My father had a stroke...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2004
My father had a stroke...
2
Wed, 01-14-2004 - 11:02pm
My father had a stroke on Monday- he's only 49 years old. And I can honestly say that I had no idea what a stroke was before then. So far, we know that it's affected 2/3 of the left side of his brain. Right now, he has no control over the right side of his body. He can't speak, and when he tries he just gets so frusterated that he gives up. Sometimes I can tell that he knows who I am, and other times he just ignores me. I talk to him, and he just looks away. Is that because he dosen't understand- or that he doesn't know whats going on?

He has made some progress in the past few days. He's been moved out of ICU and into his own room. He can eat- little bits at a time. The doctor's have to watch, they're concerned about his ability to swallow. But he seems determined to eat no matter what. And when he saw me yesterday, he smiled. That was the first time that I knew he recogonized me.

Everyone keeps telling me that he'll get better- but no one can tell me when. Or if he'll be back to the dad he was before. I'm so scared that after this, he might not be the same person.

Has anyone else gone through something like this? I just want to know what to expect in the next few days or weeks. I want to know if he can get through this, or if it is something that will be with him forever. I want to be there for him and help him in any way that I can. It's just so hard to do that when you have no idea what's going on-

or even what to expect. It's hard to be strong against the unknown.

Any comments on it would be wonderful...
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2003
Fri, 01-23-2004 - 4:43pm
Hi, Cheyanne. First, let me extend a warm hug to you. I know that this is very difficult for you to deal with. I know first-hand what it feels like to have a parent, who is so strong and "big" in your eyes, fall ill. It happenened to my mom.

But, what I am about to tell you now happened to my uncle. he was probably about a little younger or maybe even the same age as your dad when he had a severe stroke. For him it was touch and go at first. Then afterwards they discovered that he was completely paralyzed on his right side. He couldn't talk. Like your dad, he barely noticed if you came in the room Now all this to a man who was EXTREMELY vibrant.

But praise God, that was about 7 or 8 years ago. Through intensive therapy, my uncle can WALK now!!!!! - No, it didn't take seven years for it to happen, but it was a long recovery, so prepare yourself for that. His speech is still difficult to understand, so you have to really listen to him. But his wonderful sense of humor was one of the first things to come back. I think what was most frustrating to him (just my opinion though) is that he had to learn how to do things all over again: learn to walk, learn to feed himself, learn to go to the bathroom. Things you take for granted.

But a few years ago my uncle started DRIVING HIMSELF around again. He had to have his car equpped so that he could steer with some type of special apparatus. I don't know what exactly. The only thing that he doesn't have full control over is his right arm and hand. That doesn't "work". And he finds that he drools, I think it's due to some muscle "insensitivity" or something. He can't tell that he is doing it.

Sweetie, all I can say is that you guys will get through this. I won't lie to you and tell you its easy because it's not. For a while you may have to take on more responsibility and your dad may not like the fact that he can't do things the way he used to do. He may be angry about that. But with love and patience and rehabilitation things will get better. Just don't expect it to be quick. Expect that you will still love your dad no matter what. Expect that things won't be the same, but it gives you a chance to love in a different way. When times get hard say over and over to yourself "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". That has gotten me through many rough days and nights.

My heart and love goes out to you. If you ever need to chat, email me at londa29@mail2allen.com.

Your family is in my prayers,

Love,

Londa

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Sat, 01-24-2004 - 10:25am

Cheyanne,


Hello there!