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What to Expect the first weeks after the stroke
My 83-year old mother suffered a hemorrhagic stroke 9 days ago, two days after a heart procedure, while still in the hospital. We were told it was a mild stroke and she never lost much strength in her limbs, but had facial droop, slurring, and inability to swallow. In the 9 days since the stroke we have seen physical improvement but mentally she seems to be declining. She continues to fail the swallow test, she calls out for her Mom who passed 40 years ago, and is in mittens because she is pulling out her feeding tube. Some days she recognizes her family and some days she doesn't. Is this decline to be expected as part of recovery?
AHAASAKatie, September 9, 2019 9:19am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry your Mom and your family are having to go through this. I can share the information we have on stroke recovery for you. And, I know our members will have good information for you as well. What does her medical team say in terms of recovery at this point? Best Katie
Matthew1, September 9, 2019 11:40am EST
I am so sorry you and your mom are suffering from this. Please know you are not alone. I am a stroke survivor who experienced a major stroke at only 47 years old. While I am not a doctor, I can tell you she is in the VERY early stages of recovery. While incredible, the healing process of the brain can take a very long time and works differently in different people. Her age may play into that. Her neurologist can answer those questions. Remember, the sooner she is in speech, occupational and physical therapy the better!!! The healing is fastest in the early stages after stroke. Please don’t wait to get that started. Also, I am over 3 years removed from my stroke and still have severe short term memory issues. The good news is that in the early stages of recovery, if handled properly, major strides are often possible. Keep I mind, recovery is not linear. There will be good days and then dips in her healing. Not everyday will see improvement. Don’t EVER be afraid to ask questions of the doctors and BE HER ADVOCATE !! she needs you now. You’ll be great! good luck.
Spooky75, September 9, 2019 11:45am EST
Thanks for sharing this with us. What Matthew said above is absolutely on point. Healing takes time. What's important is for you to be there for your mom during this recovery journey. It may get frustrating at times. We're all here if you need us.
JKViggiano, September 10, 2019 4:37pm EST
Hi. My husband did and said all sorts of crazy things in the first year of recovery. It was terribly disturbing but it gradually passed.
The others who have responded to you have given excellent feedback. Keep in mind that stroke is a brain injury. Where it hits and how it hits creates a unique injury and recovery for each person. Your mom's best chance of recovery is continuing effort and support. I always say recovery is a team sport. I hope your whole family will get involved and be a part of her recovery. Good luck and God bless.
queenbeem, September 13, 2019 10:12am EST
Sorry what you are going through, I can relate somewhat, my husband has suffered from quite a few strokes and seizures, it takes time to recover, please be patient with your Mom, give her all the support you can and if possible get your family members to help, so you do not get overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I have to work and I'm the only one that cares for him, but God has given me alot of strength to endure. Prayer helps alot, God hears our crys for help.
ST1980, September 15, 2019 12:37pm EST
my father suffered a severe stroke at the age of 67 and all of the advice above is correct - it’s a slow process and while somedays it may seem like the progress is so tiny, it’s all incremental. My dad failed the swallow test about 4 times initially in hospital and then gradually was on liquid food then bite sized food when supervised... it took nearly 6 months to be a normal diet, unattended and now at 9 months is completely normal. He has good and bad days in terms of memory and insight and I think, for the caregiver, that’s the hardest part. There are personality changes that are unexpected and then every now and then it’s like nothing’s changed and you get your parent back. Any and all support from family is transformative even when it doesn’t feel like it - so what you are doing is completely brilliant (even if no one tells you it is, know you are doing the best for everyone)
lulu1160402042, September 28, 2019 6:29am EST
Hello, my name is Pastor Lou, my wife had the same kind of stroke 8 years ago with brain surgery and after that the first couple of years she looked on the road to some recovery then a couple of years later she was declining and 2 years ago she became bed bound, we pray every day for God to heal her she is 74 years old,lives on baby food and proteen drinks that is it.. as for recovery process everyone comes along differently and I will add you to our prayer list. what happened to us will be different than your situation but don't give up keep up the good work and pray. God Bless You and your mom and family, sincerely , Pastor Lou
SusankB, October 25, 2019 3:49am EST
Hi JamiP55, thanks so much for sharing. I just found this site tonight. My 82-year old mother suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, too, on July 16. My mom's issues are very different from your mom's, but I feel grateful for your uestions and all the replies so far, as they are helping me too. I am so sorry this event has happened in your lives (and mine) but we can get through it with help from experienced others! My mom was so weak, so childlike, and had great difficulty even deciding what she wanted to eat. It took a lot of energy to listen to options, to imagine them, to decide. She couldn't read a menu. She couldn't feed herself. Gradually each of those abilities returned on their own. She can do all of them now (3 months post-stroke). Her speech pathologist told her the 3 most important things are sleep, exercise, and nutrition for stroke recovery. We have had her in occupational, speech, and physical therapy frequently since the stroke. She progresses, then she goes backward. She gets down and fearful, and then the next day she's upbeat. It's hard. Wishing you well!