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My husband pre brain bleed was constantly moving.   His alarm goes off at 4:30.  He would exercise, take a shower and head to the hospital by 6 or so.  He would do clinic or surgeries.  If he got home early at 5 or 6 then he would change clothes and go outside and fix a fence, or tend the cows or do a home improvement project.  My husband makes lists and so he would have 75 things on his weekend off to get done.  Now some of those might be play a game with one child or go fishing with another.  I never had to give him a to do list.  I remember one morning he got up and noticed my sink was slow and fixed it at 5:30am..  

 

So he had the brain bleed last October.  He can only do a partial amount of surgeries...  Reading bothers him.  The chaos of clinic bothers him.  Working out on our farm, he still enjoys but an hour or two of that exhausts him.  Surfing on the computer to compare prices on things gives him a headache.  

 

My husband has never just sat around.  Before the bleed, maybe once a year he would sit in a chair all day and watch football or basketball and it was normally because he didn't feel well and he would apologize to me for being such a bum.

 

So what in the world is someone like this supposed to do to relax now that his stamina is gone????  When so many things give him headaches.... (the stress and lack of sleep on the job doesn't help...  He was up till 3:30 am the other night when he was on call)   He doesn't sit around well...  Yet mental things seem to give him a headache as well....  I just don't get what someone who isn't even 50 yet is supposed to do....

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Hi there he could read start off with short stories and build up to books I am taking six on holiday and it is quite believable that I can finish them now (if there is only things for the kids to do) xxx

Hope he finds something to interest him xxx

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My hubby is a lazy so and so but I love him, we have to get men in to do gardening and decorating and he hasn't had a bleed.

 

I am the one who was ill,  but he was so worried about me when I was ill, I forgive him his short comings like burning my chop and filling our living room with smoke from said burnt chop. lol

 

I am so happy to be able to say " I love you"  as some do not get a  2nd chance.  I am crying while typing this as  I love my Family so.

Good happy tears  always xx

 

Let him recover properly as it's only a year, what about going out together for a coffee and a chat ?

 

It's hard work with us but your hubby will get there maybe  it will take him a while to recover but never give up xx 

 

Good luck to you Both xx

 

Get him out of the house xx  even for a coffee it perked me up xx (food always does) xx

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Elizabeth,

 

I suffer fatigue most of the time and headaches sometimes.

 

I find the best way of coping is to do things in short bursts and then rest in between.  Resting is as important as working.

 

This way you still get things done, you are less tired and your body gets the respite it needs to carry on.  It's only a  small adjustment but one which pays dividends for me.

 

It also means he will feel of value and it will break up his day if he can do things over a longer period.  It may mean he even does them better as doing things more slowly usually means better quality.

 

It's just a different way of looking at it.

 

Good luck, 

 

Macca

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I get your point. That frustration of comparing life before and after SAH. I really do. Speak to my 12 year old daughter if you want to get a view now on how annoying it is that Her mum can't do all the things I did! Thing is, it improves but only in its own time.

My best advice is measure and compare his progress from those first days post bleed. The condition of brain your husband had that allowed him to do all that he did before can never come back so now he is working to reconnect and create new ways of doing things at a new pace plus recover from the trauma.

Is it going to be different, will he seem different? possibly but how could he just go back to doing what he did. The sitting around you may see as something alien to you both but know actually in that time he's not just sitting around but giving neurons peace and silence of no movement , giving no effort on cognition, it is letting him rest from the immense energy his brain is using just to function, especially as he concentrated so hard at work. That's a good thing and as long as he's not just doing that it's understanding he's having to do it all differently to his ways of old. Anyway I'll get off my soapbox.

You wanted things that help him to relax, here are things I did / still do.

Go for walks. Draw. Grow fruit and veg. I got raised beds and just went for it. Make jam....I figured I could learn something new. A little boring some may say but Actually to manage the cooking chopping and bottling is hard work but therapeutic and I get to give what I make as gifts. Maybe he could try pickling things or brewing some beer to drink..a complete contrast to his old habits.... Keith on here could probably share some great ideas.

Being creative is excellent therapy. Read or listen to a book. Learn new facts. One member took up wood carving...main thing it's simpler pleasures , less fast paced and octane of old but actually when you're going slow you can enjoy and see a lot more.

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Hi Elizabeth.  You sound very frustrated and I'm sorry for that.  I'm sure your husband is just as frustrated or even more.  My husband is retired so he has been with me every step of the way.  It took a toll on him though.  He is older than me and all the stress and work of taking care of me wore him out.  

 

I miss my job too.  It wasn't as dramatic as your husband's but it was what I loved - after 30 years of doing much different other things.  When I go into one of the new places I have worked I will admit I often cry.  I "get" what he is going through not being able to do the things he used to.  I'm amazed that he can even do the things he can!  That's somewhat great (in my opinion) but he needs to heal.

Sleep and some kind of rest is good for him.  It helps to heal.  It took me several months to able to follow a book again and I was always an avid reader.  Maybe he can continue to try to read if he had a book that kept him interested.  I had to kind of change what I read as I had times following. Maybe he can learn to cook or bake simple things that others will rave about.  That is chemistry after all. ;)

He will find something.  Give him more time to rest and heal.  I'm 62 (oops! 61 - Birthday in a couple days so forget - lol) and I have a hard time still (bleed last June) but I feel like I'm getting stronger and I believe your husband will too - and you.  Be patient and love him as you have.  My surgeon says after about 2 years it will seem much better...day by day.

 

By the way, when Win mentioned she likes to eat, she left out the fact that she eats mostly chocolate.  lol

 

Take care

Carolyn

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I'm not sure I made myself clear.  I am asking because my husband is frustrated, not me.

 

Before his bleed, I LONGED for him to just sit on the swing with me...  He tried, but after a few attempts he had to bring our vacation or something to work on.  I longed to take walks...which we do now.  But my husband does not know how to just be.  He sees watching tv as a waste of time.  He should be doing something.  I would be thrilled for him to just sit and rest, but he doesn't know how....

 

Yes, we normally have a large garden but we didn't do it this year.  We still have our fruit trees and bushes.  I made tons of blackberry jam and am so sick of pears that I could scream.  I've made three batches of pear jam, put up 20 quarts of pears, made 2 pear pies, 4 pear cakes, and 15 loaves of pear bread...

 

He does like to cook, but here is part of our problem.  He is losing weight with the stress.  ( He is 6 ft and now 145 pounds..)  I, on the other hand, after being put on an anti-depressant have been steadily gaining weight which my husband hates..  I am 5ft  6 and 160....  We have switched as I used to be 140 and he was 160.  He loves making breads and desserts, but I gain weight if I look at them.... Frustrating...  

 

Anyway, he just doesn't know what to do with himself or rather he is so exhausted after a day of clinic or surgery that he collapses and watches tv with me and feels like a failure.  He has so many things he wants to do and feels useless...

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Elizabeth,

 

I understand the mind is willing but putting it bluntly,  he is shattered. 

 

Why not try something that wont exhaust him, but makes hubby feel like he is helping, right now lets think of what that can be ??

 

Have you 2 got a favourite song or a meal you both like, do it together whatever it is xx

 

Keep in there and things will get better, he wont be as tired as he used to be and I wish you all the best.    Small steps at first xx

 

Good luck to you Both xx

 

Winb143 xx xx

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Elizabeth, now this is just a suggestion, is your hubby interested in dancing? If so you could both go to a class and learn together, ballroom, latin American. If you can already dance, are there any dance clubs you could go to together? It would give exercise and relaxation at the same time. Some people I know have found it therapeutic.

You could give it a try and see what happens.

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Elizabeth,

 

I understand the mind is willing but putting it bluntly,  he is shattered. 

 

Why not try something that wont exhaust him, but makes hubby feel like he is helping, right now lets think of what that can be ??

 

Have you 2 got a favourite song or a meal you both like, do it together whatever it is xx

 

Keep in there and things will get better, he wont be as tired as he used to be and I wish you all the best.    Small steps at first xx

 

Good luck to you Both xx

 

Winb143 xx xx

The problem is that he gets home at 7 or so, and that is too late for him to cook.  We go to bed at 9pm since his alarm goes off at 4:30, so we need to go to bed soon after.  Plus, he often only eats something light like a sandwich or yogurt or something as if he eats something heavy that late he has bad heartburn.  On the weekends, if he isn't on call, then he will grill.  Our big meal of the day is typically lunch.

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Elizabeth, now this is just a suggestion, is your hubby interested in dancing? If so you could both go to a class and learn together, ballroom, latin American. If you can already dance, are there any dance clubs you could go to together? It would give exercise and relaxation at the same time. Some people I know have found it therapeutic.

You could give it a try and see what happens.

 

I will have to ask..  We tried dancing when we were dating and first married, but he has no sense of rhythm and cannot lead and I took dance for 12 years, so then I would try to lead.  We got into an argument every time and decided in our first year of marriage that we wouldn't dance anymore for the sake of our marriage.  Grin...

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Smart move Elizabeth  ;)

 

Try to find a common ground where you can do something you both enjoy but doesn't wipe him out physically but makes him feel good about himself.  Good luck xxx

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I will have to ask..  We tried dancing when we were dating and first married, but he has no sense of rhythm and cannot lead and I took dance for 12 years, so then I would try to lead.  We got into an argument every time and decided in our first year of marriage that we wouldn't dance anymore for the sake of our marriage.  Grin...

Elizabeth, things may be different now, you are both older and therefore more mature.

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Elizabeth,

 

I really loved your reply to Super M,  glad you can grin about it.

 

When me and my hubby were courting we went on the dance floor I'd say " I'll walk under your arm and then you  twist me twice" etc.

I'd come off that floor with my arm aching lol,  He has no timing my hubs,  bless him  grin also xx

 

Really I do hope things will start looking up for you both xxx you made me laugh wish I could do the same for you xx

 

Keep bright and good  luck xx

 

Love

Winb143 xx Alias armpulledoutofsocket  xxx ha ha

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Elizabeth

 

I think he needs to chill. It's hard, God I know it's hard but he needs to give a little, both to you and himself. Work is not the be all and end all, he has survived that is the bottom line.

 

I love my job but not as much as I love my life, my husband and kids. My job would have carried on without me no worries but my family..... that would have been another story. Get him to stop so much work and maybe the non work activities will get better. It's hard to not work so much especially if you have been a linchpin of that job but the bottom line is that the job will go on even if you don't. Sorry to be so blunt but I hope you agree its reality,

 

Clare xx

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So here's a thought. How about learning massage? He's tired, you're tired, that could be nice....and also allows you to reconnect. Maybe go on a couples massage course if he is willing and then you can both learn something new but that can also be beneficial to help relax. Professional courses I am talking about that look at aromatherapy and are considerate of his bleed.

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I went through learning that being slow and quiet was just as valid of a life as being fast and furious.  This is a personal journey and it is very difficult because you can't rely on all your old tricks that you used to do to keep you occupied.  There is nothing wrong with the struggle and yet it feels so wrong!  No one can give you permission, no one can make you do it except yourself.  You realize that it takes guts, stamina, and an openness to changes.  You become a real hero in your own life:  One that succeeds via a totally new way, when you didn't want to be in the situation that you've found yourself.

 

~Kris

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Hello Elizabeth

 

I have tried to grasp the content in your threads-

Unchartered Territory, I`m not his mother, and How to relax-

 

You certainly have received a wealth of valuable advice from your friends at BTG.

 

I –like you, am a Carer-my wife had her SAH 8 May 2011.

I am so sorry to learn that not only is your husband finding it so hard to re-adjust post SAH-but that you also are suffering from the many strains of being a Carer-It can be so hard to have the added issues brought about by SAH when your lives have been run on the fast lane for so long.

 

Like many others-I find it so ironic that your husband is surrounded by colleagues in the `Health` business who seem to break all the `recovery rules` in the book with regard to his return to work. Your husband has been and still is in need of time to heal-even though he looks OK on the outside.

 

I am sure you know that this is the case from your attempts to take care of him since his SAH last September-

My wife was not a surgeon- but she had a very pressured job with ten specialties to look after for ensuring consultants daily workloads were at full capacity-she also wanted to return to full-time work post SAH.

Her route to this was- realistic time away from work (months not weeks) then carefully phased return which was closely monitored by Occupational Health Doctor-following her discharge in June 2011 she was not back full-time until July 2012-however she was at that time fully in charge of her previous job-and she remained in that busy pressured work until she retired  August 2013.

I can honestly say that any other fast-track effort to return would have most likely severely hampered her successful return-perhaps permanently.

 

With the greatest respect-your husband seems as if he has made getting back to `life as it was` his priority,  with practically no time given for his damaged brain to readjust. Your own health has suffered as you have tried to make things work and seen how futile it has been.

 

His workload pre SAH not to mention his incredible after work `to do list` appears so onerous – your life styles as you say-had little room for `me time` ! You do admit in your posts that you did feel this was the case-

You mentioned in your first thread that post SAH he was `reading more books than he had ever done`- but in your recent post you mention that he finds reading a problem- what do you think has changed?

 

You also mention in a later post that he had intended to have a full review of his work capabilities back in March- what was the outcome of this? Can you explain what the current understanding is?

You say, how can such a busy husband relax. Sometimes it is not easy for a SAH survivor to admit that their brain has been badly damaged- does he speak openly about his feelings concerning his SAH?

I feel his `to-do` list has to take on a new focus-with priority given to a realistic plan to ensure that he has the best chance of a good recovery.

 

First on that list is a review of his work. This is where he has most pressure. Are you both prepared to adjust your lifestyles to let him have a decent chance to recover? This decision is probably the most important decision you will ever make as the outcome could have such positive/negative effects on his future health. You say that change is doubtful-however in time-he may have pushed so hard that he is forced to quit completely anyway.

 

Next- value time for you both- walks, talks, days away, weekends away, a week away – there must be places you both want to visit/revisit. You have received other suggestions from members of BTG.

Have you read neilhapgood`s    http://www.braininjuryftp.com/

 

Next-  well –until he is showing good positive signs- don`t let there be a `next`. He has to be given time to adjust.

You too will find you will benefit from this different focus-

 

I do hope that you are able to take control of his recovery so that he and his brain get the time needed to allow healing-

 

Subs

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He was reading more than he ever did at first but even then it gave him headaches.  Now, it is more like before, he just doesn't make the time. 
 

Basically, he is working half the amount he was before....sort of.  He is only seeing 1/2 the number of patients he used to see but in the same amount of time.  ( So he sees 10 patients in the morning instead of 20.)  He just moves slower.  He is not doing nearly the number of large cases that he was before but instead more smaller cases.  He has a schedule that his scheduler is supposed to follow:  ie, if I am on call on Monday then only schedule 1 case on Tuesday instead of 3 in case I am on call...  Unfortunately, lately his scheduler has quit doing that and so he was going to talk with her about that.  Everyone just expects him to ramp up to normal, which he doesn't want to do...  He is actually pacing himself really well with the exception of call, which he has no choice on.  If he could quit call, he would in a heartbeat.   The neurologist that he is seeing now agrees his schedule is good at the moment.  
 

I'm not quite sure what you mean by adjust our lifestyle...

 

We take walks on our place several times a week.  We spent a week away for our 25th wedding anniversary.  He also took a week staycation this summer as well.  He has always taken 6 weeks off each year to be with the family, more than any other doc and has gotten ribbed for that some.  He makes plenty of money and we save 1/2 of it each year and it was worth more to us than the extra money.    We have two different parent weekends in September which we make into camping weekends.  Then we have a camping trip just for us in October.

 

I'm off to read neilhapgood`s    http://www.braininjuryftp.com/

 

Like I said, work has never been his focus, his family has been....  Maybe I confused you guys by what I said, but it is the fact that he liked to be busy at home.  So he and the boys would cut down a tree or fix fence.  He doesn't feel like he is ok unless he is being productive.  Now he counts playing a game with the boys as being productive as well.  But some of our crazy louder family board games bother him after 20 minutes or so...   He can't watch war games with the boys ( he has to look away as the frenetic action bothers him...  We went to see J the new urassic Park on a big screen  with 3d glasses, big mistake.  That so bothered him....  )  He has started learning to play the guitar and that seems to be relaxing for him and isn't bothering him.  That is what has been hard.  He doesn't sit still well and his usual methods of relaxation ( cutting down a tree) just didn't work anymore. 

Edited by Skippy
Removed quote as made reading difficult - questions/paragraphs answered in orded

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Hello Elizabeth

 

Thanks for your comments-

 

To answer your query about `changing your lifestyle`-

I simply meant that to give your husband a chance of a good recovery you may be challenged to do whatever it takes-

It is clear from the many posts on this site that not giving the brain a chance in the early post SAH days, results in a real struggle -Often having to accept that making more effort to return to `normal` is indeed a hindrance to recovery. Few are able to return to life as it was.

 

Only you and your husband can tell if your current decisions about work/life are enough to see your husband cope and make improvements in his brain recovery.

 

Subs

 

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Elizabeth. How you explained things is really helpful and you are right it sounds like your husband is doing a good job pacing what was a very demanding job into something that is manageable to him right now.

Maybe what we are clumsily trying to share with you is that the stuff he used to do just might not work any more but only he will find what's right. Some , a few people get it all back, others have to adapt, evolve to the permanent loss or change in life.

The 3 D film I could have given you a heads up on ( no pun intended) and I have opted out of all cinema trips now and passed that job to hubby I'm afraid as the toll on my brain is still too great even now. My physical stamina disappears very quickly still and so my ability to do anything above and beyond adding in the work I do these days and kid care is pretty limited but at three and a half years post SAh I take great satisfaction that I am still reclaiming things and manage to do some things again that I used to take for granted. Some I choose to do and know I'll pay the price, others reamain beyond me still so I have looked for and found other interests or different ways to get things done.

I used to mow the lawns at home and was very physically active and full on mum and working as well but I can't do all as I did but as an example I can cut back stuff manually in the garden now which is good for my arm strength. I guess I'm saying to hubby that yes it's hard when all the things you knew you used to do to find relaxation don't work now but there will be different ways. Try not to compare so much, try not to rail against it and instead find new ways. one thing he might enjoy is making willow structures. Creative, complex but purely dexterity and not strength or power tools involved and you can do some great things with that....just an idea.

Take care Elizabeth, regards to hubby. He's doing well.

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