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Step-Grandma had a stroke

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givincare

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My family got some bad news Tuesday. My 87 year old step-grandmother had a stroke early that morning. While she may be 87, she was very active and still enjoying life.

 

It appears that the damage was on the left side of the brain, and she has not spoken and has failed the swollow test she was given yesterday.

 

She has been very sleepy and has shown nerve sensitivity on her right side. These, as we all here know, are both common reactions to the brain trauma.

 

My mom and step-dad drove to Ohio Wednesday to be with her and to support the rest of the family through this. My step-dad'd sister is the power of attorny for Grandma, and she seems to be very pessimistic of Grandma's prognosis.

 

I can relate to that feeling of losing hope because doctors seem all too eager to point out the worst case scenario. Then when you hear very little positives you tend to feel like things are futile. I know that if I had had any idea how successful Patrick's recovery actually would be I certainly would have made different decisions regarding his initial treatment. We've all know the "vegetable" stories personally or from others here.

 

My mom has been in to see Grandma quite a bit and is convinced she is aware but simply unable to communicate. (blinking on command, squeezing a hand at the right time, etc.) But because of Grandma's age, the doctors aren't even talking about therapy right now, even though she is medically stable. This infuriates me! What right do these doctors have to give up on her recovery based on her age??? She had a great quality of life pre-stroke. She certainly has the capabilities of getting some functions back. I am not being unrealistic, here. I realise- as do my parents- that Grandma will be forever changed.

 

My step-aunt is overwhelmed (weren't we all at that time) and not seemingly willing to challange the doctors. She has also been somewhat defensive with my parents (I do understand, the stress is incredible and we all deal with things differently). It's frustrating though that whenever my mom mentions things regarding Patrick's stroke and recovery, my aunt tells my mom and dad that Patrick was young, unlike Grandma. This is of course true, BUT, that does not mean she is beyond hope!!! The worst thing of all is that these pessimistic comments by the doctors and my aunt are made IN FRONT OF HER as if she isn't even there/aware.

 

All we can do is wait and see if Grandma continues to improve. Mom and Dad both seem to think Grandma is fighting and not ready to give up. Hopefully the doctors and the aunt will come around and fight for her, too.

I just hate to see precious time thrown away.

 

Kristen

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Kristen,

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother! God, with all you've been through you'd think the family would draw strength and encouragement from you and not listen to the negative medical community! My thoughts are with you....

 

Jean

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Kristen,

 

While I was in the rehab part of the hospital my roommate was 94 years old. Although I was 43 she and I seemed to be pretty much on the same recovery rate. She was determined although she had trouble speaking, you could tell by her actions. The occupational therapists put us together for some of the activities. She ended up going to an adult foster home and had to have a certain level of independence to be accepted. I believe that she was in inpatient rehab for 3-4 weeks before being sent to this home.

 

 

 

Autumn

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Kristen, each survivor whatever their age needs a chance to get their old life back and get as much rehabilitation in various forms as they are able to cope with. Hope someone else can become your step-Granma's advocate who has some positive encouragement to share with her.

 

Speaking in front of the patient as if he/she can't hear is insensitive and boorish. The doctors and your aunt need reminding of the patients needs coming first and the doctors especially reprimanded for their uncaring if not unethical behaviour. We all need to be discreet and respectful of our survivor's needs.

 

As Ray is back in hospital I am back in the thick of getting Ray's rights and needs respected. The staff is only as good as the person watching them makes them out to be. Fortunately most of the staff I have dealt with so far have been eager to do all they can for Ray.

 

Hugs from Sue.

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"Speaking in front of the patient as if he/she can't hear is insensitive and boorish. " --- Sue, when the two neurologists told us that Don would be a vegetable for life they did it at his bedside with him fully awake to hear it. I think that is one reason why it's always the first thing he wants to tell people he meets. Kristen, make waves in the family for doing this. It's worth it! So many people---including doctors---think if you can't talk you can't hear or understand and that's not necessary true.

 

Jean

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Thanks, Ladies.

 

I am doing all I can, but my only communication is through my mom and thats like preaching to the choir.

 

I try to listen to all the details she gives me and do the best I can to give advice based on first-hand experience or from the experiences from everyone here. She in turn shares that with the family.

 

My aunt and I are not close. She is actually my step-aunt and even though I've know her since I was 11, I have only seen her and her kids maybe a dozen times. They always lived 8 hours or more away. Because of this, I would never feel comfortable speaking to her directly unless she WANTED my advice. It doesn't appear that she does at this time.

 

All I can do is keep talking to my mom and step-dad, and hope that Dad can convince my aunt to not give up on Grandma so easily.

 

Family Dynamics. UGH.

 

Kristen

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Kristen:

 

I was staying away from giving advice even though I am Stroke survivor, though I kind of agree with Doctors decisions on these, think about it, Patrick was young and even with all the support he got how difficult the journey back is was , I know life do becomes wonderful again, but at the same time you need great family support to get survivor back, I know for me even after coming back home, keeping doctors appointment and all those things were daunting task, for your great grandma she aleready lived great life till 87, now how long she will live and who in her family is willing to sacrifice their life to look after her needs,

 

I strongly feel if family is planning to put in nursing home then it's not life worth living for, but that's my opinion.

 

Lot of survivors who think they are figting spirit, but you have to realise without caregiver they would have been nothing. I am trying to become less dependent on my hubby, though I still need him to drive me to doctor's appt.

 

I have shed lot of tears and tried doing everything for my son to have good memory of his mom, not the one who is so dependent on everybody.

 

 

Asha

 

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