I found out a few days ago that a friend of mine had a stroke. It happened between church services on Sunday, and she suddenly got sick, and everyone attributed it to a sudden, severe case of the flu. On Tuesday, she was taken to the hospital by her husband, where it was determined that she had had a stroke (hemorrhagic, based on the descriptions I was given). I don't know anything else about her condition prior to going to the hospital. My question is about the relative severity of the stroke and it's prognosis. I'm completely aware that it is totally patient dependent and there's no possible way to know, but I do have some questions. First being, has anyone ever had (or knew someone who had) a hemorrhagic stroke that took a few days before discovering? I'm assuming that she continued to get worse, though I don't know what it was that finally drove them to take her to the hospital. My fear is that with waiting that long, the outlook isn't very good - but no one knew to even look for a stroke when it presented with vomiting! It's just hard for me to imagine it took that long. Could it have been a small, slow bleed? She had emergency surgery last night to relieve the pressure/swelling in her brain, and she's currently intubated, but stable. I guess my main goal right now is to get stories about similar events and how they turned out. Having a stroke in your mid to late 40s is one thing, but for it to be a hemorrhage that took 2 days to discover is another and it is very scary. I guess any comments would be welcome!
Sorry for the lack of organization, I don't really know what I want to say!
The following user gives a hug of support to Leelee28: Positive Cynic (09-24-2011)
And welcome to the forum. I am sorry about your friends stroke. I know that this time is scary and confusing to everyone involved, but let me try to ease your mind a little. First don't waste your time trying to figure out what happened in the past. There may never be any real concrete reason for who, what and why? The important thing is that she is stable now, so now she and her family and friends have to just move forward. It may take a few days to know what symptoms she has from her stroke. Every stroke is different depending on what area of the brain was affected. It will be mental or physical or any combination of both and the severity is all different to each person. For example, my stroke affected my left side of the brain only, so I had no physical problems. I could walk and use my arms and hands fine, but I could not read or write. It even took me a week to remember my wife's name. Others have horrible physical problems, like may not be able to walk, but their mind is just as normal as before the stroke. And it can also be a combination of both also. I also wouldn't worry about nobody knowing she had a stroke for 2 days. I also waited for 2 days before I went to ER. 99% of all people don't know the symptoms of a stroke, so it is really nobody's fault. The only way to avoid complications from a stroke is to get the person to the hospital within hours of it happening and it is very lucky for that to happen some one. For right now, for her, I can say she is probably scared and really doesn't understand exactly what happened to her. If she doesn't recognize you, don't panic. I know that it may seem that she is going to be like that forever, but she won't. The first 2 from a stroke are the hardest for her. But the brain right now is healing itself and re-wiring itself around the dead spot in her brain so it can try and get back to as normal as it can. Remember I could not read or write after my stroke and the doctors didn't give me and my wife much hope, but here I am. If a doctor may sound bleak, take it with a grain of salt. They are just guarding themselves. They can't say she is going to be o.k. if by chance she isn't. The doctor would look like an idiot and make a lot a people angry. The best thing you can do for her right now is to be positive when you talk to her and around her. There are dozens of stories of stroke survivors on this board that came back from their stroke. Just know that stroke recovery is a long process, but it happens everyday.
Don't hesitate for any questions you may have about your friend. That is why we are here.
Thank you Tim for your kind response. I appreciate it. It's reassuring that many people don't get to the hospital within hours of having a stroke. I wish I could say she's making progress. Unfortunately, swelling in her brain lead to emergency surgery (on Thursday night) and she's been sedated since. They tried to ween her off of the sedative, but her BP is still dangerously high. Today they trached her and are giving her a feeding tube. It's been rough for everyone, but we're praying things can get under control and we can get her awake and into rehab. Only God know what will come of this. Praying for the best!
I will pray with you as I know that many that read this board will too. Please keep us posted here on her progress. We are a family of stroke survivors on this forum and we do care deeply to our new posts and each new situation. May I as your friends name?
Thanks and God Bless,
The following user gives a hug of support to Positive Cynic: Leelee28 (09-28-2011)
Her name is Karen. She has the most beautiful soul and it breaks my heart to think of how she is right now. The only update I have is that she's trached and has the feeding tube, but response has been minimal. They say the doctors are emphasizing this was a massive stroke, and it will be a while before we really know what's going on. We aren't allowed to visit yet, which is understandable. I look forward to visiting her when I can. I wait every day for an email update (she's from my church, so they're keeping the whole congregation posted), and my heart always drops when I see one, because you just never know what it's going to say. It's still surreal that that morning I was singing with her in choir, and shortly after I left she had the stroke. It's strange how you know things like this happen, but no matter how many stories you hear, it's nothing like that, you just never see it coming. Totally changes your perspective.
I deeply appreciate the prayers, I know her family does too. The support is wonderful and comforting. I'll pray for all of you as well! Thank you!
Thanks for the update. I know it looks grim to you right now but don't give up hope. I am sure the first thing the doctors have to do is get the brain swelling down. That is a major concern. Once that gets normalized, then they will be able to deal with the stroke and what symptoms have come from that. When you are able to finally see here, she may not be able to talk or recognize you, but don't worry. She will not be like that forever. Our brains are amazing and they are able to heal themselves and they re-wire themselves to try and get back to normal. There is one of our stroke family that writes quite often on here and she had 4 strokes and was in a coma for 2 years if you can believe that. And she posts here all the time and is so sweet and is really blessing to us all. And there are many other wonderful stories of hope and recovery after a stroke - even a major stroke that may sound just unimaginable to you. I will continue to pray and give good and positive thoughts to Karen as her stroke recovery is already starting even now. It is a very long a slow process as any stroke survivor will tell you, but everyday is progress. I hope to hear from you again soon.
The following user gives a hug of support to Positive Cynic: Leelee28 (09-29-2011)
I was 24 hours in stroke before getting to hospital then they sent me home while I was still in stroke. I am now 15 months in recovery and I am doing great. I think the improvements for me were gradual but I am still improving and i think the last few weeks I am seeing even more improvement. Stroke is such a frightening thing to watch someone go through. But remember, how she is now is not how she will be forever. Her poor brain is swollen and trying to cope. Just the swelling alone can cause so many problems. Stay positive, and I hope you continue to post and inform us on how she is doing.
Joining you in prayer for Karen.
God Bless Mulchie
Thanks for your response Mulchie! It's encouraging to hear your success, and I appreciate the prayers!
I'm sorry it's taken so long to update you all! I've been quite busy with school. But I have excellent news! Karen is progressing very well! They have moved her out of the ICU, and they are preparing to move her to an acute care facility for rehab within the next week or 2! She's been working hard with her PT and OT, and yesterday they put in a smaller trach so that she can start working on vocalization with her speech therapy. Her husband notes that he can see her frustrations with her (Current) limitations, but she seems to be doing more and understanding more each day! It's little steps, but it's very encouraging.
I'm so thankful for where we have gotten thus far! Thank you all so much for all of your prayers! God is most certainly at work in Karen.
I hope to continue having positive updates!
The following user gives a hug of support to Leelee28: Mulchie (10-15-2011)
That is wonderful news. Now the work really begins for her. Have you been able to see her yet? Her frustration is normal. I remember that feeling well. It is the simplest task is a struggle. And it is re-learning things you never even thought about, that were second nature. But let her now that it will not be that way forever. Everyday is a little step in recovery. Tell Karen that she has a whole cheering section for her that are all over the world!!!! That we are routing for her and believe in her and want her to get home and be happy and hopefully will be able to meet us on-line real soon.
Hello - I have had a hemorrhagic stroke. If I can answer any questions, please let me know. I am not a doctor, but I am 15 years past the first one, and 2 since the second. My heart goes out to you, as I can only imagine this is a very frustrating time for your friend and her family. best wishes,
Last edited by wilso2fc; 10-16-2011 at 12:50 AM.
Thanks all for the kind words, blessings, and thoughts!
I haven't been able to see her yet, but hoping I can sometime soon. Good news - she's talking and eating! They put in a smaller trach last week and she's vocalizing, and pretty accurately, and they did a swallow test, which was excellent, and now she's eating!
It's so exciting and encouraging!
Thanks again everyone for, well, everything! I really appreciate it, as does she and her family!
The following user gives a hug of support to Leelee28: Positive Cynic (10-19-2011)