Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Diminished Capacity and Communication

When you have a stroke, you need to rely on others for many things. Simple tasks are sometimes in insurmountable like tying a shoe, making dinner, personal hygiene, etc. 

When you have a stroke, people want to help you which is great though sometimes a stroke survivor needs to do things for themselves.

But sometimes, “people” who are most often the most close to you, seem to take for granted that survivors do recover and they have opinions which are real, well founded, rational, intelligent, and have value.

It is often the case that a survivor has to deal with well-meaning people – friends and family – who seem to believe that because an individual who had a stroke is less intelligent.  

When a survivor has a different opinion, it is easy for these people to say something like “well, he had a stroke you know, just humor him.” 

In the eyes of others, you are less than a real person….you have diminished capacity on all fronts. 

It a survivor objects about even mundane things, the people simply whisper that “before the stroke he would not have done this or that.”  When you have communication issues because of the stroke, it is especially because you just cannot find the words to make a point.  
When a survivor has to deal with this very real factor, it is hard to relate:  Is this because of the stroke? Are my different opinions valid?  Maybe I am not smart after all.  Maybe everyone is humoring me?

I have talked to so many survivors who have the same sentiments:  Take us seriously rather than taking us for granted.