How to Cheer Up Stroke Victim

The title of this post was a search term on my blog today.  ‘How to cheer up stroke victim.’  Ummm, I’m sure the person that wrote this is newly devastated but I’ve been dealing with this crap for nearly 5 years and I’m a bit jaded.  It’s wonderful that someone cared enough to search that.  I’m pretty sure that something like that was never searched for by the main players in my life on how to deal with me and interact with me.  You really can’t cheer the person up, maybe you can, I don’t know.  For me, I just wished I had died.  The most you can hope to do within those first couple of years after a brain injury is provide fleeting moments of joy through laughter, perhaps through Grumpy Cat pictures.  This was the case for me anyway.  Maybe there are other stroke survivors that didn’t badly want to be released by death from the hellish existence they were forced to live.  I did.  Does anyone else want to comment on how you may have been cheered up?  I couldn’t be cheered up.  I was in a deep, deep, deep depression and had lost any and all hope.  The fact that I was able to pull myself out of that is quite amazing.  It’s pretty much all up to the individual, I think.  You can suggest all kinds of things that you think would help, read my blog, read Dean’s blog for all kinds of suggestions.  But you can’t do anything for the person, you can only recommend stuff, and hope they oblige.

But I’m going to do a post soon that is quite the opposite of the message of this post and tell recent strokees that life can get better, way better.

A side note, it has been said by Dean that e-mail after e-mail goes unanswered by the ASA and NSA.  I have sung the praises of Peter G. Levine’s book Stronger After Stroke, have recommended it to a bunch of people and have been a big supporter of his blog and have it listed on my homepage under ‘The Most Important Recovery Links You Need’ category.  And I have no plans of deleting it.  I still think this book is the best one that exists about stroke recovery right now.  This will change when I write a book.  But multiple e-mails of mine to him about meditation have gone unanswered and meditation is only briefly mentioned twice I think on his blog.  I can provide thousands of research articles about the benefits of meditation on the brain.  A plethora of evidence that would take months to read through.  Is anyone out there genuinely trying to help people without expecting anything in return with no personal agenda?  My heart aches for humanity right now.

To try to cheer up a stroke victim…..

IMG_1342   forgive  gcmfer

Advertisements


Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. Damn, lost the complete response on my smartphone.
    I know I never got cheered up by either my ex or my parents. I finally realized that this was going to be a long haul and no-one was around to help. I have never depended on anyone and that helped. What really cheered me up was losing my job and having to move to a new city for another job. I’m weird that way. Tonight I’m in Syracuse, NY waiting for a flight to Detroit and then Lansing. Friday night is a play, Sat. morning coffee with a friend then on to pick up a $7,000 painting I just bought. At least next week I don’t have to fly to NYC again.
    Life is great.

  2. I don’t think you can cheer someone up who has just had a stroke, it’s like telling a depressed person, ‘Cheer up’. Something innate has to trigger that.

  3. Amy, There’s nothing to be said to a newbie stroke survivor that will cheer them up at that point in time. All you can say is hope for the best. It can happen, right? Maybe not for any of the strokees we know, but I’ve heard stories…
    I think the only thing you can tell them is they are not alone. All we stroke survivors here and else where develop into our own support system. This support is necessary for survival.

    • Yeah I think you’re right. The best thing to say to someone is “you’re not alone.” My first few years I was amazed at how incredibly alone I felt when surrounded by people.

      • Amy, I was surrounded by friends and family, but the one thing that saved me was finding was finding Dean, Rebecca, and a few others online at first with an active stroke support group here locally. “Normal” people just couldn’t get it no matter how hard they tried.

        I see it in the eyes of every survivor I visit in the hospital. I hold their hand and tell them that very thing. A wave of relief washes over them. No further words are necessary. There’s time for other words later and in some ways it’s better than all the hugs and encouragement they can receive. It was the first thing my speech therapist said to me after the stroke took my voice. I found out later she was also the head of our support group..

        • I wish someone had said that to me, or found a group of other people for me. I was so alone. No did that for me or much of anything else for me beyond the bare minimum of what was necessary to keep me alive. :/ So I created my own support system and found and paid for my own “alternative” stuff that helped me. I so hate calling meditation ‘alternative.’ It should be part of mainstream medicine.

  4. I work out every day ride a recumbent bike and I stretch but without my wife’s help and support I would be very depressed

  5. Grumpy cat…without a doubt!!! And telling them…that it will get better, they are not alone! Recovery is the hardest job I’ve ever had, but the rewards have been worth all of the pain, sweat, and tears! Its ok to feel mad, sad, etc….just don’t get stuck there. Pretty much nothing anyone says will “cheer the survivor up”. Maybe just say, I love you!!! How can I help you? Ohh…just stick with grumpy cat!!!

    • The people that mean the most to me now are not the people that said “how can I help?” Cause a ton of people said that, for like the first year. It’s the people that just helped, without asking.

      But yeah really…let’s just stick with Grumpy Cat! 🙂

      • I would have liked if they asked and then did what I said. Most people never asked or helped….a few just did what they wanted…said f’d up shit and ignored what I requested. Yes, ask, listen, and do please!

        • Well, yeah, most people that asked just did what THEY thought was best.

        • I agree about people not doing what you ask. I asked over and over again for people to take me walking to the end of the block and back. (I was not allowed out alone) No. They might have brought a fruit basket but actually walk slowly with me> nope. and a couple of them I could see walking past my house. while I was looking out the window.

          Finally one 80 year old with a walker and her helpful 80 something year old husband walked a few times with me but it was nearly enough.

          I did walk in the evening with family but that is not so great when you are having vision issues and night blindness.

          • Yeah. Walking in the evening was better for me because I had a bad sensitivity to bright light for a while. It wasn’t good. I usually had to beg my a-hole piece of shit ex to walk with me when he got home from work.

  6. The only real, true thing that helped Zack in the beginning was staying busy and distracted and NOT being alone. He really couldn’t be alone anyway because he could do near to nothing on his own in the first nine months including transfer in and out of his chair. He worked out almost everyday at inpatient rehab for like four and a half months. Also, when he came home I scheduled outpatient rehab and got friends/my dad to take him as often as our insurance would allow. When he wasn’t doing anything or focusing on getting better he was thinking about how shitty things were and that proved to be very dangerous for him.

    Only recently (two and a half years) has he begun to feel genuinely happy most of the time. And he will has hard days. He has found that he is still quite athletic and can do a lot of workout type activities just as good as the regulars and that has given him hope. So he is driving me crazy ordering every workout doo-dad known to man and watching hundreds of YouTube videos. To which I say, “do it, love.” I still worth about him very much. He has started staying home by himself two days a week, which is pretty safe at this point (after a stroke, is it ever 100% safe?). The other day I texted him and he didn’t respond within two hours so I called him after work and he didn’t answer, I immediately got panicked. I texted him again that I was going to use my grandma come check on him if he didn’t respond in five minutes. My first thought when he doesn’t respond for that long is- he’s killed himself. Thank God he just had his phone plugged in, in the other room.

    This is long, but one more thought, for me (the wife), I needed to know that people acknowledged my pain… Our pain. It was so hard to feel like no one around me understood what we were going through… Are going through. I needed people to let me be mad and sad and just to let me be where I was. Being a part of this community really helped me to know how to help and support hurting people in general. All I had to do was listen to you guys. Listening is important.

    Love to all! Miss you, Amy!

  7. I found for me I did not want someone to try and cheer me up. The worst part of having a stroke is the constant “how are you feeling today”, “is there anything I can do for you” , “You know we are here for you” I got so sick of being babied that it pissed me off sometimes. I think the very best thing a person can do for a stroke victim is being there for them. Don’t ask how we are feeling, we just had a stroke how the hell do you think I feel?? I found that the best company were people that just treated you as a normal person. they didn’t bring it up but they were also aware that maybe you don’t want to go to a really loud bar tonight and want to just hang at someones house. Humans have a very bad habit of trying to fix everything.. somethings cannot be fixed! I found there were days i needed a shoulder to cry on and no questions asked, just be there for me and listen, when I am done lets move on and not bring it back up. There is nothing worse then your mom calling you once a week to remind you that you have had a stroke when possibly you were having a good day and had your mind on something else for once.

    So just be there for a stroke victim and give them a hand up when needed not a hand out unless they ask for it!

    • Most things you just said that were negative was exactly how my compulsive liar master manipulator of a significant other at the time and his enabling freak show of a family treated me.

  8. I like to meditate on a verse “Be still and know that I am God”. When I pray and meditate on scripture mt spirit soars. Try it;you may like it. Blessings, Jane

  9. Wine, beer, bourbon, pot, in whatever combination works best.

  10. At times, I have feel like that it would have been better if I died. I’m two years post-stroke and I have my good and bad days. I can relate to your struggle although our deficits are different. My stroke affected my left and right frontal lobe and temproparietal part of my brain.

  11. I agree heartily that trying to cheer the person up is ridiculous. I’m not sure that I was depressed, but I just was flabbergasted, for the first time in my life I didn’t have a clue how to help myself. People did try to cheer me up, but it was lame. One person tried to get me to watch comedic movies. Another tried to tell me I had a bad attitude and she actually had the crust to tell me “we’ll get past this!” How the heck it was a “we” situation, I still do not know. But most of the stuff was really lame. A doctor tried to prescribe tranquilizers (without talking to me about it, he sent the nurse in who told me “here’s your tranquilizer!”, which I refused to take. That doctor should be run out of the medical profession, trying to get me hooked on some crappy drug! I would say, that if you know someone who has had a stroke, do not try to cheer them up, but honestly try to get into their head to understand what they are thinking/feeling. What turned me around was watching a baseball game with people holding up signs “Ya Gotta Believe.” And a cousin sent me a get well card telling me “Attitude is everything!” I saw those as messages from the Great Healer/Creator!

  12. I agree heartily that trying to cheer the person up is ridiculous. I’m not sure that I was depressed, but I just was flabbergasted, for the first time in my life I didn’t have a clue how to help myself. People did try to cheer me up, but it was lame. One person tried to get me to watch comedic movies. Another tried to tell me I had a bad attitude and she actually had the crust to tell me “we’ll get past this!” How the heck it was a “we” situation, I still do not know. But some of the stuff was destructive. A doctor tried to prescribe tranquilizers (without talking to me about it, he sent the nurse in who told me “here’s your tranquilizer!”, which I refused to take. That doctor should be run out of the medical profession, trying to get me hooked on some crappy drug! I would say, that if you know someone who has had a stroke, do not try to cheer them up, but honestly try to get into their head to understand what they are thinking/feeling. What turned me around was watching a baseball game with people holding up signs “Ya Gotta Believe.” And a cousin sent me a get well card telling me “Attitude is everything!” I saw those as messages from the Great Healer/Creator.

Say things.................

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: