Friday, April 8, 2011

Update On My Mother and Her "Horrible" Stroke

"If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most" Of Things That Matter Most by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

This is an update on my mother. For more on my mom's stroke see: The Day Of My Mom's Massive Stroke and Just Know: Miracles Happen Everyday

I wanted to use the term "EPIC" to describe Mom's stoke, because it is "epic" and everything, everything, in my family's life has changed. I've heard the term "epic" so many times, in the past two years and I know, its losing the emphasis that the word had in the past. Awesome is just maybe okay as far as an adjective and passing word. Awesome now is somewhat like the colloquial, 1960's overused extra word, during my teenage years... "neat".  I'm still using "neat" but thankful that Ki-ute has been left behind.
We brought mom home from the hospital and the procedure of removing the aneurysm. Dr. Zaunar said that the placement of the stint and the coiling off of the aneurysm, went beautifully. She spent little time in the SICU at Cottage Hospital. The day was St. Patrick's Day and for my mother, an Irish Lady, she was very happy to be on her way home for good. I decorated the house with boughs of Irish garland in the den and on her cowboy longhorns, on her large mirror in her bedroom, and over her front door.

 Steve had been cooking a brisket since 4:30 a.m. and I made the real mashed potatoes and perfect (not over-cooked) cabbage for her "Welcome Home Dinner". It was the best St. Patty's Day, ever.

Recently as in, day before yesterday. April 7th, 2011: Mom had a visit with her doctor and I was there. He is very active in her care and actually softened my heart with his caring attitude toward Mom. I think he's trying to make-up for past lapses of inattentiveness to her care, as in the Atrial Fib. problem Mom has had all these years. Wow! Not giving her the Cumandin to rid the heart of the blood clots was a big mistake for a very long time. Dr. Alois Zaunar was really surprised (that's putting it gently) that her doctor had not ever prescribed that prescription and Cumandin would have prevented this whole stroke from happening. I see it a bit differently now, that if it wasn't for the stroke the hiding aneurysm would have never been found. A very hard blessing to understand, but it was worth it.
Monday, "Nuclear Myocardial Profusion Stress Test" was given at the imaging center. Mom tried to tell me how horrible it was--I didn't let her get to far with that because I've been through that test a number of times. I suppose when a person doesn't know that "it's a piece of cake" that it doesn't hurt at all and lastly doesn't understand the test, it can be very frightening. Actually, it's relaxing and I use it to think of all my blessings in my life while I lay so still.

My mother's protime results are still really hard to calculate. She loves broccoli and brussel sprouts then she doesn't have them for a while. Those vegetable have a lot of vitamin K and make the blood thick. Resulting in the excess blood thinners. The mix of the Plavix and Cumadin were just too much. She's really got thin blood, right now. Scary riding in her old truck with no protective pillows for her side of the truck and she's lucky because I was going to have her go out and milk a goat for strengthening her hand, still might try that when she doesn't bruise so easily. Honestly, our goats don't kick. I will still stay on the careful side.

This next week she's starting out-patient therapy at Pacific. That's downtown and not too far from her home. Here, at home her assignments are playing with clothes pins with her left stroke weakness and pinching this strange yellow clay. Mom still has trouble speaking and swallowing thin liquids, but we are encouraging her to work at it and watching to make sure she doesn't drink too quickly.

The shower-taking ordeal has now changed so much with her doing it all herself, including all, but getting the left arm and leg in her new clothes for the day. All of this progress is hard to see from day to day, but as I look back, especially reading our daily journal, I see significant improvement.

I know that the future is always unknown for all of us. It actually has helped each one in our family, including my children and grandchildren, to understand and make changes in eating habits and being very careful about what harmful things we take into our bodies that may potentially hurt us. Lastly, we know that exercise is the greatest way to stay healthy. There are inherited problems, but all of those can be made better with good regular visits with competent doctors and a keen adherence to a healthy lifestyle.

The personality change is the oddest of all changes that happen to a stroke victim. The filter is gone and Mom says what she's thinking, no thought to what the outcome of her announcements to all of us. The things she has said, and have at times, been very hurtful. I don't like thinking of them and or even remembering them. I have to keep myself in a frame of mind to "not be easily offended" as we were admonished by our leaders during Church April 2011, General Conference. My mom's impulsiveness and demands were explained to me by the occupational therapist and to expect that there will be times when those will surface in her personality and it's completely normal. So we all just go with the flow, whatever comes. Dang, if this were me, I don't think I could laugh and be as happy as my mom is right now.
The most optimistic improvement that I enjoy seeing in her, is her sense of humor. I just went in to her bedroom to give her the night medications. She put all the pills in her mouth and I lifted a bottle of water up too fast, that I almost hit her in the mouth. Or was it..I just shocked her by her thinking I was going to splash water all over her face? I didn't because there were just a few swallows in the bottle. But, she jumped and I said, "Sorry I scared you." And she just laughed. Actually, that kinda' scared me a little when she jumped. Whata' deal, splashing water on my mother when she was almost asleep.

No comments: