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Very slow recovery 1 year later...
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Very slow recovery 1 year later...

I'm just looking for some encouragement or experiences from others on this. My father-in-law suffered a major hemmoraghiac stroke almost one year ago (Jan. 30, 2009).  He went from ICU, to LTAC, back to ICU (after a second bleed), to a rehab center, and finally home.  The rehab center said he wasn't making "significant progress" and so the family has him at home and is taking great care of him.

Since coming in June, he has made progress in terms of strength, stability, and following some commands. His wife, kids and nephews are true servants in how they are caring for him. Has anyone had this experience and then there were some particular signs that his brain was indeed starting to fire again? He has spoken since the stroke and has been on a feeding tube since then. His sight seems intermittent but he does seem to do more when his eyes are closed. We often wonder if he concentrates better with his eyes closed. Recently, he has done very well sitting in a regular chair (rather than the wheelchair). His son has him sit on the side of his bed and stabilize himself. Then he has to stand up and try to "help" with the standing process a few times before he is transferred to the chair.

Have you heard of the benefits of not being in bed and being "up"?  Have you used some particular equipment/devices to help with the rehab?  Do you know if certain kinds of light or sounds are particularly irritating?  I read and watched "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and have since tried to relate to him similarly. He doesn't appear to have "locked in syndrome" like Jean-Dominique Bauby.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer some of the questions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry to hear about your father-in-law's stroke. It is a whole new world out there for people that have been handed this to deal with.

My father suffered a stroke on Dec. 2008, right at his 64th bday. Although it was not severe, it is now Jan. 2010 and we are still seeing recovery in him. Most of the recovery comes in the form of his personality. I see more of my dad now than i did for months post stroke. He has not been able to get back to work for he does not have full function of his rigtht arm. He does not do much therapy, so we don't know how much recovery he would have had if he did.

On another experience, my 31 year old sister suffered a hemorraghic stroke on Feb. 2009. Hers was severe. After surgery and battling a series of infections, (meningitis, MRSA,UTI..), she finally went to a rehab 25 days post stroke. With Hope being the main drive in our case, we saw her go from not talking, eating, or even recognizing her kids to now being out of a wheelchair. Our faith has guided us to keep praying and keep moving foward. We encourage her every day. Even when she would not open her eyes at first, we would talk and read to her. She had double vision for about the first 3 months post stoke. She had outpatient therapy for 3 months, but it is the therapy at home that has brought her this far along. Her husband would strap himself to her and put her on a treadmill. At first she could not even stand on her own. She'd sit up in bed and tip over, or try feeding herself and the food would end up anywhere but in her mouth. It has been a long painful journey, but we believe with God, anything is possible. We look foward to her playing soccer again, although we have been told she will never run again. God has the last word. Keep encouraging the family and your father-in-law. As I have read, "you etiher get busy living, or you get busy dying".
My prayers are with you.
-Luckylinn
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i was just sent this site by my mother, in hopes that it will make me feel a part of a community while i spend so much time alone.  so far, i'm feeling afraid and overwhelmed by the information but i need to calm that and try to gleen information from others and help when i can.  i am 32 and on april 25, 2009, at the age of 31, i had an ischemic cerebral stroke linked to birth control.  because i didn't have paralysis or speech issues, but an unimaginable vertigo and vomiting, i didn't know it was a stroke.  i went to the e.r with severe dehydration 4 days after the stroke and was shocked (understatement!) to realize what had happened!  i am not going to tell the long, exhausting story of it, but it's coming up on a year and i'm still not working, despite the fact that all of the vertigo has gone and a full recovery is expected.  the prognosis was that within 6 months - 2 years that i would feel a full recovery had been reached and all would be well.  i have no other risk factors (weight, cholesterol, bp, bmi, etc.) there isn't a huge fear that i will have another stroke and my only therapy has been aspirin.  however, i have found that the worst and most crippling part of this healing process is the fatigue.  it is absolutely like hitting a wall and sliding down.  the exhaustion, loss of balance, lack of appetite, nausea, crying jags and odd sleep patterns can put me out for a day to a week or more.  they have gotten considerably better and i have them less often, for shorter periods and can usually feel them coming on and realize that i need to go to bed.  the issue is, i'm 31 years old and, theoretically (i just had blood drawn for checkups today) in excellent health, and i'm struggling terribly to get past this hurdle.  i can't work because i am tired all of the time (that i CAN work through...most people do!  lol.) but if i need to lie down or if a fatigue spell hits, i HAVE to lie down and i completely fall to pieces, emotionally.  also, depression is a huge problem with stroke recovery and can impede recovery greatly.  it can also mask itself as exhaustion.  a stroke sufferer may feel genuinely tired or they may feel overwhelmingly depressed..  i personally have found that movement, especially when i don't want to do it, has been very helpful in regaining energy and stamina.  we bought a wii fit and the balance excercises with the yoga have helped me.  though i hate to admit it, i was told by my mother and boyfriend that i was not moving enough and that getting up and doing something, anything, would be helpful...and it was.  so, to come all the way back to your question, my personal experience is that movement and stimulation, annoying as they may be to the stroke survivor at the time, seem to help to remind the brain how to right itself and to trigger what it feels like to be involved in their own recovery and feel independant - or even close - again.  i wish the absolute best for both you and luckylinn!  i hope i was able to help in some small way...
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Avatar_f_tn
Moxyrock,

    WOW, do you sound like my husband, with the fatigue attacks.  I am a nurse and it drives me nuts that I can't help him with this, but one day while driving he had a fatigue attack, I gave him  a piece of candy and he instantly felt better, so that told me it was his blood sugar dropping.  Then seeing his doctor he confirmed it and told my husband to eat several small high protein meals through out the day. We joined a gym together and go three times a week, this really helps him with movement, but can cause fatigue, so we take protein bars and water with us and just go home and rest..Also, his personality has changed, but I look at it like this, who's wouldn't! Our family is just happy we still have him and his memory is slipping, but so is mine. He can't work, cause he drove school buses and he misses being functional, so we had to apply for disability. So, hang in there, check your blood sugars, eat right, take vitamins and keep moving and get involved with people, keeps your mind off yourself....

Take Care.
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