Tag Archives: TIA

The continuing story….

I haven’t gone to see Dad today, but did speak to my brother, who was there earlier today. Not much has changed, he is still unable to communicate and apparently he became quite agitated and it took 4 nursing staff to hold him down and settle him. He must be so frightened by what is happening to him and around him. Before yesterday’s episode, he was packed and ready to come home, not that that was happening. Now, he is unable to feed himself or toilet himself, so things are quite rough for him. I only hope they can get him into surgery quickly before any more damage is done. I’m hoping that he’ll make a full recovery after surgery, but I really think that is unlikely. He’ll be turning 69 in December, and I would like to see him be able to enjoy it.

I really feel so useless, as there is nothing I can do to help him. I know he appreciates the visits and such, but seeing him as an empty shell is hard to take. He’s always been really loud and vibrant, someone you couldn’t miss. Now, he just looks at us with a blank stare. He sometimes tries to smile when he seems to see you, but you can see that is really hard for him. I can only imagine how he is feeling. There is no dignity is what he is going through and I plan on taking measures now so that I’m not in this position in another 25 years. I walk everyday, but I really need to watch my diet. I’m going to have a blood test soon to check cholesterol and the like, so I can see where I’m at.

The good that has come of this is that my floors are scrubbed and sparkling, and different jobs I’ve put off around the house are finally getting done. I’ve got to do something so that I don’t dwell on what is happening around me!

What’s been happening this week…

Well, Dad went into hospital on Tuesday morning… he wasn’t able to put two words together and wasn’t making any sense. He was wandering around the freezing cold kitchen without his slippers on and he was shivering. My brother and sister-in-law had the good sense to take him to Nepean Hospital Emergency, where he was seen to.

I visited him on Wednesday, and he really wasn’t making a lot of sense when I was trying to have a conversation with him. He couldn’t name things and would get frustrated trying to find the right words, so I was agreeing with him, even though I had no idea what he was talking about. His lunch arrived, so he wanted to go to the kiosk and get a sandwich for lunch. He said he knew the way, but when we walked out the doors of the hospital, I knew why the lock the ward that he is in! I went to enquiries, then took him to the kiosk, where I got him a nice chicken salad sandwich, which was huge, and took him back to his room. He went “Oh, lunch is here” and sat down to eat the food that came for lunch. I thought “poor man”.

Apparently, the Occupational Therapist did an assessment of him making a cup of tea, which he takes black with one sugar. He made added water to the cup with the bag in it, added two sugars, an artificial sweetener, and some salt. The bag fell of fthe string while he was jiggling, but he kept jiggling, he didn’t notice.

He had a carotid ultrasound, which showed a complete blockage on the right side, and an 80 – 90% blockage on the left. He’s still getting blood flow to the brain, however these blockages are dangerous plaque build up that breaks away, causing everything from micro and mini strokes called TIA’s, to full-blown stroke.

Thankfully today they were able to do the MRI on him, which showed evidence of multiple strokes on both sides of his brain, more on the right than the left. The vascular surgeon said that this was caused by the plaque build-up in his carotid artery flaking off. He is going to call my brother on Monday, as it seems they would like to perform a Carotid Endarterectomy. That’s just a fancy way of saying that they are going to remove the inner lining of the carotid artery. This will remove the plaque and improve the blood flow. Hopefully this will restore him to his happy old self and that the strokes haven’t done too much permanent damage, and it should prevent further strokes from occurring. They expect that they will operate within the next 9 days, depending on their case load and triage.

Apparently Dad was agitated this evening, ready to leave the place. My brother is going there to sort it all out and smooth him over. Thank goodness my brother has stood up and taken the lead on this. He and his wife have been amazing. They opened their doors and took him in when he had nowhere to go after breaking up with his girlfriend in January. Now this has happened. His now ex said that he had been having problems, but she never took him to be examined while he was having these problems, so maybe this could have been resolved a while ago. Anyway, he’s in hospital now and that’s what matters. We should have this fixed, and then get on with the job of getting him healthy. He is severely overweight and this is certainly not helping him at all. The only reason his sugar has been good (8.8 when I was there on Wednesday) is because he is eating hospital food, and not getting into his Tim Tams and lollies and lord knows what else!. He can’t get his treats in there, and they won’t let him have them if we do bring them.

His half-brother is visiting him tomorrow, and I believe his sister and father will be visiting him over the weekend too. I intend going on Sunday, around lunch time, so I know that he gets his lunch and get him to eat it. I’m really disappointed that this has happened to Dad. He was told 19 years ago when he had 5 bypasses on his heart that if he didn’t change his ways, this was going to happen to his carotid arteries in 20 years time. Well, here we are…. as my brother pointed out, he hasn’t given a shit since mum died (04/07/96). He’s been depressed and angry all these years, and has eaten his emotions. I’ve asked him a few times to do some counselling, but it was never going to happen. I feel helpless, but I have seen this coming with him. There is nothing I can do other than offer him my love and support, and be there as often as I can. I just hope the damage isn’t permanent.

I’ve had lots of love and support from a couple of close friends, and I am honoured to have them in my life. I thank them for their warm embraces, and their words of love and encouragement get me through some of the darker times. I love you to bits, and I thank you so much for being part of my life.

I will update this as I know more