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Old 08-09-2012, 08:08 AM   #1
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Massive Stroke

My father suffered a massive stroke this past Wednesday 8/1, the doctors tell me that it occurred at the brain stem, they also tell me that it damaged a large part of his brain, He has been off sedation and still will not wake up. the doctors are only giving me to option. put him on a trague and feeding tube or let him go peacefully. I can't give up on him, everytime he has some kind of reaction, they tell me it's involuntary and just a reflex. He open his eyes if I speak to him and he even shed a tear, yesterday. Can someone help with some information? Even the tear they tell me it's a reflex, I hate to think that's true.

Last edited by jgarcia; 08-09-2012 at 08:13 AM.

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Re: Massive Stroke

These are serious and heart-wrenching decisions. Just some questions to ask yourself and things to consider: Knowing your Dad, what do you think he would choose for himself? If a trach and feeding tube are put in, could you live with having to later take those out and let him go? Would you be able to set a time limit on that, say 6-12 months, if you want to try that route first? What if he had no improvement and was still this way, 3 years from now, being kept maintained alive but with no quality of life? What are the family resources like to maintain him long term? I always think it is best to ask the Drs, "what is the best case scenario for his prognosis, given your experience with similar patients?" Then ask yourself, is that "best case" going to bring joy or happiness or be just a burden for all. Will he be suffering if he is maintained alive, but not really living? How about you? Will you be suffering during that time as well? This is a good time for a family meeting to discuss what to do with all involved. I am sorry you are in this difficult position. I wish you the best and peace with your choice.

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jgarcia (08-09-2012)
Old 08-09-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Re: Massive Stroke

I had a brain stem stroke last December, My wife saw me stroke out and I was treated fast. Your fathers stroke sounds much worse than mine was. Remember if there is no quality of life there is no life. My brain stem stroke was terrible for me, To tell the truth I wanted to die the first 2 weeks post stroke. I was never put on any machines or tubes and was always aware of everything around me and was able to respond to questions. My wife is a Hospice nurse and I have both told her and put it in writing that if I ever have another stroke as bad as your Fathers she will let me pass. No machines or feeding tubes for me, she will make sure I am kept comfortable and pain free but that's all. Its not a easy decision for a family to make this is why I believe everyone should have a living will like mine. It takes the burden and emotional pain away from family members. This response should be considered as my opinion only yours could be different. I just wanted to give you a idea of what a stroke victim might feel. Good luck to your Father and your family.

Last edited by goldsworthy; 08-09-2012 at 09:54 AM.

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jgarcia (08-09-2012)
Old 08-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Re: Massive Stroke

I am both a survivor of 4 strokes and have recently lost both my parents following an accident with my mother. My father did not want to live without her and died 30 days later. There is no easy way to loose the ones you love, and who love you the most. There is never a good time for it either. It will always be too soon.

This is a decision that you must live with, and I agree with all the issues that have been listed as to what can help you make that decision.

Speaking for my own experience, I was very lucky to recover from my strokes, and it was a long and scary road. I was only 43, which helped so much. I have great feelings about what you are going through, as I had to sit and watch my dad pass too very recently. It was a force so much greater than myself and I had to let him go.

There is no easy answer here, I feel your sadness and pain. Bless you in the coming days...


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jgarcia (08-10-2012)
Old 08-10-2012, 03:15 AM   #5
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Re: Massive Stroke

G’day jgracia,
I hope you and your loved ones are well and in good health.
I am sad to hear about your dad. I had a clot in the brain stem back in March 2010, but it was not as serve as your fathers. I have been fortunate in that I have made a reasonable recovery. I was never hooked up to any machines as such and was full awake and aware of my surroundings.
At first I was completely paralysed down the right side of my body, I wasn’t given much chance of survival. The nero said to my wife” if he lives, never walk or talk”. I heard this, and at that moment I did not want to be any more. I thought to myself how can i live my life depending on others. That feeling last about 5 seconds, then my I decided that I have to fight this aflection with every once of my being.
The first six months were the most horrible of my life.
I think I have an idea of what you are going through with your dad. Our family was put in same position with our dad back in 2006. Dad end up passing under natural causes.
I remember that very moment when doctor ask, do you want you’re dad to be resuscitated, our hearts were as heavy as lead.
We watched both our beautiful parents slowly pass, dad in 2006 and mum 4 days ago.
There is no easy answer, my family’s prayers and hearts go out you and your family.
With the guidance of your doctors and family you will make the right decision.
I wish you and your family all the strength in the world in your time of need.

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jgarcia (08-10-2012)
Old 08-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Massive Stroke

Hi Jgarcia!

First off, I'm terribly sorry you are going through this! But, know you are not alone. My father has had several mini strokes over the past year. Each time, a little something was taking away. He did manage to recover each time though. But, back at the end of June we called the ambulance thinking he was having another stroke. When in fact, he was having a heart attack. A few days later they found complete blockages in all of his arteries and suggested bypass. We knew he was at high risk of having more strokes, but decided it best to go ahead with the surgery. He did great during the surgery and the day after, but soon had complications. Three days later he had a massive stroke. This has totally changed our lives forever.

We've been through a lot in the last 2 months and we are now at a crossroads like you. My father has been fitted with a trach (because he was on a vent for 3 weeks in a coma like state) and feeding tube. He's alert now and follows very few commands (squeeze my hand, lift your arm). Mostly he's unresponsive still. We've had no response from his doctors on his prognosis or anything. He was moved to an acute care facility for them to wean him from the vent. He is know breathing on his own with the trach, but still unable to be removed because he cannot cough on command. They said that he would not be able to protect his airway.

We are in the process of having him moved to a long term care facility. We don't know if he'll regain anything more than what he's regained. No one seems to want to tell us anything. But, I'm guessing he probably won't. I'm sure when he's moved to the long term facility, they'll ask us if we want him to be DNR or not. And I'm not sure where we'll stand.

I do know that my dad would not want to live like this. He wouldn't want to be completely dependent on anyone laying in a bed all day. And as horrible as this has been for us, I know we have to do what is right for him.

If your dad is unable to maintain life w/out being sustained in anyway, my advice would be to let nature do it's job. If it's his time to go, he will. And I know it's not what you want to hear, cause it's not what I want to hear, but in the end it's better. And I'm already crying now thinking about my own father and knowing the choices we'll have to make. It's not easy for sure. And I'm so sorry you have to go through that. My father is very young - 59. We were not prepared for this.

I pray that God will give you the strength to make the decisions that you have to make, or have already had to make.

God Bless!

Old 08-17-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: Massive Stroke

I am so sorry to hear what you and your dad are going through. You have been faced with some very difficult decisions to make. I am so sorry for that. Do you know what your dad's wishes would be? It is so difficult many times these are things we do not talk to our families about. Then when the time come we are left with making those hard decisions. You love your dad I can hear it in your post. YOu want the best for him. It is so hard to know with stroke what is possible. I will keep you all in my prayers
God Bless Mulchie

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