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    Old 07-27-2004, 03:32 PM   #1
    DJman's Avatar
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    My mother took a stroke about 2 weeks ago but today she was back in ER
    because she de-hydrated. The doctor said she has a weak swallow response
    and doesn't eat or drink fluids. Can she regain her swallow ability?

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    Old 07-28-2004, 08:36 AM   #2
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    Re: Swallowing

    hi DJman, I'm sorry to read of your mother's recent stroke. I've read many of the posts here regarding stroke. have been a member of these boards for quite a while but seldom post. many of you have been thrown into the position of being the caregiver of a loved one who suffered stroke? it's a tough job, nobody really wants? but, maybe I can give you some perspective from the stroke survivor's side. I myself, suffered a massive stroke on November 2nd. 1992, that's coming up on 12 years ago! while each stroke is different, I've not read of any here or anywhere? that the cause, was in anyway like mine. my stroke was due to being crushed from my waist to my head in an on the job construction accident. in the hospital emergency room, I can remember most everything very well up to the point of my lapsing into a 9 day coma, even remember much of my time in coma, though can't really pinpoint any true timelines during the 9 days. my hospital records, list my admitting condition as "brain dead." as well as, listing a full 8 minutes, of my being clinically dead. I'm assuming, it's during this time? my stroke actually occured? though none of my team of doctors, "the experts" can tell me exactly when or why, I had a stroke? as I had been concious and responsive up until the coma. for those interested? I can tell you this from experience! people in coma, can hear, do think, in my case, because my left eye never closed, I could even see! after coming out of my coma, I told my doctors of comversations they'd had with my wife and family, I told them many of the names of the people who had been to visit me and what some of them had been wearing.

    my stroke was on the right side of my brain, leaving my entire left side paralyzed, had been left hand dominant. my wife was told, I'd likely not live through the night, this I'd heard them saying! she tells me was told that for a period of about 3 weeks?

    please remember 2 weeks, even several months! is a relatively a short time, in the scheme of stroke recovery. it's a lifelong process! I still can see improvements in myself after nearly 12 years! though subtle they may be?

    "swallowing" yes, I had some trouble swallowing. not so much the swallowing reflex? my brain couldn't distinguish, thick liquids from thin? all my food was ground into a mushy like texture so would be thick but not clumps? all my thin liquids had a thickening agent mixed in so not to go down wrong side? plus i had to drink everything through a straw. believe me thick cold water or hot black coffee? sipped through a straw, is not my idea of gormet dining! this went on for about 6 months, was supervised by my speech therapist.

    the key to stroke revovery involves several things, the main thing is extensive therapies just as soon as rthe patient is stable enough to begin! it's hard work, very tiring! requires a positive attitude and much family and friend's support! therapies include PT physical therapy,OT occupational therapy, speech therapy, though the patient may talk just fine? speech therapy helps with the breathing and strengthening the lungs and throat muscles. cognitive therapy, to help with the thinking processes, some physocological therapy to help with the anxiety, the anxiety and depression can be a real beast to overcome! even several hours of bio-feedback, to help the patient learn to relax can be of great benefit. think I had about 1,000 hours of bio-feedback? then my hospital and rehabilitation stay lasted nearly 2 and 1/2 years following my work accident and stroke.

    I'll be happy to help anyone with any questions asked! if I'm able to answer them? not as an expert but as my own experience permits? will get into the revolving door of the rolloer-coaster rides of the emotional turmoil next time, and there is a bunch!

    this aint easy! no matter which side you're on?

    may god bless us all

    happiness is a way of life, not a goal in life, success comes in cans not can'ts

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