My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago. In March he had what appeared to me to be a TIA. His doctor said that was unlikely, that the problem was probably only more Alzheimer's and even if it was a TIA there was nothing that could be done, that once a stroke damages the brain, it is gone. I understand that a doctor might not want to give a family false hope, but my husband has recovered almost all of his function with only my amatur efforts at rehabilitation. Was the doctor really giving us the best advice or are there therapies available that would have helped him better and sooner? Should we be looking for a new doctor?
You pose an interesting question. I believe a loved one, and not a physician, is in a better position to answer those questions. Living with a person intimately enables you to compare and contrast increments of recovery that a physician, with limited observation, can never do. The answer is "it depends". First of all, none of us knows clearly what goes on when a stroke, either from a clot or a bleed, does damage. There is a great deal of redundancy built into the circuits. This redundancy means that an undamaged part of the brain can often assume functions (such as swallowing) that have been irreparably damaged by necrosis of tissue secondary to oxygen starvation. But not always. Don't give up hope and caring.
Caregiver...I love your thoughtful answers and again I agree with you. You seem to be on top of things for sure and I am glad there is someone out there like you with your accuarte thoughts....
I am a 5 month post brain stem stroke survivor...Redundancy is the perfect word...It is true...I am being "rewired" by my own body...I was also told that once a portion of brain is destroyed, its gone...But the brain is a wonderful and amazing organ....There is so much" extra" non used brain we can retrain certain certain aspects....Although not every aspect, like the brainstem controls many auto matic things as breathing and heartrate. I am now retraining myself to replace the lost depth perception and other issues...Like caregiver says, each patient is different, but I work at recovery day by day and always look back and see myself on my floor not able to talk or move...Then I look now....Yes, I am not my old self by any means...But I see improvement on a long term basis....Patience and time is what it is going to take....God speed
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