So sorry to hear about your husband. Unfortunately, brainstem strokes are small but the most devastating. You should try and control his infections and bed sores as much as possible - he needs to be turned often, his lungs need to be cleared and he should be suctioned frequently. Somebody, you or a nurse, needs to do chest physical therapy - where you hit him lightly over his upper back on both sides: this should be done at least once a day. He should be able to sit in bed -- you should get a bed that can be folded into a chair, this way he can sit up. He should continue getting some physical therapy at home or wherever he is -- even if it means stretching his muscles every day. Talk to him and make sure he knows you are there. He needs your support.
I had a mild brain stem stroke 10/05 and I just had something happen that is new to me. While on a cruise my bladder felt like it exploded. I had to stay close to a bathroom (still) because I have no warning at all or just a few seconds to make it to the bathroom. Has anyone experienced this?
In addition to the above CNS pathways, the brainstem also consists of the 12 cranial nerves. A stroke affecting the brainstem therefore can produce symptoms relating to deficits in these cranial nerves:
altered smell, taste, hearing, or vision (total or partial)
drooping of eyelid (ptosis) and weakness of ocular muscles
decreased reflexes: gag, swallow, pupil reactivity to light
decreased sensation and muscle weakness of the face
balance problems and nystagmus
altered breathing and heart rate
weakness in sternocleidomastoid muscle with inability to turn head to one side
weakness in tongue (inability to protrude and/or move from side to side)
Stroke rehabilitation is the process by which patients with disabling strokes undergo treatment to help them return to normal life as much as possible by regaining and relearning the skills of everyday living. It also aims to help the survivor understand and adapt to difficulties, prevent secondary complications and educate family members to play a supporting role.
Good nursing care is fundamental in maintaining skin care, feeding, hydration, positioning, and monitoring vital signs such as temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Stroke rehabilitation begins almost immediately and can last anywhere from a few days to over a year.
Complete recovery is unusual but not impossible and most patients will improve to some extent.
Rehabilitation and you are the 2 key factors in assissting him.
God bless you with patience .
Brain stem strokes are the most devastating. Last Aug 31, 2008 my husband suffered a brain stem stroke. He was quadraplagic, couldnt speak or move, but was in lock in syndrome. He could think and understand everything, but couldnt communicate. He suffered from pneumonia due of aspiration into his lungs, them he suffered from bacterias and after almost three long and tortuous months, he died or better, he rest in peace. Those were the longest and saddest months of my life. I was there every time, but complications were too much. Now, Im feeling more relax and with the relief that I took care of him and now he is with God.