My father had a "watershed" stroke on the right side of his brain. He is 80 years old. The stroke occured during/after his 4th open heart surgery.
The stroke was 25 days ago. He is still in the hospital.
He was given a feeding tube, as he can not swallow. He is not very verbal; at times he can answer a simple question with a yes or no. He does not seem to be aware of his situation. He is bedridden and does not participate during PT. Sometimes he can make a statement that is on topic of what is being discussed, sometimes he says things that make no sense, such as telling us he bought orange juice but someone took it; most times he simply looks at us when we try to speak to him. He is not making any decisions about his healthcare. He does not have the use of his right side. At his age and with his condition, what can we hope for as far as recovery? He has a living will which states that he is not to be kept alive by artifical means, including hydration and nutrition. The feeding tube was put in place before the type of stroke was determined. He has also given us explicite instructions that he is never to go into a nursing home, which is where he would have to go.
Recovery takes a long time, but he can recover. Don't give up hope. He will be very tired for quite a while after the stroke, which is why he does not want to participate in PT..don't let this disturb you. Eventually he will probably get off the feeding tube..they start out with thickened pureed food, then go to what they call "mechanical soft" (chopped up food), then regular food as his ability to swallow improves. It all takes a lot of time and you will hear that all strokes are different..recovery depends on 1. dedication of the family 2. incentive 3. money for cargiving 4. participation on the part of the patient. We have my mother 90 years old at home with us with caregivers 9-5 every day that get her up, showered, dressed, fed and out in a wheelchair every day. She is right side paralyzed and cannot speak at all. We keep hoping. Many of the posts on this site will help you see what others are doing with similar situation. Vicki
Never heard of a "watershed stroke". Does it just mean a big stroke that changes the patient or does it have some more specific meaning?
I think 25 days is too early to try to decide what to do. I cared for my post-stroke father from age 92 to 94, two reasonably good years for him, and then made conscious decision (based, of course, on what he had told me earlier) to let him go after 4 pneumonias and much deterioration. I hope it does not come to that for your father, but it seems to me that decision is farther down the road. Is your mom alive? (Mine wasn't.) What does she say?
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