Traveled to Seattle yesterday for a Stroke Survivors Support Group. I think I am too close to the stroke for a group setting... it may be my mood but the meeting opened my fear door wide to hear endless stories of multiple stroke episodes by so many people. I am not far enough away from it all not to have that nagging feeling of having another stroke at any time. My rational thought says : you are on meds, you eat totally different, you have no stress (other than the ominous threat tumor and stroke), the perfect storm of hormones and whatever that created this mystery is no longer. But my insane side says: I could keel over at any moment. So a group of great people saying my worst nightmare was not helpful.
I was the youngest one in there, and upon entering was asked if I was a caregiver. I said I had a stroke, which pretty much stopped inquiry. If you were in my spinning head, aware of my "drop things" left hand and slightly stumbling left foot trying to find words to string together out of nothingness you would be able to understand. But I guess from outward appearances, I look like a caregiver.
This all being said it was a fantastic group. The spirit in the room was so supportive and positive, and it was a joy to have other people understand having a stroke without the hushed tones and serious faces. Everyone there got it, and there was room for finding your words, or word, and dropping your cane and being allowed the time to pick it up. Where having a stroke was treated as normal -a part of life- and being dealt with by spirited individuals. That is not quite the word I am looking for... but folks with hutzpah. Energy for recovery, research, communication, stick-with-it-ness.