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tell me about strokes :(

(83 Posts)
MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 07:44:19

MIL found at the bottom of the stairs by BIL 6am this morning. she doesnt get up early so chances she has been there some time sad and golden hour well gone. DH gone to hosp (she has gone in ambulance obv) dh in bits and has only finished chemo in Jan sad so not very resilient. wtf do we do? what to expect?

Bunbaker Mon 20-May-13 07:46:01

No advice but I hope she makes a full recovery. flowers

HadALittleFaithBaby Mon 20-May-13 07:58:53

First thing is to try not to panic (easier said than done of course) but as it stands you don't know what you're dealing with. Did the ambulance crew say they thought it was a stroke? How old is she?

I hope you're able to use this thread to post and I'm sure you'll get plenty of support - I'll certainly stick around. I really hope she makes a full recovery thanks.

Turningupsidedown Mon 20-May-13 08:02:44

Oh MrsS this was at the top of the thread and then realised it was you, so sorry sad . My DF had a stroke a month ago, from what I have learned so far, they will need to do scans and tests to find out where in the brain it has happened, what type of stroke it is, if they can see any damage and where it is. Stokes can happen in different parts of the brain and for different reasons. They will test for blood pressure and cholesterol AFAIK probably other things. My DF has been very lucky and is doing well although they are still trying to get his medication right. It will take them some time to assess how your MIL has been affected.Sorry that is all very basic, still learning about what it all means here hopefully some people with more experience will reply soon.

I am so so sorry you are going through this now as well sad Sending much love and hugs flowers

CorrieDale Mon 20-May-13 08:12:14

I had the same with my mum 3 years ago. It was the side that affected mobility rather than speech. 4 hours had elapsed when I finally got in. The stroke was catastrophic - I couldn't see how she'd ever be able to live independently again. But she made an amazing recovery - it seemed miraculous to us! Rehab is key. Once she was discharged (6 weeks in hospital) she did a conductive education course, lots of walking and keeps challenging herself with new activities (which she could do with ease pre-stroke!) she also lost half her body weight, which brought her blood pressure down to normal. Her memory is still a bit fuzzy and she can't multi-function at all. She's also quite emotional and happy clappy, which can be hard to deal with. But these are minor things.

So don't panic yet. It will be tough and I'm so sorry for you. Take it one day at a time and start nagging for physio or slt now!

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 08:26:05

she is 68. not a spring chicken but not old either.
thank you all for posting. not heard from dh yet so no wiser. just trying to get children ready for school; not telling them anything yet.
turning...cant believe another horrible parallel in pur worldssad

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 08:36:58

now worried silly. She is so lovely sad

Cyclebump Mon 20-May-13 08:53:31

Huge hugs xx

My dad had a 'catastrophic' stroke four years ago and it's an immensely frightening thing.

Dad was paralysed on his right side and had severe aphasia, he's now about 80% physically recovered, his speech has recovered (he even speaks fluent French again). His was a lucky recovery but it does happen.

Things I learned that may be of use:

His was the left side of the brain so his right side was affected. It meant he had aphasia.

Her sight may be affected too, dad could see in his right eye but couldn't process so he saw a lamp but his brain said it was a cat etc.

Aphasia means he knew what he wanted to say but it came out wrong (tea please became bobcat by the stream). This may be what they mean if they say speech is affected, we were not expecting it and it made it harder to deal with so ask if you don't understand things.

Sleep is massively important, dad still gets exhausted now.

Dad didn't really understand who we were at first but he knew we were important and our visits helped him loads. Even just sitting with him talking about what was in the newspaper was good.

Fight, fight, fight for a swallowing assessment if you think she needs or wants to eat. Dads was delayed for days and he immediately improved once his blood sugar went up.

Make sure the nurse/doctor can deal with stroke case. I had a nurse removed from dad's care rota as she was shouting at him, she thought he was deaf because he didn't respond to questions. She hadn't read his chart and he got upset and frustrated.

If your MIL cant speak initially and they don't supply a picture board bring one in. Dad was desperate to answer yes, no etc but had no way of doing it.

Don't lose hope, recovery is possible and dad is still improving now.

Sorry this is so long I just wanted to offer practical stuff, we were floored when it happened and information was key to our helping dad.

Xx

Turningupsidedown Mon 20-May-13 09:03:42

MrsS It is such a shock and the not knowing and waiting to know what is happening is terrible as you know only too well. Especially waiting at home and not knowing what is happening. Hope you find out some information very soon, it will feel less panicky when you know more. Will you go to the hospital when you have got the children to school?

I have to go to work now, but will be thinking of you very much and will check back later. flowers

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 09:17:28

cycle thank you for so much practical info.

dh sent text to say left side paralysis. she is sleeping. he just put ct so presume that means she has had a ct scan.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 09:17:47

thanks turning smile

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 09:22:21

next dilemma...
1) what to tell children (12.9&7) they have been through so much in the last yearsad
2) what to tell my parents and when.... they are on hol in italy til weds. I dont want to spoil their hol but they'll want to know. def not doing anything til tonight.

archfiend Mon 20-May-13 09:47:29

So sorry to hear this MrsS. My DH had a stroke 6 years ago (l-hand side so his speech was affected). They will need to scan to assess whether it is a bleed or a blockage as they won't want to give clot busting drugs for a bleed. It is still very early days, as others have said push for OT and speech/swallowing assessment, expect her to be exhausted for a while - DH couldn't stay awake for long for the first few days.

I don't know where abouts you are in the UK, but hopefully there will be a specialist stroke ward at the hospital. We had access to a specialist stroke nurse who was around more often than the consultant.

It is very early days, DH has made a brilliant recovery - back at work, driving etc. his speech will never be 'normal' again, but he is able to live a totally normal life and he is now only slightly more at risk of having another stroke than someone who has never had one.

Look after yourselves flowers

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 10:01:52

Arch that is inspiration. thank you so much.
she is apparently being transferred to the neuro hospital in the city. Presumably much more specialist care there.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 10:02:11

it is a bleed btw not clot

archfiend Mon 20-May-13 10:55:50

Glad she is being moved to somewhere she can get the best care. DH had a clot (awkward bugger - apparently bleeds more common at the age he was - 34), so I don't know much about the treatments for bleeds, but it sounds like the hospital are doing all the right things.

Will check in on you later. Please PM me if you want.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 14:01:09

thanks again
just got back from the hospital. still waiting for a bed at the neuro centre. hmm she looks better than I expected tbh. really hope she is going to recover to a good level of ability, she is such a lovely lady. she doesnt seem very comfortable and is very wriggly, but from one pov that's good. she seems to be able to wriggle her left leg a little so hope that means she will be able to walk on it sometime during recovery. I know it will be (another) long haul but we can do that if we can find the energy from somewhere she hasn't lost her speech thankfully. It is minimal and slurred but it's there.
Am I getting too optimistic?

HadALittleFaithBaby Mon 20-May-13 16:40:09

It sounds as positive as it can be. Going to a specialist unit is great because they categorically show better outcomes for recovery. Considering that they don't know how long it had been, it sounds positive.

Have you decided what to tell your children? I'd try to keep it simple but explain her brain has had a bleed and explain what kind of symptoms they might see and that it might take her some time to get better.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 17:02:58

have done exactly that littlefaith smile
they took it in and a few questions have followed, all sensible logic which could be answered honestly. I have told them that she needs lots of sleep, ds1 then explained to the other two how the body repairs by conserving energy and sleeping and they all seem happy with that. the biggest issue for them is going to be that they see her most days and it will be a few days at least before they can see her even for a couple of minutes. I have covered that so far with the idea that she is very sleepy and needs to get a lot of rest before having lots of us go to visit. ds2 had a brain scan last year and understands the process rather than finding it scary, so ok so far. They know that her left side is affected but it appears to be mainly her arm atm. They have all volunteered to do jobs for her, bless em!

HadALittleFaithBaby Mon 20-May-13 17:15:31

They sound very bright and supportive smile

archfiend Mon 20-May-13 17:57:23

Movement is good, speech is fantastic! DH lost his r-hand side when he first had the stroke, but that did come back pretty quickly and I think e was walking again by day 3. The fact that she has movement now is encouraging.

Fingers crossed that a bed is found soon so she can settle properly.

Your kids sound absolutely lovely! I always take the same approach as you - tell the truth, but only give as much detail as is needed at the time. My DD was 2 when DH had his stroke, so we kept it very simple. As time has gone on, she has asked more questions and we have continued to answer them.

MrsShrek3 Mon 20-May-13 18:49:57

thank you again arch, you are so positive and encouraging, you have no idea how wonderful that is just now smile

the dc have dealt with dh having chemo over the last year and know that we tell them what is going on and answer questions, we were determined early on that they wouldn't overhear any stuff they hadn't heard (and understood) from us first. Good to hear it works for others too, I do wonder if I am doing the right thing sometimes.

archfiend Mon 20-May-13 21:55:16

Sounds like you have had a hell of a year already - I hope your DH is doing well at the moment. I think that children know when you aren't telling them things and it worries them - better to let them work through things and know they can always ask questions and get an honest answer.

Hope you all have a good night and that tomorrow is a much better day! flowers

Turningupsidedown Tue 21-May-13 00:10:34

Sounds like some good signs MrsS hope they can get her moved to the specialist centre soon good that she is going to get specialist care. DF lost all right side initially but it came back quite quickly and he is doing really well now, although gets a bit tired and has to monitor his blood pressure carefully which is what caused his. Hopefully they will be able to give you a clearer picture of things when she is settled onto the unit. Sounds like you did a great job with the dc, that is also how we approached things with our dc and DH's cancer. Hope you get some sleep tonight flowers

MrsShrek3 Tue 21-May-13 01:48:26

when she got to the neuro centre it apeears that the nine hour wait and the journey hadnt been good for her. they went straight to ct and then surgery as she has deteriorated.
she has just got out of surgery and into ICU sad on a ventilator. Things seem to have gone downhill.

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