Does it ever get better?: My other half had a non... - Headway


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Does it ever get better?


My other half had a non-cancerous brain tumour that was removed about three years ago. Since then life has been a struggle. He had to relearn how to write, walk, hold things etc. He still has weakness on his right side, speech problems (says the wrong words, can't find the right word, slurred speech, can struggle to put sentences together), poor short term memory, struggles to process things (done three years at uni with help from me and his dad) and also suffers with crippling self esteem issues which may or may not have been present before the tumour but now have taken over his life. I feel he lacks independence, motivation, drive to do anything, loses patience quicker, emotional mood swings, gets overwhelmed very easily by the simplest of tasks. He's been signed off from everything physio related, therapy to help with the self-esteem/possible depression and doctors all seem fine (his mum goes to the appointments so I don't get to know all the details but that is another issue entirely).

My question is - does it ever improve or is this my life now? Will I constantly have to slow our life down to one big thing at a time (such as getting our own place, him getting a job etc) as too many big things overwhelm him? Am I going to constantly be fighting a battle to hold my tongue when i get frustrated because it 'isn't his fault'? Or is he being lazy and not helping himself by giving in to the challenges rather than fighting them?

There is probably a whole lot more i want to say or things that I've forgotten but we've been house sitting on a farm this weekend and I've been looking after the animals before working each day, all he had to do was sit in the house writing his dissertation while occasionally letting the dogs out in the garden amd he's gone back home because 'it's overwhelming' and he's 'struggling'. I probably sound heartless and I'm trying so hard to not be angry but I feel more like his mum then his girlfriend having to look after him and I know you do it for the people you love and there are people way worse off then us but some advice or support would be appreciated.

2 Replies

Your "Am I going to constantly be fighting a battle to hold my tongue when i get frustrated because it 'isn't his fault'? Or is he being lazy and not helping himself by giving in to the challenges rather than fighting them?", is a common issue.

I can see him in part of my recovery, I appeared to turn into the laziest person in the world often I couldn't even begin what was incredible important to me. The more I tried to motivate myself the more I felt like i was closing down, it's like asking you "Fly now", impossible.

In some ways he seems to be doing really well, over the years I've been able to identify those apparently simple tasks that challenge me mentally, if I avoid these I can perform much better with everything else. It's far from easy but if you begin to look at what type of things make him feel exhausted and then consider if these type of skills may occur in more complex tasks.

When I was given cognitive tests by a Neuropsychologist my symptoms began to make sense and I was able to gain more control over situations, in fact I was very surprised as I believed I had memory problems, which is not the case.

Hi Jenny.

Well the bad news is probaby not.....medically anyway. They mention the 2 year plateau and it seems to be a fact that medically 2 years and that' your recovery.

Then with further help you learn to cope with what you are with help of doctors , physios etc.

Now the good news. Once you accept your situation you start to adapt to the new you. You find improvements a little random...One step forward two back...Then leap for ard again.

You say he' completed three years at uni..WELL DONE. That is a major achiement.

The recover may seem slow. But it is a recovery. Keep a log so as to look back and notice the adjustments.

He will get there. It sounds like he has great support.

Good luck.


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