Social Isolation

Loneliness is a common problem after a stroke.  Pre-stroke, I was working everyday and had a group of girl work friends. We would go out to eat, get our nails done, or play Bunco. Maybe we would get into a little trouble as well…

Now, that work camaraderie is gone and will no longer exist. My life has changed and I’ve been through too much.  People don’t understand how tragedy or disability affects everyday life. From a survivor’s standpoint: camarades will make assumptions about our intellect; camarades will never understand the financial instability; camarades will never know what it’s like to sit at home and feel the emptiness come crawling in. It’s that damn loneliness that makes it so hard. In fact, it’s not worth it to make them understand. It’s about finding new people that do understand. Finding these people is hard; maybe you find these people at a church, support group, or clubhouse.

I’ve been attending a clubhouse for the past few months that has reduced my social isolation. It’s been the best thing to happen to me since my accident.

I have given a few speeches to future therapists and brain injury survivors. My biggest crowd and first speech was in front of 600 future respiratory therapists. I was so scared but I practiced, practiced, and practiced and I did great.

Here is T-Rex Relay Race I ran in for the clubhouse:

I finally found a place where I feel like I belong…

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6 thoughts on “Social Isolation

  1. Jo Murphey June 2, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    WTG Megan! Social isolation is a hard part of living post stroke.

    • My Stroke Life June 3, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      I agree about isolation, Jo! Many survivors suffer depression because their friends have moved on with their lives.

  2. Linda & Jim June 19, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I am so proud of you Megan. I think you have the skills needed to help others. Think of all those people that need your guidance. Good luck.

  3. Coleen Brown July 19, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    I agree totally with Megan. My young son Matthew at 23 years old was staying away overnight with his mates. They were all at Uni and enjoying life. They were messing about wrestling as young lads do at that age. An artery ripped on Matthews neck and it clotted and travelled to his brain and he took a stroke. Matthew has had a terrible journey and me also along side him as his mother. I keep going over it all in my head as in ‘why didn’t I stop him from going that night’. Very hard to do that when they are adults. Our family have been useless in that they live close to us and when Matthew got out of rehabilitation they wouldn’t even so much as ask did we need a pint of milk dropped in, they are still like that now and if we didn’t have our good friends we would be very lonely. I have had to rely totally on my friends. I have found that people carry on with their own wee worlds unless something like this comes to their door. Matthew is my world and all I care about is that he is safe and well it’s been a hard journey but hopefully he will continue to recover and we will both be stronger because of it.

    • My Stroke Life July 20, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      I’m glad you guys have support in the form of friends. Stroke recovery is hard without some form of support. I hope your son continues to recover.

      I had my stroke when running in the hot Texas heat after a stressful week at work. I constantly replay what my life would be like if I didn’t go out on that run. However, like you do asking yourself “why didn’t I stop him from going out that night”, these are the cards we’ve been dealt and we have to do the best we can.

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