Help! My mum has had a severe stroke.

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Hi all, just signed up tonight and not really sure what I’m doing. Im 30 and as my bio says, I’ve created this account to connect and speak to others about a stroke that has happened to my mum. She is only young at an age of 49 and doesn’t smoke, drink etc.

To give you some background, my Mum brought me up my whole life and I am an only child. She was and is my everything, and I’m struggling to deal with what’s happened to her. Her recovery is very very slow, so I’m hoping to hear back off people who have experienced this type of stroke and what the recovery for their loved one’s was.

It happened 4/5 months ago and she is still unable to speak properly. Unable to walk, feed herself. Get in and out of bed. Generally quite incapacitated.

The hospital is talking about sending her home where her rehabilitation will continue. But what I’m curious to find out is, has anyone ever experienced this type of stroke and will my Mum make much more recovery than what she has so far.

Thankyou for taking your time to respond to me.

A worried son.

Dear David
So sorry to hear of the severe problems Mum is encountering.
She should never give up. Amazing recoveries do happen. Smaller recoveries are happening all the time.
I had a straight forward and uncomplicated ischemic stroke. I am lucky as so many strokes are complicated by other issues. It is sometimes possible for me to help others because my injuries are classic and straight forward and so my experiences are sometimes clearer.
Did Mum have a clot or was it a bleed ?
My overwhelming experience is that recovery is slow, slow, slow. I came out of hospital able to talk (a bit) able to walk (a bit) and able to transfer with ease. Mum is not so fortunate.
Can I suggest that you need to be tough and not accept Mum home until things are in place for her. You can not expect to cope with Mum if she can not transfer. The hospital, quite logically, want to get Mum out of hospital. Quite appalling, but the support for stroke injuries is atrocious. We are the cinderellas of the medical world.
When Mum eventually come home she will in the short term be worse than ever. We expect going home to mean we are "better", but that's not how stroke injuries work.
I think you might benefit from speaking to the Stroke Association. Or any local stroke help groups. Your GP (or Mums GP) surgery will have details. The staff can direct you. And likewise the hospital stroke unit will have all sorts of guides and help.
I don't have the stroke association here but my local charitable group are very good at organization and advice for the carers, not just us survivors. Meeting with other carers will be potentially wonderful. They will understand, not many others will understand.

There are many who experience this type of injury, you are not alone with this. Mum being previously healthy will help a great deal. Her age should mean she will recover more quickly.
No one ever knows the time scale. But recovery will go on for years, so don't ever give up.

If you want to read about the ultimate recovery, then Jill Bolte Taylor "A Stroke of Insight" will describe a recovery from very severe stroke injuries. Its a bit technical and its American, but it not a bad read.
To give hope....I went to sleep one night. I was paralysed, could move my right hand but not much else. Couldn't sit myself up, turn my head nor even turnover in bed. I awoke early the next morning and, with physios around me, I got up and walked out the ward. Well staggered rather than walked, but boy that was a marvellous and miraculous day.
Only I can make the recovery. No medics, no relatives can mend me. I have to mend myself. Support is great.

Hope the cavalry will arrive to give you some tips

Colin

Hi Colin thankyou so much for your reply. As far as I’m aware she had a bleed on the right side of her brain, in the part that controls pretty much everything. Resulting in her left side being the most affected in terms of mobility.

I will have a look at that article. I’ve struggled to find something on the internet that relates to my mums conditions and what the recovery may be. So that will be interesting to read and hopefully give me a boost that I need. Also a boost for my Mum who asks me questions I don’t know the answers too.

I’m sorry to hear about your own struggles. Strokes were something I just heard about in conversation in the past. They’re very much my reality at the moment and it’s completely opened my eyes.

Yes, I think my mum has reached her time limit at the hospital hence wanting to see about her going home but I agree. She should stay there until the time is right. But I guess that is out of our hands.

Thankyou again

Dear David
The stroke association leaflets are easy to understand and set out a lot of information. Hospitals and GPs have them. The electronic versions are on this site.
There are others on the forum who have had right sided bleeds. Bleeds are less common, us clots are more common. This forum has given me better tips than anywhere else.
Mum has lived through the first days and many others do not survive.
No two strokes are the same.
Our brains are amazing, they are able to work around the dead bits of brain to provide all sorts of recovery.
I hadn't a clue about strokes. I was laid out on the bedroom floor not having any idea what was ahead. I now drive, tend my garden and get up a step ladder. I am 70. Mum is ?49. So she will mend faster than me.
Regarding rehab. Transfer is a big issue. Once she can transfer unaided then life will improve for her. And her carers.
Colin

Hi David, I cannot add much more to what Colin has said, but like your Mum, I had a right side bleed 20 months ago. Thanks to excellent nursing and physio I was able to go home with the ability to stand, walk a little on a frame and able to wash and shave. Age Uk made alterations to the house e.g. hand grips on stairs, seat in shower etc., This was all free. I also had six weeks physio at home from the Community Stroke Team. But for anything to work, you need grit and determination.

Like Colin says, progress is slow and has to be worked at. I had a lot of physio and now go to three exercise classes a week. I am now 74 and determined to do what it takes to improve further if I can, a lot depends, however, on what support and services exist in your area. Health authority funding varies so much.

It is a very worrying time for you and Mum. I do hope things improve for you both.

Thankyou for your reply.

We have had social services come to her house today and have set provisions in place that will allow Mum to come home. She will have to have a hospital bed in the spare bed room and a hoist for now but fortunately she lives in a bungalow which makes things a lot easier for getting around.

I guess I’m just eager to know how much recovery she will make but like I am coming to realise. It varies and will be a slow process and is individual. I just hate seeing her have to go through this but I remain strong and positive always to her. These questions and thoughts I have I don’t burden her with, as she has enough on her plate. Hopefully being home will give her an extra drive and determination.

Thanks again for your reply and I’m glad to hear you ok and getting better and better:

David

Make sure the Community rehab team are providing support OT Physio Speech therapists dieticians all assess your mum I am still in contact with them 12 yrs after my mothers stroke
My mum was 75 when she had her stroke and couldnt move for about 3 mths but with constant passive exercises and physio started to improve which continued for over 12 mths So dont give up but you do need support . Get all the equipment you can pressure cushion, ripple mattress for the bed, wheelchair and posture chair these are often easier to get to enable discharge from hospital as when at home its a different budget
Have they set up a care package to support your mum make sure you get 4 visits a day from experienced carers as agencies vary so much. Then you can use your time to work on her progress. When my mum left hospital she went into a nursing home for several mths and I had time off work and encouraged her to eat again exercise etc I dont know if youre in a posn to do this but at least there were staff to help and give advice. When she was more mobile she came to live with me but needed a lot of support.
Hope this helps a bit I was lucky in a away because we d cared for my dad who has MS so I knew the system and had experience of disability. It can be very challenging when you re on your own at home and can t get advice or help as it is a very complex constantly changing condition
Does your mum like music we found that helpful and singing. Good luck !!!
Please let me know if there s any thing I can do Chris

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