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rrswife, September 11,  2018  11:31am EST

Spouse refusing treatment after TIA ... any resources in Texas?

It's been a horrible, horrible weekend.   Saturday morning, after moving a tablesaw from his truck to the shed, my husband suddenly tilted his head to the side, shuddered for a second and nearly fell over.  His son just caught him and braced him up.   Afterward, my husband could not form words, and just produced grunt-like sounds.  We could not convince him to go to the hospital until Sunday night around 10pm, in spite of paramedics (me) and police (him, because we would not give him his truck keys) trying for over an hour to convince him to go to the hospital.  They got as far as ct scans, so the TIA was confirmed, and there was no clot still in evidence.   The ER doctor wanted to admit him, but he got himself discharged AMA instead. 

Symptoms:  continuous hiccups, doesn't seem to "see" anything just to his left, it's just not there for him... slams his left side into doorways and the truck rearview mirror on that side.  In the shower, asked me where his shampoo is... it was on an eye-level shelf where it's always been kept for at least seven years.   Unable to recognize the orientation of some objects... things like trying to open his laptop from the hinged side, or once open, setting it up so the monitor is down and keyboard/touch bad up, then complaining loudly that his electronics are all on the fritz.   Unable to type the same password he's used for the last decade.   Putting his shirt on upside down and backwards, or both feet through the same leg hole when putting underwear on.   

And absolutely denying that there is any problem, continuously demanding his truck keys, becoming verbally abusive, at one point smashing my stepson's tail lights with whatever he could grab (that resulted in six cop cars, an ambulance and a firetruck at the house, and they spent three hours trying to calm him down and get him to agree to go to the hospital.  Somehow even at this point, he has not crossed some unknown threshold they have for being able to take him to the hospital against his refusal.   At a point in all of this, he decided he was angry enough at me to take off his wedding ring and hand it to me.   I know he is not himself, so I have it on a string around my neck to give back to him when he is ready.   Still hurts like hell though.  

Does anyone know of any good resources for caregivers of angry, belligerent, non-compliant stroke victims?   It's only been a little over three days and I am already exhausted, heartbroken, frightened for him...  and totally at a loss.   He won't even take an aspirin in lieu of prescription blood thinners.   

1 Reply
  • Spooky75
    Spooky75, September 13,  2018  1:12pm EST

    Thanks for sharing your story. You're in the right place.

    I'm certainly no expert for this type of situation, but I do know how important it is for all of us to obey a doctor's orders when it comes to our health. I also know, however, that when a health situation arises, it can be a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended). It always surprises people when I tell them that on the morning of my stroke (11 weeks ago), I actually drove to work. I think I was in a little bit of denial that something had actually happened to me in my sleep. And then when I realized that, yes, I needed help, I drove all the way back to an acute care center near my house (22 miles away!) instead of going to the ER. I was TERRIFIED. 

    Again, not an expert, but I do know that with your husband's symptoms appearing on his left side, the TIA likely occurred on the right side of his brain. Right side happens to be the emotion center of our brains, and I suspect it's possible that his emotions (anger, being belligerent) could be side-effects of the TIA. After my right-side stroke, I'm left feeling like my emotions have been deadened. I don't feel overly happy or excited or sad about anything. It's a strange feeling.

    It is critical that your husband gets the proper care right now. Please continue to try to convince him how important it is to take this seriously, even though it's a scary time. 

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