On February 4, 2012, I spoke with my mom on my way home from a business trip at 3:30. She sounded a little like she was sleepy, but I didn't pay much attention to it, because I knew that my children, dad, and husband were there with her, and that I would be at home in about an hour. The day before, we talked for a long time planning our Superbowl Sunday party. At 4:51 my sister called me and said to get to my parents' house in a hurry because my mom was really sick and my dad had to call an ambulance for her. I got there at 4:53, and my life changed forever. My mom was barely conscious, drooling, and sitting on the floor. We were at the emergency room by 5:30. At 5:45, the ER doctor came in and told me and my family that my mom would not make it through the night. I threw a complete fit! I screamed, cried, hyperventilated, prayed! You see, my mommy is my best friend and I couldn't imagine that my life with her was ending so suddenly. I was in a nightmare.
My mom had suffered a intracerebral hemmorhaggic stroke on the right side of her brain. It was a deep bleed, that caused a very large amount of bleeding. She complained to my dad about an hour before it happened that she had a terrible headache. Right before I arrived at their house, she vomitted. Her head must have been hurting earlier in the day because she took two aspirin at around noon, which caused even more bleeding. She had never been sick before. Only had slightly high blood pressure. She was very active, healthy, and happy.
She was unconscious when we arrived at the hospital. They put in a ventricular drain and gave her hypertonic solution to try to reduce the oncoming brain swelling. On days 1-6, the doctors would come in and try to wake her. Then it all stopped. They gave up all hope and told us that we needed to consider hospice as she was not likely to ever emerge from the coma due to her age (70) and the brain damage. She was in ICU for 3 weeks, and then once the drain was removed, she was put into a regular room for 3 days. During this entire time, my family and I went through a lot; but, we never stopped praying and praising God for healing her. I thanked the Lord over and over each day for healing my mommy fully and immediately and for sending his angels to comfort her. The doctors were so negative about her condition, but we never let them talk in front of her.
I thanked the Lord on day 10, when they took her off the ventilator. I thanked the Lord that all of her vitals remained stable; that she had not developed any secondary illnesses; and, that she did not have any of the seizures the doctors were sure she would develop. I praised God that she remained stroke free following her initial attack.
We listened to what the doctors had to say, but felt that the brain is a mystery, so they didn't really know. Especially after one older doctor told me he saw no reason why she wouldn't recover.
After she left the regular room, she was transferred to a LTAC hospital. The doctors there did not give her much hope either. But we kept praying and praising God! On March 2nd, she began taking amantadine, which I suggested to her doctor after catching a glimpse (no doubt God sent glimpse) about it on Good Morning America. On March 8th, my mom started responding to commands! Her neuro witnessed it, and told us that he was going to tell us that night that there was no hope for recovery; but, what he witnessed was a 'game changer' in his opinion.
Even though my mommy is still very ill, she is improving every day. She was in a coma 33 days. Today is day 45 and she laughs, waves, kicks, shows us two fingers, and according to her pt, could be up and walking next week.
I'm sending this message because when this first happened, I found a lot of hope from the messages on this site. Never stop asking the Lord Jesus to heal your loved one. Thank the Lord for healing your loved one over and over, even when there seems to be no hope. Faith is believing in those things you cannot see. The Lord is compassionate. Miracles do happen. I am witnessing one now.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CaraRara For This Useful Post: jlh1 (05-13-2012), mary63 (05-11-2012)
Mary, thank you so much for asking. A lot has happened since I last posted. My mom continues to improve. On April 12th, she was moved to a skilled nursing/rehab center much closer to our home. The move made it much easier for my dad, who spends each day with her. While she was in the hospital and LTAC my sister, brother and I alternated nights that we spent with her. The nursing facility does not allow us to stay overnight with her; but, being so close, we can keep a good eye on her care.
Thank the Lord Jesus that she is getting stronger and stronger. She talks, reads, and writes. She can brush her own teeth, and she knows where she is, and that she had a stroke. She writes on her notepad at least once a week that she will walk out of the nursing home!!
When she gets sad, I remind her that we have so very much to be thankful for - she is here with us and she is getting better. The Lord has truly blessed us. I know it gets hard for us - and, it's hard for all of us watching her work so hard to get better; but, everyday she improves. Today, in anticipation of her coming home for a few hours on Mother's Day, the PTs showed us how to put her in my car. They then told me that I could take her for a ride!! I wanted to take her home forever!! She was so happy and we all witnessed a miracle. My family and I just continue to let her know how much we love her and we all keep praying for her recovery.
She has some left-side neglect, and sometimes we find it hard to understand what she is saying (especially late in the day when she is tired from therapy). But, hopefully her trach will come out on Wednesday, and she will pass her swallow test.
I just want to remind anyone who reads this that this is a woman for whom the doctors never gave any hope. Even once she survived, they told us she would never wake from her coma, then she would just be an invalid. Since March 8th, 33 days after her stroke, my mom has hugged and kissed me everyday. Don't give up hope, don't lose your faith - the Lord is compassionate and answers prayers.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: CaraRara mary63 (05-12-2012), ml56 (05-13-2012)
Thats so great..all that hard work and loving support has helped her. She sounds very strong. She will keep improving as people do for many many months after strokes. My husband couldn't move at all- only blink. Now at least he can drive a power wheelchair.. I wish he had been luckier but his stroke was a devastating one. He is a very strong person too and the will to survive is incredible!
Thank you very much for sharing your story of hope and faith. Stroke are very mysterious and powerful. All of us on the stroke board always encourage others to do just what you and your family has done, and that is never to give up, never allow anyone to speak negatively in front of the patient and never allow the negative prognosis to leave you without hope for a miracle.
While each of us have very different kinds of strokes, affecting all parts of the brain, we all have very different recoveries as well. We al consider ourselves stroke survivors, mainly in honor of the many others who loose the battle with stroke.
I hope your mothers day is the most wondrous of all, and that you continue to see your mother regain the losses that she is now fighting.
thank you for posting your story of survival and faith.