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Old 01-16-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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My Father needs help

Thank you for reading this, my Father is experiencing some strange and sudden symptoms, refuses to go to the doctor... We don't know what it is, no idea in fact. Any help would be greatly appreciated, so here are the symptoms:

- slow and sometimes slurred speech.
- when the symptoms first hit about a week or two ago, he was unable to speak almost, only able to form simple short sentences.
- extreme fatigue, sleeps for long hours, awake for short hours, then naps frequently. Also has trouble walking, very weak leg muscles, shaking legs.
- partial loss of control of facial muscles, has trouble smiling, and looks different, droopy looking.
- sometimes looses control of his left arm, swings around like its limp, but much better in the last few days.
- very clumsy, drops things all the time, and looses his concentration and focus easily.
- he was very irritable, aggressive and angry for the first few days, but then suddenly very happy and smiley the last few days.

He was not like this just two weeks ago, he had some lung infection though and was very sick, he was on antibiotics for some time, he also takes medication for high blood pressure which extracts water rapidly from his blood stream. He is 63 years old, overweight but quite strong physically and mentally.

What can this be?! He seems to be getting a little better, but nothing like this has ever happened before to my knowledge.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...thank you !

 
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: My Father needs help

Sounds like he may have had a stroke of some sort. I can't believe no one took him to the ER when these symptoms occurred. Call his doctor immediately. I wish him well.

 
Old 01-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: My Father needs help

I agree with the stroke diagnosis--he may also be experiencing additional TIA's which are mini stroke which sometime lead to another major stroke.
He definately needs to be seen ASAP by his primary care who should order an immediate CT Scan and MRI with Contrast of his head.

Good Luck

 
Old 01-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #4
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Re: My Father needs help

Definitely, absolutely, positively the most classic list of stroke symptoms. He needs to be seen at an emergency room immediately. It may already be too late to prevent permanent damage. My mother's stroke was not attended to immediately - doctor's fault, not her family's. She spent the last 10 years of her life in a nursing home because of it.

 
Old 01-17-2009, 01:39 AM   #5
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Re: My Father needs help

Absolutely totally agree with the other posters. I wish him all the best.

 
Old 01-17-2009, 03:19 AM   #6
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Re: My Father needs help

It is hard to say what is wrong with dad...but he really needs to go to at least check to see if the medications he is on isn't causing side effects especially the water pill. He needs other medicine to counteract side effects. Anytime an older person is on long term medicines they must check in with the doctor more often to be sure things are alright. I would think your dad would rather feel better than worse so it is time to go back and have a review of his medicines and see why he is feeling so bad. good luck. Just tell him it is time for a tuneup.

 
Old 01-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #7
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Re: My Father needs help

Please get him into the doctor. He's had a stroke and may be continuing to have a series of small TIAs as you are going about your day. This would be the loopy smile and the grins. Please get him checked out now. You are too late to counter the effects of the first stroke, but you may save him from future damage...please get him checked out....

 
Old 01-18-2009, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: My Father needs help

i too most definitely agree with the others,a stroke is the most likely reason for his entire list of symptoms. the thing you have to keep in mind about him refusing to go to the doc or ER,is the stroke itself. it is clouding his judgement(he has whats called an "altered mental state"),so here you have some wiggle room. i would just call 911 and explain the situation and have the ambulance AND a police officer present to take him in. you may need that level of help here with this situation. i worked EMS for many years and sometimes this is what we also experienced. he just HAS to get there one way or another,if you can talk with the medics and the police officer,they can override his refusal only becasue of the altered mental status he is experiencing here. when you decide not to seek help with something THIS huge,something is very wrong with the thinking process,so you can get around it legally,with help from the nice police officer. its a judgement call. all you have to do is get the medics and the police officer all on the very same page. believe me,with the symptoms you just described,it wont be hard to get this done for him. i do wish you lots of luck with this,i hope he does decide to do this for himself,but if he does not,you do need to get him evaluated and treated here one way or another. calling HIS primary doc too can't hurt and could also help in this situation. if his doc wants him evaluated and brought to the ER,that is pretty much all the medics and the police have to know,along with the symptoms too. please keep us posted. FB
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:20 AM   #9
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Re: My Father needs help

Thank you so much to all of you that have replied to our posting...I printed out all your replies and I read them out loud to my father...he 's going to see a doctor today, thank goodness! Thank you all, you've helped more than you know.

 
Old 01-20-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: My Father needs help

Hopefully by now your father has seen a physician, and you have a better idea of what is and what is not happening.

I would also like to agree with AnnD's post....although it is possible that your father has experienced a stroke or multi infarct dementia, it is also very possible that the symptoms your father is experiencing are side effects of the medication he is taking for his blood pressure. Medication side effects are symptoms that many doctors blatantly deny or ignore....many of the symptoms you describe, I experienced while taking bp medication but they disappeared within 24 hours to 6 weeks after discontinuing the offending med.

Good luck!

Bethsheba

 
Old 01-20-2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Re: My Father needs help

Quote:
...it is also very possible that the symptoms your father is experiencing are side effects of the medication he is taking for his blood pressure.
Although medications can cause strange and reversible problems, I can't agree at all with this statement as applied to this case. LifesGood stated that the symptoms were "sudden". Med effects are generally not so. Also, med side effects would not ordinarily cause sudden loss of control with facial muscles, speech ability, or limb movements. These are neurological signs that something is wrong in the brain. They are classic stroke signs of an emergency nature that should never be ignored or chalked up to a problem with meds. Saying so might cause someone to let it ride until their next regular checkup, which would lead to permanent, irreversible loss of physical and mental function. These signs are every bit as emergent as crushing chest pain, and they require the same immediate professional attention.

I suggest to AnnD and bethsheba accept the word of those of us here who know what stroke symptoms look like and to never ignore them even momentarily if they happen to them or a loved one. Please take my word for it; I know of what I speak on this subject.

 
Old 01-28-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Re: My Father needs help

Midwest,

Forgive me, but it was not my intention to discount or to dismiss the symptoms of a stroke...stroke symptoms were addressed by others and lifesgood stated his father was seeing a doctor that day. For that reason I mentioned side effects that mimicked stroke symptoms because both doctors and patients often overlook the possibibilty....thus the reason med errors are one of the leading causes for death in this country.

I would like to point out that although med side effects can occur months and years after taking a med with few problems, some side effects occur within seconds or hours after a dose...and yes, side effects can mimic many stroke symptoms including speech, facial, and movement problems....I speak from personal experience and I mention that experience because too many patients and too many doctors do not make the connection!! .

Loss of control of facial muscles, loss of speech, and loss of movement may indicate that something may be wrong in the brain...but stroke is simply one possibility, there are many more. No matter what the cause, these symptoms should be reported to the proper health care professionals...strokes, med side effects, and other conditions causing these symptoms can kill.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 02-01-2009 at 01:14 PM. Reason: deleted redundancy

 
Old 01-29-2009, 04:08 AM   #13
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Re: My Father needs help

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethsheba View Post
Midwest,

Forgive me, but it was not my intention to discount or to dismiss the symptoms of a stroke...stroke symptoms were addressed by others and lifesgood stated his father was seeing a doctor that day. For that reason I mentioned side effects that mimicked stroke symptoms because both doctors and patients often overlook the possibibilty....thus the reason med errors are one of the leading causes for death in this country.

I would like to point out that although med side effects can occur months and years after taking a med with few problems, some side effects occur within seconds or hours after a dose...and yes, side effects can mimic many stroke symptoms including speech, facial, and movement problems....I speak from personal experience and I mention that experience because too many patients and too many doctors do not make the connection!! .

Loss of control of facial muscles, loss of speech, and loss of movement may indicate that something may be wrong in the brain...but stroke is simply one possibility, there are many more. No matter what the cause, these symptoms should be reported to the proper health care professionals no matter what the reason...strokes, med side effects, and other conditions causing these symptoms can kill.

Bethsheba

 
Old 01-29-2009, 04:32 AM   #14
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Re: My Father needs help

You are forgiven. I'm glad you brought up the side effects of drugs, in particular that they can appear months or even years after having first taken them. Doctors seem to think that side effects happen almost immediately, but a pharmacist will tell you they can appear years after having started the drug. I started losing hair after having been on thyroid meds for 6 months, my Doc insisted it was caused by my overactive thyroid (which by this stage was under control), I knew it was the drugs. The hair loss stopped after I stopped the drug. Sometimes it's really hard to not say what you're thinking to the Doc, after-all they're highly educated professionals. I just went along with mine, but I knew he was wrong. I have to say though they are classic stroke symptoms, having just been through it with my Mum. I wouldn't argue I'd just call an ambulance, which is what I did, my Mum will be eternally grateful as she is now fully functional and independent.

 
Old 01-29-2009, 11:48 AM   #15
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Re: My Father needs help

Vh,

Thank you for your response , for your understanding, and for keeping an open mind.

I am comforted to hear that your Mum is doing well, and that you listened to yourself and questioned the doctor's explanation of your hair loss. Unfortunately, too many people accept their doctors opinions as truth. I know, because I did for about 5 years, and and my "trust" was rewarded with a rapid and life threatening change in my health. Like you, I have learned from experience.

I think the point that I really wanted to make amidst all of this is that no matter what the cause, significant changes (changes in speech, movement, or thought for instance) are serious and need to reported to one's health care providers as soon as possible!!!

My sincerest wishes for you and your Mum's good health.

Bethsheba

 
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