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My LoveMy darling husband is in the hospital. Due to COVID restrictions I’m across the street in a hotel room for the 3rd night. Sunday morning I held his rough, strong, calloused hands as he had 2 major seizures. After a terrifying day following ambulances to two hospitals, he had to stay without me. Now, he doesn’t know me or want to talk to me on the phone. Medical staff is doing great and they keep me updated. The MRI today showed that sometime before Sunday he had a large stroke in the left side of his brain and then several small seizures before this major episode. He was confused and tired but had refused to go to any doctor. He’s never been in a hospital. The doctor is supposed to call me in the morning and we possibly go home tomorrow. I’m heartbroken, terrified, and have absolutely no idea how to care for my amazing cowboy. I’m a teacher and I start back in a few weeks. I’m do not know what to do.
AHAASAKatie, July 15, 2020 9:11am EST
I am so very sorry to hear this news. I am going to share a few resources to help you get started with the education process of life post-stroke. I do have a question though, they are considering sending him home vs to rehab facility? That could possibly be the next step for his recovery.
Please know that you are not alone in this. We are here to listen and support you.
JKViggiano, July 15, 2020 12:18pm EST
Katie is right--you need help and guidance. Is there a social worker at the hospital who can help? Ask for resources! My husband went into a rehab facility for 3 weeks before he came home so I at least had 3 weeks to watch and learn how to care for him. You need an opportunity to learn too.
Ask about therapy--physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Get him into any/all of these asap. I accompanied my husband to all his appointments so I learned what he could or could not do and how to worki with him. We had outpatient therapy (in our home) for several months after he left the rehab facility. After that, we went to a therapy clinic.
We attacked recovery as a team. I encourage you and your husband to do the same. We agreed that full recovery was the goal and we would do whatever it took to achieve it. It has been 12 years for us and we still work for improvement. (full disclosure--my husband had a massive stroke and was severely disabled) We haven't gotten there yet but we are still in it together. We have stayed positive, proactive, and happily married.
Brain injuries are scary, difficult to understand, and unpredictable. Recovery is a Team Sport. Try to gather teammates, coaches, and a few cheerleaders. You can do it.
Cynthiaa, July 15, 2020 2:57pm EST
I am so sorry to hear what you and your beloved are experiencing. As a recovering stroke victim and as a caregiver for my mother who had a stroke I can share my experiences.
My mother and myself were able to recover to almost 95%. After my event - I was hardly able to talk, write (use my right arm/hand), balance/walk and I struggled with finding the right words. A brain after an injury is an amazing thing. It is able to rewire and help develop similar skills. I encourage you to keep your faith, each day will bring a improvement. Today, I am left with a little accent, (which I kind of like), I type and write extremely fast and I continue to challenge my body in kick boxing.
It all starts from scratch. I found that reaching out rehab specialist and practicing helped me. I am here for you - please let me know how else I can support you.
PS> Initially, there is a lot of anger but, it is just a stage to work through.
JamesPL, July 15, 2020 10:07pm EST
I am so very sorry for what you are going through right now. I can only echo what others have said. It is so important to seek out help for both you and your husband. It can be overwhelming and stressful to care for someone you love while they are recovering from serious health issues. I'll never forget the look on my wife's face when she told me what it was like when she first saw me after heart surgery. It was a look I had never seen before. The stress can be unhealthy so you also have to be concious of that so you can continue to care for your husband in whatever capacity you may have to.
I also agree that you should educate yourself as much as possible by questioning his doctors about his condition and recovery. If there is something you don't understand, make them explain it to you. The more you understand, the better a caregiver you will be.
I wish you both well and will be thinking of you and your husband's recovery.