This patient support community is for discussions relating to stroke, rehabilitation, ability to eat/swallow, alertness, bowel/bladder control, depression, motor skills, nutrition, orthotics/braces, pain, prevention, senses, and spasticity.
Hi all, my 71 year old father had a stroke 2 days ago, we are not sure what kind it is or the severity yet and will probably find out in next couple of days after CT scan etc. The paralysis is down his right side and although his right arm is totally out of action he can still move his right leg a little. He is responding to everything he is told to do by the nurses including opening his mouth but can only nod his head in response to questions, so its yes/no answers only. He is aware of who my brother, sister and I are and managed to wave goodbye yesterday with his good arm. I felt I needed to educate myself about this condition as previously knew next to nothing on the subject.
I would just like a few responses to the information I have given from people who have been in this situation to possibly give me some hope (or not) on his recovery, thanks Jason...
Hi. I posted a few down. My grandma is 86 and she just had a stroke on Friday. It looks like we're in the same boat your family is. Her's also affects the right side of her body. She is also opening eyes, moving a little bit on the bad side, and little waves. Have you had the swallow test yet? She tried that today. The physical therapist people were in the other day to get her sitting on the side of the bed and responding to commands. She's so tired. I read that being tired is good as it gives the body time to heal. I'm taking things one day at a time. It seems as if everyday we are getting good news, but of course it is slow in coming and very small steps.
Hi, thanks for your response. I dont think my father has had the swallow test yet, he has a tube to his stomach feeding him at the moment and just found out he has had the CT scan today. We are going to see him tomorrow when hopefully they have a bit more info on his situation. I also read that being tired is a good thing helping the brain to recover quicker, and if they are sleepy, not to try and stimulate them to wake them, just let them be. We were told by the stroke specialist that if all goes well he will be in hospital for a minimum of 6 weeks. Jason...
Saw my father today and it isn't very good news, the CT scan shows he has had a hemorrhagic stroke. The doctor spoke to my fathers partner today and she relayed the message onto my sister and I. Because my fathers partner only really heard the first few facts of the conversation because of the shock the information we got was a little broken.
Basically with the hemorrhagic stroke, surgery is recommended, the doctor said that they wouldn't recommend surgery because of his medical history (mini strokes, angina etc) I think what they are saying is that he might not come through it or even survive the anesthetic! Just seems ludicrous that to them he is just another statistic. Maybe they don't take decisions like this likely and I am a little angry but I'm sure I cannot be blamed for that. Will find out tomorrow more information but at this very moment and feeling a little numb. Jason (living in hope)
Jason, I can understand your numbness and your frustration and your worry and concern and a whole boatload of other emotions. I, too, was in your shoes last year. My husband had a hemorrhagic stroke because of high blood pressure. He's 56. What kind of surgery are the docs talking about? They may want to remove part of the skull because of brain swelling...it's called a craniectomy or craniotomy.
From what I've read, that kind of surgery is a very common surgery with great outcome. It can even be done with the patient awake but under local anesthesia. The reasons stated doesn't seem like a good reason NOT to do the surgery, but, I'm not a doctor so I don't really know..that's just my assumption.
The doctors also told me they didn't know if my husband was going to make it nor not (I found out later that they were sure he wasn't going to make it but didn't want to tell me that so soon). To make a long story short, my husband is alive and well, walking, talking, living a normal life. His biggest deficit is double vision because the stroke hit him in the occipital lobe. I have many posts here about my husbands stroke and recovery so feel free to read them.
You put that you were living in hope...KEEP THAT HOPE ALIVE! Know that your dad can improve. I think sometimes the docs give worst case scenarios just so we don't get our hopes up too high. There is a chance your dad can make it. Please keep us posted on your dads recovery.
Hi, well its been a week now, a very long week, and quite a lot has happened. My family and I have been seeing my dad everyday but on wednesday to cut a long story short we were told that they could not operate on the bleed because it would make it worse so they devastatingly told us that they would make my dad comfortable and that was that!!
We took this news as gospel and tried to deal with it the best we can.
On the Thursday my dads sister came to visit with her husband from about 90 miles away and the one thing my uncle noticed was that he was responding quite well with nods and hand squeezing etc. On the friday my brother and sister in law came up from the same place and went hell for leather on his consultant basically saying that they would not just accept the fact that my dad was just another statistic and that he was responding better as each day past. Anyway within 30 minutes he had around 5 people in and out around his bedside taking bloods etc etc. The stroke specialist nurse came and also got response out of him and also told the nurses that his head should be positioned at 30 degrees to try and help the bleed on the brain. You wouldnt believe the attention he was getting. His breathing now seems alot better and yesterday amazingly he managed a few words! This being Yes and No and it took a while to understand but he actually said "Cup of Tea?!!!" to which we replied he could not have because he is NBM, he then rolled his eyes in dismay which was quite funny!! He is still only on a ward at the moment because they condemmed him, but he is on the list to get onto the stroke unit. Please bear in mind in the UK we pay National Insurance from our wages and not private medical care like in the US. Unless we pay private medical insurance we are looking at around £350 a day for care!! Pretty expensive stuff.
My dads blood pressure is still quite high but they said that is normal after a stroke and they will monitor it. But we was told that the kind of stroke that he has it is possible for the brain to absorb the bleed after time. (has anyone else heard of that??) that is why his head must be at 30 degrees.
We are now pushing to get him on the stroke unit and for another CAT scan to be done to see what is going on. To be quite blunt I think that something good must be happening if he has survived a week with a bleed on the brain and no op.
See the trouble with Public UK hospitals is in my experience the doctors and nurses need to be hassled to get things done. Not saying that it is all bad, most of the staff are really nice but sometimes need pushing for results.
Anyway that is my update, and hopefully things will get better day by day and would love some responses to the post I have written, Thanks, Jason...
Hi all, its now been 2 weeks since my father had a stroke. We managed to get him onto the stroke specialist unit on monday which was brilliant news as the care there is 10 times better than on the general medical ward. He had a really bad dry mouth and started to get a few ulcers. They have totally sorted out his mouth and he generally looks much more healthier. That is the good news...
The possible bad news (or not) is that since he has been in the stroke unit he has virtually slept all the time and hardly opened his eyes. We spoke the the specialist nurse yesterday and she was explaining that for them to start rehab with him, he needs to start responding a little, until he does that, they cannot do anything with him.
As far as the sleeping is concerned they did say that sometimes in their experience it is a sign of another small bleed on the brain.
I might be clutching at straws but I'm hoping that the reason he is sleeping more is because they have made him so much more comfortable with his mouth etc and obviously I know that stroke patients do sleep loads.
They have managed to get his blood pressure down which is a good thing because it was up to 220 (the first number) now its down to 145.
But unfortunately today his temp shot right up meaning an infection of some kind. They gave him paracetomol and managed to get it down. I know its common in hospital to get an infection of some kind but in my fathers case you never know how strong his body is to defend it, so its never a good thing.
At the moment we are pretty down because although he generally looks better his responses are virtually down to nothing and hearing about the infection didn't help the way we feel. I think we are all hoping for a little progress even if it small so we have a little hope to hold onto again.
Would like a few words of encouragement or honesty from anyone who may of had a similar experience please, it would give a little piece of mind right now, thanks, Jason.
PS We were told that as far as strokes go, a bleed on the brain instead of a clot is generally better for faster and better recovery if they survive it, because a hemorrhagic stroke is considered more fatal. Could anyone tell me what they think is the time limit if any, when the patient can consider themselves out of that fatal zone. It could be never but there may be a time when we can concentrate on his recovery, not if we are going to get a dreaded phone call in the early hours. Your help would be appreciated, Jason.
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