My dad who is 68 had a stroke yesterday. He is so healthy and never sick. He lives in Utah and I'm in Ohio. I'm having a hard time getting good information because of different family members own take on the situation. GRRRRR. But today my dad was walking, feeding himself but cannot communicate. He did say the ABC's and was able to count to 30. My mom said he is so frustrated, he cannot write either. I have so many questions but don't know where to start. What can we expect in the first few days? Should I go now or wait?
Hello Priddy, and welcome to our family of stroke survivors and those who love them..and that is definitely you! I can here the despair and fear in your words, and we are here to help,
First of all, the signs that you mentioned about his early recovery is that he is up, walking, and frustrated because communication is so difficult. Those are all positive signs, so soon after his stroke. At such an early point following his stroke, the next few days should shed some more light on what had happened, and how it is affecting him.
I would say the best thing everyone can do now is to try and keep him calm and remind his that this process can be slow, but he will get better. Being a healthy active man before the stroke will likely prove to be valuable in his recovery. It is also helpful in his probable desire to return to his pre-stroke life as much as possible. Although younger and healthier folks are having strokes, our recoveries can be quite amazing.
I had four serious strokes at 43, and have gone on to make a full recovery, nine years later now. I was left unable to speak, walk, think, and it took me years to get passed that. But I come here to encourage other stroke survivors to make their best recovery by sharing their experience with other stroke survivors and their families. Strokes are a complex and easily mis-understood events in our lives that can change us forever in a second.
I am so happy you have found this place to help you through this next period of your life, as your father recovers and you learn about how stroke will affect your life and family.
As far as your question about the proper response time for you to go, that is up to you. While the early time in the hospital is very trying on the loved ones, once he gets home, he will need help. Whether that is in the next few days, or much longer will depend on the next few days tests and evaluation of your dads swallowing, ability to eat and drink, any weaknesses, deficits, or weakened muscles, cognitive function, and overall vitality.
One suggestion is to provide him with a dry erase board, large enough for him to write large, his writing could be affected. That will make communication easier, and give you an idea of his cognitive function.
As far as you getting the story straight, there is a good chance there are several things floating around at this point. Can you speak to him on the phone, even if he cant talk back, it is still good to talk to him, encourage him and let him know you love him.
Keep coming back with your questions and let us know how he is doing, and the rest of the family,
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to writeleft For This Useful Post: Mulchie (07-24-2012), Priddy (07-25-2012)
After numerous tests we still don't have an answer for the stroke, but he is going home today!!!
I spoke with him again on the phone last night and although difficult, it was wonderful! He told me who came to visit yesterday. What he had for breakfast, which I thought was remarkable since I don't even remember what I had! Still some difficulty trying to tell me about some things but I get that.
As much of good news and going home is great, I still fear what caused the stroke. How can they treat him if they don't know? I worry that they are letting him leave too soon... I worry about the home care. Still so many questions...
Thanks for the welcome, I am sure I will be back and share/read more.
The fact that they have released him home is great news, in that he has obviously passed all the tests required to be released. The fact that the origin of his stroke is yet to be determined, does not mean that it will remain that way. Each stroke is a unique experience to the individual, and that includes what leads up to it, as well as what comes from it. Your feeling of frustration is shared by many of our members here, who have also not yet determined what caused their strokes. Many will be determined during the follow up care, or made known down the road using any number of techniques.
One of the first tough lessons is the time frame under which everything happens in stroke recovery. While your dad is off to a very quick initial recovery, the overall recovery is often measured in months rather than weeks, while there will also be aspects which you will notice improvement in daily. Much of this will be determined by your dads attitude and inner strength. Of course, there cannot be enough said about the power of love and support we have available to us from friends, family and our medical team.
This seems like a good time to mention the importance of each of you offering your support and energy towards your fathers recovery, be sure to make extra time for yourselves and each other. This is one of those times where your mother may wear herself out caring for your dad, and she will be the one in need of a break on a regular basis. (My own mother fell and broke her neck after becoming dehydrated and exhausted caring for my dad in his last weeks). This is a real issue not to be overlooked.
You may be surprise how many of us consider our strokes to be huge positive turning points in our lives, but we do. I am one of many of us here who have expressed this. Until faced with such a huge event in our lives, do we get the chance to make the decisions we do, and to make the choices we do.
Have you decided when you are going to go see him and your mom? Once he gets home, there will likely be quite a few adjustments to be made to accommodate his new needs and provide comfort for him. Much of this will be learn as you go. His needs will be different. He may be on new medications, He may have therapy appointments and doctors visits quite often. He nay be forgetful, tire very easily, be unsteady on his feet, he may become frustrated easily with simple tasks he now struggles with. He may get plain old mad at the whole thing. All these things and more are quite normal, and these are the things we can assure you about as they come up. He may not sleep, or sleep all the time.
What ever you experience, you are not alone. We are all here to help and to comfort you. While there are always new ones to us, most of what you will experience will be familiar to us. Again, we are so happy you are here with us, and we are here to help in any way we can. The best to you and your entire family.