Other Half

Hi I am the other half of a stroke victim. I am new here.

My husband suffered a major stroke in May 2015. He made a great physical recovery from what we saw on day one. He has trouble with his left arm and hand so cannot ride his beloved motorbikes or the car. But the worst thing is that he cannot or will not accept what has happened. Whatever is said to him he ignores and all that we have tried has failed. He is on anti depressants as sometimes he is suicidal. But he won't see a counsellor. He won't go to any stroke clubs or any meetings of any kind. He is turning his back on us all.

Any help from any others out there would be a great help, from stroke victims or other half so. Thanks X

6 Replies

  • I've had two strokes and tbh it takes an awful lot to be able to comprehend what's happened to you especially if there were no warnings and it happened out of the blue. He needs time to come to terms with what has changed his life beyond recognition. I can fully understand why he wouldn't want to join a stroke club, nor would I. I want my life back not this new life that's been foisted on me, so I want to mix with normal people not stroke victims. There is more to us than a stroke. I'm further down the line than your husband and accept what my life is now and strive to make it as best as I can. My second stroke caused my husband to announce he couldn't cope, lucky him he had a choice. He left 2 years ago and the divorce is still ongoing. I'm glad he's gone he clearly wasn't worthy of me but what I'm saying is, I get it your life has changed beyond belief and you want what's best for him but don't push because he'll push back harder, as hard as it is this is his fight to win and not yours, you're a bystander in this instance. Try asking him what he'd like to do? I can guarantee what would make him happy is to turn back the clock, it's not possible but it's what we want.

    I guess that's not what you wanted to hear but there's no magic bullet, sorry.

  • Hello Other half, I will try to choose my words carefully but be very honest. My major stroke was in 2009 ,so 7 years ago and I am still on anti-depressants, I am afraid. I still feel suicidal at times. Do you have children?May I ask how old your husband is? I was just turned 60 when it happened to me and I feel very angry and bitter about it. I feel so sorry for you as I am only too aware of the blow that hits relationships. I wish I knew where you lived and could chat to your husband as I know that just talking to someone in the same situation would help him (and you). We went on a cruise a year ago and the very first evening I was in tears at the dinner table because of something my husband said (I had said to him when I was getting ready "I have lost my allure ) and he said " B.H. I have just started reading this book! where have you left it ?When did you last have it?") As you might guess he thought I meant "Allure"the Chanel perfume (which I had once had) but I think this encapsulates how I feel about myself and how I interpret his responses as him thinking I am a burden to him. After my tearful dinner a couple approached us who were in the same situation, but it was the man who had had the stroke. It was very helpful for us both to talk to them. I think the main problem for me is this feeling of frustration at not being me (the real me) I feel as if the real me actually died and I have been left with this useless body to cope with.

    For a more practical help, I know that there are mobility scooters that resemble more of a Harley Davidson (all black and chrome) I presume your hubby qualifies for motorbility and I presume these are available on the scheme. It is my dream to have one of these mean machines with a loud klaxon so people shift out of my way (oh yes, I get angry at other people too, although I know this is unjustified ) Maybe it will help your husband to know I am out here (same left side weakness -or actually I can't move my left arm at all ) and that I know how he feels.

    I found that neuro physio helped, the first thing you have to do is to love your left arm. I hated mine and said it "felt like a dead cod-fish dangling from my shoulder" but I started to get some response from my left arm with therapy , However it was too costly and I don't know if it is available on NHS.

    If you are near the capital there is upper limb therapy available at London University Hospital (sorry but I can't remember the details but I'm sure Andrew Marr(the journalist) has been there .) I actually gain inspiration from watching his programme on Sunday mornings ,knowing he has been through the same thing and is doing remarkably well.

    For my own part I am writing a historical novel and my dream is that it will be a best seller and I will be on TV and give some hope to other stroke survivors.

    Where in the country do you live ? I am in the East Midlands

    Annlynne x

  • Hi

    I suffered my Brain Hemorrhage & Stroke when I was 32.

    From day one I was determined to beat the Stroke & not let it beat me.

    I was told a long list off things that I wouldn't do again !!!!

    Yes this speared me on & on & on.

    All off the medical staff where very "Doom & Gloom"

    My biggest event was excepting the "New Me"

    This I did from day one which made things much easier.

    If there is anything that I can help you with please let me know ??


  • I was wondering why he can't drive the car due to his arm because my brother in law lost an arm in an accident and he still drives, it's an adapted car but maybe something you could look into and would give him back something normal in life.

  • Hi - sorry to read your story. Have you a stroke community team in your area who may be able to help more ? Or neuro rehab team ? I've mainly used the Headway part of this site for more help after my CVST Oct 2014 ( rare form of stroke). Maybe any of these could come to you both at home ? Or has he indeed introduced himself to members on this site ? It might be a way of "meeting" people with similar conditions without having to go out and I found lots of great support - being anonymous in the beginning was a bonus for me.

    I'll never be the same again - but try to think of it as a new improved me ( ha ha ) . Can't change what happened ( and my partner of 18 years upped andleft at the time) but have got to the point of accepting the change and doing as much as I can with the stupid blood clot which may always be there .....

    Just a last minute thought - could he ride pillion on a motorbike ? Would that help him do something he likes ?? Or could he give talks at a local motorbike group ? To youngsters ? Help at bike maintenance classes ??

    Good luck

    K :-)

  • Hi I have not been in your situation nor have I had a stroke myself, but I've worked in stroke rehab for many years so have witnessed many similar situations. I see Stroke as a family disease i.e. It not only impacts the stroke survivor but all of their loved ones lives as well. It sounds as if he's struggling to believe he has the chance to live a good life after stroke. He's really lucky to have someone who wants to love and support him through this struggle. I see how exhausting and draining it can be for the people who want to help but feel stuck. It's imperative for your husbands well being that you don't burn out. Maybe you have to accept that he's not ready to accept help YET and focus on what you can do to help yourself I think this can only have a positive impact on your relationship xx