My Dad, age 70, just suffered an ischemic stroke on the left side of his brain. He was at the hospital within 2 hours of the stroke, but the medicine to dissolve the blood clot didn't seem to have much affect. Right after the stroke he had no movement on the right side of this body, could not speak, and was having trouble swallowing. We have seen very small improvements...he is mostly swallowing on his own, he has said the odd word (but not when he tries)....thats about it. He is still on a feeding tube and has trouble even sitting up. He seems to understand most of what we say, but its hard to be sure of that. He can identify numbers and even count, but pictures and other tests he has failed. (Strangely enough he can sing old songs he remembers if we play the music and sing along with him). The Doctor has said he had a massive stroke (bigger than they normally see), and the MRI shows that a large part of the brain tissue is dead and there may be little or no recovery. Most of the research on recovery talks about the brain cells healing, etc. Do we have any hope or is what the Doctor said, based on the MRI, accurate.
I am sorry to hear about your father’s Stroke. Recovery of the stroke happens in phases. It goes on over a period of time that can range from a few weeks to a few years. Every stroke is different and the extent of damage varies in each patient. Recovery does occur even if a part of the brain is damaged. The brain is a remarkable organ. When the blood supply to a part is cut off, new pathways can take over and supply blood to that damaged area. Interestingly, the brain can make compensations. One area of the brain takes over the functions that were previously managed by a different area. Remember, people can and do recover from a stroke! Incase of a brain damage, it may take a little longer.
Some most commonly observed after-effects of a stroke are: Complete paralysis or simple weakness on one side of the body (this happens on the opposite side of the body on which the stroke occurred), Speech difficulty, Trouble with swallowing and urination,
Balance, coordination and cognitive problems (memory problems or difficulty following directions), Fatigue and Emotional disturbances.
The recovery for stroke takes place in the following steps.
Treatment – Symptomatic treatment begins as soon as the patient enters the hospital. It depends on the type of stroke. This may consist of drugs to break up clots and blood thinning or surgery to repair a torn blood vessel.
Treatment is aimed at preventing further strokes and limiting the amount of brain damage that may occur.
Recovery phase- some spontaneous recovery does take place for most people soon after the stroke. Abilities that may have been lost begin to return. The process may take place quickly over the first few weeks, and then, it may be stable.
Rehabilitation- this phase is very important in the recovery of the stroke patients. This phase usually takes place while the patient is still in the hospital. It involves the team work of various therapists and specialists who work with the stroke victim to regain lost skills. With proper therapy, many or most skills may be reattained.
Recovery at home- many adjustments may have to be made. Some may be temporary and some may last for a lifetime.
Please arrange for a speech therapist, physiotherapist and a psychotherapist for a speedy recovery of your father. I wish him all the best! Hope this answer helps you. Take care and regards!
Thanks for the information. My Dad is showing alot of promise on the speech and cognitive thinking side of things. We are thankful for this. However, it has now been 6 weeks and he has not moved his right leg or right arm. The doctors are telling us that they doubt he will ever see any movement on his right side. Is this accurate? If it hasn't come back yet it won't? I am very interested in your thoughts on this. Thanks
First of all I must congratulate you that your father is showing good improvement. As far as mobility is concerned, it may take some time in some cases. The doctor might be right in thinking that there is no mobility in 6 weeks so further improvement is doubtful. But I would like to add here that every Stroke is different and so is every patient. You will be surprised to know that I personally have seen a Stroke patient showing marked improvement in mobility, speech and other fronts 12 yrs after suffering a stroke. He was given excellent nutrition supplements of multivitamins, multiminerals, ginseng, omega 3 fatty acids and calcium . Within 30 days the person was walking and climbing stairs, brushing his teeth, combing his hair and doing things which he had not done in 12 yrs. So there is always hope. Please arrange for a good physiotherapist and add the above mentioned supplements to your father’s diet. A positive attitude, good nutrition and physiotherapy may bring back the good old days for your father. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards! I wish a speedy recovery for your father!
Thank you so much for the advice on the supplements. We are going to try them right away. Would you have particular amounts of each supplement that we should give him? We've also been looking into NeuroAid. Have you heard of this?
My mother, 66, just had an ischemic stroke 20 mins after her carotid artery surgery. she has suffered all the same symptoms. swallowing, right side immobiltiy, and she seems to see us and laugh and respond to "normal funny things", but she does not seem to recognize the tv, and, to me, seems like about a 9 month old child just learining. I am worried that is so far for my brother and i to come down and to be there with her and my father since we live so many hours away. we come down as often as possible, but with our own lives and our own children it makes it difficult. I just wish there was a way to communicate. I have already done that with my special needs son, and 18 year is a long way away. I don't want to see my Dad suffer any worse than my mother, and I know she is suffering, but not telling us to go to hell!!!!
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