Posted by: Liza | 2009-07-20

Bad weekend

My dad had a stroke on Saturday morning. He' s still in hospital. Went to see him yesterday. He looks very scary sick. He' s completely bedridden. Luckily his face wasn' t really affected. Just his left arm and left leg is somewhat paralyzed.

I' m alternating between feeling nothing and having panic attacks. Yesterday I didn' t really feel anything. Since I got up this morning however, I' m having difficulty breathing, heart palpitations etc. It feels like one neverending panic attack. And I' m trying to keep back the tears. Don' t want to cry in front of all my colleagues. Hopefully the rescue tablets will kick in soon. I' m actually not feeling up to being at work today, but I guess rather that than disappearing underneath the bed covers and avoiding everything and everyone.

How do I cope?

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Our expert says:
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It can be hard to tell with strokes. Some people who seem badly affected make a surprisingly good recovery, some who seem mildly affected last only a couple of weeks. When my Mom had a stroke, a friend told us she wouldn't last 2 weeks, but it was the friend's mom who died, of a stroke, within the month. My mother recovered enough to go to the funeral, where she met the lively aunt who was the life and soul of the wake. And again they told us they didn't expect my mom to last more than a couple of weks more. It was the lively aunt who had a stroke and died within weeks. My mother, bless her, lived more than 10 years after her stroke, 7 of them well and happy years.
Faced by such a crisis in the family, one tends to weither fel anxious, as you describe, or intermittently to use some Denial to relieve the anxiety, and that's the "feel nothing" time. Obviously a counsellor can help, but one needs to take stock of the situation and decide how you wish to approach this. You know the panic-like feelings are an over-reaction to the risk your father faces ( not you ) and that he deserves to have you being strong and capable should he need anything in the coming weeks and months. When the anxiety starts to well up, sit quietly and calmly and concentrate on relaxing, your mind and muscles, telling yourself that there is nothing physcially wrong with you, and that you need to be calm and strong for him and for yourself.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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