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This film you will see Frank and Pauline talking honestly about their experience of personality change after a stroke and how they each coped with this problem. Frank was also affected by aphasia, a speech and language problem.
“So what was the turning point for both of you?” “Did that happen at the same time or different times?”
“We had one major row didn’t we?” “There was a time that we sort of…we weren’t coping with it at all.”
“It was bad because I couldn’t understand Pauline, Pauline couldn’t understand me and it was….” “And my personality had changed, that was probably the major thing.” “My personality.” “I’d like to think the people watching here is gonna get a sense of me being able to…what I was like, I was funny.” “I enjoyed myself.” “I enjoyed life.” “I made myself happy because other people were happy.” “I could make them smile.” “I changed from that person to an angry, angry, really angry person.” “I couldn’t …I didn’t care.”
“You went paranoid.”
“I hated everybody and everything because something had stopped me.” “As I explain, I didn’t believe in the film that Jeckle and Hyde.” “I know now everyone has got a Jeckle and Hyde inside them and the stroke actually caused that.”
“Is it worse when you get tired?”
“When you’re tired, when you get frustrated.” “It does, tiredness makes a difference.” “But, I would, at this time, it’s communication that does me in because…” “Tiredness, I can have a quick sleep, I could drop asleep quite easily.” “Have a ten minute break, and that, I’m happy with that.” “But when I’m trying to communicate something and my brain…” “I can speak just now because it’s reasonably easy to communicate.” “But if I was to start losing the plot, the whole part of my brain will just switch off and I’ll get angry.” “At myself, no with anybody else.” “I wouldn’t fall out with you’s or, it would just be my brains no working and I want to be, and that’s when everything speeds up.”
“That’s when you have to calm down.”
“And Pauline is good at reminding me to calm down.”
“To be quite honest we laugh a lot about it now.” “At first there was a lot of tears, a lot of heartache and coming to terms with it was really hard.” “But basically now we laugh an awful lot about it because it’s our way of dealing with it.” “If he’s gonna get it wrong, he’s gonna get it wrong.” “If it’s just between me, him and Connor and he gets the words wrong, who really cares?”
“Believe in the person that was there, is still there.” “Because if you lose focus on yourself, there’s nothing to come back with.” “You have to believe in yourself and you will get better.”
“If you can focus on yourself and be the person you were, you’ve got a chance of winning.” “And that is important.”
To have a lot of patience or to try and have a lot of patience.” “There’s gonna be times when you really haven’t got it and it’s gonna make you angry and you are gonna feel guilty for that anger.” “Don’t – because it’s part of it all.” “The anger has to be there, I think, because that’s the only way you’re gonna deal with it.” “You have to deal with that anger because you are annoyed that this has happened and you’ve then suddenly thrown into a world that you haven’t got a clue what’s going on.” “So yes you’re angry with the system.” “You’re angry with the person for having the stroke because they have just turned your world completely upside down.” “There have been times when I’ve sat or got up really early in the morning just to sit and have a cup of coffee.” “So that you’re not getting that sort of stage in your head that I don’t need this.” “I’d sit there and have a cup of coffee and I’d be waiting for him to get up and dread him waking up in the morning.” “Because you know the minute he gets out of bed that’s your day starting and everything you do then is focussed on one person.” “It’s not focussed on you, it’s not focussed on the children.” “It’s focussed on the person who’s had the stroke all the time.” “And there’s just times when you don’t want that.” “You just want to run, you just want to just go but you’ll get through it and it is a case of getting through it each day.” “And everyday is harder but then eventually you just come to a point where you go you know what, I’ve had enough of being upset.” “I’ve had enough of letting this control me.” “I’m gonna take back my control and laugh.” “And once you can laugh about it , it’s a lot easier to cope with.” “And there are times when we do just have a laugh and if he gets it wrong, he gets it wrong and I don’t care anymore.” “I don’t have a go at him because he’s got a word wrong or he dropped a cup.” “So what” “You can buy another cup.” “The words don’t matter, it’s just being there, I think.”
“The last few months have got a lot easier because as we said at the beginning, he was very Jeckle and Hyde.” “It was like living with a complete and utter stranger.” “I’ve been with Frank ten years, been married three and I’ve known a very sweet, loving person all my life or the whole ten years we’ve been together, up until nine months ago.” “When I didn’t know who I was living with and it was…” “I’d suddenly become looking after someone I didn’t like.” “Because I didn’t want him around.” “I didn’t want to know, but it was a case of you’re married to this person and you have to deal with it.”
“So yeah it was…” “There were times I looked at him and I don’t know if this is what you want to hear or what anybody wants to hear but there was times I wished, and I shouted at God.” “I shouted at his God because as far as I was concerned this was evil.” “Why do this , why not just take him altogether?” “This was harder to deal with.” “If he’d just been taken, I could have dealt with that a lot easier then dealing with this.” “And that’s about it really.” “But yeah it has got easier, yeah.”