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post stroke rehab questions

okay...hello - i joined so i could ask some questions about a friend of mine.  he is only 18 years old and they say he suffered a stroke after a near fatal car wreck.   but now, they tell me (the family)that the doctors can't tell where the stroke "went."  aside from everything else he has suffered, he now is unable to move his left side and he says it hurts him all of the time, even if you barely touch his skin.  he has moved his left side - when he hasn't realized it - once when he was asleep, which tells me he can do it.  but he says he cannot move it. this is the bad part.  i am very worried about him.  he is in a wheelchair and can move a little, but i don't think he is getting the care he needs to overcome this. it's a long story involving power struggles within the family and although i am a close friend, i am not family, so unable to really voice an opinion without risking losing access to him altogether.  i do try to spend time with him every day.  is there anything i can do to help progress his left side?  he gets in-home physical therapy, but i think it is only a few times a week and it doesn't seem he gets much more of a workout between visits.  i am so afraid of him wasting away when that could be prevented.  i know his doctors has said they think he will be fine eventually, but i just can't sleep at night for thinking if he doesn't get the therapy (emotional as well as physical) that it will affect him permanently.  thank you so much in advance for any advice you can spare.
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Avatar universal
It sounds like his prognosis is good, but you are worried about your friend.  Since your friend is 18, he may still be able to go to the Saint Jude's children's Hospital for treatment.  This treatment is free if he qualifies.  In the meantime see if the family will allow you to give him physical therapy between the PT visits.  If they will allow it, have the therapist show you what to do.  The more he does, the better it will be for him in his rehab. Good Luck
Avatar universal
thank you so much for writing back...i was checking like two and three times a day!  but after reading some of these other posts, i can see there are so many people who are in such awful shape.  thank you for your advice.  unfortunately, things are not much better for him at the moment.  his mother had a falling out with some of her family and took him from the house where they were living.  they are now in a hotel.  i can't sleep at night for worrying about him.  i am almost considering taking them into my home, but that is a definite thinker.  i don't know if i would have the means to support such a decision.  if he could just get somewhere where he felt safe and grounded, i think his recovery would really improve.  i just miss him, you know?  he's still in there somewhere, but i hate seeing him so passive and quiet now.
Avatar universal
Take heart all.  My wife of 34 years had a hemorrhagic stroke on March 30, 05  She was 53 years old.  It was a rather nasty stroke.  The aneurysm that bled was 16mm x 22mm.  She required 13 (yes, I said 13) platinum coils.  About 14 feet of wire.  Three weeks in ICU and another three weeks in rehab.  She was totally paralyzed at first.  Her most significant impairment today is the loss of her left peripheral vision in both eyes.  We didn't get a lot of support or encouragement from the medical world.  What I found was a product called eye lights (www.eyelights.com).  It helped a lot.  Then I found a simple eye test/exercise she could do on line two or three times per day.  Similar to the same test her eye doctor gave her every month.  It helped. www.testvision.org/decide.html  Next, I researched what happens in the brain during a bleed.  It is thought amino acids play a significant role.  Apparently, during the bleed, the brain over produces amino acids (which the brain uses normally to facilitate the neurons to fire).  The over production of amino acids, it is thought, cause some neurons to basically overload and burn out.  In my wife's case, her personality became flat after the stroke.  Six months after the stroke, I gave her some liquid amino acids (seems the liquid is best), which can be purchased at one's local GNC store(same stuff I used when I was body building).  I WAS AMAZED.  In just about 30 minutes, her old personality came back.  Up to that point, her monthly vision tests were not improving.  After taking the amino acids every day, her next vision test showed remarkable, substantial and significant improvements and continued for several months after.  Although she still has some vision loss, she continues to improve over a year later.
NEVER GIVE UP.  Stroke patients need the help and moral support of their significant others.  NEVER GIVE UP.
Avatar universal
Just a note of encouragement to all survivors out there I was a busy,37 yr. old stay at home mom when a stroke floored me on 12-5-05. I am happy to say I am walking cane free now,although my gait is still hobbled. /No use of my left arm still. I stay frustrated a lot, but God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and terrific church family.I would love to hear any rehab treatments that have been successful-I'm going to start pt again next weekand have looked at info on the biomove.
Avatar universal
After spending the last year researching issues of a stroke, I can't emphasize enough how important amino acids are to recover.  Amino acids are derived from whey which is derived from cows milk.  It's protein.  Consider that, most weight lifters and body builders will take liquid amino acids before and after a workout.  In my opinion, stroke patients need more protein/amino acids in order to recover from the trama.  It is also thought that amino acids produced by the human body are the proteins that facilitate the function of neuron transmitters in the brain.  A proper, high protien diet may aid in recovery.  Think - eat like a body builder.
Avatar universal
thanks for the info!this may sound like a stupid question, but is there a certain amino acid i should look into, or would i just be shopping for something that says "amino acid" on the label?
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