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Husband's stroke
soania posted:
My husband had a mild stroke several years ago while at work. Since then we have had to make several life style changes as he has changed so much in 'who' he is. However one of the changes he has refused to make is his diet and habits. I cook healthy for him at home but due to his work he eats at least 2 meals a day away from home, he refuses to try to eat healthy then, prefering burgers and high fat foods. I am at a loss as to how to get his attention! The other day my husband had an episode at work, he came home angry then called in sick the next day. He spent all day asleep on the couch only rousing when he had to. Now he says he did not call in sick and thinks I'm confused! This morning it hit me...he had another mild stroke! My husband has gone from a very mild mannered man to a very ANGRY man since his first stroke. He is very difficult to live with and work with. How do I get his attention? How do I get him to make the changes he MUST make to live longer and feel better. Death, grandchildren, me....none of these tactics have any effect on him. Suggestions? He is incredibly stubborn and willful. It's like raising another child.
Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
Your situation is a difficult one and not all that uncommon after a stroke or brain injury. Brain injury and stroke can exaggerate prexisting personality traits. This is made worse when the person with the brain injury or stroke does not have good deficit awareness. In other words, they are not aware that they are more irritable, short tempered, forgetful, etc.

For you, this is even more difficult because you say this is a total change in personality. We usually do not see this after just a mild stroke. Have you raised the issue with his doctor to look at both medical issues and brain issues that could be making things worse. Would your husband be willing to undergo a complete medical workup and brain scan? If all of this is normal would he be willing to try medicine to control his behavior? Is he willing to go to the doctor? Is there someone who he trusts?

Confrontation won't work, but is there a way to talk with his doctor and then get him to the doctor with the idea that you need to follow up on the stroke?

No easy answers.

Good Luck
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.
NJLeto replied to Richard C Senelick, MD's response:
Its very hard to understand what it is like to go through what your husband has gone through. I'm 24, and I had a CVA last summer and it has been an emotional roller coster that's what I can say, about my emotions. It's very difficult to understand and also explain to anyone who hasn't been through that, but I know like your husband that it' s very diffiult and He does appriciate you. Believe me it may be hard on you and it may feel like your dealing with a teenager again, but it takes time and it's not a easy thing for anyone to deal with a recovery time of a stroke. I'm proud to say I'm doing well and recovering everyday and hope to raise awerness for others to become empowered that Strokes do happen at any age!
So I hope you guys figure out a routine and just be patient and he does appricate you, and all you do, even if it's not said at the time. !!
itmatsb responded:
I feel for your problems with a husband who changed so much. From what you say he has made life style choices except for what he eats.

If you ask anyone how well it works in a marraige to have one spouse pounding on the other about what they eat or how much they eat, it's bound to make any spouse angry and cause marital problems. The same with a spouse giving other instructions about life style choices. Why don't you exercise more hubby? Why can't you eat better?

Maybe following his stroke he doesn't have the willpower to now do all of your life style changes. Maybe he is having trouble with the other life style changes. Change and permanent change is difficult in response to an illness.

How well have your instructions to your husband worked so far? Just made him angry. So lay off. Dr. Senelick's advice to try to get medical attention for your husband is far more useful.

As to him not realizing that he called in sick is from the stroke itself--my mother would never remember anything that happened the days when she obviously had a small stroke which she would recover from the next day.

Give your poor husband a break. I feel more for him.

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