My mum suffered a stroke (although perhaps TIA) last week. She is presenting with “acute infarct in left posterior cerebral artery territory in left thalamus and left occipital lobe”. The loss of vision is perhaps the least worrying as we know there is damage, it is the other symptoms, confusion, short term memory loss, dizzy spells that we are worrying about, are they normal after effects or a warning of something similar or worse happening again. Her anxiety levels are sky rocketing particularly about medication as she is paranoid she will forget to take them (my dad is making sure she doesn’t, but is driving him mad she keeps asking!). He could do with some support too, ideas please.
Hi @Bev1, welcome to the forum. I’m sorry you’ve had to join us but there will plenty of other members along who will be able to provide some answers and reassurance
This is still very early days yet in your mum’s recovery and all her symptoms are to be expected at this early stage. You can also expect her to be very tired and will need lots of sleep and naps in the day time too. The brain is going through an awful lot of healing, repair and relearning, this is going to take a lot out of her. At the same time it also trying to maintain functionality, and all this is the cause of so much of her anxiety and confusion. It will get better as weeks go by, one day at a time.
Put her medications in a pill sorter so she can see what she has to take and when. This should help eliminate some one anxiety. Get your dad to sort them in front of her if need be if it helps.
Mine are in a rainbow pill sorter like this one but there are a whole gamut on market to choose from.
Don’t dismiss her loss of vision, that’s playing a huge part in her anxiety. She’ll be feeling very lost, confused and extremely vulnerable at the moment. She needs you all to be strong, calm, confident and focused in her care just now. And hopefully she will be able to calm down and focus on her recovery.
Keep life simple and don’t expect a lot from her just now. She’s not going to want lots of visitors, keep conversation simple and minimal, go at her pace not yours. The first 6mths are the most crucial in recovery from strokes. And I says strokes because TIA’s are strokes…maybe just smaller.
@Mrs5K gave this link to another newbie to the forum which may be of help for your dad.
And then there is also this list for support, just click on the link and then scroll through. Some are online but there are others are links to support groups in your local area in which you can attend.
And lastly, we are all here to answer any questions or just to chat and offload whenever needed I do hope your mum recovers well…onwards and upwards
Hi again Bev. In response to your question in another post I now wonder as you do. I think you should have a word with her doctor about this medication if she had it before the stroke. Yes dizziness and balance can be affected after a stroke, with me it was both and nothing to do with medication, and it is now fine over 2 years on.
@EmeraldEyes thank you so much for your reply. I have read lots on the Stroke Assoc. Site since last Monday, and am realising the results of stroke are many, almost unlimited it would seem. I hope I didn’t make light of the sight loss issue, what I meant was we were mindful of it and could make obvious adjustments. I am trying to be the voice of reason and trying to keep Dad from getting overwhelmed by all these changes. It’s becoming evident that although she was well enough to be discharged she still is UNWELL. I shall read all the personal experiences here with great interest. Any crumb of comfort at the moment is gratefully received.
If your mum fully mobile both arms and legs.
Yes she is mobile, but am guessing the loss of sight is a factor in her dizzy/loss of balance moments.
I have some short term memory loss following a stroke I had several years ago. I use a system of boxes labelled with the days of the week with 4 compartments in each one to divide medication into various times of the day. You’ll find it on Amazon - JFA Medical Weekly Stackable Pill Box Organiser/Reminder for Medicines. It costs under £7. I hated having to rely on it at first but now realise how important it is for me. I hope this may help.
@EmeraldEyes she was also prescribed vertigo medication about four weeks ago as she experienced some dizziness then too, was it an alarm bell warning her of the stroke, I wonder. I am trying to fit all the pieces together,
@mum2two we have already discussed a pill box. It’s on my to do list for next week. Thank you.
Be thankful she got off lightly and things are positive for a full recovery
You all need to relax and just be for while, celebrate her homecoming and be thankful. Yes, this could happen again but so could she stub her toe in the night. It doesn’t pay to be dwell on the future like that, just live in here and now.
She will get stronger as the weeks go by but it takes months rather than days or weeks. Her mind is going to foggy and may even have that same pressure in her head (brain squeeze some call it) but they are normal too.
Was it definitely vertigo, did her doctor not consider trying the Epley Manoeuvre on her? There are a few members on here I know suffer from dizziness still, one of them may be along at some time with there thoughts on it. It’s certainly a theory worth considering as warning sign a stroke is imminent but I know if it is a fact.
Just briefly looked up the question on the internet and got this:
There’s sure to be more information, it’s just getting a little late for me now
But, it is still also symptom post stroke for some which goes with time.
Welcome & sorry to hear your mum has had a stroke.
@EmeraldEyes has given you lots of good advice and links to further source. It’s such early days I suggest you concentrate on sources of support rather than ‘information’ that you can’t tell if it’s applicable - there is an ocean of stroke info that won’t apply.
The big things are the effects can be roughly split into 1st six months & after. The 1st is when the physical damage such as swelling and edema are subsiding and the rest is from neuroplasticity. It’s very possible that what you mum is experiencing and feeling is 10 times more significant than you can detect - ice berg like.
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever get a clear cause and effect linkage and not useful after the event except maybe for satisfying curiosity
Anxiety for all the family is normal and has physical symptoms that can seem very stroke like for a SS so is best managed by some mindfulness techniques
The meds box is a good tactic. Rest and exercise are good. A limited period of ‘grieving’ by all is useful followed by acceptance by all, then determination to live the best post stroke life with positivity and to push all rehab boundaries towards developing capabilities
For most families and particularly the SS improvements continue happening afterwards and only stop when effort stops - so the best thing you can all do is create and supportive environment for each other
And as others have said this is a great place for support and advice from people who have experienced similar but never exactly the same
PS none of us are medicaly trained (that may a bigger advantage than it is drawback!) there are aspects of folklore in our advice (then there is in the medical professions pronouncements too!)
@Bev1 welcome to the forum. Sorry your mum has had a stroke but sounds like she has a really loving & caribg family around her which will help loads in her recovery journey.
I had plenty of dizzy spells post stroke andcwas recently told by the stroke nurse that an occipital lobe stroke can cause dizziness. Mine was right occipital lobe. The dizziness did settle around 8-9 months but for me has returned again. This isn’t the case for everyone & your mums will hopefully settle over next few weeks / months.
My vision was also affected but came back in time. Most of it quite quickly but some effects have lingered.
I didn’t have memory loss as such but I did have trouble taking new info in & with concentration/ attention.
You could get the pharmacy to sort her tablets into a Dosset box for your mum which will help with remembering to take them.
Your mum is so early on in her recovery yet & there is plenty of time for improvements. Patience is a key part of recovery.
Best wishes to you all.
@Mrs5K Thankyou. Replies here have been reassuring.
@Bev1 as @EmeraldEyes has said I too have all my meds in a pill sorter, as I am on 9 different tablets per day, I have enough to do a 4 weeks at a time. anxiety will fade in time so try not to worry. Just be patient can your local council offer help?. Speak with social care at the council, they might be able to offer something., also try citizens advice too, plus stroke association and support groups near you. Most councils have a carers trust which might offer help for your dad too. hope that helps
Hi @Bev1 ,
My Dad had a stroke 5 months ago and my Mum was struggling in the same way your Dad is.
A member of the Stroke support team suggested Anti depressants for my Mum and although she was initially reluctant she did eventually agree . They have noticeably improved her anxiety about being overwhelmed by my Dads condition ( he too constantly questioned if he had been given his meds).
She also got referred to a free local NHS counselling service. The talking to a professional seems to help too.
Look after yourself too, i was originally calling in every day to help and look out for my dad, but found myself emotionally supporting my mum or getting in the middle of stressfull situations.