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MCJC

New Stroke after Carotid Stenting

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I am new on here and desperate. My hubby had an aneurysm on his artery (was bleeding) and interventional radiologist offered to fix it by stenting. During the procedure he dislodged a clot that ended up in my husband’s brain. We were told it happens 1-2% and we got “lucky” to get it. I fell apart. Just an hour before the procedure my hubby was on his laptop communicating with his clients and came back from a “simple” procedure unrecognizable. I was hysterical...this all feels like a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. The attending doctor offered tPA medication, clot busting med that was supposed to dissolve it, but later, in a much bigger hospital where I moved him, I found out from two radiologists that he was not a candidate for it because of the bleeding and aneurism that was just fixed and tPA would’ve caused massive brain hemorrhage. I don’t know how I felt something was wrong, but as crushed as I was, I refused. Now I keep hearing that they were pretty much trying to put a gun in my hand to cover one mess with another.

I moved my husband to the biggest hospital it downtown where he has been staying for over 10 days now. The clot ended up in his upper left side. But the front, the back and the right side are normal on scans. We were told he would probably be numb or paralyzed on the right side, the opposite side, but on the next day, he was moving right and left legs/arms with no problem. He has been walking with the physical therapist since day 4, according to occupational therapists has been doing well putting his pants and socks on.  He watches TV changes channels, logs into his iPad using 6 number password. When I showed him a picture on the iPad, he tried to reach it with his index finger and I thought maybe he wanted to touch it to see if it was real, but he started scrolling pics, sliding them right to left. Since it’s only been over a week the doctors and nurses say it’s hard to tell where he stands. He is acting almost angry towards the doctors, but very respectful and submissive towards the nurses and respiratory stuff. I think his empathy is affected as he is not reacting to my tears, which is not my husband. Yet, he winks at me when I walk in, gives me a kiss when I lean towards him, strokes my hair when I lie my head on his chest. When I say “I am going to go get coffee” he waves away like “go”. When I bring mail from our mailbox he opens every envelope the exactly same way he always does, opens every one of them, then points to give him glasses, goes through every page, separates it into two piles, junk mail and bills. Usually gives
 me the junk pile pointing to throw it away. Last night he wrote his first and last name (very crooked like a child, but did it) and when I gave him thumbs up he smiled. 

I would so love to hear from anyone who had the same kind of stroke. How was it for you guys? Have you eventually learned to talk? I am not sure if intelligence gets affected.  Could you hear what people were saying and understand it? Or, could understand it, but couldn’t respond? Did you feel/know you were in the hospital and not home? Did you remember what home looked like? How long was it for you? Was your empathy affected when you couldn’t feel other people sadness? Or, was it just the way you looked on the outside, but deep inside you were stressed and worried? I am trying to understand what he is feeling. Did you recognize your loved ones when saw them after the stroke, your home when got back? Did you ever get back to your jobs or was your knowledge completely erased? Did you go to the Rehab after the hospital? Did you continue therapy at home? Who or what helped you? 

My mind is racing, I can’t sleep or eat, I am terrified. Thank you for reading 😢

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I had a hemorrhagic stroke, but in a different part of my brain than your husband. When I "came to" after my stroke, I couldn't talk and had to re-learn how to do that. While I was "speechless" I understood what everyone said to me. My memory was intact, and my comprehension was also unaffected. Such is not the case for everyone. Your memory can be affected, or your comprehension. A lot depends on where in your brain you had the stroke. Whatever was damaged will be affected in you. For instance, I had a brainstem stroke, and the brainstem does not control any intellectual functions. So my intellectual functions were not affected. That's why I retained my memory, ability to comprehend, etc. But, like your husband, I couldn't talk.  Right after my stroke, I was able to talk, walk with a walker, but soon those abilities ceased, and I wound up paralyzed on my lt. side, and speechless. That's where you are now, in a holding pattern, waiting to see what will happen.

 

Many of your questions are unanswerable right now, and you'll just have to "wait and see."

 

You can ask his neurologist what areas of his brain were affected, just don't take whatever he says as if it's carved in stone. My neruro told my hubby that 98% of the people who have the same kind of stroke die within the first 48 hrs., and those who survive become vegetables. Well, here I am, 11 yrs. later, not dead, and not a vegetable. I am a firm believer that docs are no more privy to God's will than we are.

 

As to how he's feeling rt now? Probably more terrified than you are. He probably has a lot of the same questions but is afraid of the answers. That's when he's awake. Just after a stroke, the fatigue is horrendous. Sometimes it lasts a long time after you go home.  Speaking of home, when he gets there, he will need therapy. As much as he can get.

 

Please know that you'll both be in my prayers. Good luck.   

 

Becky

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I was not able to move my right side in the beginning of my recover but with therapy and the universe, I was started slowly to build my strength back. Am I 100%.. NO but WAY better.  The most important thing is not to see him now and assume he'll be like this forever. I , possibly like your husband, look like no issues following my stroke but they are invisible. Just be patient. It's hard when it is a loved one and we knew them before the event.  One of the most important thing to please do is:  be patient. That is challenging in itself.  My stroke happened from  chiropractic manipulation dissected an artery.  I understand life changing from a routine procedure. 

Breathe. ( I didn't forever)

 

The way you see him today, may not be the way he'll be going forward.  It took me MONTHS to walk, read ( I still struggle) . 

We all have a shoulder or ear for you xx

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Please go to our website called, Stroke Education, for more information about stroke.  The page about Rehabilitation is extremely important! 

 

My type of stroke happened in the brain stem, which did not affect any area of the brain.  Many, 9 of 12, cranial nerves were damaged.  My cognitive skills were not affected but most of my mechanical skills were destroyed, including my speech.  At first, I could only blink my eyes.  I quickly developed communication skills.  Please read my article called, Techniques in Communication.  It explains how you can communicate with your husband even though he cannot speak.  Check out my website at http://www.stevemallory.org/ if you want to read more about me and my stroke. 

 

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11 hours ago, smallory said:

Please go to our website called, Stroke Education, for more information about stroke.  The page about Rehabilitation is extremely important! 

 

My type of stroke happened in the brain stem, which did not affect any area of the brain.  Many, 9 of 12, cranial nerves were damaged.  My cognitive skills were not affected but most of my mechanical skills were destroyed, including my speech.  At first, I could only blink my eyes.  I quickly developed communication skills.  Please read my article called, Techniques in Communication.  It explains how you can communicate with your husband even though he cannot speak.  Check out my website at http://www.stevemallory.org/ if you want to read more about me and my stroke. 

 

Thank you Steve. I tried to click on Techniques in Communication that you underlined but it wouldn’t open. I would love to see how I can communicate with my husband. I miss his voice, I miss his presence, it’s killimg me that he can’t say anything. Or, what I am even more scared of is that when he does start talking, he would be making no sense. He is being transferred to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation that has extensive stroke and brain injury programs, but I need to learn myself how to speak with him. I am pretty sure they will use as much of insurance time/money as they can and the biggest chunk of it will be left for me at home anyway.  Thank you again. 

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12 hours ago, MCJC said:

I tried to click on Techniques in Communication that you underlined but it wouldn’t open.

It works for me but go to https://strokenetblog.net/2014/07/20/techniques-in-communication/

 

Your husband's stroke was very recent.  The first 6 - 12 months are when the majority of recovery occurs.  Recovery, though, is actually a lifetime event.  It can be painfully slow but it NEVER, EVER stops!  Be patient because in 5 years you both can look back and marvel at how much you have learned and how much he has recovered.  It varies for each person due to how much time and effort they put into it.  The sooner that they start rehabbing the better. 

 

Anyway, please read the entire article. 

 

Something else you might be interested in is our Stroke Caregivers Handbook.  Over a dozen of our experienced stroke caregivers pooled together and wrote down everything they learned, typically the hard way, for the inexperienced stroke caregiver. 

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Oh my gosh you and your husband certainly have been through the wringer!

Prayers for you both. 

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I'm sending prayers as well. I know how scary and foreign this must feel. Try to be as patient as you can. There is usually much improvement in the first 6-12 months. Every stroke is different and every survivor recovers differently to some extent. Talk with your husband's Neurologist so you can be more informed of what his particular stroke may affect, make very certain that he is given as much therapy as possible as early as possible. The brain is fascinating that it can rewire itself around damage. It is not perfect but with plenty of repetition those connections start to form. Many survivors who lose speech or lack empathy afterwards are still able to understand those around them. Being supportive and encouraging, though difficult and scary, can mean the world to your husband. There will be changes, improvement, and challenges. Never feel like something has no chance of improvement. Embrace the positive. Be involved...the therapists can help you and your husband with communication. Know that we are here. Please keep us informed. Sending many blessings.

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