Question……

Brooke e-mailed me and asked me some questions but I need to know of some other stroke survivors’ experiences.  It REALLY, REALLY, REALLY pissed me off when family members would try to make me do “therapy” stuff but I think I was extremely hyper-sensitive to this because I am a therapist.  So I think my answer to her is skewed.  She wants to know, as a wife, how she should act around her husband.  Did it piss you off when spouses/family members would make you do certain things?

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Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

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13 replies

  1. My family was soooo not involved at all, except my husband. He would “remind” me to use my affected side or complete my smile. He ment well, I knew It and I was fine with it. Sometimes it would hurt my feelings and I felt like he was “picking on me”. I wanted to back to being me and not need reminders every move I made. It was hard, but I know he loves me and wanted me to recover my best. As far as therapy and exercises, I was completely obsessed…no reminders needed, I was constantly rehabing and charts of what I had done were on the fridge to remind me in case I lost count. He knew I was working like crazy. I would have welcomed any help finding good therapy, my first place when I got home sucked, and I fired them. They insinuated I was “too messed up” to be the judge of their lack of ability. I was right, the next place was way better, but it was stressful quitting the place with a great reputation. Help would have been wonderful. I think supportive family is great. An encouraging spouse is a blessing, Brooke.

  2. Such advice should be left to professionals, although I myself have performed self-invented and self-imposed therapy of sorts, e.g. by walking several miles a day in my back yard.

  3. Well, I’m not a good example. My soon to be ex-wife is a PT, She would sarcastically ask me when was the last time I did so-and-so exercise. But with no explanation of how recovery would proceed I didn’t work that hard at it. I’m a computer programmer, I needed cause and effect. I’ve spent 5 years determining that stroke rehab has no logical predictive ability. Is Brookes’ husband
    a logical or emotional person?, that might tell the way to go.

  4. Both my mom and husband accompany me to PT, sometimes both simultaneously. My mom is more encouraging (in a patient, helpful way) as far as ensuring I do my PT homework. My husband on the other hand definitely pisses me off, very much so, at times! He has a more dictatorial approach, constantly asking if I’ve done my homework. If I say “not yet”, he’ll tell me “you’ve been up X number of hours. What are you waiting for?”

    First, I’m an adult, a VERY stubborn adult, so his approach totally rubs me the wrong way! His micro-management style makes me want to NOT do them just to spite him. I have to stop and remind myself that such is his nature, he’s the same with his employees, he doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just a “get it done” type. I also remind myself that he loves me very much and just wants to aid in my recovery. And I of course realize that I’d be punishing myself, not him.

    He does earn positive points, though, by telling me he’s proud of how hard I’m working in my PT sessions. He also verbally recognizes that although some of the exercises seem especially challenging, he admires my tenacity in doing them. So, his positives outweigh his negatives and I’m appreciative that he cares enough to make sure I’m doing what I need to do.

    Meanwhile, my mom is also encouraging, but with a different approach. She knows I’m stubborn and therefore learned (many years ago) how to push without pissing me off.

  5. My husband would come in and say, “You need to do your exercises now.” My hackles would raise because it was said as an order instead of a question, “Have you done your exercises yet?” Although I will admit that some days even a nice tone would still set me off!

  6. I’m not a good candidate to answer this one either…my family was begging me to stop because I pushed myself too hard. During the first year, I spent 4-6 hours for every hour of PT time.
    But I agree with some others, she should talk to her spouse. Open and direct conversation is needed. Nobody should force, harp, or nag someone else on general principles. It usually has the opposite effect.

  7. Family and friend have no way of understanding what is going on, how could they understand? I find even other stroke survivors only really understand their own problems. My approach is anything for an easy life, and if I can do something I will, however frustrating that may seem.

  8. Amy: With Jay he was always active before his stroke so now to him if he doesnt do therapy he makes me help him on his bike and do exercises at his home. i think everyone is different, at first in about his first to second year of stroke he would beg me to cancel his therapy… so maybe a lot of it is acceptance on the patient part. I say to the wife keep it up but not to the point that it makes you miserable..actually repetition is what will help in the long run.

  9. I think the key here is that all survivors need to be told there is no magic. Your therapists can point you in the right directions but you have to do all the repetitions.

  10. Since my inability to communicate (aphasia)was my biggest hurdle for about 1 year and a half, everyone tried to draw me into a conversation. My family knew when I was too exhausted, because words stopped coming out. But I’m grateful they kept talking with me, each day.

    I think my family knew how hard I was trying (and still do). I’m lucky. Also, because I have young kids, my family often had to focus on my kids, instead of me–probably a blessing.

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