The Emotional Stroke

There are many physical components to a stroke.  There are also emotional ones.

Sometimes a person gets very aggressive, or they cannot sleep well.  Early dementia can set in. 

Thankfully that has not happened in our case.

The emotionally hugging, light touch of a loved one, holding hands and other physical comforts has changed.

I look at our son with special needs, who is desperately missing the father that he hung out and worked with every day.

The dad that wrapped his arms around him and reassured him he was wonderful, and everything was good, and he was safe.  That dad was destroyed by the stroke.  He doesn’t really know how to hug. 

Holding hands is difficult because it throws him off balance when walking, and he really doesn’t like the touch anymore.  It bothers the stroke brain.

Having to talk to our son and tell him if you go to hug your dad and he pushes you away.  You must walk away, and you CANNOT let your feelings get hurt.  My son with the heart of an 8-year-old must understand this is how you protect yourself.

When the hug is accepted it is brief but enjoy it and remember it to carry with you for the time when it isn’t accepted.

Explaining to your husband whose had catastrophic brain damage that when he pushes his son away it hurts his feelings.  That he hugs him out of love and that the return hug makes him feel loved and safe.

Then I wonder what they both are thinking as they walk away.

How the roles have been reversed some what as the son knows more about how to do normal everyday things than the father.

The son understands but must be reminded that his dad is still there but different.

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