Recovery from Stroke

Yokel

LE
Four weeks ago, my Mum (aged 71) suffered a Stroke. At first we thought it was a head injury where she had fallen and hit her head on the corner of a table, and there was fresh red blood all over the floor, but it became apparent whilst waiting for the ambulance and on the way to hospital that this was a Stroke - a whole new level of fear.

High blood pressure and being overweight had caught up with her.

CT scanning showed that surgery was not going to be useful, so she was admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit. The Stroke team up here have won national awards for Stroke care. The Stroke has effected her left side - including her arm and leg. At first she was unable to swallow to speak clearly, although her cognitive skills were unaffected - the psychologist has checked that and looked for visual neglect and similar things. The consultant said that relooking at the CT scan showed the bleed had been less significant that at first thought. In those few weeks she regained the ability to speak clearly and to swallow (she is now back on normal food/liquids) and to sit up and get out of bed by standing on a thing like the things used to carry parcels/sacks and being moved, and can use a normal toilet. Her blood pressure is now under control. She had regained some movement in her left leg, and a small amount of movement in her left arm. The doctor in charge says the leg will be faster to recover than the arm, and hopefully she will soon be taking steps. The arm with take longer.

I am unsure as to whether my own experience of brain injury and recovery (as a child) is helpful or not.

She has now been moved to another ward for more rehab work. Looking forward to her discharge (and further home based rehab), we may need some house modifications - things like bars to help her get safely on and off the toilet. She might also need a bit of assistance with some things. Do you know how I can contact for more information?

As Dad is an ex matelot, and I am a RN Reservist, someone suggested contacting the Royal British Legion, but I have no idea who to contact.
 
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RBL did alot for my mother years after my father died; he had done 22years in R.R.A.

Google them.

Good luck.
 

Yokel

LE
The other issue she has right now is acceptance, which might impede her motivation and recovery. Now sure what to do about that....
 
Four weeks ago, my Mum (aged 71) suffered a Stroke. At first we thought it was a head injury where she had fallen and hit her head on the corner of a table, and there was fresh red blood all over the floor, but it became apparent whilst waiting for the ambulance and on the way to hospital that this was a Stroke - a whole new level of fear.

High blood pressure and being overweight had caught up with her.

CT scanning showed that surgery was not going to be useful, so she was admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit. The Stroke team up here have won national awards for Stroke care. The Stroke has effected her left side - including her arm and leg. At first she was unable to swallow to speak clearly, although her cognitive skills were unaffected - the psychologist has checked that and looked for visual neglect and similar things. The consultant said that relooking at the CT scan showed the bleed had been less significant that at first thought. In those few weeks she regained the ability to speak clearly and to swallow (she is now back on normal food/liquids) and to sit up and get out of bend by standing on a thing like the things used to carry parcels/sacks and being moved, and can use a normal toilet. Her blood pressure is now under control. She had regained some movement in her left leg, and a small amount of movement in her left arm. The doctor in charge says the leg will be faster to recover than the arm, and hopefully she will soon be taking steps. The arm with take longer.

I am unsure as to whether my own experience of brain injury and recovery (as a child) is helpful or not.

She has now been moved to another ward for more rehab work. Looking forward to her discharge (and further home based rehab), we may need some house modifications - things like bars to help her get safely on and off the toilet. She might also need a bit of assistance with some things. Do you know how I can contact for more information?

As Dad is an ex matelot, and I am a RN Reservist, someone suggested contacting the Royal British Legion, but I have no idea who to contact.
Hope You all get the help You need to cope with this.A lot of us are of an age where we will have to care for elderly parents.
 
When my late mother-in-law was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which was affecting her ability to move one leg properly, the local social services team arranged for the installation of hand rails, etc, so I'd echo Jarrod's suggestion.

Also - although this was 25+ years ago, the Stoke Association (in its previous guise, wasn't called that then) were, as I recall, helpful to one of my aunts as she cared for my uncle:

Finding support
 
The other issue she has right now is acceptance, which might impede her motivation and recovery. Now sure what to do about that....
As @jarrod248 says, it's early days. My mum had a stroke over five years ago. She's now 81 and has many other problems but the frustration (never really had anger as it wasn't / isn't her nature) took a long time to go. It's not easy for anyone involved. Good luck
 

Yokel

LE
Well - last week she took her first steps, but it will take longer to get her arm/hand able to grip things. Home discharge may be soonish - so lots of things to sort out.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
My uncle had a stroke and did not recover well. What my mother found out is actions in the first few days after the stroke are critical. Parts of the brain essentially die after the stroke, taking skills with it. The brain has to relearn those skills and is capable of doing so if taught quickly - an example might be learning to write again. But if you leave it too long, the brain seems reluctant to relearn skills. My uncle was left without training and stimuli in the critical first few days and weeks and did not relearn a lot of what was lost. It's critical you make sure the hospital rehab includes relearning. It will also take patience as stroke survivors are often frustrated by their lost abilities.

There's quite a bit of useful info on the internet - this is an example.

Stroke Recovery

Wordsmith
 
I had a stroke about 4 years ago. Thankfully it was identified and treated as such quickly, but it's a frightening thing to go through.
In my case I was perfectly normal one moment and busy making a brew. A split second later and I went down like a puppet with its strings cut.
It took perhaps half an hour for an ambulance to arrive and get me to hospital, by which time I was semi paralysed, half blind, could barely talk, and lost all use of my left arm and leg.
The frightening bit is that while all that's going on physically, mentally you're aware that your body is shutting down all but essential functions, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Thankfully I recovered, was even back at work a week later, but to date still less able to use my left hand 100%, and it's weakened my left leg making me a bit unsteady on my feet, walk like a drunken sailor.

The hard bit is accepting what happened, accepting new limitations, and adapting life to match your abilities.
That'll probably include working less, or changing jobs.

It definitely helps to keep using the parts affected. I found I couldn't feel anything with my left hand, unless I actually looked at it, apparently those control circuits are fried. But over about a year it improved, still not perfect but getting there.


It's a reminder of your mortality too, which is scary.

So, advice wise, try to keep your mum cheerful and positive. It may take longer to do stuff, and that's bloody frustrating, but keep at it and be patient.

Good luck to all involved.
 
Keep the faith, Yokel...stroke care is far better than it was in the old days when my Dad suffered a number of strokes and I'm sure that she will recover totally.

Back in the late 60s my Dad had a stroke and initially he was paralysed down the left side and as he was left-handed his frustration was compounded. He did lose his ability to speak in the early days which also added to his frustration - he was a guy who had a terrific sense of humour and it was hard to see him struggling with his affliction - but he did recover to the point where he could walk, talk and carry on as previous and his sense of humour came back twice as strong.

Over the next 10 years he had a number of strokes and heart attacks which rendered him chair-bound but the local Stroke Association support was magnificent and, although he never gained the ability to walk again after the 3rd stroke, he miraculously turned into something of a mathematical genius. Prior to his stroke he loved betting on the horses and we often had to talk to the bookies on his behalf as he always thought that the bookies took advantage of his lack of mathematical skills. Somehow over the following few months after this stroke we noticed that he was able to tot up odds on his various bets in his head and argue the toss with the bookie to the point that he never lost out on his winnings.

What I'm trying to say is that your Mum may lose one skill but there will be another skill that will take it's place and time will heal - a little patience on the familys behalf and stimulation and support from everyone and Mum will be able to weather the storm.

Hope this helps you with the situation.

Dave
 

Yokel

LE
Thanks for the information. I am happy to say the Stroke team here is very keen on rehab and physio. It will encourage her to learn she can learn new skills...
 
I think my physio nurse who is very attractive and only 30 is a **** and was thrown out of the SAS for being to tough!
but in fairness its working and I'm 95% there apart from a wibbly shoulder the leg came back relatively quick,
as others have said frustration is a bugger,
but good luck to your Mam and tell her to hang on in there.

Just to add ,I was lucky when I took mine an off duty nurse was at the table with the wife and I and recognised what was going on and the paramedics got me into castlebar General within the hour and they got the throm-buster in quickly,
my advice to anyone is ..take heed of that telly advert, FAST.
 
Get in touch with your local SSAFA mate. They will allocate you a Caseworker and set the ball rolling with allsorts of assistance. They come into their own with things like this.
 

Yokel

LE
I know it may be fashionable to knock the NHS, but all the doctors, nurses, HCAs, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and others have all been outstanding.
 
Speak to RN benevolent trust. 023 92 690112. As an ex-matelot, your old man and your mum are entitled to support from them.
 

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