Is the glass half full?
Just as no two strokes are alike, no two stroke families are the same.
How families handle a stroke can range from complete denial to meticulous management of every detail. And how they respond to a long-term, possibly disabling illness can affect the survivor's outcome because it can affect how they see themselves.
Some people believe knowledge is power and a way to control their future health. They scour the Internet, keep up with social media, join chat rooms, compare opinions and uncover alternative remedies.
Other people find knowledge dis-empowering. They feel stripped of control when they receive definitive medical pronouncements. They might minimize or even reject bad news - in other words, engage in denial.
Staying positive allows survivors and their families to try new solutions. But staying positive shouldn't preclude feelings of worry, anger or sadness. Practicing cautious optimism may strike the right balance.
Ultimately, the families that cope best view the stroke as the beginning of the recovery process, not the end of life as they've known it. By working together, gathering information and nurturing realistic hope, survivors and family members can retain some control.