Sep 21
garcia1774 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

My Dad has changed forever. Help.

Before 2011, my dad was very athletic and a very healthy eater. He was also very stubborn and hard headed as well.
The doctor would warn him that he needed to be on blood thinners because of his A-fib and family's history. My father felt
since he was healthy, he could just take aspirin daily and be ok. On February 12, 2011, my father fell into a deep sleep and wouldn't wake up. He was rushed to the ER and 17 hours later he finally woke up. He had a massive stroke.  Since that day, he has changed 100%. He acts like a child, talks like a child and is over weight and refuses to exercise.  He is also paranoid about everything and everyone (like he sleeps with knives under his pillow). He hates to change his clothes and take showers. My mother, my brother and we are at  our wits with him. He is so mean to our mother as well. Yells at her for telling him to shower and brush his teeth. He is mean to my children as well. Anyone have any suggestions??? 
  • ruby17nyc
    I am so sorry to hear about how difficult this has been for your family. The first thing to do is get information about the type of stroke your dad had. Then, I would suggest finding a support group for caregivers. You may find something like this through a local hospital. Or do a search online. The reason for this is that you may feel that you are alone, but I assure you that you are not. Listening to others tell their stories, share their ideas and most importantly, their resources, will enable you to better understand your dad's condition. Also, you may be able to find programs in your city/town for stroke survivors that will give your dad a focus outside the home and help to redirect his anger to some activity. I hope this has been helpful. Helen
  • carolfedorowicz
    I agree with Helen......Is your dad on any meds? Have you spoken with his doctor (s)? I hope all works out for the best....
  • ActiveLarry
    Sounds like "long sleep" was a very serious stroke, and areas of the brain related to adult memory, and possibly personality were lost or severely effected. This makes a recovery more complex as it entails a lot of therapy to teach him who he was and became over the course of his life. That he is no longer the age he is acting, and has a very loving family. This will be challenging, but I wish you payience and success.
  • ARK
    A heart attack / stroke besides the physiological implications leads to a loss of confidence. It is like someone leads a life 'in control' and suddenly something takes place on which one has no control. To a person who has lead life reasonably successfully and confidently, a heart attack / stroke IS AN EVENT THAT DEFINITELY SHAKES THAT CONFIDENCE AND HOW! I also feel that statins and hypertensive (BP) and or other medicines have negative effects on moods and positivity. It is a trade off. Take the medicines or else! The natural bio feed back mechanisms of a human body as created by The Creator which helps a normal person lead a natural balanced life are compromised due to medications. Some of these medications (a necessary evil) are metabolised in the body with release of free radicals and other metabolites - the body adjusts to cope with these changes bought about as a side effect of the medications. Just ask yourself these questions: Question: Was your father always like this? Answer will definitely be NO NO. Question: What has changed? Answer will be he had a heart attack / stroke. Question: Is that the only change? Answer will yes Question: What about the new medications he is now taking. Answer will be but that is a must as the doctor has prescribed it. Question: Will the medication have only specific action with no side effects. Question: Is the medical treatment / intervention complete? Answer will most probably be yes but he has to continue with medication and should not take stress. It is important if not compulsory to factor all of this into social interactions. I have a few suggestions: -The best way is to always be suggestive and never to 'order'! -Always give alternatives rather than asking to do this or that. -Building confidence also consists of indulging in light talk on past happy events. The key is of course to do it naturally. -Suggest for a good morning (and where possible evening) walk in a park or locality - accompany him. The advantage of walking is you are not face to face (remember in the house most interactions are face to face and often confrontational)....but when you walk you are side by side....while walking talk pleasant things whether reminiscing or exchanging views....ask for advice on significant and important matters.... to give him a sense of belonging and importance. -Create a situation where he takes the lead in a group prayer MEETING or something of the sort like meditation / aerobics play acting or deciding a menu or what have you. -pay attention to diet particularly the evening dinner... BUT NEVER BEHAVE OT TALK IN SUCH A WAY THAT HE IS CONSTANTLY REMINDED THAT HE IS NO LONGER A NORMAL PERSON AFTER THE STROKE. To summarize behave as though he did not have the stroke AND GIVE HIM CHARGE IN GROUP SITUATIONS AT HOME. PS: I suffered a heart attack exactly 3 years ago (when I was 55 years old). I underwent triple by pass surgery. From the moment i collapsed, post operation AND till today life has changed. The best feeling i have is that i survived to fulfill some of my remaining family responsibilities. The worst feelings are wild mood swings, bad scary dreams, not getting sleep in the first quarter of the night, loss of interest in day to day activities and believe it or not becoming emotional and getting tears in the eyes (no not sadly and I hope you understand what i mean) over some small events where simple human values are involved - for example if some relative or friend comes and talks pleasantly!!! I have some relations who have survived 25 years after a stroke / heart attack in their late fifties. A simple observation of their home environment and what they do tells me that their happiness index is HIGHHHH! And the victim is absolutely stress free. Finally I would like to submit that there is no universal fix-it solution that can be given to a self-manage And there is no universal fix-it solution that can be told to care givers to manage a patient post event.. No solution is all exclusive and No solution is all inclusive. IT IS COMMON SENSE THAT WORKS BEST and one always needs to remember that every day is a new day in the life of the victim... how he feels will vary....and as a consequence his moods will vary... AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF SO THAT YOU DO NOT LAND IN THE SAME SITUATION.
  • garcia1774
    Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words. He is on blood thinners, anxiety meds, diabetes meds , blood pressure meds and cholesterol meds. HIs doctor has ordered a MRI for next week, for we think he has had several mini strokes lately. Like I mentioned before he is more stubborn than ever. We had him in a support group about two years ago, like a mini adult day care (to give us a small relief once a week) . He begged us not to take him anymore, but we are re-visiting the idea again. We just need to get some relief.
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