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Stroke recovery

(17 Posts)
JudysDreamHorse Mon 20-Jun-11 21:35:38

My dad had a stroke about a month ago and the stroke nurse he sees is worried that he is not really improving. He is quite good physically but has some mental problems that are not really changing.
I was wondering if anyone had experience of this and how the recovery progressed? Is it generally quite linear? I know a month is quite short in terms of stroke recovery but am not sure when we should expect to see a difference or when we might know if he is not going to get better. Thanks.

Earthdog Mon 20-Jun-11 22:36:27

I read that stroke patients should carry on with physio/therapy even when there has been no improvement for a while, as there are 'climbs' then 'plateaus' (sp) - but these are when the body is absorbing what it is relearning; if the therapy is continued there will hopefully be more improvements. Sorry I have written that clumsily, but effectively no; it is not a smooth linear recovery. Good luck.

frostyfingers Tue 21-Jun-11 08:57:41

A month seems like an eternity to you and your dad, but really in terms of recovery from stroke it's nothing. Apart from physio is he having any other therapy - my mother had writing and memory exercises to - things like simple crosswords, word searches and picture matching?

Also, how old is he and was he having any memory problems before the stroke? I have been told that stroke can bring forward dementia type problems which were dormant prior to the stroke - sorry, that's not meant to frighten you but it's a question you can ask his consultant.

My mother had a terrible stroke 4 years ago at 70 and wasn't expected to make it through but after 3 months in hospital and rehab she went back to her home, to live alone (without help up until a few months ago) and the only thing she couldn't do was drive.

Good luck, be patient and keep asking questions....

JudysDreamHorse Wed 22-Jun-11 14:06:18

Thanks for the replies - sorry for being slow in posting. I know it's not been very long but I am getting the impression that the medical professionals are worried so it's making me worry too.
My dad is 65 but I guess he was an old 65 before this. He's actually pretty good physically but it is mentally he is struggling. He was sent home after 2 weeks (one in hospital and one in a nurse led rehab unit) but has been readmitted to hospital as he is having severe anxiety attacks at night. He is also very confused about dates and days. I guess we just have to wait it out and see. Thanks again for the replies.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Wed 22-Jun-11 14:09:26

It also depends on what sort of stroke your Dad had. How was he mentally pre stroke?

A month is nothing in the scheme of rehab. I am surprised he is home already and not doing physio in hospital. Can you give more information and I will try to help from my experiences.

(My father has had a few strokes and I am somewhat of an amateur expert now!)

JudysDreamHorse Wed 22-Jun-11 14:46:51

Coffee - we suspect he may have been having mini strokes before - he was doing things like getting people he knew very well confused before the stroke and mixing days of the week. Apart from that he was quite sharp.
It was a clot stroke and he got clot busting drugs in the right time frame.
He may be getting some physio at home - his walking and speech are pretty ok though he struggles with getting dressed.
I think if it wasn't for the anxiety attacks they think he should be at home.
I live quite far away from him and my mum so although I went up immediately after it happened it is too far for me to go more than once every couple of months so I am hearing everything through the filter of my family.
They have also found he has a blocked vein in his neck which they are going to stent and which may be causing problems.

JudysDreamHorse Wed 22-Jun-11 14:57:47

It's a blocked carotid artery. Hope you're dad is ok coffee.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Wed 22-Jun-11 19:45:49

thanks judy I just asked as it sounded similar to my dads.

And it is similar to his last stroke. He has exacerbated (sp) dementia due to stroke, which can make it come on 'faster' than would normally be seen in an older person.

My Dad has speech but he gets his words mixed up and he gets very confused. It is hard and there does come a point when no amount of physio will improve walking or speech but practice helps them.

I also understand your predicament re distance. I live 400 miles away from my parents so getting up and down is tricky for me too.

Sometimes it is so hard being far away isnt it? My Dad will be 85 in July and up until he was 80 he was fit, healthy and active. So sad to see him now.

JudysDreamHorse Wed 22-Jun-11 19:58:20

It is hard - I'm 600 miles away and have a 9mo DS so it's a bit more tricky to get around.
The good(ish) news is that he is now in a stroke unit where they have done a proper cognitive assessment. The rehab unit he was in was more focused on physio and they just didn't pick up on a lot of the problems he has. Apparently the results weren't very good from the assessment but at least they now know what needs focusing on.
Thanks again for the support.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Thu 23-Jun-11 22:23:35

glad that your Dad is getting properly assessed. It is the best place for him, so hopefully they will come up with a proper treatment plan for him.

Kayteee Fri 24-Jun-11 23:43:55

I had a clot stroke 18 months ago and I'm still making little improvements every day. It is a long slog but don't be dis-heartened. I know someone who was told he'd never walk again after his stroke but he did. I believe a lot can be overcome which doctors don't always know about. I wish you and your Dad all the very best smile

JudysDreamHorse Sun 26-Jun-11 09:10:47

Thanks Kayteee - that's encouraging to hear. I hope you continue to make improvements.

redglow Sun 26-Jun-11 17:44:23

Thanks kayteee my sisterhad one three months ago she is very down not being able to walk so I will tell her about you. Thanks again.

Kayteee Tue 28-Jun-11 23:18:52

Redglow, is your sister getting plenty of physio help?

redglow Thu 30-Jun-11 11:44:07

Yes she has it twice a day at the moment. I do not know how long for do you still have physio?

Kayteee Fri 01-Jul-11 00:48:21

No, I had it for 6 months but I do my exercises every day. I make myself even if I don't feel like it because it 'trains' the brain to re-wire.

The key is to keep pushing herself, a little each day. It's like living in slow motion for a while but she WILL improve gradually. Especially if she has people like you around to encourage her smile

redglow Fri 01-Jul-11 10:32:39

Thanks for that Kaytee its nice to know, when we ask if she will ever walk nobody answers us. They said they might stop it soon which has sent us into a panic thinking is that the best she is going to be. Thanks so much for replying I will past this message on to my sister.

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