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Elizabeth47

Not being his mother

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I am not his mother.  I get that and in the past I would never tell my husband what to do…   And yet…He has been asking me quite a bit what he should do and I have been giving him my advice, yet I feel  like I am taking away some of his manhood.  Yet, the bleed has made differences in him that he isn’t willing to acknowledge. 

 

I mentioned to him ( thank you therapist) that before the stroke, he worked at 100 to 110  percent of his capacity with little room for margin.  He was finally starting to make choices to give himself some room  for margin and our dates together as well as just down time for him.  But now after his bleed his capacity is at least 50 percent lower if not more.  But he is working at that and more…  However, now if he does that it affects him for many days after that…

 

So, Saturday the men of our church are doing some major yardwork at a facility that is being changed into a halfway house for victims of the sex trade.  I mentioned that our son would be doing it and hubby said that maybe he would do it as well….  To which, before I could stop myself I said are you sure you should think about last weekend.  ( Last weekend is the first time since the stroke that he did some work outside.  He pruned some bushes in  our backyard bed and threw them over the fence.  We are talking 45 minutes of work and he had a bad headache and had to sit and rest for awhile before he  went and put the hay out for the cows.)   I know him.  If he goes, he will work.   He will not want to look like a wimp, but he would pay for it severely….

 

I am not his mom.  But what he chooses to do affects me!  And he doesn't choose wisely in my mind.  His first trip back to the operating room just a month after the bleed he did a tough 3 hour case....  I  had suggested he do a simple 30 minute case, but no.....   When he overdoes it at work or if he chooses to do this work day, then  he will have a horrible headache and I will be rubbing his head.  He will be too tired for sex or for fun conversation.  As my therapist said, everybody else gets the best part of him and I get the leftovers.  ( And yes, I mentioned this to him .) 

 

So where is the boundary line?  How do  let him make his own choices and suffer the consequences and yet not suffer myself.  What do I say or not say??

 

I know that most of you on this forum are dealing with those that are learning to walk again, talk again and your position is much harder than mine.  I know I shouldn't complain as he is doing SO well and this could have been SO much worse.  

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Boy, Elizabeth, that is a hard one.  My first inclination is to say "he must be reigned in".  But I can see it is not that simple for either of you.  The new relationship that is formed when a spouse has a SAH is complicated I think.  Maybe I can give you a little insight coming from the other side.  I'm the one that had the sah in the family.  I've always been tough, made a lot of the decisions, organized our lives.  I was also the one that worked outside the home as my husband retired 10 years ago.

 

So...then....I'm flat on my back in a coma and came out of it not really understanding who I was or what to do with myself.  Truthfully, Elizabeth, I often feel that time has rolled back and I am a little girl again who needs help making decisions, etc.  It's so odd to have my husband acting as a "carer" that I depend on for guidance and help with daily life.  Yet...I also feel that I am tough as I was and should be able to do what I used to do.  Sometimes I get mad when Phil tells me I cannot do something I want to or have even begun to do.

 

 I'll ask him "why?" and he will explain to me that I had an SAH, almost died..and very might die if I try some foolishness that I want to do.  I think I can get it when he does that, and reign myself in.  But it is very hard and I often resent him for it when it's not even his fault.  Your husband sounds that he is even more certain, in his mind, that he can do whatever he used to - and maybe more!  He doesn't want to feel or look "weak" or have others feel that about him.  Maybe a great deal of his attitude is pride.  You think?

 

Forgive me if some of this has been posted before - my memory "aint" what it used to be...lol.  Have you spoken to his doctor about this behavior that seems reckless in light of his illness?  Is he seeing a counselor?  The trick is to help him understand his behavior without making him feel "less".  Maybe he's fighting the new "little boy needs help" self against the other guy who could move mountains.  It's a hard place to be.  

 

I'm sure I haven't solved any of your problems but I hope my perspective might add something new to the mix that will help you come to a more sedate relationship with your new husband.  I wish you only the best.  Patience is so hard when faced with something like this.  I know it's rough.  Continue to seek help from any you feel can resolve these issues..docs, counselors, support groups.  Maybe if you keep him involved with enough of that kind of thing he won't have time to build a barn or feed the cows!  Take care, Elizabeth, and try to breathe deep and take one step at a time.

Love, Carolynusa

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No, the neurologists are his collegues and they just tell him headaches are normal side effects and it may take up to 2 years...  In fact one told him he'd feel like a new man in January because he was a doc he would recover much more quickly... ??????  Because of who he is....  Sigh..  Remember, they were the ones that only kept him for a week in ICU ( I see many others stayed 3 weeks or more) and told him he could return to work 2 weeks after that....  I was floored when I read on here that many people were off work for 3 to 6 months.  He was off 3 weeks....

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It is hard to accept when life changes.  You look normal and everyone sees you as normal but NO ONE knows what is going on in your head and believe me there is so much going on it is hard to describe. 

 

I do not know your husband but it sounds like he is trying to work through the pain hoping it will resolve itself. He does not want to lose his knowledge and expertise and may be afraid if he stops or slows down he will.   I did the same thing.  I think many of us did. I am not a doctor but my job requires many hours and lots of stress.  I had to stop and back down. 

 

I found that when I was/am physically active I did not feel the pain as much and I actually felt pretty "normal".  Now, with that said, after awhile of doing and going the brain shuts down and must have rest and that is what happened and still happens to me at times.  There is a wonderful book called "A Stroke of Insight" that I found very informative.  It talks about working your brain while it is awake and how important it is to also rest your brain.  This person that wrote the book is a neuroanatomist and understands the brain. 

 

Your husband is trying to get back to a place in his life that may be far reaching right now but that is okay.  He will learn that fighting through the pain does not always work. 

 

iola

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Elizabeth, sometimes people say inappropriate things to make "light" of a situation... such as 

 

 

In fact one told him he'd feel like a new man in January because he was a doc he would recover much more quickly... ??????  Because of who he is....  Sigh..

Men are Men ... the alpha male .. they don't want to admit any weakness or feel vulnerable.  I don't think that your Husbands profession actually comes in to play post SAH. If you're the major wage earner, it's bound to have some effect. I've seen a fair amount of Men on this site who were the major wage earner having difficulties with many aspects of their life.....including work and having to make decisions in that area as they weren't coping.

 

If your Husbands SAH happened after having sex, then yes, he will probably be finding that this area of his life is difficult at the minute ... there's not many of us in the early weeks, months etc that don't experience a bit of post traumatic stress or flashbacks ... perhaps you need to talk to him about it and tell him that it's okay if he doesn't feel like sex at the minute ... you can still both be intimate in other ways.

 

Your Husband will eventually realise what he can and what he can't do, as in energy levels ... he will work that one out for himself ... you will have to pick up the pieces in the meantime... no, you're not his Mom, but he's had a brain injury ... love, guidance and telling him that it's okay for a while .... he will find his own level over the next few months .... be patient with him and work it through......xx

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hello again - just wanted to mention that the book "Stroke of Insight" was very interesting and is written in a lot of ways from a clinical point of view that your husband might identify with.  It goes into detail the difference between a right side stroke and a left side stroke, explains the brain in response to the stroke itself, and offers insight and suggestions as to how to move on and be happy once again.  

 

Carolynusa

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Would that be what he needs if he had aperimesencephalic hemorrhage ?  He had no neurologic or physical deficits.

 

I'm about halfway through A Dented Image.

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Elizabeth,

What needs to be learned is a bleed is a bleed and does not matter how it happened and what the proper medical term is. It is an attack on the brain. Clinically, the outcome is more promising for non aneurysmal but there are many here that have defied the odds.

Rome was not built in a day and his head and your life will not automatically rewind back to before his bleed. Take it one day at a time and have faith.

I

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Hi Elizabeth. Fear and confidence. Two big things in the life of any patient, family and partner after a brain injury regardless of its cause and have no doubt that this is what your husband is recovering from after his bleed. His previous fitness will help him as will his positve attitude but as he is already finding out and you are witnessing , you can't kid the nerve control centre that everything is fine and just push through like you used to, there just isn't the processing power right now.

It takes a lot of guts to say to people around you ' wait , I can't do that right now exactly how I used to ' or ' I'll just do this and then no more' . That is in fact easier the more severe the bleed and effects because it's just so blooming obvious. However it is hard to admit to them and more importantly yourself that you can't do something and there is a fear that if you don't do things you will might never do it again. There is also the fear from our partners when we do push too much ( which we all do) because you are witness to us showing ourselves at our weakest but understand in doing that your husband is able to share with you himself at his most raw and vulnerable, with you he doesn't have to pretend all is well. I know that must be hard to witness ( my hubbie agrees , I told him about this thread) but in time you will get back more of him and keep encouraging him to make decisions today that give good balance for all the family long term. Less haste more speed.

Try to encourage your type'A' consultant to write down what his own prescription would be if someone else who he loved Was to have a bleed, what would he be advocating they do. And fine go and help build the house if he must but why not tell the other fellas that he gets to be foreman this time and he'll even make the coffees but no heavy lifting and if they ask why tell them that he'd have words with their consultants if he saw them doing heavy work so soon after a brain bleed which I am sure he would. He needs not to be frightened of what people think. They will be pleased he is here, not judging him on if he is coping but seeing him Act as a role model because he is taking care of himself for his family to promote the best possible healing he can. That's a physician's job.

So that's my view, no you are not his mum,you are his friend, his cheerleader, his brow mopper, and comforter and in time the other more fun and sexy stuff will be there too, it's just a different phase for you guys. I am realising now I am in this for the long haul of getting better with the help of my chap, and so what if some people don't get what I am like these days, how can they, they don't live With My brain so all I can do Is explain to them what helps me and why I do things like I do now and leave it to them to decide how to behave.

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Hello Elizabeth

 

You have been receiving much good advice from the members here-

 

A simple comment I would make as a Carer like yourself -and my wife also has made a great recovery and is still working albeit two days a week now-but still at her busy pressured former job.

 

Your journey is going to challenge the extent of your love for your `better half`! Many times in the future you are going to question how much you can take as you adapt to your `imposed` carer`s role. Love is in many ways shown by how much we are prepared to give- and you are going on a journey which may stretch your giving to your limits.

 

Keep strong- he needs your love and care even if it does not look like it-

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I agree with you All,  as we all need a hug or a cuddle or even to be told we are wanted.

 

We never asked for this, however nor did our family either.

 

Life can bring us heartache but it is so good sometimes to get called back to those who

need us !! (That's how I look upon my experience !!).

 

My life isn't the same but I am so pleased I made it back as I love my family so much like

we all do xx

 

Now smile and give our carers and loved ones a hug.

 

My hubby makes me make my own decisions as I was hesitant in the early days and cried

so easily but he was doing it for me to use my mind/brain (Swore a few times at him lol).

 

Funny you forget major things but swear words come back so easily Joke !!

 

Love you All and be happy.

 

Win xx xxx xxxx  Not the easiest to live with (I am really !) xx

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