irritated or disappointed in front of the person but then go away and fume about it to myself later. I'm sure there must be a better way? A memorable one was 'oh, you're lucky I wish I could get 6 months off work' and the one that irritates me the most is also possibly the most common one - 'well my brain doesn't work properly either so I wouldn't worry yourself'.

I realise that people don't know what to say and probably don't know a lot about brain injury, I certainly didn't until now, despite the fact that it appears I am the 3rd person in the family to have (and first to survive) a SAH.

I keep telling myself that these littles niggles really aren't important in any way and that people are just trying to be nice. Have you all had experience of this? What do you say when some well-meaning colleague tells you how 'lucky' you are?

Dawn x

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I always agree to the "lucky", I say yes I am lucky to have survived and quote figures at them.

As for everything else like "my memory is bad as well" I just ignore, let them think what they want. You can't educate ignorent people.

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Yes, it is annoying, but as they say ignorance is bliss - so these people are either completely insensitive or emotionally disabled and don't know how to react. The Deputy Head at the school where I work said, on finding out I'd had a brain hem, "oh, people have those everyday!!", so I turned round and said "yes, they do, but less than 1% survive, so how many survivors have you spoken to lately????" Needless to say he couldn't answer and looked suitably chagrined :lol:

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Got to admit I had absolutely no knowledge of SAH until I had mine, I like to think I wouldn't have been insensitive with anyone I met who had suffered one but in all honesty I may well have made some inadequate comment, not flippant, just inadequate.

Although I do now completely understand what happened to me I still feel unsure about what to call it when it comes up in conversation with people I haven't seen in a while and they have heard 2nd hand what had happened to me. Thing is I know one or two people who have suffered strokes but they didn't have to have the surgery I did, so did I have a stroke, or did I just have a SAH, or did I have both? I used to think a stoke was a minor heart attack, which although serious did not seem life threatening, just my own perception bourne out of ignorance.

When it does come up in conversation I find that if I say I had a SAH people ask questions and want to know more, I find it's easier in most cases to say I had a stroke, less questions, people seem more comfortable with it, it's acceptable, normal. Lets face it who really wants to know about our problems, it's better to let them off lightly with a stroke, so to speak.

I didn't intend to ramble on, sorry for hijacking the thread, it just got me thinking, doing a lot of that lately.

Apologies for not being a regular poster on here, I was made so welcome when I joined and intended settling in. I've spent the last few months trying to decide if I have suffered any depression, it seemed that everyone else I read about on here had undergone some sort of angst for a time post op, I never thought I had until I came here, (no offence:biggrin:) now I'm not so sure, also unsure if it really matters or not, I mean I'm still here and that should be enough, it is enough.

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I think we've all had some whoppers, there is another thread somewhere along similar lines. Sometimes I just smile but inside I'm thinking 'what an idiot' but really, prior to my head explosion I didn't know anything about it either and probably would have said some silly things out of ignorance.

One director at work (definatley not mine!) said 'well at least you have an excuse, you've had a brain hemorrhage'. I couldn't believe what I heard. I know he was extremely stressed at the time and he meant I could slow down if I needed to because I was poorly whereas he was expected to keep going at the same pace. I'd rather be healthy and not have the life threatening experience!

Lots of people make comments like 'oh I get that too' when I'm explaining how I'm effected by crowds and noise or confusion. Ive found a way to respond to that. I say 'hmmm, yes most people do but with a brain injury imagine that feeling times 10). That usually makes people stop and think and acknowledge there is a difference.

One that bugs me is when people say 'oh there's nothing wrong with you!'. They mean it as a compliment or in some cases they don't want me to have changed so it's there way of dismissing the change. I have a brain injury. That's a pretty big thing to just dismiss. I've had such a hard time accepting it myself I don't need help from anyone to dismiss it and pretend its not there.

With close friends and family we joke about it and when I have goof ups like forgetting something one of us will say 'brain injury!'. That feels incredibly good and such a relief to laugh about it. It's not making fun of it or making light of what happened. Instead, it's embracing where I am now and feeling safe enough to laugh about it with loved ones who are also relieved I'm no longer in denial. Imagine the stress on everyone when I was out to prove that nothing was wrong with me and I only got sicker and sicker.

Bill said there is a special wisdom that comes with our heads blowing up. I guess we need to remember that when someone not quite as wise says something silly. Smile at them. I also quote statistics Penny.

Sandi K.

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in some cases they don't want me to have changed so it's there way of dismissing the change.QUOTE]

I've had experience of this, but didn't quite see it like that so thanks! I'd emailed a friend and told her how things are different now, you know tiredness, noises, having a wall in my head, not being able to get my two hands to work independantly of each other, that kind of thing. I did explain to her that there was no brain damage and I know I've been lucky because I had quite severe vasospasm, which I believe can cause brain damage where the SAH hasn't. She wrote back to me and said that she used to work in a brain injury unit and 'doesn't like to think of me that way'. Huh? What way? I just wrote a very small reply wishing her a happy new year and left it at that as I had obviously managed to give her the wrong impression.

I am so glad that you all know what I'm referring to, I couldn't decide if I was just being mean-spirited. One good thing from it - it will make me consider more what my replies are to other people who tell me they have been ill and I will try so hard not to be patronising or flippant. So, as with all things something positive should come out of it!

Dawn x

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There are some crackers mentioned on here!

I had one doctor tell my son, when he admitted he worries about me all the time, 'don't worry about mum, we fixed her' - I think she meant the annies had been coiled but that was a particularly stupid thing to say to a little boy who sees the way things are for me every day. Obviously I wish he didn't have this worry on his shoulders but I didn't think it was helpful to dismiss his concerns as if they weren't real.

I never know what to say to silly comments either & like you Dawn, I usually go away quietly fuming or upset so I'm planning to use a few of the ideas on here! Although most of the time I calm myself down by accepting that unless this happens to them or someone they love, they will never fully understand - that's just the way it is.

Michelle x

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WE all get silly off th cuff remarks & it's very frustrating but it is hard to explain how we feel to someone who hasn't been through it too.

I have a friend who has a very busy life, 3 kids & she does a lot of work with her church & when I say I'm tired she replies she knows how I feel!! How can she feel the same when she is voluntarily busy whereas my fatigue is like a brick wall which I hit & then I feel both physically & mentally unable to do any more. I tried to explain to her that it the same as babies having info overload & turning their heads away from any stimulus & that seemed to get through a bit more. Spoon theory is good to show persistant offenders, if you google it you will find it(there is also a link on the site somewhere).

I am taking a computer course next week & goodness knows if I can or will be able to work properly to complete it, I have explained my problem to the training co & they seem to be ok with it, have also said that a noisy room will lessen the amount I can do & that seemed ok too but lets see what happens.

I am lucky in that most people are aware of the seriousness of my condition, after all if my anni had burst I wouldn't be here in the words of my surgeon!!

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Yep we've all had that and lets be honest if we hadnt had a SAH would we say exacly the same as what people say that annoy us.....

amongst mine was retired in your 40's you lucky thing how did you score a sweet deal like that, it did make me :yikes: but ingnorance is bliss and I then told them just why, I find being up front and telling them WHY is easier (in my case anyway) I find it easier than being upset....

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I am still discovering my shortcomings so I think I would like to point that out to people who are oblivious.

A reply like " Oh don't worry I haven't come across all my shortcomings yet so I dont expect you to understand"

I am thinking of doing a talk at lunchtime at my work. They really like these lunch and learn sessions. The only drawback is that I currently work for the public works department out of the office. The talks are in the office so I may be talking to the wrong crowd. But if I tell 4 people and they tell four people, eventually everyone will know.

Maybe the best thing you can tell someone is to go online and look up SAH, that will surely scare the Dickens out of them. Then you can tell them to come visit us at Behind the Gray, and we can make them feel better about themselves :D

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This a very good thread Dawn well done you. I think having a 'set piece' answer ready always helps, with a few statistics thrown in!!! But really what it comes down to is people not really understanding what a SAH is. I used to think I was quite knowledgeable but I had never heard of a SAH until I had one myself. Also I had never heard of brain aneurysms!

I don't mind people asking questions but to make flippant comments is just inexcusable to me. There will always be comments where there is no answer though... just recently someone said to me that 'this was all taking a lot longer than they thought!' I felt totally deflated as actually I've come a very long way. And now I can think of all the things I could have said but didn't!

I've had all the memory comments too but just say yes but this is much worse!

Just a word to nw42..not everyone suffers depression after a SAH and the type of stroke we had was a haemorrhagic stroke(20% of all strokes I believe!... there we are a statistic for good measure.) I, like you, also used to think a stroke was a type of heart attack.

Thanks for that Momo, bit clearer now. As for the depression question, well when I first came here I read many threads from start to end, I wanted to get a good overview of how others had recovered, bit like the way I use TripAdvisor when going away, if you just take a view on the first few opinions you are unlikely to get the full picture.

Got to say that my considered judgement was that most of 'us' seem to have had a bout of depression, although I have to admit I was similarly misinformed about depression until all this happened, it comes in many forms.

Anyway, I don't feel I have a problem with other peoples questions, comments, attitudes towards me and the SAH, maybe that's because I was never one to dwell on other peoples ailments before, in fact I always felt a great aversion to getting into conversations of that type, I knew it was wrong but I just couldn't get involved, which is strange really because I am a proper caring person, my job involves helping people sort certain aspects of their lives out, I get a tremendous amount of feedback on how well I do my job. I do feel gifted by having an ability to empathise, I can almost always sense someones moods, anxieties etc but I can't do it with medical problems, my sister in law has suffered with Lupus for around 10 or more years, I see her regularly but it's only recently that I have been able to discuss it with her, there have been many other times when I have faced this problem and have let myself down.

I suppose I'm trying to say that there must be many other people, like me, who just feel so inadequate when faced with a friend/relative who is ill, I'm a fixer of other peoples problems, always have been, tell me about your troubles and I will help you plot a way through it, helicopter view, but I'm no doctor, I can't fix something like Lupus or SAH.

Maybe that's why people say the, seemingly, insensitive things, their mouth is working fine but their mind is just crumbling at the enormity of your situation, no excuse but maybe a reason. It's been apparent to me for the whole of my adult life that I've always avoided other's ailments, I only overcame my severe discomfort at being in and around hospitals when my mum was in for 3mths before she died, I went every day, never missed.

Anyway, that's another ramble and there was me thinking I'd made a full recovery:crazy: Think again

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I have not really had any comments that upset me. I think I am more likely to really tell clients & friends where I have been the past months. I feel I am enlightening those around me and teaching tolerance of others. I have however put my foot in my mouth when trying to tell a close friend recently that has family members and children with medical issues that she worries too much. But she DOES worry too much about everything in the world that can possibly go wrong and they are not enjoying the good times because she only sees all the negatives, nothing is good enough, kids are too heavy etc..." . I just want to shake her and say "this person can be gone someday and you can be making happy memories” but ..Instead of looking at the situation as it can always be so much worse she is comfortable in the role of the victim. I really made her mad when I tried to explain what I meant without being a forward about it as I am in this note. I look at my SAH and brain tumor as "WOW I am so very lucky to be here!!!!!!!!" And if people were to say things negative to me which I sense they may behind my back- I do not really care. I just don't. I have lost my ability to care about nonsense. I however felt one day while shopping at Christmas time and a baby was screaming forever in the shopping cart. That everyone should spend a day recovering from a SAH and then everyone would be kinder and more considerate of others.

My answer is " Yep, I am doing better and I am happy I am alive and able to be here today".

I just don't think people really understand. You throw in words like hemorrhage, stroke etc it is all confusing. I just now started to understand it all. I would be likely say as well: "Yes I have some brain damage & move a little slower what's your excuse?"

When my husband had kidney cancer and was home recovering I recall yelling at the neighbors out the window for shooting off fireworks on the street a few door down at 11:00 pm. I do not think people are as polite as we once were. The 80 plus year olds were strict raising us (me) but we no longer teach/ raise/ enlighten younger people like my mom did with words like "Oh, Mrs. Blank's husband has just passed away play quietly and do not disturb her".

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I must add I work in an environment where we work very closely together and we all become sisters. There is core of 7 that have been on the job for 14 to 30 years but another 5 that come and go. We have shared some deep vulnerability such as “I cannot hug”, “I cannot attend a funeral”, “I cannot say I am sorry”. And we all try to help each other with overcoming our inadequacies’. We all are faced with not knowing what to say in a particle situation but at least a few of us can come up with the right words and give courage to that person to move forward. I am thankful for bringing this to my job place and it opens the door to show we all are dealing with something. I am usually the first one to call someone on it. But now we all share it and look at why someone acts they way they do. We never know what road they traveled to get them where they are and made then who they are today.

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Hi All<br>

Haven't been on for ages but this subject has stirred me up once again and I must once again reply in the hope that non contributors may read this. I suffered a stroke 25 years ago and an SAH 6 years ago and the things that have been said to me from so called good friends and other persons still disgusts me.<br>

Examples are, " John how long is this ****** stroke going to last ", " Throw away that walking stick for God's sake " ( I suffer from spinal arthritis ), " Don't be so miserable and get a life " ( said to me because I couldn't go out boozing ), " You must be alright you can drive a car ","You could do with losing some weight why don't you go for a walk up the Sugar Loaf (a local mountain) and many more. I appreciate many of these are said in jest but as many of you know they can still hurt. I have come to the opinion that people who say these distressing things are not really friends.<br>

The very people who I thought wouldn't care or help us were the very ones that did and still do. Also I had an acquaintance who I used to think was boring and someone I didn't really relate to who became a very good friend who frequently rings me, helps me with chores I am unable to do and together with his partner frequently meets us for coffee and joins us at many social events, how wrong you can be of over some people.<br>

I have found an answer now and hope this may help some of you. In our area (Monmouthshire) and I believe in other parts of Wales we have a scheme called Fit 4 Life which is where basically your GP, Physio, Nurse or Dietician refer you to a gym at the local leisure centre where you undergo a Fitness Assessment for a month (2 days a week) and then go on to regular gym sessions. I found the gym sessions helpful but moreso was the friends I have made with people with all sorts of disabilities and ailments. After my SAH I was very nervous of meeting new people which was totally against my usual personality having been a serving police officer who came into contact with people from all walks of life. I have now met a different circle of people with different interests who I meet 3 or 4 times a week at the gym and at other times socially and find this a great help.<br>Its taken a long time but now I know who my real friends are.<br><br>Cheers<br>John

Edited by ninja
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I get the following: 'you look alright to me, there's nothing wrong with you'. What they don't see is the frustration at extreme exhaustion, the short term memory loss when not only can I not remember what people have said, sometimes I cannot even remember having the conversation! Also, the complete lack of understanding of what a SAH is and is not. People think that because you look ok, or that you don't look any different than you did before, that you are ok. Also frustrating is when people think they have magically seen some deficiency in you that nobody else seems to have noticed and that you are somehow about to suffer a catastrophe in the next ten seconds if you don't take their advice and get to hospital! I had, and still receive, the best possible care and advice in hospital and from my general practitioner. Aftercare is still ongoing but unfortunately so is the ignorancefrom those outside! Just keep positive and do the things you can and do them to the best of your current ability. One never knows the ills that will eventually befall them and your life experience may be just what they will need to cope. Best wishes to all.

Macca

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i am just wondering how to deal with the strange and seemingly thoughtless comments that others come out with?

I try not to be irritated or disappointed in front of the person but then go away and fume about it to myself later. I'm sure there must be a better way? A memorable one was 'oh, you're lucky i wish i could get 6 months off work' and the one that irritates me the most is also possibly the most common one - 'well my brain doesn't work properly either so i wouldn't worry yourself'.

I realise that people don't know what to say and probably don't know a lot about brain injury, i certainly didn't until now, despite the fact that it appears i am the 3rd person in the family to have (and first to survive) a sah.

I keep telling myself that these littles niggles really aren't important in any way and that people are just trying to be nice. Have you all had experience of this? What do you say when some well-meaning colleague tells you how 'lucky' you are?

Dawn x

hi dawn,yes i get this, one was from my sister saying ;oh i wished i could stay at home,this was a year after it happened,i just turned round and said ,i would rather go work and be normal than stay at home,i could of seriously smacked her straight in the mouth,then her other half always ses,when i say im bored ,he turns around and ses go get a job then,and i could smack him aswel,people seem to think when they dont see bandages that were alright,but this isnt true,im 20 months in and im still getting headaches,aching,creaking ,cracking you name it still getting it.i was actually talking to someone who is 4 yrs in ,he said it does get better ,but he to as headaches and mood swings,i did emphasise in that because my moods are really bad, aswel as my anger,the thing we cant always say want we want,well i do but i havent got many friends now lol and i mean not many. Take care bay
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The most hurtful thing ever said to me was by my sister.

She said "I am glad it didn't happen to me" and laughed at me because I now have to use a walking frame all of the time due to balance issues.

Needless to say I now have very little contact with her, only when needs must.

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Sorry to say but I sense a lot of negativity in this thread, I appreciate that I have been lucky and was able to return to work but I still get headaches, most days as it happens, I get tired too, I have other issues to contend with too, changes that have occurred in me since Aug 2010.

As I said in my earlier post, I was probably just the sort of person you are all complaining about, not that I'm insensitive, far from it, but that I used to get flustered around people who were ill, I probably came out with comments similar to those some of you quote, why, I don't know, but I am definitley not the type to deliberately offend anyone, I just got tongue-tied.

So maybe you could cut them a bit of slack, give them the benefit of the doubt, example: the poster who's sister said she was glad it didn't happen to her, why not reply with something along the lines of "so do I sis, you would never have coped as well as I have". Ok it's not really a put down but it would almost certainly make her think about how lucky she is, also it may make her more aware of your needs.

I know it's easy to be smart after the event but maybe you could keep some good responses in mind for any future such comments.

No doubt some may think this post is insensitive, sorry for that.

I know the thread was created so that we could discuss how to deal with some of the comments made, well I say just take them with a pinch of salt, if the person who made them is genuine in their concern for you their deeds will speak louder than their words.

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Hi,

I'm nearly 7 years on and haven't lost any friends or family through the SAH.

I think that in the early months and years post SAH, that we are perhaps a lot more sensitive to the comments that are made to us, especially when we feel so raw. Just keep talking to those around you .... ignore anything silly that they say, as they won't mean it....we're all different and deal with things in our own way and some of us aren't perhaps that good with words or understanding a situation.

However, I've never expected anybody to understand what it's like to experience this and I would have also perhaps made responses that also seemed flippant if the shoe were on the other foot as such.

I don't think that you can ever expect anybody to fully appreciate or understand what it's like to have a SAH and it's perhaps unfair to do so. I'd never heard of aneurysms or a SAH, so why should other people be expected to know? I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone.

The SAH can strip and tear away so much of your life, it has mine, but it's been mine to deal with and a huge burden ... the odd flippant remark is something that doesn't bother me, as thankfully the person making it, hasn't had to walk in my shoes and it really doesn't matter in the greater scheme of life and I would rather keep them close to me and still have friends and family around me.

The way that I found that people understood what had happened to me, was to explain to them, that I'd had a brain haemorrhage that caused a stroke, a double whammy .. most people in their lives have known someone that has been affected by a stroke and can seem to relate to that.

I totally agree nw and that we need to cut people some slack ... we can't expect people that haven't experienced a SAH to even begin to know what it's like ...as they won't .... I'm still "educating" my own family 7 years down the line ... and I'm still getting my own head around it all and still learning.... will let you know when I'm able to deal with it all! :wink:

My advice would be, don't take comments to heart, they don't understand how you're feeling. Life does and will get better and better .... Nicer to have friends and family around you and such a waste for the SAH to take something else from you. Life is too short and that's something that we all need to remember, as we've all been given another shot at it .... many don't make it or have the chance to do so.

Keep positive. xx

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I'm sorry, i didn't mean to set off something negative, I just wondered how others deal with comments. I do grasp that a lot of it comes from a lack of knowledge. Like I said earlier, I'm the third person in my family to have a sah and i knew nothing about them until I had my own. I had another whopper this week from my half-sister who said 'what that? You had that months ago, you must be fine by now'. I explained calmly that it can take years and then got offline as soon as I could. I will in future take some of the ideas given in this thread which have boosted my confidence in being able to execute a calm and nice reply. So, I for one see this thread as a positive one!

Dawn x

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Hi Dawn,

No need to apologise, as your thread certainly wasn't a negative one, in fact it's a very good one! :-D... It's taken me nearly 7 years to accept what's happened to me, let alone the people that are around me.

As for your half-sister .... well, keep talking to her ... a SAH is a type of stroke too, so may be that's a good point to start from and many can relate to a stroke rather than a brain haem .... don't let the SAH come between you or cause problems in your life ... you know how it feels, but she luckily won't .... you unluckily, have the upper hand with this subject! It takes many years for a SAH'er to start/come to terms with what's happened to them .... give yourself some time and you will know exactly the right thing to say....:wink:

Take care, xx

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I'm sorry, i didn't mean to set off something negative, I just wondered how others deal with comments. I do grasp that a lot of it comes from a lack of knowledge. Like I said earlier, I'm the third person in my family to have a sah and i knew nothing about them until I had my own. I had another whopper this week from my half-sister who said 'what that? You had that months ago, you must be fine by now'. I explained calmly that it can take years and then got offline as soon as I could. I will in future take some of the ideas given in this thread which have boosted my confidence in being able to execute a calm and nice reply. So, I for one see this thread as a positive one!

Dawn x

Me too dawn, it is a positive subject and one well worthy of raising. My comment was more at some of the content of the thread, that's all. It seems that people have fallen out with, or keep at arms length, family members, friends, whoever, surely that's a shame, those same people could be the ones who are keen to help but get shunned because of one, or even two, inept comments.

Not saying you've backed away from your half sister but you are, quite rightly, unsure of how to deal with her 'insensitivity', well she is possibly just like I used to be before 2010, she just doesn't know what to say, so comes out with something stupid.

Like I said in an earlier post, it's deeds that count for me, words are easily said and can't really be unsaid.

Also the chap who has the 'boring' friend, well Mr Boring wasn't that far up the Christmas card list until he showed his true colours when the chips were down, so if the chap hadn't suffered as he did can we assume Mr Boring would have remained in his lowly position on the friendship suitabiltiy scale?

Mr Boring needed the unfortunate occurrence so he could show his qualities, everything happens for a reason, it's how we deal with it that counts.

So Dawn, I think you did a good thing starting this thread, it may help some of us repair relationships that we thought were closed books. I hope you have the right repost for your sis next time she engages mouth (or fingers) before brain. Also, you could try not referring to 'it' at all, this will probably make her wonder why, also it may encourage her to ask you about 'it', then you can tell her about a couple of simple things that you have just about managed to do, things that you couldn't do after your SAH, things she would be able to do without even thinking about it. This may just enable her to see how hard things have been for you, most importantly she will have raised the subject, not you.

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Dawn, I agree it is a good subject to bring up. My life is not all that rosy as I sounded but my boss when I apolize for my lameness ( I was the one that made the day go on time so everyone could leave at 5:00), her respond was "I thought you were going to die, you are doing great." & she gave a lecture to my co workers about how lucky I am whiel I was still in hospital . SO that was really good for me. On the other hand I do have people that when I have 2 or 3 good days think I am over the hump for good. I just this past week research my brain tumor and sent that information to my friends and family. In the beginning I just cut and pasted emails and fb messages about SAH to those who did not get it. My hair dresser the other day said " God, I just don't want to end up like you!" But knowing her on the go 24/7 personality she is more scared she will wear herself out and be like me. We discussed it and we have a give and take with those things.

People often say rude things that are mean, some are ignorant and some are so self centered that they can't even bother to look it up on google. I do not have them in my life because I gave up being with people who suck the life out me long ago!!!!! My 25 year old son who had just graduated college and lives a few hours away the past 5-6 years was real upset about being broke, I was going to pay for tires on his car but he was jsut not listenting to me about him doing his laundry here when he came up etc..... (Mine you my other son bought a "new" home at 23 without telling us). Anyway Adam was being so crabby on the phone I finally said "I have a brain tumor and I cannot listen to this" and hung up on him. NOT my proudest parenting moment but I had just found it an hour earlier and just had enough. It worked. I am not longer going to be bothered by bs that he needed to have already figured out in his life. He know comes up every couple of weeks or so and makes sure he gets a good visit in. His self centerness is much improved. My friends stood with open mouths when I told them that story. I don't care I did what I had to do to move on at that moment. I am kind of mean that way but that is me. I am not one to put up with being late everyday because someone can't get ready on time or procastinators. Sorry I won't hog this thread anymore. :)

maryb

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Thanks for the very kind replies, I thought for a moment there that I was going down in history as the most negative newbie ever!:shock: I have just sent an email to my half-sister apologising in case i was a bit short the other day. I've explained about the fatigue and brain-fog, so I'll see what she comes back with. I had no intention of cutting her off over a silly comment, but had to get offline quickly because I could sense that I was going to start responding in a manner that would be less than helpful! I've used some of the ideas in this thread in my email, so thanks everyone!

Dawn x

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