Mum - Still in hospital

Hi all,

I wanted to reach out as my poor mum has now been in hospital for over 4 weeks after a huge stroke thats left her paralysed on the left side.

She is still able to hold a conversation but cannot eat yet so has a feeding tube.

Speaking with the consultant today he said prepare for the worst :( Survival rate is 60%)

She's had a couple of infections (chest & hand) but is being given anti biotics which has made the swelling go down in her hand. So seems to be having an effect.

But its meant that seems to have gone backwards.
Two days ago she was able to have some yogurt and a little water without laughing (so gag reflexes are working)

I guess I just want to offload, not sure what to do really.

Hi Kal, Very sorry to hear about Mum. This must be very stressful for you. None of us on this site are medically trained but we are stroke survivors. You do not say how old Mum is or why the consultant told you to prepare for the worst. Four weeks is a very short time. Many of us start off paralysed, but feeling can and does come back. Improvement can also take place over time. It tends to be quite quick improvement at first and then improvement slows down. Survivors can improve, however, over many years. At the moment, all I can say is..be supportive as you can and encourage her as much as possible. There are lots of people on this forum who will help you, so ask anything you want and someone will respond. My thoughts are with you both.

Hi John,

Thank you for your re-assuring comments believe me reading them is giving me hope...

I wanted to see and hear of other people experiences really ...I didnt realise that and improvement can be made early on and can slow down.

(mum is 69)

I think the medical team are just preparing me and my siblings ( I'm one of 6), just incase I guess its a process they follow?

We have been told it's a very long road to recovery, guess I'm /we are just really spooked after today.

Kal.

Kal I am 73 and had my stroke aged 72. I could talk, but not stand, walk or use my left hand. I can now walk with a stick, cook, bake and iron a couple of things. This took months to achieve, but determination got me there. Encourage her to fight on!

Dar Kal
Sorry to hear about your Mums stroke.
I agree with John, I would want to know exactly the nature of the doctors comments. You need to work with the doctors, so maximum tact and even grovelling is perhaps needed, anything to get the answers you need. Hopefully he meant expect to have Mum in a care home sooner ratherthan later. But it doesn't sound right to me.

I am 69. Stroke on right side of brain. I was paralysed pretty comprehensively. But breathing and eating was hardly damaged (lucky me). I couldnt sit up, couldnt turn over and couldn't even puff up the pillows.
On day three I awoke at 5.30am with adrenelin at high levels. I stood up and walked. OK it was rocky and stumbles abounded and I did have five physios around me. But I stood up and I walked out the ward and up the corridor.
I have since gone through the slow slow slow recovery and after 20 months I am nowhere near recovered. But my experience is that miracles happen. I have just had a less dramatic but still wonderful recovery. I like to be useful so I make tea at some village meetings. I have to do this two drinks at a time. Mt brain will not do three at a time. Then this Friday evrthing cleared and I could do all 7. This to me ws just fantastic.
My pointis that there is hope. Never give up.

I have learned that the cheerful and positive survivors have the better recoveries/
So its smile several times a day.
Be positive
Youu guys are not alone

Please give Mum my best wishes
Colin

Hi all,

Thanks for all the messages. I will speak to the care team again to get a better understanding of prognosis they gave yesterday.

I'm going in to hospital to see her this morning.
All being well she has made further progress.

Thanks again for the wishes ...

Kal

My friend had a stroke about 10 days ago, the doctors were also very "prepare for the worst", but I think they meant that a second stroke could be devastating, possibly fatal, whilst she was still vulnerable. She's off the critical list now, but her quick improvement is partly due to her only being in her early 50's. Your Mum is getting the care & medication she needs to hopefully prevent a second stroke. I hope things go well for your Mum - and remember to look after yourself too whilst you're going through this.

Quick update, so I went to see mum as planned and the antibiotics are working.

The swelling has completely gone in her hand and she is breathing a little better.

She was a lot more alert today than she has been over the last few days.

I also managed to catch up with a few more relative of patients that are also in the same ward.

It seems that they pretty much say the same thing to those relatives too. We are going to call another meeting on Tuesday with the consultant to discuss the next steps.

We are a lot more positive today ...just taking each day as it comes for now.

We know she's not out of the 'woods' yet but are keeping hopeful that she can begin rehab at the end of next week.

To end on another positive we saw her scratch her right arm with her immobile hand ...and she is drinking small amounts of water ...

Kal, All good news. Scratching using the immobile hand is one of the first things I did. I used to move the itch to the immobile finger nails and draw the good arm down the nails. You get a bit of relief, but not enough. Rehab in hospital will be mum's first real test. She will need tough love. Physio used to come for me straight after breakfast and you tend to make excuses...like you are too tired. They used to say to me 'you're awake, aren't you?' and wheel me own there. One day they asked me to walk to thy gym on a frame. I said that was impossible, but they made me do it and walked behind me with a wheelchair. And, of course, I could do it. Just remember to praise even the smallest improvement. She will get there!

Dear Kal
Very interested in what you say about the hospital standard comments. I know we are at a greater risk of second stroke during the first few weeks, but if I were in your shoes I would be thinking, Mums going to die. Different hospitals say different things. Mine was very positive indeed. The doctors cant really win, can they.
Pleased Mum will drink a bit of water. That will soon hopefully be a lot of water. Her brain will be overheating whilst it tries to make repairs. The brain does not feel pain so it doesn't send out a "make mum thirsty" message. It just helps itself to the water supplies intended for other body parts. I was drinking six mugs of water (or tea, orange etc) plus another one pint. And that's not really enough ! I am small.
John again hits nail on head (he must have been a carpenter in a previous life). Tough love needed. Physio will be far too short a time. Mum must take advantage of the precious weeks that she is getting physio. And it is Mum that makes the effort. Only Mum can effect a recovery, you can not, the physios can not, only she can effect recovery.
Overall, you sound as though things are much much better now.
Recovery in the first few weeks is likely to be fast. Then it slows. But no panic, recovery can come at any future time. So everything Mum can achieve right now will get her off to a good start.
Please Mum: Be positive. Smile a lot. You are not alone
Colin

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