Reply To: Moms who are stroke survivors with your children

Kele Motshwane

This is indeed an emotional topic, I was lucky that my daughter was 18 at the time and she had taken a gap year and was meant to go to Tertiary the following year and because of my busy work schedule I didn’t spend much time with my kids except on Weekends and with my daughter she was the one who took the role of keeping the family together and my son was 15 years at the time and in high school and he wasn’t doing well at all the school told me later after I was discharged from The Rehabilitation hospital that they thought he was going mad. When I was at the hospital my daughter came on a daily basis to give me a sponge bath and we spent a lot of time together and she became more of my caregiver as she knew which medication I had to take when and I am actually grateful for the time I got to spend with her as we bonded in a way that we had never done before and she had even decided to cancel her dream of going to University wanting to take care of me by herself and we had to convince her that I was going to be fine with her at University as I had my elderly helper and my husband and son at home to take care of me. There were times when my emotions would be all over the place and my son was the one who would sit down with me and tell me that things could have been worse and it’s okay to cry whenever I felt like crying as I was trying to bottle up all the emotions not wanting to hurt him and my husband as they were more broken about my stroke. The kind of things I used to do for them like baking and cooking their favourite meals all that went out of the window because of being forgetful I have nearly caused a lot of damage to the house like burning meals to ashes and I was then banned from cooking and even though I understood their concern I felt useless for not being able to do minimal task. Things are much better now as it has been 7 years 7 months post stroke and I am able to cook and not forget that I have cooked. I still have one functional hand but as long as the ingredients are prepared for me I am able to cook a meal for my family and now during the lock down I have experimented with a number of dishes that I got from Pinterest and the kids favourite biscuits are now prepared by them as I supervised them when they one day said that they miss the biscuits that I used to make for them. Unfortunately healing is a long process as there are times when I feel like they loose their patience with me because I will be sharing something with them and they will tell me that you are now saying that for the 5th time and it kind of upset me and I then apologize for telling them something over and over again.  I heard that when I was sick they were praying for God to spare my life even if I end up on a wheelchair for the remainder of my life but thanks God that I am able to walk on my own. I feel like they are still struggling to get used to the new me even though they prayed for me to be spared in whatever condition so I sometimes ask them if they are not happy with the way God healed me. I have sometimes apologized for having a stroke because I am no longer the person that I used to be to them and I sometimes feel like they see me as a person whose brain doesn’t function to its full capacity and before I used to wish that I had not survived but I realized that I was spared for a reason and whenever I come across anyone willing to listen to me I share my story about my stroke journey and advice them about the signs and how they can identify someone having a stroke and preaching that there is life after a stroke.