Support for spouse needed

My husband had a bleed Jan. 2008 and 3 embolizations and a crainio in May 2008. He is not able to work as of yet, still forgetful and exhausted. I don’t understand why he has no steam. Can anyone explain that? I thought he would improve with his stamina but it hasn’t improved much. He has to focus on one thing at time, forgetful now. He was very bright and this is a huge change for him. I get so frustrated with him now, we have been married for 14 years and I fear that I won’t be as good of a supporter as he was to my son and I. I find it difficult to communicate with him often in the course of a day. He goes into a fog. Are there any ways to stimulate the brain that people have had success with? He went to rehab, but they dismissed him, claiming he had not been making enough progress. He is mobile and self sufficient, but can’t handle more than a couple of light activities in a day, two hours or so.

I’ll explain it like my neuro explained it to me. Our brains are like rechargeable batteries once we’ve had damage to our brain cells they never fully recharge themselves, it’s necessary to take naps to help recharge the brain more often ,just like old rechargeable batteries need to be recharge more often because they can’t hold a longer charge like they did when they were brand new. Be patient as he may progress over time like I did. And remember his brain underwent a series of traumatic events and needs time to absorb the blood from the initial bleed and adjust to the surgeries, he may never be the same but over time he may improve. A good daily routine is important. Also, jigsaw puzzles can help with mental and fine motor function. And if he needs additional help with gross motor, purchase a Wii and Wii Fit, it’s fun and can help him with body awareness, especially with the balance games. Aqua aerobics can help him strengthen any weakness. Also, don’t let him lose contact with the outside world, make sure he stays in contact with his friends, it’s important that he has these social connections outside of the home. Also, look for signs of depression and get counseling and medication, if necessary. My doctor explained to me that the antidepressant I’m on actually makes new neurotransmitting pathways in the brain and that this is extremely beneficial to people like myself who have had a stroke. FYI, making lists for himself is very important or recording reminders is another tip. Also, placing labels on the locations of items was also very helpful for me. At one point in time I could not figure out where to find the ingredients to peanut butter and jelly in my very own kitchen. I remember standing in the kitchen scanning the room and not remembering where the jelly, knives, plates, or peanut butter were stored. And now I can cook entire meal by myself just like I did before the stroke. So be patient, you and your husband are going to go through a difficult process but you will be stronger in the end. God will continue to provide for your family just like he always has. Just continue to put your faith in Him.

C Hollins advice is right on track. I was the same way and it drove me crazy and still does 11 years later. I am forgetful, still tired alot, have some trouble keeping track of what I was doing at any given moment but I feel productive and that I am fairly normal with limitations. I wanted to be able to remember faster like I used to and when I got home from the hospital, I forced my family to play musical trivia, guess the artist to help me recover my memory. It was frustrating for them and me but doing that was very beneficial to my recall ability. I still have some problems with it and to this day, my brother comes once in a while to play Trivial Pursuiit with me. I feel kind of slow sometimes but I can actually beat him now and then (It doesn’t help that he is a genius so when I do beat him, it makes me feel really good!!)
If he likes sports or music or history, this may be a way of helping him and it can be fun for everyone helping him. Get other family and friends involved!! Try to make it fun so he will be encouraged and it can be a stress reliever for you as well.
Keep your support system strong and don’t be afraid to lean on others! You need to be taken care of you too!! You have to keep your physical and emotional health strong for yourself and your husband.
Brain injuries are life changing for everyone involved.
We are all here for you anytime, even if it is just to vent about your day. Keep your chin up.

Nea was exactly the same way in the first weeks after her surgery. Luckily she was able to articulate to me and her dad what she needed, like letting her focus on one thing at a time. She couldn’t deal with multiple conversations occuring around her, she couldn’t watch TV and answer a question, etc. She was also extremely tired.

It has now been just over 3 months since her bleed. Her focus has improved quite a bit, but she’s still not back to her old self in this regard. Same with her physical stamina. Still, her physical stamina can deplete almost on a moment’s notice… one moment she’s fine, the next she’s totally spent and needs several hours to recurperate.

I agree with the poster who suggested puzzles and Wii to help. DD used both of these.

As a care giver, instead of the one afflicted, it was hard at first for me to appreciate how Nea was feeling, both physically and mentally. Because, as is so often said here, she looked fine. Again, I was lucky because she could and would let me know what she needed, so it was less of a mystery for me. But even still, it’s very hard to be the care giver because there’s so little we can do to change what is, we can only support our loved ones as they struggle through this.