Friday, January 18, 2013

Stroke Advertisements

Just a warning that this is not a very happy post. Yesterday, when I was walking towards the train station, I was struck by a poster by a bus stop pictured on your left. This reminded me of those stop smoking ads, you know the ones on TV that are kind of obnoxious and meant to scare you into quitting smoking? Most recently, the one with the woman who had umpteenth amputations has been leaving a bad taste in my mouth. While I understand the shock value and necessity of these ads, it's not something that I need to see 50 times a day...actually 10 times a day, yes, once I counted how many times a Network ran the spot in the span of 3 hours.

The ad to the left makes me pretty depressed. While we can learn the warning signs and prevent stroke in different ways, this ad makes me feel guilty and ashamed of what I went through. I'm already very insecure at times over my lack of brain or intelligence due to whatever black spots I have gained through this experience. I don't really want to be reminded of that when I'm having an ok day minding my business walking down the street. I didn't ask for this stroke, I shouldn't feel guilty over having one. I was a relatively healthy young woman. While I can take some responsibility because I was experiencing symptoms for a couple of days prior to going to the doctor, I get angry that ads like this weren't around in 2010. I applaud the Stroke Association for trying to scare straight folks who are experiencing symptoms and just don't recognize them but gosh, I...and I don't think I'm alone here, I feel like it's a jab. Of course I could just be having a down day because who wants to think of their stroke brain as being sub par? I know myself. I know who I was before the stroke. I have adjusted and continue to adjust...but I know that there are black spots on my brain. Cells that aren't coming back...that I am not as smart as I once was and that is something that is EXTREMELY hard for me to admit...and it makes me sad and angry...but I can't get those cells back. I just have to adapt, right? And I am adapting but man do those feelings creep up on you sometimes!

What do you do when you go through periods like this where you just can't shake the anger? Your family and your friends will tell you that you are smart and that you haven't changed but I feel it. It's one of the worst feelings to feel that you aren't as smart as you used to be and that you can't grasp onto things like you did. Being aware of that is kind of indescribable.

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