When disability after stroke (and every other kind to tell the truth) comes into being it is new for everyone. For a person affected, for his/her caregivers. For friends. It also brings an important question:
should we help a person with a disability with everything?
The answer is super easy: NO. If the stroke survivor has contact with the world and has any possibilities to move (even in a limited range): DON’T DO THAT.
If you want to help a stroke survivor to recover, don’t.
I admit. Sadly, this issue is not easy for both sides. To some extend it is easy to serve, feed, put in a fix, open the bottle, move in a wheelchair, yes. But on the other hand, such help doesn’t give any possibility to the sick person to mobilize to the painful process of recovery.
Look at hospitals – the hospital bed tables are usually placed on the affected side of the body of a Strokie. It is about encouraging the patient to do things himself… To tell the truth, I’m not sure whether it works that well. In a first hospital, I was placed after stroke, I tried to use my right hand anyway (my right side was affected). Always. I even got a bit cunning. For a few weeks I was laying next to the window, so I used a windowsill as my additional table and storage area. In some hospitals (later on), nurses would scold me for that, but in the first one, I don’t think so (i don’t remember for sure, though).
Was I relieved excessively? I guess yes, at least a bit. For the first weeks after stroke, someone would be with me at all times… But I know that I tried to fetch drinks and food by myself. with a healthy hand, but still – I tried. Mom and dad did many things for me too. They would make my bed, dress me to some extend, helped with an everyday hygienic routine. But they weren’t willing to do a lot more.
I was angry, really. Completely understandable self-pity demanded more. Especially when it was not going so well. I was angry as hell. Not only because it was so difficult, but also because after stroke you are so weak.
As far as I remember my friends would pity me more than my family. But thanks to all of it I left the hospital in pretty good shape. better than anyone would expect:)
Of course, I was lazy and asked for help every time I could. When I was made to do things myself, I would often do it the easiest way possible. Putting shoes on would make half of it flat, as I wouldn’t put my heel inside, I’d prefer slippers anyway. Bra? Come on, do I need it in the hospital?:o But doing it by myself made me healthier. I know that. After a few months, I was left with rather small things that I still couldn’t do.
Now i am certain that a smart attitude of my parents and brother had a huge impact on my speedier recovery. As if that they somehow knew how it should be done.
I’m telling you this story to stress how normal help is different from harmful help. In my opinion, of course:)
Helping occurs when you relieve someone from the activity he’s too weak to do or even it’s impossible to do.
Harmful help occurs when you do things that stroke wants you to do, but can do himself, even f it’s a bit difficult.
I know that’s difficult to distinguish these two, but i can tell you that fatigue makes stroke weak. We really might feel that most of the things should be done for us. But there are some points id like to tell you
- a sick person might demand help like all the time.
- after some time its visible if the help you can provide is necessary or harmful.
- after brain stroke, the energy level is very low. The fatigue overcomes everything else. Then the necessity for helping is judged every single time:D
- the distinction between the help and harmful help sometimes is vast, sometimes faint.
There is so many things that can harm instead of help
especially after brain stroke, when it is difficult to know for sure capabilities, mood, the strength of a patient.
Now I feel like asking: where you helped a lot? Do you think it was necessary? how do you think your it affected your recovery?
I hate this text. it vanished a few times from my computer. that’s why it’s so chaotic, after writing it again I’m both exhausted and bored to death. Never again!