Life After Stroke for Elena’s Son

Mom Elena shares how her son’s stroke has changed her life.
Translated from Italian

How did my son’s stroke change my life?

To be or not to be, that is the question. In short: my son’s stroke has distorted my way of being a mother. First of all, I am even more a mother: the illness of our firstborn has put on me an uncontrollable instinct to give birth. We now have three children and I would continue, even if it were not.

I wondered so many times if I felt the terror and the horror of losing a child, I have unconsciously led to the desire to have “spare children”. The answer is no: I believe that the brothers are an invaluable resource in a family with a disabled child: he will have powerful allies of life and they will grow better thanks to him.

I became a less naive mother, more concrete, more frank, more ironic and irreverent.

I became a more selective mother in social relationships; now I cultivate only those that deserve to be cultivated, because they are nourished by an excellent elective affinity. Everything else is rooted, because it weakens. I am now a mother more aware of the risks of life and of the fact that life deserves to be lived, always and in any case.

Now I am a proud mother to be anxious, who is not afraid to express perplexities in the face of pressure diagnosis or superficial visits, which does not underestimate his ability to observe, which confronts the doctors head-on. I am a mother aware and proud of being strong, good, sensible. I do not feel heroic, not omnipotent, but good yes … all right!

I am a braver, more combative mother; my son’s illness has taught me to roar, to express and to argue the disappointment, the anger, the dissatisfaction with a world that is believed so modern and emancipated, but that in reality, underneath, broods so much inability to accept and value what is different, as well as a superb presumption to define the standards of perfection and beauty and efficiency.

I’m a mother who cooks fresh and strictly seasonal vegetables, which extracts the juices from bio-fruits, palm-oil-free, careful to consume sugar … but then go, tonight we go to McDonald’s, because we’ll crack so much everyone, so it is so much to die full and satisfied.

I am a mother who subjects her children’s illnesses to the first aid triage: contact dermatitis to whatsoever is a white code, belly ache is a green code, fever, even mild, red alert!

I am a mother who observes, listens, feels every thrill of her children’s breath.

I am a proud mother. A happy mother. A mother who is tired, helpless, fragile and even strong.

A mother who was once responsible for marketing, passionate about her work, enterprising and creative. Now I’m just a mom, simply a mom, nothing else.

On the contrary, thinking about it, I am a mother therapist, psychologist, pedagogista, physiotherapist, speech therapist, neuropsychiatrist, driver, passionate about your work, enterprising and creative … and excuse me if it’s not enough.

Thank you to Fight the Stroke for their help in gathering stories from Italy!

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