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Where do I begin for help

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Old 08-07-2006, 09:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 2
msspectratoad HB User
Where do I begin for help

My mother in law had a stroke May 06. She is now in a nursing home and with intensions of preparing for her to come home. I have gone through four major deaths in my family (due to other obstacles) and I know I am prepared to begin my research with Ms. Jackie (my mother in law). I want to be educated and fully informed on stroke victims and strokes in general. I read most of the posts and I want to ask. Where do I begin my research on stroke victims? I want to know how she is feeling physhologically. Where do I start with relieving my father in law and in home care for when she comes home. She has paralysis on her left side (total) and her right leg as well. I want to put on shoes to get her feet to a bit more to a 90 degree angle but not sure if I am hurting or helping. I want to slowly straighten out her left arm and lay it flat but again I do not if I am helping or hurting. She has movement only in her right arm. I notice she runs her finger tips over rough surfaces and I do not know why. Should I give her more rough surfaces to rub to help her out. How much does she remember, we ask and she smiles but I am not sure. She knows us all along with the grandchildren. But I do not know if she is fooling us or not. She is speaking small words. She is a tough woman and I have seemed to push her into not giving up and to get rallying as it has helped. But now I just do not know where or how to get additional information in my health care system. My father in law has been at the hospital and nursing home every day and supervising the care. Yesterday we say her and for the first time I felt she was really depressed and I do not how to ask or how to make her feel better. Some ideas would be grand.

Last edited by msspectratoad; 08-07-2006 at 09:35 PM.

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Old 08-15-2006, 10:11 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: canada
Posts: 93
janet119 HB User
Re: Where do I begin for help should have ab occupational therapist come to the home where she will be living to tell you what you nned to have in place before she gets there. thats a first. if she qualifies for home care the nursing home or your family doctor should get that rolling for you. homecare should also provide a physio therapist assessment.
speaking from exsperience you probably wont be able to straighten her arm. its like a continuous spasm that keeps it there. there a 3 main drugs to try to loosen up. dantrium, valium and baclofen. i have tried all three. valium is the best i find. you take a very low dose so it doesnt make you tired. drugs for stroke spasticity have minimum success so be prepared. i am 6 years post stroke and i still have problems with that.
you most of all need an abundance of patience. it is very frustrating being a stroke survivor and one tends to get nasty at times out of pure frustration. emotions are also hard to control so much that sometimes (often in some cases) emotional reactions with seem inappropriate. know that she cannot help this. some antidepressants helps reroutes the chemical something or other in the brain. if i try to come off antidepressants i start to laugh and cry uncontrolably. it is normal.
something like 70% od stroke survivors will suffer some depression as well. this is also normal.
watch her eating. if she starts to refuse to eat...check if she is having a tendancy to choke. many will stop eating because they are afraid to choke or afraid someone will notice they choke.
i wish you good luck and feel free to ask me anything.

Old 10-09-2006, 04:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: westfield, ind, usa
Posts: 5
nanookers06 HB User
Re: Where do I begin for help

Well the first thing you do is get informed, the more you know the better. The second thing you do is take one day at a time. Everything you see and feel is "normal". Yeah it is very scary but the one thing about stroke is there is hope. There are things that can be done about post stroke complications, as far her depression, you need to tell her physician and they can get her on anti depressants. You will see a marked improvement in her personality. Also, she will suffer from spactiscity, it is a common problem that makes muscles "freeze up" and can be very painful. There are options such as Itb (intrathecal baclofen therapy), oral medicines and injectable medicines. These meds in conjuction w/physical therapy can be very helpful but you have to do your research in order to get these options. most people do not know what is out there and what can help and that is where being informed is your best bet for future recovery. Here's to a speedy recovery!

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