My Mom 82 had a left sided isthemic stroke on Feb 21st. Her right arm as well as right leg is paralyzed. In the hospital at first all the doctors stressed was this was a fairly large stroke. She was moved to a rehab center/nursing home 10 days later. Peg was inserted before discharge. I pushed for swallow tests and it did confirm I was right and now she is on pureed foods. No speech at all even though she is getting speech therapy. At times I feel she understands what I am saying and at times I feel she is in space. For the past few days she has gotten very aggitated and cries alot. I just need some guidance and some thoughts as to what I should expect next. I don't get much of anything from the center other than, "she is 82 and this was a very large stroke." Thanks
The following user gives a hug of support to me192: Mulchie (04-20-2012)
Hello and welcome to the board. Im glad you found us. I am so sorry for what your mom is going through. I understand she can not speak but you feel she understand you. Can you establish some type of communication with her. Eg. Squeese my hand once for yes twice for no. Then go from top to bottom and ask if she is in pain. Strokes often leave us with nerve pain in our limbs on the effected side and it is so painful and agrivating. Also she may have headaches. Maybe she is becoming more aware of the pain now and is frustrated she cant relay that to everyone. I am however just guessing.
The being spaced out is normal I think. Its exhausting like I said and sometimes we just zone out.
If there is anyway you can find a way to communicate with her. Speak slow and soft to her. Noise and confusion can be overwhelming. Your communication person should be able to help you with this. Also too many questions can exhaust your mom and what seems like she was understanding at first maybe seem like suddenly after 5 questions she doesnt. Its just because she is tired and communication becomes very confusing. Do what you can to ensure her comfort and reasure her that she will get well. Be as positive as you can. Tell everyone who is involved with her recover to be quiet and gentle in their visits. "be responsible for the energy you bring to me" smartes quote I ever heard when it comes to stroke recovery.
Establishing some type of communication and establishing comfort I would start with those. Good Luck keep in touch
God Bless Mulchie
Thank you for your blessings! I do try to speak softly and slowly and not ask too much at one time, I feel that helps. When I ask if she is in pain she shakes her head no, however, when I try to move her right arm (the arm that is paraylzed), she winces in pain. Before the stroke, in 2000 she had a very serious operation that left her with constant nerve damage. She never took pain meds because she didnt tolerate them well, they made her sick. She only took advil. If she is in pain now I don't know if I should ask them to give her something because then I feel that would only make her more spacy and I don't want her "drugged" up so to speak. Since I first posted they have now moved her to a different floor in the center, the long term floor, and they told me today that as of Friday they will stop rehab. They do not feel she is progressing. All she does is cry and my heart breaks to see her like this.
The following user gives a hug of support to me192: Mulchie (04-25-2012)
I am so sorry for the pain and heartbreak that you are going through over your mothers stroke. We are all so very sensitive to what can go on in the hospitals and nursing homes in those of us who are left speechless and unable to communicate our thoughts and needs.
I can relate to much of what you dear mother is going through in the earliest part of her recovery. It is very confusing to wake up one moment and have your whole life changed. I am sure that you being there with her is her biggest comfort, no matter how much you think she knows or not. Although I am far younger that your mother was when she had her stroke, I hope that gives me the edge I need to relate much of what many of us go through. That is why we are all here, to share something that our fellow survivors, (like your mother and yourself) are trying so desperately to understand.
She will be in that hazy kind of state much of the time. That is normal while the brain is so busy working on re-establishing the connections that have been disrupted by the stroke. She will have a increased need for sleep, which is also important and very normal.
The frustration and the tears are also very common, as the new set of circumstances are so unusual and can be frightening. There are a lot of emotions that are swirling around inside.
If I may ask a few questions of you, just to get an idea of your situation better...How often is she getting visitors, and are there any other members of your family able to help you with the visiting and providing you and her with support? I hope so, although I know there are many of us who go about this all by themselves, and it is not an easy thing to experience.
How was her overall health before the stroke? How well was she able to care for herself and how was your communication before?
I agree with Mulchie's advice, that the ability for you and her to establish some sort of communication is the best first obstacle to cross. Your choice to be calming and quiet is a good one, she will gain great comfort from that.
While you may not want to interfere with her ability to be as clear minded as possible, if she is in pain, or in a state of anxiety, I do recommend a mild medication to keep her from being overcome with it. I had never encountered anxiety until those earliest days and months following my 4 strokes. Although I was able to get over that down the road, the anxiety medication made me far less fearful and afraid.
We are here for you, as those you can come to anytime with any question or support on any phase of this new and difficult time in you and your dear mothers life.
Allow time for yourself, but as much time as you can spend with your mother the better right now. I hope you have the family support to arrange for others to spend time with her as well. The nurses and caregivers at the hospital are only able to do so much and having the family there to be her advocate is her best bet. She deserves the very best care that can be had...and that often means pushing the staff for it. Never be afraid to ask lots of questions, and ask for anything you can think of that might help her get better.
Janet, Thank you for your kind words and prayers. It is so painful to see her like this. My Dad (who is 84), goes every morning at 8:30 to feed her breakfast, stays for a little while and then returns at 1 to give her lunch. Even though she has use of her left hand she refuses to feed herself and he insists on doing the feedings and not the aides. We alternate the 6pm feeding between him my brother and myself. She does get a good share of visitors so I am blessed. Before the stroke she was not a very active person due to a previous surgery that left her riddled with nerve pain. She was able to dress herself, feed herself (although Dad cooked, lol), she went to the beauty parlor once a week and occassionally to the store for a short time. Her mind was so sharp, she kept herself busy reading, doing crosswords playing cards and every little child in the neighborhood found themselves on her front porch, they enjoyed her company! It is so hard to see her like this. I am reading posts on this board and I am so hoping that with time and determination I can get some words from her. I would love if she could speak, and I do believe she is in there somewhere trying to get out. I will keep working with her even though they stopped therapy and maybe someday I can report some progress.
The following user gives a hug of support to me192: Mulchie (05-11-2012)