Stroke—Dealing with It
It's important to note that the excerpts in this video were specifically chosen for their expression of negative emotions. The line at the end, in which Marisol notes that despite everything she feels lucky, hints at the more positive messages in the video as a whole. This video expresses the despair Marisol felt – and to some degree still feels – when her husband George had a stroke. Its primary purpose is to affirm that if you have similar feelings, you are not alone.
- George's doctor said he would personally prefer to have a heart attack rather than a stroke, and when he showed Marisol the damaged parts of her husband's brain on an "x-ray," she understood why. It's an image that haunts her.
- Their marriage was based on all they could share and on lots and lots of talking; now George has great difficulty expressing himself and she has tried to protect him from the burden she felt/feels in dealing with being the breadwinner and keeping their lives, and the lives of their children afloat. "The stroke took away my husband," she says.
- She has thought the unthinkable: that there are times she has felt this would have all been easier if George had died rather than lived.
- For many months she buried her head in the sand and ignored bills and other things she couldn't deal with. Their financial situation was at times not only burdensome, but humiliating.
- She felt as if she were "isolated from the whole wide world."
- She worries that her children have also become caregivers and that is too much responsibility for them to bear at such young ages.
Applying the video to your own situation
Assuming that you are the caregiver of someone who has had a stroke:
- Have you had feelings similar to those expressed by Marisol? Does it help to know you are not the only one with such thoughts?
- Think about the new and unfamiliar responsibilities you have had to deal with since your loved one had a stroke. Are you feeling overwhelmed or gaining confidence? (We hope the latter.)
- Marisol said she felt terribly isolated. Because responsibilities can take all your time, it requires a special effort to fit in time for friends and other supporters, but they are key to maintaining both your physical and emotional health. Think about the ways you can ask them for help or involve them in your daily life to keep your mood lifted. What else do you (or can you) do to relax, unwind, and nurture your spirit?
- If like Marisol who is worried about the burden on her children, you are worried about the effect of the stroke on others, think about ways they, too, can have their spirits nurtured by their friends and supporters. But also recognize the life lessons about human kindness they are learning.
Adapted from: Stroke: Conversations and Explanations; University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston Center of Aging, Houston, TX
For More on Full Video: www.terranova.org
This video expresses the despair Marisol felt - and to some degree still feels - when her husband George had a stroke. Its primary purpose is to affirm that if you have similar feelings, you are not alone.