Damn Brain!

The frustrations of stroke are endless. What started as a great day quickly turned into a challenging one. Stroke brain took over and refused to cooperate. On Friday mornings, Freddy and I go to breakfast and are at acupuncture at 8:00am. I’m up at 5:30 to shower and get ready.

We just started doing this about 2 months ago when my fabulous neighbor bought me a transport chair to leave in my car. I can drive but I can’t manage the chair so this way my wheelchair stays in the house. I drive myself home and Freddy drives to work.

I’ve gradually been having a harder time getting in the driver’s seat. To begin with, I’m short and I have a van. I need to boost myself up to get in. The seats are cloth so no sliding. They actually grab my pants and make it difficult to move my butt. I also have nothing to grab onto to help me pull myself up.

I don’t have a problem in the passenger seat. I have a handle to grab onto, no steering wheel in the way and I put my bad leg in first.

It’s currently 7:30am. I haven’t had breakfast and I’m not in the car on the way to acupuncture.

I melted for the first time in months. Rivers of tears flowed. I became a blubbering idiot.

Brain Fail

My brain stopped working. I couldn’t figure out how to get in the driver’s seat. I tried holding onto the door, then the steering wheel. I tried shifting my weight & adjusting my legs to different positions. I tried every combination of butt, hand, & leg placement I could think of. I just couldn’t get it right.

Having difficulty was the last thing on my mind this morning. My typically concrete filled leg, felt great. No extra hip pains. No spasticity rearing its ugly head. I was good to go. I actually thought today would be the day it was easy. Haha, joke’s on me. Nothing’s ever easy.

The frustrations of stroke are endless. What started as a great day quickly turned into a challenging one. Stroke brain took over and refused to cooperate.

No, today was the day I couldn’t do it no matter what. Today was the day my mind was back in rehab when I realized my limbs couldn’t move even though there’s nothing wrong with them.

Instantly the floodgates opened and I returned to my mantra; “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this anymore, I’m not strong enough, I’m tired of living, why didn’t I die”.


Over the years, I have learned my limitations. I know what causes frustration and overwhelm. I make adjustments as necessary to avoid total defeat.

If my pain is too high or my hip out-of-place where I know I’ll struggle too much, I ask Freddy to drive me. I don’t like to because bringing me home is out of his way, making him late for work. Plus, I can drive so I should drive myself.

I’m tired of inconveniencing others. The reason we go together on Friday mornings now is because I was tired of inconveniencing my sister and now that it’s summer, my nieces too.

She drives 45 minutes each way to my house. Then another 30 minutes to my appointment, waits the hour, then 30 minutes to take me home. 3 ½ hours for me to get acupuncture. They shouldn’t be spending a beautiful summer day doing that.


After I melted and he realized there was a problem, Freddy suggested a step stool or taking me. I was too far gone by then. Overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacies and anger with my situation, I told him to go without me.

What I really blubbered was “JUST LEAVE”.

My reaction to him just added to my meltdown. Trying to understand, because I’ve gotten in the driver’s seat many times, he asked why I was having a problem today.

My reactive broken brain believes he thinks I was trying to manipulate him into driving me.

All he wants to do is help. It frustrates him not being able to make it better.

I’m tired of being broken, dependent, hurtful, reactive, and combustible.

The frustrations of stroke are endless. What started as a great day quickly turned into a challenging one. Stroke brain took over and refused to cooperate.

My emotional outburst increased my CPS pain, refilled my leg with concrete, made me nauseous, and brought back my hip pain. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Damn Stroke!

It’s now 10:30 and I’ve been up for 5 hours, maybe I should eat.  Afterwards I’ll find ways to distract myself from this all-encompassing sense of doom.  

First distraction successful; writing this stopped the tears.

Most likely, I’ll:

  • Jump on Facebook
  • Finish my nightmare series
  • Exercise
  • Listen to a guided meditation
  • Work on my Self-Talk


Maybe I’ll just go back to sleep and start the day over (probably not).

I’ve been here often enough to know it will pass. The first step in moving to a more optimistic and proactive mindset.

How do you manage meltdowns?

Till next time - Have Wonderful Days - Leslie






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