Is it normal for people to just dwell on all they can not do and not recognise what they have achieved?

Yes my wife does it all the time. Been 15 years since her AVM.

How do you cope with it?

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday because my mom was so negative about what she has achieved. The doctors and therapists tell her how well she is doing and how fast her progress is but non of it seemed to sink in. It is always " I can’t do this or I can’t do that". I was lucky my sister was there to talk me through it yesterday.

I had to go to the gym to try and deal with my own feelings yesterday and as I was pulling on the weights machine I was saying “I will pull that negativity out of you (my mom)”. I know that isn’t the answer but it was all I could do yesterday.

Mom has agreed to go for counselling and I think it will be very important for her as the AVM has been traumatic and life changing. I am going to avail of the counselling service myself as I won’t always have my sister to talk to.

We also got a note book for mom to write in every evening 5 things she is grateful for and that she is able to do.

We are telling her to stop saying “I can’t” because we believe it you say it often enough you believe it and it will hamper the development and regeneration.

The community physio has assessed mom and they have set mini goals. The first is to be able to go to weekday mass and walk up the aisle with a stick and linking someone. We initially chose a weekday mass as it would be quieter than Sunday. She has to use a wheelchair at the moment when she is out. At home she has a Zimmer frame but needs someone with her. Physiotherapist is going to do exercises for balance.

It is hard to listen to someone constantly being so negative.

I do understand your plight, it must be hard ,to constantly have a loved one sick. Remember its equally as hard, to be the one, that is sick...Yes i agree, sometimes we can be hard to love!
sure,yes negativity is hard to deal with...I do try hard to be positive,but some days i just dont get it right!!..

my heart goes out to all carers.They are very brave people, I know, because i have them in my life for me,and i love them to bits. They have "THE PATIENCE OF JOB". ..

Hang in there,wont you, cause "we really love you".

Yes, Bobby..it has been 7 years for me and I still think about what happened...However, I keep myself busy and go on with today.

Stay Strong and Positive!

Hi Bobby,
I think it is normal to dwell on things we can't do any more but,... It is also very unhealthy to dwell on it for too long. I strongly believe that living in the past (for any reason) keeps us from living for today. Like many others - I too am limited to what I can do any more. Being the stubborn me that I am, I still do all that I can, when I can.

I recommend counseling for those who are having a hard time accepting their illness and what it has done to them. I had a good one when my problems became overbearing and untreatable. She helped me a LOT to come to terms that my life will never be what it use to be. That I will never be the healthy person I once was.

I have found change is easy when you're not the one required to do so.


I am so glad that you have come here to share your frustrations. Each of us must find a place where we feel comfortable to vent. A place where we are pretty sure that no matter what we say, we will always receive unconditional support. Your mom has found that support in YOU and your sister. You are doing an amazingly hard thing. Just try to keep doing what you are doing. Supporting your mother, yet being tough. Holding her accountable to keep up a journal and go to counseling. And please keep coming here to vent. Because this is happening to you too! Things will get better.

Hi Bobby,

Yes it is very normal for your mum to feel this way after what she has been through , it can be very difficult to keep moving forward and adjust to her new life and deal with it.its very common with anything to to with the brain.

I think this is because your mum will be thinking of what she could do before what happened which a lot of people take for granted and for a survivor its hard to adjust to what you used to take for granted and its very easy to become negative about it and dwell on what you used to be able to do so easily that now takes so much more "brain Power" to do and can be very frustrating.

its hard not only for your mum but also for you as the care giver to adjust to this and it all takes time and time is the key.

Understanding and patience is the best thing you can offer, counselling could be a good option as your mum may be grieving the loss of her identity and its very hard to deal with and sometimes someone outside of the "box" can help.

there is lots of advice and information out there on the web about how the brain works and what happens , research as much as you can there is a lot of TBI sites that have lots of information about the sort of things your mum is going through although its not exactly the same as an AVM the symptoms are very similar with anything to do with the brain , youtube can be a good resource of information as well as this fantastic site .

all you can do is have patience and understanding the more you understand the more you can help your mum through this and also help yourself to deal with this rare life changing thing.

I hope some of this information is useful and remember you are never alone were all here with you and your mum to help you through this bobby.

Everyday is different. For me yes it is very possible. Some days I am positive and looking towards the exciting things in the future but there are also days when the mental and physical struggle is just too much to handle. I have break downs and days when all I want to do is give up but it’s the people in my life that make me see getting through that hardship and pushing forward is so much better for everyone! So support is the key and just take it one day at a time!