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A turn for the better!!!


saraandjack

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The only blogs I have posted so far have been pretty bleak. I was desperate for advice and support for my Dad who had a stroke in April, mostly about depression and post stroke denial (thinking he can do things he cant just yet). I really felt that things were going downhill, and worried that my step-mom and brother couldnt manage the ginormous task of caring for my Dad at home. But somehow things have changed!!

I went home for a weekend 3 weeks ago and my Dad was so depressed he barely spoke. I am a physical therapist and while we were doing some standing and walking exercises in the garage I looked up at him and his eyes were closing. I completely understand that after a stroke you need to rest and sleep much more than usual, but I knew that he was withdrawing and just "didnt see the point". My brother and I sat down with my Dad and called him out. Asked him why he closes his eyes and seems "sleepy" during all of his home PT/OT sessions, and the minute they leave he "wakes up". We had a heart to heart about all of his goals, and that they wont be achieved by just waiting to get better. He admitted that he didnt feel the therapist knew what they were doing, or what the point was. Anyway, that week he really changed. THey changed his anti-depressant meds and he started kicking butt in therapy!

Now he is sitting up straighter in his chair (used to always be slumped to the side). He is talking all the time, and eating great. My step mom totally rallied and is now doing transfers by herself, and spending full days with my Dad without an aide. She even sent home the night home health aide (which is saving them so much money).

My point is to all caregivers or stroke survivors trying to manage the extremely trying time of coming home after a stroke...it actually does get better! Never thought I would say those words. One of the wise responses to my last blog was "patience and perserverence".

So my hope is that you might read this and gain some hope. That you might wake up one day and think "this might work". It will never be easy, and it will never be the way it used to be. But it might be okay. That there will be laughs, and there will be times when you are all smiling. Isn't that what you were hoping for?

Thank you for all of your support! I will keep you posted on our journey...

Fondly,

Sara

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Sara,

I am so glad to hear that progress is being made. It just takes time. The trauma to the brain is unbelievable. The brain takes alot of time to recover. I have cut down the caregivers at our house. Yes, it does save some money.

 

Just the change in attitude ...what a miracle. Sometimes, my husband gets confused, but sometimes he is all right. With time the periods of confusion seem to be decreasing. We are starting to walk with less assistance. This has taken almost 20 months. Everybody is different and you cannot predict when and how progress is made.

 

We just take each day as it comes. I persistently do PT with him everyday. We do water 3-5 days of the week. I not longer use the wheelchair in the house.

 

hope is what keeps us going.

Ruth

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hey Sara:

 

I am happy to read progress about your dad. I am glad your dad is participating in his therapy. more he will do it for himself & more independent he becomes, better he will feel about himself. I realized once my depression & whyme was lifted that life is just little different still good though, just different.

 

Asha

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