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Massive Stroke
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Massive Stroke

My mother had a massive stroke.  The Drs said it was the type of stroke that is fatal.  4 days later she is starting a very soft diet, physical therapy, and speech therapy.  The stroke hit the left side of her brain and was bleeding.  She is gaining little feeling in right leg, can move head to right(slightly) and attempting to talk.  She responds by hand squeezing and smiles as well as slight laughter.  She remains in ICU but we are looking for nursing home.   She is receiving potassium due to slightly low levels.  Other vitals are good and stable.  Am I being to optimistic by feeling she is going to survive?  Is the low potassium level any indication of mortality.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The prognosis for the stroke depends on where the bleeding has occurred. If it closer to the vital centers, then the prognosis is not good. Also, the potassium levels may not indicate a bad prognosis, it could sometimes be dietary or due to the medications. Some stroke patients do appear to have 100 percent recovery. And many regain a great deal of their abilities. If the "stroke" is stabilized, and there is no further bleeding I would remain optimistic.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
You got the best answer from the expert above.  
Just to let you know, I got a phone call from my mother's doctor about a week after she had a hemorraghic stroke telling me that she only had at most 4 days to live.  She mostly slept, was on oxygen and looked like she would die any minute.  But instead she kept getting better with physical therapy.  Eventually she was making long walks, going up and down a few stairs, was able to feed herself and had her full mind back. She lasted over years after that.  She was 86 years old at the time.   I'm certain that all the visits that she got daily was what motivated her to recover. Of course with the best of visiting, it could have gone otherwise. So anything is possible.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am not sure as to exactly where the bleed is/was.  She is now where I live in a skilled nursing facility.  After a week in ICU she was placed in PCU for 2 days.  She was then releases to an acute rehab facility and stayed there for approx 30 days.  She can occasionally string a sentence together.  I understand most of the time.  She continues to receive ph, oc, and speech therapy.  I noticed today her right foot ankle is slightly swollen.  Prior to her stroke my mother had essential tremors and the tremors are still visible.  Paralysis on right side and purred diet with thickened liquids remain.
All seem cautiously optimistic.  Do you think  she will continue to make progress?  Her vitals remain steady.
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Avatar_f_tn
Update:  a FEES test was administered to my mother.  On Monday, with a speech therapist, they will introduce her to more solid--like foods.  The see some improvement.  However the test was ordered due to an awful chest cough and congestion.  She has been given antibiotics and it seems to have helped.  Her chest X-ray is clear.  She is still not talking and when she does it is very hard to understand.   She cries with me daily.  I try so hard to keep her spirits lifted.  I know she is so frustrated.  I believe she is receiving very good care.  Strokes are so brutal.  Her Dr has asked about hospitalization in the event her chest/cough does not improve.  I am to let him know--what to do?  I do not see improvement, but I know she is trying hard.  I also feel she thinks this is a good as it is going to get for her.  No one says it--friends, therapists, dDr, nurses etc, but I see the look in their eyes--she is dying.
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Avatar_f_tn
She is also needing oxygen to breath--even when I therapy.  However the last day or so she doesn't have to have it on all day--this is improvement to me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Make sure that you are telling your mother that she is getting better and will keep getting better.  And it's also important to either get her on anti-depressants or to increase the anti-depressant that she is taking or switching it to another one if she is on the peak dose.  Without her spirits up, she won't have much of a chance.  And make sure that you keep telling her how much you love her.  That's what I told my mother daily, usually crying as I said it.  My mother lasted over 2 years from when the doctor called to tell me that she had 4 days to live.  I continue to pray for you and your mother.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.  It means so much.  I do tell her I lover her daily.  She does have a sweet roomie.  I visit daily bit it gets hard sometime as I 2 daughters 14 and 11.  My husband has a business and they r all very busy--- while I call myself a decent time manager, I get very frustrated trying to accommodate all.  I want too, but it is sometimes overwhelming.  
This resipitory whatever can be a chronic issue for her.  For me , Faith, is giving me the strength and endurance.  Even with my family around I know I M not alone.  I love to come to this site.-  it is a good source of the day to day in dealing with a stroke.  Do you know of any other blogs etc.  many thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
You are doing as much as possible.  Don't overwhelm yourself.  I had a very difficult time visiting my mother almost daily for over 2 years since I've had a major stroke which has given me daily migraines which are often severe.  Plus I need 12 hours of sleep every night or my migraines get terrible.  After my mother died almost a year ago, I have felt major burnout ever since.  So be careful with yourself.  But every visit to your mother gives her so much.  So be grateful and give yourself a lot of credit for whenever you are able to visit her. Yes, I do know of other blogs, but not sure it is okay to post them here.  Maybe with a personal message instead.  Drugs with a com after it is one.  Also WebMD.  I am still so appreciative of that special time with my mother which was the most precious time of my life.  (I don't have any children.)  My mother at times said that she thought that I was her mother.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Have not posted in awhile.  As with all insurance she peaked--I knew she had.  The decision I made was to bring her home with me and include Hospice.  I have 24 hr sitters and it is still so hard.  The sitters are wonderful and I could not do this without them.  She is very well cared for.  It is expensive and hate dipping into her assets.  I am her FPOA, medical agent, and executor of her will.  Her beneficiaries are 3 granddaughters two are mine.
She gets angry sometimes and refuses meds.  Eats very little, but bowels are very active.  There has been some aspiration but it clears up eventually.  
Bi improvement either with speech, physical improvement etc.
I am happy to have her home and their have been numerous gifts.  She has always been ferociously independent.  She came to live with me June 11.  I see declines yet hospice says all is well--clear lungs and good vitals.  I sense confusion and wonder if there is dementia.
I am amazed she is still with us.  All has been said as in letting go.  I guess she can not.  My heartbreaks and I have days Icahn only sit for a small amount of time.  I believe and know all has been done thar can be done.
She had just been admitted to the hospital the prior evenin and stroked within 7-8 hours.  I was told by physician and neurologists they missed the opportunity to apply the drug.  I has suits all around, yet I asked and said nothing.  The red flags were flying and I had enough sense to keep my mouth shut.  Also she was first placed in an acute rehab facility that she did not qualify for--good shock to me, yet I took it as a blessing.  She stayed there for 30 days.  She was then dismissed to a sub acute rehab facility.  This is when I moved her to my town.  This facility was fabulous and we stayed approx 3 months until she peaked.  She has made no progress sincer stroke.  She can sit in wheelchair occasionally for only a few minutes 15  (max)
I miss my mother.  This has been unbelievable.  Hospice says she might just be chronic.  What does "chronic" mean in the Hospice world?
Thank you for letting me vent.  Blessings to you all
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry to hear that it so hard for you and your mother.  You should ask hospice what they mean by "chronic".  I'm sure that they will give you some insight into the term.  I know that you are having a really rough time of it.  You take care.
Sara
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