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of all the ironies...

Posted by chinacat_sunflower (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 17, 05 at 12:02

my grouchy old bear of a father in law had a combo stroke/heartattack last night.

not entirely surprising, since he got retired last year after losing most of his nest egg in the tech stock crash, and finally admitted to his diabetes less than 6 months ago...

but his poor family's had more than its share of troubles, and poppa's always been a rotten patient...

and I'm the only one in the family with any real experience in post-stroke therapy- and that's a decade out of date (I'm hoping that things have advanced even half as fast as the drugs have)

they just got done with the MRI, so we should know more soon...


glad I found this before- it'scomforting to know y'all are here.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: of all the ironies...

chinacat_sunflower hugs to you and your dad in law.. I hope all works out for you both.. Keep us posted..

RE: of all the ironies...

Hi, Sorry you're having to go through this &, yes, do keep us up on what's happening in your life.

At this time I'm praying for my father of 89 as of yesterday he was hospitalized for the second time in a month for low blood down to 7. Had a transfusion 3wks ago & now this. Something is going on with him & tests are being done today for internal bleeding. His diabetes is relatively new & we moved him to the NW just two months ago. He is a quiet man & I find it difficult to see him go through this when we should be enjoying our time together.

Bless you, my dear, & remember to come back.

Sincerely, Sharlee

RE: of all the ironies...

the stroke's been described as 'massive'

add a minor heartattack to that.

more worried about Mom than him- he's got a hospital staff taking care of him. but one of the things that made DH 'the one' was his family- they're about as tight-knit and high-functioning as I've ever seen- they fight like cats and dogs in their free time, but I've never seen one of them fail to stand up for the others when it mattered.

anyone got any good stroke-care site links? I'm way out of date.

RE: of all the ironies...

Here's a site that may give you some info.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Stroke Association

RE: of all the ironies...

How old is your FIL? Mum was 77 when she had her stroke last July. Her's was in the right parietal lobe and it affested her left side, but not her speech. She spent a week in acute care and then went to a very good, very intensive rehabilitation hospital. She was able to learn to walk again and regained much of the use of her left hand, though not all of it. Her memory is impaired, though. She really has no clear memory of the stroke and the two months she spent in and out of rehab., nor it is easy for her to remember things day to day. In the first weeks after she returned home, we had to watch her carefully, because the stroke she had affected her ability to make good, prudent decisions; a classic example of "leaping before looking". With time, that has improved markedly.

What I've found very helpful is to continue the "therapy" on a daily basis. I make Mum go out and walk. I have a calender for her, and EVERY day we look at it together, make sure it's updated, and she is responsible for taking her pills, using the calender and the pill box to determine the day. We call it "detective work", and it's a grind to repeat the same thing every day, but it does work.

As it was explained to me, a stroke victim has to learn to make new connections in their brain... like a detour around a roadblock. Some connections are more easily made, others require more time, and others will be forever lost. And the sooner physical, occupational, and speech therapy are started following a stroke the better the chance of a decent recovery. But repetition, and routine are the best bet to get results over the long haul.

It's very difficult to watch someone vibrant struggle with the "basics" of daily life. Good luck; this will be very difficult for you and your family.

RE: of all the ironies...

64, and evidently, it's fairly severe...I'm getting it all second and third hand (I'm never there when a Dr's there, and 'it affected four areas of his brain' raises more questions than it answers) but I'm also starting to work with dad on my own- he and I both speak 'geek' fairly well, so I've got a list of 'memory' checks to run him through tonight when I see him- he's already getting the gross motor functions back- the arm moves, but the fingers are only twitching...

but he smiled over the weekend- and that's a rare enough thing for the old grouch in the first place- but he did it with both sides of his mouth, which is a BIG thing for all of us :)

RE: of all the ironies...

Oh my! is there any way you can get the doctor to speak with you? I know the new privacy laws make things more difficult than it used to be, but if his wife says it's OK, I'm sure the doctor could clear up a lot of your questions. I would begin asking when they will be moving him to a rehabilitation facility... and I would check out the facilities available to you. Believe me when I tell you THEY AIN'T ALL GOOD ONES. The one that Mum went to for the first 4 weeks was actually more of a complete medical facility. They only kept patients for 4 weeks and the therapy was very intensive (2 sessions daily for PT and OT!). The second place was dreadful... more a "warehouse" in my opinion (a for profit "chain") and frankly I should have yanked her out of that hole weeks before I did. They were completely incapable of managing her urostomy properly and she was soaked in urine frequently and developed a UTI because they didn't make her drink enough or empty her pouch frequently enough. My brother and i went every day to see that she was taken care of. It would've been easier to have her here than do all that driving and aggravation. So be wary and find out all you can about his condition and prognosis.

Has his speech been affected? from what you've said, I would suppose yes, is he able to vocalize at all? And the paralysis must be frightening to see. I was pretty freaked out when I realized Mum couldn't sit up straight (she listed to port in a big way and didn't realize she was!).

Good luck on this, china. We're always here if you need a boost and some moral support.

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