Bad Day

I’m normally quite a tough old bird and just get on with things. It came as a bit of a downer, when I went grocery shopping with the long suffering husband, and burst into tears half way around. I simply couldn’t cope with the task in hand, started to stutter, couldn’t decide what to buy and generally went round in a complete daze. Is it the overhead lights do you think ? As soon as I went out in the fresh air I felt better. I felt like a complete fool, I’m thinking of getting one of those brain injury cards from Headway to stop cashiers giving me strange looks in future.


That’s probably just your brain feeling a little overwhelmed that time, it happens. We always took a list of exactly what was needed just in case, so I didn’t have to make any decisions when I’d get that way :smile:

It could also be sick building syndrome, doesn’t affect everyone and never affected me before my stroke. But one particular branch of supermarket I go to has a similar affect on both my daughter and myself so we just stopped using that one.


So sorry this happened to you @clibbers1 it very well could be the lights & sounds of the supermarket that triggered your reaction. I am 2 yrs on & still really struggle in a shop. I do my shopping online now.

The headway card is a good idea as is a sunflower lanyard. I have both (i’m greedy :grin:) but they do come in useful.


Hi, sorry to hear this has happened to you. Please don’t feel foolish, it has happened to most of us at some point in our recovery. I remember in my early recovery I went into a shop with loads of bright lights and load music and at one point I could just about put one foot in front of the other!! I just about managed to make it back to the car. My physio at the time called it a sensory overload.

Try not to stress about this and don’t let it stop you getting out and about. I’m pleased to say it has never happened to me again.

Regards Sue



You aren’t the only one to have an emotional outburst.
I think it is just an escape valve for pressure building up inside.
I have had inappropriate bouts of laughter, streams of tears in mid conversation,my wife just lets me get on with it. There is a sense of relief from these outbursts and I’ve learnt to just let it happen. People, strangely, are okay about it and it does deflate the tension, as I said.

It is most certainly not something to try to keep under control.

As they say, let it all hang out.



An escape valve is a good way of explaining it to folks. After three years my episodes are few and far between but sometimes like Clibbers get taken by surprise. Luckily my meltdowns usually at home. We are told from start Accept adjust and adapt. It’s not easy and it’s ongoing. I think my meltdowns are due to a bit of self pity now and again creeping in. Far more good days than bad. Got to accept that now and again we blow!


Having said what I did, I hurry to add that these events do not excuse bad behaviour.

As elated or as upset as we might be we must remember to treat others with the respect that we hope we will receive.

keep on keepn’ on
:writing_hand: :grinning: :+1:


Now you are in my territory. I am supposed to be getting out as much as possible as my therapy, in the hopes of acclimating to the sensory overload.

I have also often been in the same boots as Bobbi and Pds…the tears, the anger, the self-pity (all occasional). They have been very few and far between lately, even less than before stroke at this point. Yay!!

Continuing to get out in the circus of a grocery (noise, lights, movement on top of trying to cognitively make decisions and remember not to forget anything is very hard. It gets a bit easier with practice, but I cannot say I am quite there yet. Groceries and sporting events are the absolute worst for me, restaurants are okay most of the time. I haven’t tried a music venue indoors and the idea of it seems overwhelming. I do okay outdoors with the music and crowds.

That break you took for getting away from it outdoors was great. Perhaps put that into your future plans? I don’t know about where you are, but here, so far, stores have allowed me to pull my cart near the cash registers or service desk so it won’t be put away while I rest.

Don’t give up. You will find what works best for you.


I have left supermarkets before and opted to sit in the car with the windows down and the seat back. Too much visual stimulus, too much light, not enough shadows. My brain reels with confusion and disorientation. I use a Headway card, it’s been very useful, particularly with officials. I use it as photo identification as well. It’s kind of a “just to let you know” calling card for me that I have brain damage, don’t just take my word for it.


All these cards you all talk about…We don’t have them in the US. However, I have been attending a VeDA (Vestibular Disorder Association) conference online, that had as one of the sponsors the sunflower card people here have been talking about. I have ordered cards for my daughter and for me.