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Please help my Dad age 66 had a hemorrhagic stroke on 11/09/2008. Still...
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Please help my Dad age 66 had a hemorrhagic stroke on 11/09/2008. Still In ICU

I have been reading this forum for the past week, and it has been helpful. I still have many unanswered questions, and in desperate need of advice and help.

My Dad was life flighted to the hospital on 11/06/2008 for a heart attack and had a stent put in his heart. They then put him on plavix  and aspirin for his recovery. He left ICU to a regular room on Saturday and was in such good spirits and ready to go home on Sunday morning. I get a call Sunday Morning that my dad had a massive hemorrhagic stroke on the left side of his brain on Sunday, and had little chance to live. We think it is due to the plavix and caused a brain hemorrhage on the left side of his brain. The doctors gave us little hope, and said he was in a coma. By that afternoon he was opening his eyes, and the doctors were in shock that he was able to lift his left thumb and wiggle his toes.

Since then he has had a Tracheostomy for breathing and a feeding tube. The feeding tube was a massive set back since it made his stomach bleed, and he had a blood transfusion with 6 pints. This left us not trusting the doctors to much.
They have weened him off of sedation but he does not seem to be responding as well anymore. He can open his eyes, wiggle his toes, and squeeze the hand. Before he could lift the thumb if he was told too, or lift two fingers. I am in fear he was sedated to long, and that is why he cannot respond that well.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been through this, and to tell me how their loved ones responded, and if their responses were good one day and not the next. My Dad is an extremely healthy man and I so want him to recover. They say he is paralyzed on the right side but he can respond to pain.

I just want him to wake up and be alert. Can anyone please tell me their more beginning experiences with this, and things I should look out for and expect. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I also believe the power of prayer has pulled him this far. This is the hardest thing my family has ever been through and any help would be useful.


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Avatar_f_tn
My heart goes out to you!  My father had an ischemic stroke this past June and while they are different types of stroke our experiences sound very similiar.  My father was in ICU for 7 days and for 4 days he was not very responsive.  He would respond to pain and that was about it.  Sleep is very important in healing from a stroke.  For about the first 6 weeks my father sleep A LOT.  I would recommend reading the book "My Stroke of Insight."  It is about a brain scientist who had a hemmorgic stroke and what was going on in her mind during it all.  I also believe prayer is the most important thing anyone can do.  I will keep you and your family in my prayers and let me know of your dad's progress!  This is a very long and slow process (recovery.)  It takes a lot of patience.  We just celebrated this week that my dad was able to stand with the help of a walker this week and no one helping him with his balance.  Recovery can happen it just takes time.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your response, and I am happy to hear your Dad is recovering. Today is what we called a good day for him. My Mom said he had his eyes opened for most of the morning. He still has a low grade temperature, but we were told not to worry about it, and to worry about the big things. My husband made a joke today, and I could have sworn he smiled. He gives us these stares when we talk to him, and your book you mentioned sounds useful, since I would love to know what is going on in his mind.

I know this is early stages but I just want to know what I should expect with recovery, and what I and my family can do to help him with this. I just want him so bad to talk but with the track in I know that is not likely.
They started feeding him through his feeding tube today, and I hope that gives him strength. Can anyone tell me what I should expect from him in the next few weeks. His left side of the brain suffered the stroke, and the day it happened they only gave him a 10% chance to live. I know the power of prayer has brought him this far, and I just want to know how I can make his future easier for him.
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Avatar_f_tn
Molly23 , Do you believe in God ? There goes a prayer that will help you , it is helping me . I sufferd a series of 8 episodes myself and still don't know which way is up but I am full of hope .
Saint John of the Cross , in the darkness of your worst moments,when you were alone and persecuted,you found God.Help me to have faith that God is there specially in times when God seems absent and far away . Amen
Remember the famous Footprints ...
God Bless you and your Family richly... NEVER LOOSE HOPE !!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
One thing I will never loose is hope and that was a great prayer.

They are going to try to get him to sit up today and see how he does with that. I keep wondering when they are going to start some physical therapy. Do they normally wait until he is out of ICU. I also want them to cap the track in his throat to see if he can make sounds and talk. He has his eyes opened a lot now, and I am wondering what may be going through his mind at this point.
When is a good time to tell him what happened to him? He is off of sedation, and I am sure he may be wondering why he is there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I wonder are U familiar with the chaplet of Divine Mercy ?
I would encourage you to look it up and pray it together with him , this will help all your family through this .
And teach him this prayer : JESUS I TRUST IN YOU !
repeat it in your mind and heart and every time you feel like things are getting to you .

I have your dad and your family in prayers every day.
God Bless you .

take your Bible and read a little of the story of Job .
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your prayers.

They had him sit up for an hour yesterday and the doctors ordered therapy. I was kind of worried because he pretty much slept all day yesterday, but the doctor says that is normal, since he was so stimulated the day before. I wonder how long he will be in ICU at this point.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am truly frustrated right now and need some help.  I feel like the hospital and doctors are neglecting him; For two days they have promised a therapist would come by and we have not see one yet. They are now talking about moving him to a long term hospital and I am questioning why they can make that decision without really checking to see what abilities he has right now with a therapist. Has anyone been through this, and if so please help.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI Molly23,
my father is at hospitalize the a also with a hemorrhagic stroke .  His prognosis isn't as positive as your father.   However, at my father's hospital there is a Patient Advocate that you can contact about your concerns.   Also, check to see if the hospital has a certified Stroke Unit if not maybe you can have your father located to another facility if you are unhappy with the care.   I hope these suggestions help.  Best Wishes during these very difficult times.
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Avatar_f_tn
When my father first had therapy in the hospital it consisted of sitting on the edge of the bed and sitting up in a chair for about an hour at a time.  This really wore him out, but with the paralysis on the right side he had to retrain his stomach muscles to hold himself up and keep his balance.  He left the hospital 4 weeks after his stroke and had to be taken to a skilled nursing facility by ambulance because he wasnt' able to sit up in a wheel chair yet.  So your dad may be receiving therapy just not what you thought what it would be.  Don't be afraid to ask questions though.  I don't care if I annoy people with all my questions because they don't have the vested interest in my father like I do.  It is just their job while my father is an important part of my life.  Keep fighting and don't give up.  You will find joy with your father again; it just takes a lot of time and hard work!  Keep us posted on how he is doing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am going to look at a long term acute care hospital today, since that is where they are saying he will go next. He did have some therapy yesterday and my sister told me he was very responsive.
I just hope he does not have to stay at the long term care hospital too long, and I am also hoping they will help him get back to his old self somewhat. It is weird living in such a huge city but there is only a handful to choose from. Most do not allow family to stay over night so those were immediately crossed off the list.

Can anyone please provide some suggestions on what I should be looking for at these long term hospitals and what types of therapy they should be giving?
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241234_tn?1220984156
The first thing they should be evaluating is his cognitive skills, to see how much he can understand. It will require lots of brain power to recover beyond the ADL's. Ask your doctor and therapists what it will take for a full recovery and don't take the standard comment that he won't recover. If he can have him start a daily journal keeping track of the progress being made, this is useful for looking back to see how far he has come. Ask about mental imagery, mirror-box therapy and passive movement, this last one was just recently found to be useful in starting neuroplasticity.
It is a long hard road to recovery but others have done it, he will need to motivate himself to keep going.
Dean
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you everyone for your post. My Dad has now been moved to a long term care hospital where they will ween him off the ventilator and feeding tube. He had a big day of therapy today and they sat him up for the first time, which exhausted him. The speech therapist also came in and so far he is not responding well to that. Does anyone know how long it takes for someone who suffered a massive stroke like my Dad on the left side of the brain for his speech to start to recover? He still has no feeling on the right side and I am praying that will come back. I have read that is one of the last things to come back, and comes back more after the brain reduces swelling.

Is there anything I can do to speed up his recovery?
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Avatar_f_tn
I would just like to say I hope all of your loved ones made a healthy recovery. I came across this site whilst doing some research about brain haemorrhages. My Father suffered from a brain haemorrhage just over a month ago. When arriving at the hospital doctors told me that it was so major and deep there was nothing they could do it was only a matter of time. My Dad was in intensive care for 3 days following that. He was unconscious and every morning the stroke specialist would come and review any progress on day 2 my dad opened his eyes and squeezed my hand, the doctor said he was making progress and would like to fit a feeding tube the following day. Later that day my Dad stopped breathing and after 30seconds or so starting again. He continued to do this every few minutes. The following morning when the stroke doctor came, he told me that my Dad was no longer making progress and had developed phnemonia. His body had become so weak he could not make progress from the bleed if he was to. Now devastatingly my Dad died early hours of the next morning. I just can't help thinking could more have been done? They didn't even know the damage of the bleed. Why did he open his eyes and squeeze my hand if things were so bad. I will never know what could have been. I just hope he knew i was with him the whole time and heard me telling him how much I loved him.  I cannot except why this happened he was healthy and when I went out the morning of it happening, he was absolutely fine. Surely he could have been saved! To anyone who has experienced this. Remain positive and stay by your loved one. I miss you Dad xxxxxx
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