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My mom died on January 7 and one week after her funeral, my father suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. The doctors say his cognition is good and there is some movement on his left side (the side affected) so rehab should get him walking again. However, it’s been two weeks and his mental clarity hasn’t improved. I’m scared and no one seems to have any information to help me understand if this is a normal part of recovery or if this is as good as it’s going to get. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of losing both my parents in one month. I can’t stop crying even though my doctor has prescribed 2 anti-anxiety medications for me. I’m feeling lost and alone.
Kdogg240, February 3, 2019 9:16am EST
Wow!, I’m sad to read your post. That is truly heartbreaking. I and my family will be praying for you and your father. For me, when my wife had a hemorrhagic stroke, it was about 2 1/2 weeks before I could even know if she was going to be coherent. It is a slow struggle and I’m sure time is even moving slower with the death of your mother being so close. Some advice I can give you is keep doing what you doing by posting your thoughts and questions on this site. Know that your not alone and people will be willing to help and hopefully give you some comfort.”Scared” is definitely an emotion that everyone who has been through stroke survival has felt along with many others. This forum is a great place to put your feelings down, get them out of your head. It took me along time to find this site and until I did, I held all of those emotions in, and i feel that is has caused me unnecessary stress. Let out your feelings out, we are hear to listen and help with advice if possible. You are not alone. We sometimes have to just put ourselves out there to ask for guidance and support. We will keep you and your father in our prayers. Wishing you both the best and a speedy recovery to your father!
AHAASAKatie, February 4, 2019 9:33am EST
I am so sorry that you have had to manage so much in such a very short period of time. Please know that we are here for you and want to support you every step of the way. Best Katie
TEAMGUZMAN, February 4, 2019 10:41am EST
I am so very sorry to hear that you lost your Mom, and now Dad has had a stroke. I too lost my Mom back in 2015, so I feel your pain, she was only 62.
I am so glad that you joined us here, with all of us, you are never alone. Please know you can reach out anytime, even just to vent. From experience, I can tell you that every stroke patient and their recovery is different. If Dad s still in the hospital, ask the nurses where the patient advocate office is, and please go speak with them. It is their "job" to be sure patients and family fully understand what is going on. Do not feel like you can't ask questions, it is your right to know. I know I felt apprehensive in asking questions.. sometimes medical professionasl can make us feel intimidated to ask questions. Please stand your ground and stay strong. I am here for you, as well as many others. God bless you, and cry when you need to..it is part of getting through the hardest times of our lives. Hugs, Toni
Buggas311, February 4, 2019 11:20am EST
It seems that you are overcomed with grief and anxiety having so much come at you in such a short amount of time. You didn't mention how old your dad is, but I'm assuming heis also trying to come to terms with everything that has happened. A stroke can be different for everyone. My husbands stroke affected his right side brain. That was 4 + years ago. His stroke left him physically disabled but is currently able to care for himself for the most part. The stroke however has left him in a state of constant confusion with a personality change. However, I have seen many other stroke victims/survivors who have recovered beyond expectations. In my husbands case I believe severe depression has left him without the motivation to become stronger and more mentally aware. It's very frustrating for them when they become aware of their new limitations. Two weeks is not a lot of time post stroke. So hang in there, a lot of improvement comes in time.
I feel that your father might be struggling with depression following the loss of his wife and now a stroke. But your reassurance and activism will pull him through. Being a caregiver to a stroke survivor is not an easy road. Please keep us posted on his and your progress. We are always here for you to bounce your thoughts, questions and concers.
JKViggiano, February 4, 2019 4:54pm EST
Hi Jbouc. First, I am so sorry for your loss.You and your dad have and continue to suffer so much. I wish I could give you a hug.
Second, take heart! Every day brings opportunity to heal, recover, and reflect the strength your mom gave you. My husband is 11 years post-stroke and even though he is disabled, he has far exceeded all expectations for his recovery. The stroke took the use of his right side, his ability to speak, and his ability to think clearly and remember. There was no encouragement or discouragement from the medical community. I found that very frustrating.
I finally got the answer from our neurosurgeon. He told us "those who want it most, recover best." I learned that recovery is directly tied to effort. We wanted recovery enough to relentlessly pursue recovery. I believe he continued to improve for about 8 years. Since then, we work to keep him from backsliding. He walks, mostly talks but in short sentences, remembers pretty well but still struggles with cognition.
Your dad has a terrible brain injury, It takes time to heal and recover. The good news is recovery only ends when we stop trying. The challenge is to keep trying. I tell survivors and caregivers that Recovery is a Team Sport. Gather your team--therapists, family, friends--to help or just encourage you. Good luck and keep in touch.
silana, February 20, 2019 7:37pm EST
Almost 3 years ago (April 4, 2016), my husband had a hemmoraghic stroke. Immediately afterwards, he couldn't move any part of the left side of his body. He had parts of his vision where he couldn't see things which were right in front him (then, you'd point it out and he'd ask if it was there the whole time). He had trouble with basic lifestyle tasks (such as separating a container of pills into daily slots). After 6 weeks in-patient rehab in the hospital, he walked out using a cane (not even a walker!). Then, he came home; after a few months of outpatient rehab, he walked without a cane and no bars in toilets and could safely walk the staircase in our home. He can do all the daily tasks which he could not immediately after his stroke. It is a brain injury which takes time to heal and reccover. His Nuerosurgeron explained large/gross motor funtioning returns first (legs, walking) then on to smaller functioning (arms) and then fine motor (hands/fingers). Between 6 months and 1 year, the large part of recovery is complete although the fine motor skills can still slowly improve as well as mental tasks, remembering, etc. Oh, his speech and swallowing (eating and drinking) was very much affected and that improved after about three months and returned to pre-stroke as did his vision. He was 49 when he had his stroke; I was 39 and our children were 5 and 9. You will get through this, you are stronger than you know! Make sure to care for yourself, truly! Even if it is 10 minutes reading a book, watching tv, listening to your favorite songs -- anything where you can escape briefly from reality will bring you calm and rejuvenation! You need it for yourself and to be able to be supportive of your father. I understand, being the caregiver is a challenging place to be. Don't judge improvement daily; step back and do so weekly or monthly. Hang in there!
Jasper, March 15, 2019 7:56pm EST
There are rehabilitate programs that help the brain start healing. Physical therapy is also good. Large print circle a word and childhood games helped my husband get on the road to recovery. Sometimes, they will do things for strangers that would just create an argument with a loved one. It is a slow process, but the first few months are important. Recovery varies, but if he can- I found it not only helped him but me too!