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Stroke Support Group – 1-2-3 GO!

For the longest of times I have been obsessed with forming a support group for families with stroke patients.    In my conversations with Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Social workers one of my predominant questions would be if they know of any families with stroke patients.    If they answer in affirmative, then they would be subjected to a barrage of questions.   What happened? When? Present condition? Who takes care of them? Which Neurologist is consulted?  Which hospital?  And the questions go on.  It usually ends with “May I have their contact number and talk to them myself?”

If I do get the number, the families would be asked these and more questions.   In almost all the cases there has been a ready willingness to talk and share.   So now I have around 10 families or so that I talk to on regular basis.  Getting a call from them is a rarity, its usually me hounding them every now and then to enquire of progress or the lack of.

Hungry for more families I reached out to our Neurologist.   Taking pity on me, he gave me complete access to their database of patients and assigned some staff members for assistance.  I then pull out a list of patients whose condition seems like they are in for long term rehabilitation.    I make calls but unable to add a single family into my existing kitty.  The reason being most critical cases have passed away, while the milder ones have recovered to a significant extent.   May be I am looking at the wrong place, I don’t know.

Not wanting to wait any longer, and on the advice of Dr. Guru Nataraj, an amazing Social worker from CMC Vellore I call all the families I know to a first meet at our place.  Of the lot five families agreed to come. 

Thinking it wasn’t a bad start, we prepared some snacks and juice, and waited.  My nine year old niece appointed herself as the Maître d'.   First person showed up almost an hour late and then just one another person showed up.   As we were thinking of wrapping up the last person rang the door bell.  The grand total was three families excluding us. 

Although less in number we talked a lot.  It was just good to talk of the emotional, financial and physical effort it takes to have a stroke patient at home.  One gentleman was new to the whole experience, it was just months since his father’s stroke and we gave him all sorts of information on things and places. 

Although my niece and I were disappointed with the turn out for different reasons, Dr. Guru assured me it was a good start and I should keep at it.  I am sure he is right, my hunt for more families continues.  


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