Taking care of my wife who had a strokeHello everyone
My wife had a stroke on July 7, 2015. She woke up that morning complaining that her right leg was numb. She was 68 years old then. We have been married 49 years. I thought she was just having a cramp in her leg, so we attempted to get her out of bed. She could not get out of bed, and was having a hard time talking. Called 911, they came and took her to the helicopter at the local hospital. We live in rural Florida so they took her to Tampa General Hospital which is a 2 hour drive. They could not take me, so I drove to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital they told me she had a stroke from a blood clot in the left side of her brain. They attempted to get the blood clot, but gave up when it became clear they would cause more damage trying to get to it. So it began. Every day for the first couple of weeks were hectic with what seemed like a different issue every day. After she was somewhat stable, a lady came into her room, explaining the options we would have when the time came to be released from the hospital. I am a retired Postal worker and thought I had really good insurance. So my education into today's healthcare system began also. To make a long painful story short, since I am on Civil Service retirement, and my wife and I are on Social Security, then Medicare becomes our Primary health insurance, and my Blue Cross Blue Shield is our secondary. So after a certain number of days in the hospital, Medicare stops paying, and I would be responsible for paying for any days beyond the set period Medicare would pay. Ok,, they gave me two rehab facilities to choose from, I took the one closest to home. What a nightmare. It was so bad, they were overcrowded and badly understaffed. I was attempting to work a job and keep up with her at the rehab facility, but gave that up. One night I asked the RN on duty how many patients she had, she told me she had 33 patients. Again eventually the days Medicare would pay for came close, so they gave us our options, which were, pay for her stay in rehab or check her out and take her home. I took her home. Rented a hospital bed, signed her up for rehabilitation at home. Went that route for about a year, then they kept telling us that we have what we have. She can walk a little, maybe 50 feet before she has to sit. Her speech has come back a lot, she still has to find the words, She can't use her right arm,after over a year of OT. Somwhere along the line her bladder stopped working, so she has an indwelling urinary catheter. One of the home health nurses taught me how to change the catheter. Along with the catheter are the collection bags, and other supplies.
I haven't even started talking about the problems we have encountered during this time. We have probably started accepting that this is it, and are attempting to try to make the most of what we have.
I do have a question: Can a stroke survivor fly? We want to plan a trip but not sure if the pressure and depressurization of the cabin would cause problems.