I am the Sister of a Stroke Survivor
You may have noticed, I haven’t been very actively posting in the last 8+ months. I wish I could tell you that I had been struck by incredible inspiration, and have been feverishly writing a novel in all of my “spare” time. Or, that I had been caught up in a whirlwind romance (yeah, right). Or, at the very least, that I have been busy chasing down leads for a new, better, closer to home, maybe even somewhat exciting job. That was part of the plan, but anything I had that even resembled personal plans have had to take a backseat for the time being.
You see, my sister, a brilliant, bright, snarky young woman in her twenties suffered a massive stroke as well as a carotid dissection. We nearly lost her. The stroke took her voice, as well as movement in her right side. Thankfully, she survived. It was a harrowing 2 weeks in the Neuro ICU, a month in the inpatient rehab facility, and intensive outpatient rehab and therapy homework in the time since. Luckily, as a result of constant dedication and hard work from both her and my mother, Sis is responding very well to therapy, and is consistently beating the monthly goals her speech, occupational and physical therapists have set for her. We were also very lucky that the stroke did not affect her personality. She’s still there, and despite the communication difficulties, she still finds a way to make her thoughts known! That being said, recovery has been incredibly SLOW, and she has a long way to go before she is functional enough to endure a simple outing alone, let alone return to work or live alone.
The entire experience has been an emotional roller coaster ride for all of us, to say the least. We have been through the ringer, so to speak, with the end seemingly nowhere in sight. We’ve all broken down a time or two, and now that the situation is no longer dire, I have begun looking for avenues of support. I do not have the time or inclination to find a new therapist since mine moved away a couple years ago, and have chosen to go the route of online support. Unfortunately, I have found very little in the way of online support groups for family of stroke survivors who are not the primary caregivers. While stroke survivors and their primary caregivers do need TONS of support, so do the rest of us who are closely affected by stroke. Because there isn’t much out there in the way of online support, I have embarked on a new project, to try to network, support, and share with folks like me, who are going through this incredible journey of stroke recovery.
If you or a loved one has been affected by stroke, please join me: