Hubby had a stroke last night

Hello all, thank you for letting me join. My 59 year old hubby had a stroke last night. Hospital said it’s "massive ", and have given him the clot buster treatment. At the moment he is paralyzed down left side and can’t speak. I would be very grateful for any help or advice. I don’t know what I should be doing.
Stay safe x

Sorry to hear about your husband. The first thing to remember is he is safe in hospital and receiving treatment. Stroke is a brain injury and not an illness, so it cannot be cured. Stroke affects us all in different ways. When I had mine six years ago, I had no movement in my left side and had to be hoisted in and out of bed. I also found everything hazy. So, all you can do at the moment is sit there with him and tell him you love him.

When the medical team think it appropriate, they will try to get him from bed to a chair. After that they will try to get him to stand and then physiotherapy will begin. He will probably experience a mixture of emotions and think ‘why me’. It is important he accepts his stroke and moves on. A lot will depend on his attitude and determination. Recovery is slow and may not be 100%. I can walk with a stick, but only have partial use of my left arm and hand and my left hand fingers lack sensitivity, but I can cook and bake and go for short walks.

Stroke support varies from area to area. Where I live I had really good aftercare from the Community Stroke Team and adjustments were made to our house free of charge before I came home e.g. seat in shower. Support tends to be time limited and at some point it will be up to him to move forward. When he comes home he may have a period of frustration and anger, but must learn to accept that he is not the person he was but to be the person he is now. You need to make sure that you look after yourself too. My best wishes to you.

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Dear Athel
So sorry to hear of hubbies stroke.
But welcome to the new forum.
Many of us are struggling to use this new forum, but we all want to share and hopefully help. We are not medically trained, just share our experience.
To give you some hope, I was pretty much totally paralysed, mainly on the left side. Couldn’t even turn over in bed. I could use my right hand.
Well on day three I felt an amazing rush of energy coursing through my head and I got out the bed. Upset nurse, so I waited for the physio to arrive then I stood up and walked out the ward. A life changing miraculous moment. That was six years ago.
I appreciate that I am unusual. Aged 68at the time. Fit but nothing exceptional. I was asleep during stroking, so when the ambulance arrived I had gone past the clot busting stage.
So what do you do ?
Listen to the hospital staff.
Accept that recovery is slow, slow,slow.
Get hold of the stroke association booklets (they might be available at the hospital and they are also online) and read them. Try to fathom what is hubby suffering. Can he eat. Can he talk. Can he move anything.
I had aphasia and I realized that it was agony for me to hear sounds.
So I got my wife to just sit by the bedside. Read magazines, take coffee breaks every hour.
I could not tolerate hearing news from home. I struggled to cope with life in hospital, let alone how the buses were running that day. It was December so similar time to you.
Pace yourself. He needs a rested and fit wife.
I will stop now, as I could overwhelm you with info.
It took years for me to recover, but I could drive, garden and do a bit around the house. I couldn’t cope with the household accounts for many many months.
Smile smile and smile again
You are not alone.
Things will improve.
Colin

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Dear A Alfie. I hope I have got your name right? I will not need to add to John and Colin’s comments. They have given very helpful advice. I too had the clot buster drug in time. It truly is miracle. Just love and support is most important at the moment. Lilian

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Dear Lillian
Nice to see you are coping with this different/new forum.

I am pleased you mentioned spelling Alfie’s name as I knew my version was wrong. I am 15 weeks in to getting cataracts sorted , probably another 4weeks to go. I can see distance but not reading/tv.

Let’s hope that Alfie and partner are pulling through this pretty dramatic time. I shudder at the lack of support during this pandemic. It wasn’t great six years ago, but there were at least some bright spots

Colin

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Dear Colin. Thank you for your reply. Good to see you coping with the new format. I am not really coping well but keep trying. I don’t understand everything but manage to reply to some posts. I hope your cataract operation has continued to progress well. I am sure your cat is still giving you lots of support. Lilian

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Hi Andrea @Alfie1, I’m so sorry to hear your husband’s had a stroke, it’s shocking and overwhelming for your husband and of course devastating news for you to hear too, It’s a life changing event and rehabilitation progress can be slow but it’s possible your husband will regain some/most, if not all of what he’s currently lost.

John @John_Jeff_Maynard and Colin @Colin have given you great advice in their replies, so I won’t repeat, but may I say welcome to the forum, we’re here should you need to chat, we’ve all either had a stroke or TIA so we understand some of the shock and frustration your husband is going through (though each stroke is different) or are a carer or close to someone who’s been on the receiving end of a stroke.

Stay strong and take care of yourself, your husband will need your support moving forward.

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Hello Andrea @Alfie1, there’s a plethora of brilliant advice here already, so I will chip in with a small dosage. Neuro-plasticity will be at its most effective for your husband over the next six months. This is the crucial time to work out the rehabilitation strategy that will work best for him. After six months, repair will slow down and progress will be harder, but at the moment the brain is on high alert to repair damage, and it does it at an alarming rate. So, tackle the biggest problems first. The hospital physiotherapist will have some ideas, but there is a lot you can do also, and of course much of the onus will be on your husband as external help is great but without the will-power from the survivor themselves, it can be a lot harder to make progress.

And, please, use the forums to help you work stuff out. There’s a treasure chest of information on here from people who have experienced and are experiencing everything you and your husband will go through, albeit, individually based.

Keep in touch, and I wish you both well.

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Thank you so much for all of the replies x hearing some balanced positive news is very good.
Definitely some slight improvement. He wasn’t distressed today, and was reaching for my hand and stroking it. Still paralyzed. But he said two words - when the nurse came on duty she said “morning” to him, and he said "morning “, she said she was totally gobsmacked and said " did you just say morning to me?”, he then said “yes”, but has said nothing since. I think it’s amazing that it was two words that made sense too, so that must be very hopeful🤞. He’s still very sleepy and his blood pressure is high, it’s normally not. Spoke to an OT on the phone today, she outlined what they will be starting, hopefully tomorrow. Geoff was very distressed when I visited yesterday, each time he woke up he cried but he didn’t today. I took him some photos of our dog, Alfie, in today.
I think the shock has worn off with me today as I’ve been quite weepy - not in front of Geoff.
Take care and stay safe, everyone, and thank you again.
Andrea

Hello Andrea (@Alfie1), emotional reaction is quite common after stroke, many survivors continue to cry or laugh at the drop of a hat over the period of their recovery. I got the opposite, which can also be quite common, and have a blunted emotional response to things. During the early months, I mainly defaulted to the words yes and no, because I had a lot of confusion in my mind at the time, and it was difficult getting sentences out. If I did speak a sentence, I had to formulate it in my mind first, and then I would spit it out at an alarming rate. What kind of treatment do they have planned? Hope he gets home soon, I found hospital to be at one reassuring as I was being monitored and care was at hand, but at the same time, pretty uncomfortable, and was relieved to get home.

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@Rups the physio was going to assess Geoff today, so I should find out about that tomorrow. Saw the doctor today he said it’s very early days yet, it was the first time a doctor had seen Geoff since A&E, so he was asking me what changes I had seen over the last couple of days. Saw the SALT today, she’s lovely. He had his swallow test today, and the SALT said he did really well in it. So he’s now on drinks and soft foods, though doctor said they may still use a nasogastro tube, as Geoff probably isn’t awake enough at the moment to get enough nutrition orally.
It was hard today. Geoff was really upset when I was going, and wouldn’t let go of my hand, the nurse more or less threw me out in the end. I understand why they have to do that but I don’t know if Geoff does.
Take care, Andrea

Sorry to read about your husband’s stroke. You should get a copy of a book called Had a stroke? What now? by Tom Balchin. It’ll help understand what’s happened and what to expect.

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@pamelai1 thank you, I’ll have a look for that on Anazon.

Just ordered it for delivery tomorrow, thank you for telling me about it.

Sorry to hear about your husband. You’ve had some great advice here, my input will be a little hope.

I was 58 when I had my stroke, leaving me initially with speech issues and total right side paralysis. Two months later, I was able to eat so long as someone cut up my food for me, and I didm’t get peas (they race away around the plate when you are eating one handed).

After months of physio, I was walking, stiffly, and lifting stuff as long as it was not overhead.

After three years, I can bench press 50kg, not sure i could do that before the stroke.

Attitude and determination really help, I would say are key, don’t give in, either of you. But also don’t overdo it. My physiotherapist saw me overdoing it right at the start in desperation. So she made me read something, which I am sharing here as a link below…

I hope it helps. And all best wishes to you both.

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@Hawumph
Thank you so much for your post, I am so pleased to hear you made such a good recovery, that does give me hope. Physio is trying to get Geoff moved onto the neuro ward so that he can have physio 7 days a week, and be in a quieter environment.
Thank you too for the link, I’m going to print that out.

A bit of an update:-
Geoff was moved to the neuro rehab ward tonight. The physio pushed for him to get the first available bed there, as he’ll get physio every day on that ward, unlike on the acute ward. The physio said he’d done really well this morning. He’s still paralyzed on his left side, but hopefully things will slowly start to improve. He was absolutely exhausted this afternoon, although he gets very upset when I come away I think any longer would be too much for him.

That’s positive news Andrea @Alfie1 he’ll certainly benefit from the physio.

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