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Mystfit 07-31-2018 05:05 AM

Brain damage recovery?
My father has been in the hospital for almost 3 months after an alcohol related fall down the stairs. The damage was to the back of the head, included 2 subdural hematomas and a couple skull fractures. No surgical intervention, no shift. It is only the last month that has has been 'awake'. He was in a medically induced coma for a few weeks and then in sort of a semi-consciousness for weeks after. He could be awoken briefly but would return to 'sleep'. He is now in rehab and regaining mobility and strength, but there are many cognitive issues and I'm curious if anyone has knowledge of where my expectations should be. I love across the country and though I travel up there as often as I can, I don't have contact with his doctors to understand things as I would like.
Ask him the days of the week, months of the year, he's on it. Ask him which is different..coat, sweater, shirt, wallet. Can't do it. What do bird, insect and helipcopters have in common, he finally came up with 'wings' which is mostly right ;) But had to be led to the answer they can fly. What would happen if you drove a car too fast? He got one answer (ticket) but not a second. His memories are intact, he can read, all that. But, remembering to use the call bell to call a nurse, he can't (or won't) do.
Is this something that will improve with time? I mean, honestly, it's just been slightly less then a month since he's really been 'awake'. Not that long in the scale of things really. I just don't know where to set my expectations.

MSNik 07-31-2018 05:36 PM

Re: Brain damage recovery?
Mysfit, who is your dad's power of attorney? Is your mom still with him or has he assigned someone else to be his health care proxy? Someone must be making decisions for him since it doesnt sound like he is capable of making them for himself. Can you ask that person what the doctor is saying?

The brain is a big mystery. I dont think anyone is ever sure of what it is capable of doing...but a hematoma is like a big blood clot under the skin and fractures, well are "cracks" or "breaks". It doesnt sound like surgical intervention was required because it doesnt sound like it would have helped. The coma they put him in makes sense- they do this to allow the swelling to go down and it sounds like it did...

They will probably introduce cognitive and behavioral therapy into the mix once your dad is stronger and its quite possible that all of his functions might return to normal- but your guess is probably as good as a doctor's at this point...time is on his side and it sounds like he is making progress- all things considered. Prayers to both of you for a full recovery....but see if you can find out who is making his decisions and ask them what the doctors are saying.

Mystfit 08-02-2018 04:41 AM

Re: Brain damage recovery?
My sister has power of attorney and I'm sure it's not a matter of them not addressing things well as much as it's a matter of translation ;) By the time it gets passed through a few different hands, what I get it more watered down information then an old retired nurse wants ;)

I guess I'm just looking for guidance as to where to set my expectations. Do I hope for a full recovery, do we expect recovery but after a lengthy period of time? I actually know there are no real answers to that. We're all just tired and overloaded after 3 months of stress. We are grateful of his progress but when he can't tell which two parts of the body start with the letter e, we think wow. That seems kinda bad....

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