One minute I'm laughing... the next minute I'm crying uncontrollably. Emotional lability after stroke is more common than I knew. According to the 2010 National Stroke Associate Survey, 53% of stroke survivors experienced PBA(Pseudo Bulbar Affect).
At home, my kids just think my behavior is rather entertaining. One of my kids will crack a joke, and suddenly I'm laughing so hard I nearly wet my pants. But then sometimes the laughing turns to crying... and then I start sobbing. Horrible, guttural sobs just wrack my frame. It's hard for me to stop the tears. And I don't feel depressed; this is not about depression.
I can also cry uncontrollably with something that is only a little upsetting. At home, I usually don't embarrass myself. I can isolate myself in the bathroom and talk myself through the episode. But get me in church, and the emotional wheels just fly off. In the last few months, I have not managed to get through one service without crying. It is all rather embarrassing, but it can also be very distressing (and quite distracting of those around me). It is difficult to get your heart into worship and focus on the Lord when a flood of tears starts gushing out of your eyes. And to try to think of something else (try to get your mind distracted so that you can try and stop crying) defeats the purpose of worship. I am there to worship and attempt to get my mind off myself.
Such are the trials of a stroke survivor. So irritating.
For more information on this topic, see http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pba for more information. This page also has a questionnaire so that you can evaluate your symptoms; it even allows you to print the results of your questionnaire so that you can take it in to your doctor. I'll be talking to mine soon.