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Old 06-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

Hello,
I posted earlier in the week about my MIL who had a major ischemic stroke on June 5th. She had pressure and swelling in her brain that wasn't going down, so she had a craniotomy this part Saturday, the 11th and actually came through it well. She was in the ICU for 5 days but today was transferred to the step-down neuro ICU, so she is definitely getting better, albeit very slowly. My question is concerning her ability to speak and when that will come back. She was on a ventilator while in the ICU but got off of it for good on Tuesday, which is a milestone and actually on that day, she did try to talk a little bit. BUt how long does it take for her ability to really speak come back? And also, do stroke victims ever learn to express emotion on their faces again? My MIL is a woman who really had a great smile and was pretty happy most of the time, so it is hard to see her just laying there void of any emotion on her face at all. It's like her personality has been taken away and there is just a shell of a person there right now. I know it is early on and rehab does help a lot, but just trying to figure out what we can expect as we go forward here. Thanks everyone.

 
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

I am so sorry to hear about MIL. I am no professional but I am going through stroke recovery myself. I know early in recovery is the most important time for phsio and occupational therapy etc. I think one of the best things you can do is advocate for MIL and make sure she is getting all the help available to her early in her recovery. Yes people continue to recover well into the months ahead but the first weeks and months are the most important. When the swelling goes down in her brain and her throat becomes less irratated from the ventilator all these things will bring results in her recovery. Dont give up and dont let her give up.
God Bless
Mulchie

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
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Re: Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

Thank you so much Mulchie for your words of wisdom! Especially coming from someone who has gone through a stroke yourself. And yes, after she had the ventilator out, she has been trying to speak more and I can tell that she wants to say so much more but she just can't right now. But every day there is definite progress. And I know she can understand and respond to us, I just would really love to see her smile again. She has a great smile and right now she just kind of looks at us and tries to communicate with her eyes and hands (her good hand) but she doesn't really express emotion in her face. I suppose that will come in time also. We are ready to put her in a good rehab facility in the next day or two so we hope that they will be able to put her through intensive rehab that will bring some semblance of her personality back. Overall though, she is doing very well, especially for someone of her age. thanks again for your kind words Mulchie, I appreciate it!

 
Old 06-20-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

You sound so positive and that will bring her such energy. We will hope and pray for the return of her smile. What a gift that will be. Hang in there it sounds like your doing a great job.

 
Old 06-21-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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Re: Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

Lisa,
I believe that her pretty little smile will come back in time. She is probably afraid and still does not totally understand what has happened to her. Unless she is unable to smile because some face muscles are limp from the stroke, she will smile again when the fear and confusion subsides. I think I looked like I just saw a ghost right after my stroke. Just comfort her and let her know everything is going to be o.k.
Tim

 
Old 06-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: Question Re: Speaking Ability and Facial Expressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positive Cynic View Post
Lisa,
I believe that her pretty little smile will come back in time. She is probably afraid and still does not totally understand what has happened to her. Unless she is unable to smile because some face muscles are limp from the stroke, she will smile again when the fear and confusion subsides. I think I looked like I just saw a ghost right after my stroke. Just comfort her and let her know everything is going to be o.k.
Tim
Thank you Tim for your positive words! Yes, that is kind of what i was wondering is whether she even knows what happened to her and if she is aware that she even had a stroke. I know she is frustrated too and tries to talk more but she can't really get what she wants to say out right now. But as far as her physical condition, she is doing so well that they are discharging her from the hospital into a rehab center tomorrow, which is incredible really, considering she just had a craniotomy a week and three days ago. So we're really into the beginning days of her rehab and helping her get some sense of normalcy back in her life, though I doubt that she will be living with us again in our home. And yes, hopefully she will begin to have more facial expressions soon. Yes, she does kind of look like she's "just seen a ghost", as you say, and kind of stares at you but I know she recognizes us, she is just really tired right now. I must say though that this board has been an incredible source of information and inspiration. Glad I was able to find you guys!

 
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