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Considering Us all Lucky


JustSally

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I read a post today about one fellow getting a new PT and how much difference it made. I got me thinking about my hubby's unfortunate experience with stroke.

 

First of all, he was having strokes and didn't know it, said nothing, and got worse for who knows how long before it was finally diagnosed because of another injury.

 

Once he was diagnosed, nothing was done for him...no meds (not even aspirin), no therapy, no followup - just "quit working and take it easy"! He retired on disability and that was that. I tried to learn about strokes online but, could have used better information.

 

His doctor worried about a harmless lump and never addressed the stroke issue. She even commented about his weight loss but, did nothing. When he had control problems, she waved it off as nothing. I had to research the problem and ask her for a prescription for external catheters. He lost all the muscle he had built up working with his body (construction) over the years and was emaciated looking. I encouraged him to drink more fluids because he was dehydrating and made sure he ate plenty of good food. I encouraged mental activity but, he wasn't interested. He kept getting worse, anyway.

 

I cared for him alone - with no help - for 5 years and did everything that had to be done that he used to do. It was stressful and I started having nosebleeds. Finally, I had a really bad bleed and was taken to the hospital for care. Charlie panicked while I was gone and tried to drive to the hospital; he wrecked the car. The police grilled me while I was in the ER being treated - my nosebleed lasted 10 hours.

 

He was taken to a good hospital but, mainly they treated him for a broken hip. He was transferred to a nursing home where he was fed pureed foods (he had lost his dentures in the wreck) which he decorated the room with. They did not give him enough fluids so, he dehydrated rapidly. He had no short term memory so, I had to explain everything to him...accident, hip, teeth. The doctor felt he could not return home because of the stress on me and I think he knew it (somehow) because he became depressed. Two months after the accident he died.

 

Knowledge, proper medical treatment, and help taking care of him would have made such a difference for both of us. I can only advise that if your physician or therapist doesn't seem right for you - find a new one quick.

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I like to think of it as we are all "Blessed" people of God and if you want to call it luck, OK, but God knows His people, just look at yourself! Had your husband seen the right doctors it would have made a big difference for your husband in his condition.

 

I look at myself staying five months in the hospital to get better and still couldn't walk but here I am today doing pretty good considering my initial condition and getting to a hospital not a minute too soon, any later I wouldn't have lived.

 

The stroke was at 11am I finally got to a second hospital at 7pm with a brain bleed and passed out cold. It wasn't my time to go and now 9 years later I'm still here with all of you.

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Call it whatever pleases you. If my husband had the doctors I did...he would probably still be alive and driving me nuts. We had (key word 'had') the same doctor and after she told me to drive to her office after telling her I had had a stroke or HA, I fired her; I should have fired her a long time ago.

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It takes so long to figure it all out. There is no manual handed out to explain it all. I used to question the aides in the hospital because I thought they were the same as nurses. There is a big disconnect there.

 

You learn on the job, so to speak, so very hard to figure it all out. On top of the Adult Protective Service fear, and what people think of you, and every other insecurity there is. Like a scary movie, but you're living it!

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There is not a person here who has not made a mistake, gotten misinformation, no information, made poor choices, ignored advice, etc. As Colleen advised there is no stroke recovery manual, but there is no life manual either.

 

Finding acceptance, peace is all we can ask for and work towards.

 

You have the gift (? - strange choice of words, I know, but true) of knowing stroke from the caregiver aspect and the survivor aspect. And will be able to help so many of us. We are lucky you found us and are so willing to share your stories with us.

 

I have found here that what works for others, may not work completely for Bruce and I. But I can't tell you how many times just one suggestion has led me off into a direction that has been positive for both of us. And sometimes not even related to the original issue - LOL.

 

So thank you for sharing and taking the time to explain this from both views. The more we educate, the more empowered we are. Debbie

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Guest hostwill

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Great Post! Welcome to the "Family" We all know what you are talking about, because we've been there. I look forward to chatting with you in the chat rooms. Never give up!

 

-Will

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Thanks all and I'm glad to share and if any of it helps, I'm happy. I found out too late that our doctor was incompetant so, if anyone doubts his/her doctor...see another doctor.

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