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Old 09-14-2005, 08:02 PM   #1
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how do you know how bad a stroke is....

I just got back from visiting my dad at the hospital. The moved him from the ccu neuro unit to the regular icu unit. I personally see improvements ever so slight, but my mother and brother don't. He has a drain in his nose for stomach fluids to drain and a feeding tube. He can gag, clear his throat, and the ccu nurse said he had good gag reflex. They say he can't swallow and needs the tube. If he did drink something on his own they say there is a chance it would go down the wrong way and asphyxiate him. He squeezes my hand and 2 days ago he said he wanted a coke. His eyes open some, but lately he has been quieter and sleepy. We asked him tonight if he wanted to die and he shook his head no. Asked if he wanted to keep fighting and he said yes. My questions are as follows. Some back ground info. Had a bad headache, lost balance, brain bleed, stroke, stopped bleeding with a drain in skull, heart almost stopped, now it's o.k. I read that 20% of stoke patients have the hemoragic stroke. This was supposed to be better because the brain wasn't deprived of oxygen. It is usually more fatal, but we are past that.
1. He's only been in 10 days. Is my mom to hasty in thinking he won't get better?
2. Do stroke patients regain their swallowing ability with therapy?
3. Is he really responding to me or is it wishful thinking?
4. After Terri Shiavo, you wonder if you are keeping him alive when he doesn't have a chance at life, by that I mean, to think, communicate in some way, use the bathroom facilities, feed and dress themselves?
I don't want to lose my dad after we worked so hard to keep his heart beating, just to give up now. I know stroke recovery takes time, but I need info to help my mom understand this.

Thanks,
Nancy

 
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:20 PM   #2
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Hi,
Please know that we know what you are going through. My mother in law and my father had a stroke several years ago and I myself had a ministroke in February.
Strokes leave you very, very fatigued as the body spends tremendous amounts of energy to try to heal itself. There were times we had to mix a food thickener in the food of our parents to enable them to swallow as sometimes the stroke paralyzes a side of the throat and swallowing mechanism. After a while they were able to swallow if the food and or liquid was either hot or cold, but nothing in between.
Never give up hope as with prayers, time and therapy there is great progress. We signed up for stroke magazine which gives much insight for stroke patients and their caregivers.
I had my ministroke in February and cannot even begin to describe the extreme fatigue, much less trying to get my body to cooperate. The first few months were mostly resting and sleeping, which allows the body time it needs to restructure and to rejuvenate. I have had six months of residual side effects that I didn't know about until a kind nurse explained what all happens after a stroke. (this was after a visit to the er a few months after the stroke)
The best help we found was on computer web sites such as this one and also by reading everything we could get our hands on as I was sent home after two days with no instructions. The first two days I couldn't use my rights side, but my speech was returning to normal.
It is extremely tiresome for both the patient and the caregiver. Please allow yourselves to be human and to allow the time needed to even to begin to recoup. The main thing is to get extreme amounts of rest to allow the body to recover. Please know my husband and I both have you and your family in our prayers. Ask lots of questions and learn as much as you can from all sources of information. We have only learned by trial and error, but mostly were able to find out alot from health boards and stroke support websites. Take care and God bless you and your family

Last edited by dwallech; 09-14-2005 at 08:22 PM.

 
Old 09-16-2005, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Jack,
No, I understand your point, but we knew he was aware of his surroundings and had to make sure he wanted us to fight for him. I have had relatives who said they would prefer to die. My grandma was like this, she was tired of fighting and just wanted to go. We finally got to speak to a dr. and it was outside of his room. I know he can hear and I try to remind everyone to keep the conversation in the room light and relaxed. The dr. says he follows commands very well. He asked him to hold up 2 fingers and he could. He mumbled that he wanted ice cream. The dr. even said that the feeding tube can be reversed and if this was his dad he would have it put in, but also put a dnr in effect so no heroic measures will be used for his heart. I don't ever think his heart was down completely, it would just go to 200 bpm, which causes a strain. The dr. even showed us his ct on the computer. It effects about 25% of the brain on the picture. It is in the back.

Nancy

 
Old 11-08-2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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Smile Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Jack
I had a stroke in January,2005 and I really want to talk about it. Since the stroke, I don't talk much but I want to.

Last edited by puffi; 11-08-2005 at 07:32 PM.

 
Old 11-08-2005, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

[QUOTE=puffi][FONT=Courier New]Jack[/FONT
I had a stroke in January,2005 and I really want to talk about it. Since the stroke, I don't talk much but I want to.

Last edited by puffi; 11-08-2005 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Wrong form.

 
Old 11-08-2005, 07:37 PM   #6
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

[QUOTE=puffi]
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffi
[FONT=Courier New]Jack[/FONT
I had a stroke in January,2005 and I really want to talk about it. Since the stroke, I don't talk much but I want to.

 
Old 01-22-2006, 12:45 AM   #7
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Hi so sorry to hear about your father,i lost my dad three years ago from brainstem stroke,He had a big stroke 10 years earlier which left him unable to use his right arm,He was in hospital three month on that occasion.But on march 13th 2003 at night we got a call from the hospital he had a major stroke we were told on that night they don't expect him to live the night.
The only thing they had to do was put fluid line in but thats law anyway even if someone is brain dead.He was moved to a room on his own so we could stay with him,We spent every day and night by his side waiting for him to die the doctors only coming in every now and then saying his heart is so strong,We cann't beleive he is still here.The doctors wouldn't be doing all they could if they thought he had NOT GOT A CHANCE.I had to demand a brain scan just to be sure there was nothing the doctors could do.Although my dad hadn't used his right arm for 10 years he managed to squeeze my husbands hand,Also he kept moving his feet so was hopeing but doctors said its just reflex's.I also asked for pain releif for him as i thought that he was in pain due to him being restless but when given pain releif he seemed to calm down.In the end it was so bad all his bodly function were giving in.Still unable to respond to us,Nurses were good they kept coming in and turning him.His breathing was also very bad we watched has it was very shallow then started breathing fast there is a word for it certain type of breathing brain dead people have.Well he finaly passed away 10 days later we sat there all the time just as my sister had nodded of at 5.30am (as we were taking turns three sisters.) He passed away just like dad he was so private didn't like people fussing.So while the doctors still have hope and are doing there best have hope yourself.GOD BE WITH YOU AT THIS TIME AND YOUR FAMILY.

 
Old 02-15-2006, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

I appreciate your writing. I wish more people would post on this site. My dad is up and walking, but he doesn't recognize the left side of his body. His left shoulder drops and he walks into things. We are trying to get him to move his head so that he can adjust for what isn't there any more. My grandfather lost his eye and lived for about 40+ yrs very well without it. I just wish my dad could get to that level. It would really make his life much better. Sometimes along with a stroke comes dementia or alzheimers. We are watching this closely because he has shown tendencies toward this. It's hard watching him like this and the way he treats my mother. Someone on the board said stroke victims get nasty after the stoke. I love him dearly and am happy to have him, but also feel we have all been cheated by this.

 
Old 02-16-2006, 05:41 AM   #9
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

HI as i have said i lost my dad to stroke,there was nothing anybody could do as it was brainstem.yes he also had problems before that he was unable to use his right side for 10 years before is brainstem one.He to was nasty on occasions but what he was feeling must have been hard working hard to provide for us children,and my mum to having no life he was so depressed.he only left the house at xmas when he would come to us to see his grandchildren.but it didn't help my mum moaning when he wanted a smoke,he had already had the stroke so he thought he had nothing left only is fags.The doctors did say he wasn't helping himself and wanted my mum to do everything for him,so you must push your dad to try and help himself. I know how you feel i could'nt cope with what my dad was left like for 10 years,and my husband kept saying tell him you love him i couldn't as i never felt it was my dad he wasn't the same but now its to late we lost him in 2002,although i sat with him while he was dieing and told him i loved him,i will never know if he heard.so good luck and hope your father gets some life back.sending all my love to you and your family,it is hard but all my prayers are with you.

Last edited by suziewong; 02-16-2006 at 05:42 AM.

 
Old 03-01-2006, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Suzie,
I really enjoyed reading your post. My dad has lost a considerable amount of weight and is looking very tired lately. he has been in the hospital twice lately for incontinence and spasms. It's true what alot of people have written. He can behave like a child at times, which is usually harmful for him. I understand he is frustrated because he realizes he can't do what he did before and he isn't who he was before. I do love him and am glad I have him, but it is hard for everyone involved. Sometimes you just wonder when the next shoe is going to fall. Some how I feel we are just buying time. It'll be getting warmer here soon and he will be able to get outside some. I'm sure that'll help him a bit.

Nancy

 
Old 03-01-2006, 08:04 PM   #11
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Good evening,
I just suffered my second stroke in two years. Both in Feb 05 and Feb 06. Is there any way I can help you with any information or anything else?

 
Old 03-01-2006, 08:05 PM   #12
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Hope we can all help each other who have been through strokes and are understanding of each other

 
Old 03-01-2006, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: how do you know how bad a stroke is....

Hi just thought i would ask have you not got a stroke society group in your area, in the uk we have were they come and pick the person up who's had a stroke then take them to join other stroke victims, So they can chat and get to know there illness, Sorry to say my dad wouldn't go as they do have to try and help them selves, Also my dad wouldn't face the world so when it was warm weather still he would sit inside.There should be a place where the family's get help to learn more about the illness and how to cope. It is so hard i do wish you all the luck in the world. GODBLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. xx

 
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