Monday, July 23, 2007

Caring for a Young Stroke Patient

My husband had a stroke on the morning of July 4, 2005. He was the ripe old age of 42 when it occurred. Not the youngest person to have had a stroke, certainly. However, when you go to therapy sessions, the average age of the other stroke victims is 70-80.

I was six months pregnant when this occurred. Our daughter is now almost 2 years old - Rowan Ann Titus, aka The RAT, or Princess. She has certainly be the love of our life, and I don't know if I could make it without her to brighten my day.

When Dave had his stroke, I spent the following month next to his bedside in the hospital room. It is a long story - check out for details. The nurses were all real nice about it. My midwives were at the same hospital, so the nurses made certain I made an extra appointment to see them, to make certain I was handling the stress ok.

I remember how stressful it was back then - we had moved to the country, I felt all alone, and I have yet to find a caregiver support group. Still, I felt that as soon as Dave returned home, we could start the road to recovery, and we would be a happy family unit again.

Not quite so.

Dave has an extreme case of Aphasia - it affects his ability to read, write, hear, and talk. At one point early in his stroke, he could not understand anyone, or speak, or write, or, well, you get the point. Dave was a computer programmer, close to earning a six-figure salary. That was gone overnight, and it looks as though he will not return to his programming, ever. How can you program, if you cannot write?

In brief, that is our story. I am finding that, two years later, we are still having problems and hardships. I decided to start this blog so that other people who are suddenly thrust into the roll of a caregiver may realize that they are not alone. With luck, this blog may turn into our own little support group....