15 April 2013

Stroke... And I'm Not Talking About The Masters

My dad had a stroke Sunday (04.14.13) morning after being admitted the previous Thursday for what we assumed was a pinched nerve or problem disk in his neck.  Before I get in to current details, let me recap what has happened thus far.
  • Thur. (04.11.13) morning, my dad felt like he had slept funny and went to sit in his recliner he has set up as a massage chair/heating pad chair and while sitting there, lost feeling and strength in his limbs and ended up sliding to the ground. My mom couldn't get him back up so she called the ambulance and had him admitted, unsure of what was causing the issues.
  • At the hospital, he was administered pain meds in the ER and then moved to a room.  MRI and CT scans were done and we waited for doctors to come and round.  Consult for Neurologist and NeuroSurgeon requested. Still no answers by that night.
  • Fri. (04.12.13) Had seen his PCP and his CV doctor, still no neruo teams. Still in pain because of his back and weakness in his hands. no answers by that night
  • Sat. (04.13.13) AM, Dad starts to not feel well, de-sating (low o2 saturation) and signs of AFIB (arrhythmic beating of the heart) and he is moved to the CVStepDown unit (the same floor on which my mom is a nurse) and watched. By this point, we still have not seen any of the neurology team.  He's not lucid and doesn't know where he is, who people are.  Still in pain and we assume that the pain medication is causing the cloudiness.  He gets a bunch of scans (MRI, CT, ultrasound of his arteries in his legs, lung scan) He has a blood infection, low hematocrit level, kidney levels are not good, UTI and it seems that he might have had a mini stroke. He is started on an blood thinner that evening. Neurology is reconsulted and still no visit by that night.
  • Sun. (04.14.13) Dad has a full swing stroke and moved from CVStepdown to the main ICU.  They feel that the blood thinner has caused this bigger stroke and another CT scan of his head is done to compare with his previous one.  It is confirmed that he has bleeding in the lowest part of the right side of his brain.  Blood thinner is stopped and by the afternoon he is having short conversations with us and singing along with some of his favorite southern gospel tunes between his naps.  A neurosurgeon arrives and explains this was a stroke and as a surgeon can't really give us more answers than that, no surgeries on his back or neck can be done until some more answers are found.  He does feel that the blood thinner caused the clot and bleeding and because it has been stopped the body has a chance to do what it needs to do heal. He has weakness and slight blindness on his left side (right side of brain controls left side and vice versa.) Finding the source of the clot is now the game and finding if it came from his heart somewhere is the first place they were going to start looking (because of former heart attack, bypass surgery and stint.)  He has another scan at the end of the night but results hadn't come in yet.  Unfortunately his pain medication has been but on hold until he becomes more clear headed and in this has a rough night.
  • As of this morning (04.15.13) he is stable still, given a dose of tylenol for pain management but after consulting with another doctor says he can have something stronger.  He's currently resting and we're waiting on an echo of his heart to see if there are blockages that caused/could cause more damage. 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts as we journey this path.  There are a number of compounding issues that are making this situation very tough, his back being the biggest issue.  At this moment, we aren't taking visitors outside of family and clergy.

Prayer Requests
  1. Find area of clot and determine if it might do more damage.
  2. Find reasonable and agreeable pain management option for my dad's back.
  3. Blood infection and blood loss to be discovered.
  4. Healing in his brain from the stroke.
  5. Comfort and strength for my mom as she has to take care of home and work.
  6. Doctors, Specialists, and Nurses in care community.

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