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.