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    Old 05-07-2006, 01:50 PM   #1
    rnorberg
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    Questions about Recovery

    Hello All,
    My Mother had a stroke Feb 05. While the Doctors say it was a really bad one she is doing well considering. The problem(s) we are having diffuclty with are
    1: Her left hand/arm still hasn't recovered. She is getting very frustrated at inability to use it. She is in therepy and complains that they are doing more harm than good?? Is that possible? She used to crochet for hours, and if she could do this simple act again it would be so good for her. Does anyone have this issue or can you recommend a device that would enable her to crochet? She is right handed so that is the hand she uses the needle in the left hand is for the tension. (I don't crochet so that is how she explained it to me?) Any help or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.

    2: Because she had the stroke, and Since her left hand is disabled, the DMV has taken her driver license. (She didn't pass the driving test) They said she must go through a occupational drivers therapy but I am unable to locate any proffesionals with this sort of designation.
    She lives in the Redding/Red Bluff area of California. Any clues on associations or charters to find this type of help would be greatly appreciated.

    I am really glad I found this board. I have read some of the stories and actually teared up because I know how some of you are feeling.
    Anyway, Thank you for any help you can be for my issues.
    Take care and good luck to you and your loved ones.

    Last edited by rnorberg; 05-07-2006 at 01:52 PM.

     
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    Old 05-14-2006, 07:39 PM   #2
    rtucker71
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    My mom had her stroke a week ago and it was considered to be a "light" stroke. My concern is her therapy while in hospital. Speech, physical and cognitive therapies are all being used. I can detect no speech abnormality and her cognition seems fine. The physical therapy is to strenghten her legs back to a point where she can walk unassisted.

    I also am concerned about her ability to return to driving say in 6-8 weeks. Is this too soon?

    Any help on "light" stroke therapy would be beneficial and greatly appreciated.

     
    Old 05-15-2006, 09:58 PM   #3
    seattlejavagirl
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    check "ontheroad,again", where they have info about driver retraining. Good luck.

     
    Old 05-16-2006, 06:42 PM   #4
    Larry88
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    Thumbs up Re: Questions about Recovery

    hi rnorberg, I'm very sorry about your mother's situation. I can relate to her frustration as, my stroke also effected my entire left side. only I was left handed! I'm sorry I have no suggestions for equipment, or methods, to help with her hand/arm issues. I do not crochet. I just always thought it was curl one & knit two? nobody, can predict what if any improvements she may regain in her affected side? my own stroke was just over 13 1/2 years ago, I've not regained one iota of improvement in my left arm/hand. my therapists, always told me, the affected arm/hand, is most always last to regain anything. if it ever does? it all depends on the damaged area if the brain? and the severity of that damage? all strokes are different for different people.

    I also failed my driving evaluation. by law, at least in my state PA. after any traumatic brain injury, that's what a stroke is! by law your neauroligist must report it to the DMV. where they revoke driving priviliges automaticaly, due to the chance of possible siezure activity for two years? if she is like me? she may only need a turn signal crossover bar, and steeringwheel turning knob? those knobs are hard to get used to! my problem,"they said" was left neglect? during my driving tests, I didn't read the signs on both sides of the road, the test was just driving around the rehabilitation hospital's parkinglot and grounds. the signs on both sides of the road said exactly the same things! "speed limit 15 MPH" "drive slowly" "pedestrian crossing" and :stop: all signs were directly across from each other saying the same thing! maybe, I missed saying right and left on one sign, and they thought i didn't see it? but I did, just didn't thing was necessary to say "on both sides"

    if there, is a major rehabilitaion facility near you? you should ask at the occupational therapy department, where there are any adaptive driving instructors in your area? I'd think, they have one they are affiliated with, on or near their site? most do!. she may be able to drive again? with very little instruction? same thing, with Rtucker71's mom? though 6-8 weeks sounds awful soon to me! wouldn't hurt to check? though, instructions can be expensive? ( near me up to $150 per session. I've not driven since my stroke 13 1/2 years ago. I did pass the physical to apply for my license. I have two 9 year old grandsons I'd love to spend more time with and see more often! my wife is retired, but I hate to ask her to take me to see them, she has things she needs/wants to do also. the requirements here are, 40 hours of on the road training and 20 hours of classroom instruction. seems kind of excessively expensive @ $150 per 1/2 hour session! don't you think?plus, your instructor must accompany you to apply for the license as well as take your drivers test in case they have to drive you home? then I'd have to buy a vehicle big enough to accomodate hauling my wheelchair! plus insurance, tax,tags, and registration fees. I think I'll just not drive!

    I'm sorry O'm of no help concerning her arm/hand issues I'll keep you and your mom in my prayers for as much recovery as possible? stroke recovery is a life long process

    may god bless us all

    Larry/coupe
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    Old 06-07-2006, 04:41 AM   #5
    jprinz99
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    Don't know if this will help with the issues, but I found that the Nat'lStroke Assoc to be a good reosurce. I don't think I an post the website, but it is easy to find on the web, just Goggle it.

    As for driving - not sure about your state, but if she is cognitively okay, it seems to me she would benefit from a "suicide knob". A PT/OT can help you find out how to get one. It is basically a rotating knob that attaches to steering wheel and lets her effectively control whhel even in emergency situations.

    As for crochet - maybe ask the local knitting supply store that teaches classes on how she can adapt to her new limitations. My grandmother knitted and after her first stroke (she has had several over the years but that is a different story) the local knitting lady said to try switching to fatter needles with a rubber strip glued on the ends. It worked great after she got the hang of it. Her grasp wasn't good but she could hold it. At first we had t wrap it onto her hand so it wouldn't fall out of her hand, but as time went on the act of knitting and painting helped improve her strength and dexterity - kind of like "fun" therapy.

    2 other things we found worked SUPER was pool therapy (local rec center had a arthritis class that the instructor helped her with) and using 'goodgrips' impliments. We kept her trying to use her right hand/arm (affected by stroke). The retraining was frustrating as all get out, but it gave her some limited movement and control after about 6-12 months. The PT said that the hands and arms are very tough to get back, but that you can get smething working and usually can retrain other muscles and nerves to take over a part of the load (especially shoulder).

    I will add the caveat that after her last 2 strokes she lost all sense in her arm/hand and it never came back at all. But, it can't hurt to give it the old college try. Just remember that while a stroke happens fast, rehab happens slowwww.

    Good luck, I only hope some of this may help you and your mother.

     
    Old 07-02-2006, 05:53 AM   #6
    arwin3
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    Hi Larry,
    I've been reading your story, and just wanted to tell you that you sound like a strong, determined person. I'm sure you've had a long, tough road, and it's good to see someone who doesn't give up! Good for you.
    I have a question, and I'm hoping you can help.
    I am a 44yo woman, and my 38yo boyfriend has had a massive left-sided stroke 11 days ago, which has left him paralyzed on the right side. Somehow, he was able to communicate before surgery, by squeezing our hands, nodding, etc. Then, he has a hemicraniectomy, where they removed part of the skull to allow for brain swelling. He has started to "wake up" now, and has amazed us all with his strength, and ability to follow commands, like "squeeze my hand", raise your arm, etc. However, I also see him just staring at his hands, and shrugging his shoulders at things, almost as if he is trying to figure things out.
    The thing I am having trouble with is this; he shook his head "no" yesterday, when asked if he remembered me. We had only known each other a few months before this happened, but both knew we had something good. I know that every stroke is different. What I was wondering was, did you ever have a time during your recovery, when you could understand things, but still not communicate, etc. I guess I'm wanting to know if you have any memory of those very early times, and what you remember. Of course, Mike's recovery is what is most important. But, I guess selfishly, I am terrified that he won't remember me. He is the best man I have ever known, and I intend on staying with him, no matter what. I am just trying to get as much information as I can, to help him, and also myself.
    Thank you so much for reading this, and I wish you all the best. You sound like you've come a long way.
    Sue

     
    Old 07-05-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
    Larry88
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    " Larry,
    I've been reading your story, and just wanted to tell you that you sound like a strong, determined person. I'm sure you've had a long, tough road, and it's good to see someone who doesn't give up! Good for you.
    I have a question, and I'm hoping you can help"

    hello Sue, I'm very sorry to read of your boyfriend, 38 is so young? I was 42 and thought I was too young! first off, I'm no doctor, nor expert on strokes. my limited knowledge of stroke, comes from my own experiences. if you'll notice? I've been a member of these boards since 2003, this is only my 9th or tenth post? thank you so much for your compliments, though my wife might beg to differ with you!? instead of strong and determined, she might say I'm hard headed and stubborn? one thing is for sure? I do not give up! you are very right in that every stroke is different! I've always heard that left sided strokes are to worst to recover from? the left side of the brain controls more vital organs than the right side? (IE) memory. cognitive, even maybe, the sense of smell?

    11 days, or even a couple of weeks! is a very short time post stroke to even begin to know the outcome/prognosis of the ability to recover? most times, doctors and therapists say there is a 6 month window of recovery. if you ask me that's BS! November 2nd will be 14 years for me. I'm still recovering! though the improvements may be so subtle they're hardly noticeable? my balance seems better to me as I walk with my quad cane, I feel a little less tired after walking, nobody else can see this? but I notice a difference! I may never be completely out of my wheelchair? but, I fully intend one day to walk short distances, without the use of any aid whatsoever no quad cane, no wheelchair, and no body's arm to hold onto.

    as far as my ability to communicate in the early days following my stroke. please remember! my stroke wasn't caused by ordinary measures? no blood clot dislodging. my stroke was caused by my being crushed in a construction work accident. by a 9000 pound piece of machinery! fracturing 1 vertebrae in my lower back, breaking my jaws in 5 places, and pushing 20 of my teeth out 1 at a time. causing a complete carotid atteriel dissection.( the carotid artery in the right side of my neck came apart, clotted between the two parts. cutting off all blood flow to my right brain) still today it's the same! nothing can be done to resolve this? the first nine days I was in a coma and couldn't communicate in any way. but, I could hear! and see! as my left eye never closed. when I came too. I could remember the things I heard and saw. if I'd been an organ donor at that time! I'd not be here today? I knew everyone they asked me if I remembered them? in fact, my wife was by my bed when my eyes opened, I smiled at her and reached up and grabbed her boob. she knew then I would be okay. I still couldn't communicate very well? as I couldn't talk, my jaws were still broken in 5 places. when I tried to talk my jaws just kind of flapped. and my mouth was so hurting from my teeth being pushed out! when they asked if I knew my daughter? I said yes, and tried to tell her she looked cute but, my mouth hurt so bad! I couldn't make the "T" sound. I put my lips together and it came out as "cupe" hence my nickname coupe! my daughter still calls me coupe today!

    see? this is why I don't post much! I tend to ramble on about everything except the question asked? yes, I have came a long way, but remember I was in the hospital and rehab from November 2nd 1992 until March 12th 1995 that's about 2 1/2 years! all that time, I had very aggressive therapies, PT,OT, speech cognitive, psych. including hundreds of hours of bio-feedback to get to the point I am today. plus 13 1/2 years doing my own therapies at home. for 30 months! I had 6-7 hours of therapy a day!

    like me, Mike will need the same? he will get better! probably not as fast? maybe never to the extent you hope for? but better.

    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers!
    sorry I'm not of much help?

    may god bless us all. anything I can help with? just ask!

    Larry/coupe
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    Old 07-07-2006, 08:49 AM   #8
    Beth24
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    Re: Questions about Recovery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnorberg
    Hello All,
    My Mother had a stroke Feb 05. While the Doctors say it was a really bad one she is doing well considering. The problem(s) we are having diffuclty with are
    1: Her left hand/arm still hasn't recovered. She is getting very frustrated at inability to use it. She is in therepy and complains that they are doing more harm than good?? Is that possible? She used to crochet for hours, and if she could do this simple act again it would be so good for her. Does anyone have this issue or can you recommend a device that would enable her to crochet? She is right handed so that is the hand she uses the needle in the left hand is for the tension. (I don't crochet so that is how she explained it to me?) Any help or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.

    2: Because she had the stroke, and Since her left hand is disabled, the DMV has taken her driver license. (She didn't pass the driving test) They said she must go through a occupational drivers therapy but I am unable to locate any proffesionals with this sort of designation.
    She lives in the Redding/Red Bluff area of California. Any clues on associations or charters to find this type of help would be greatly appreciated.

    I am really glad I found this board. I have read some of the stories and actually teared up because I know how some of you are feeling.
    Anyway, Thank you for any help you can be for my issues.
    Take care and good luck to you and your loved ones.

     
    Old 07-21-2006, 03:51 AM   #9
    Zoeapril
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    Exclamation Re: Questions about Recovery

    Hello,
    I'm not sure if this helps but I suffered a stroke in 1997 (6 mths before I got married) due to an aneurysm clipping and I still have not got full use of my left arm, yes I can walk now and did so at my qwedding in October 97 and yes have 3 young children to look after ranging from 5 1/5 - 19 mths and i had my stroke at 21 yrs, the thought of knitting terridies me as I could not keep my arm up for thast long seriously so you mum being older i'm sue could not copr but all means if she's feels like it give it a go, i also could type now I'm stuck trying to type one-handed,
    Belinda

     
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