How to help my mom

My mom had surgery on Monday to bypass 2 aneurysms in her brain. She is still in the ICU now and I am not quite sure what to say or how I can help her. It seems like she’s not fully aware of what’s going on but she has moments of response (she can squeeze my hand when requested, can say mmhmm and uh uh, and will open her eyes when you say her name).

What I'm wondering is what I can say to her to give her comfort about the situation she's in. She cries sometimes and I can't tell if thats due to frustration or confusion or both. Basically I just want to know what I can say to make her feel better. Does it help to explain "You just had surgery, your brain is repairing itself now, don't be scared" or should I just stick to the "We love you, everyone is praying for you" types of comfort.

If any of you have had bypass surgery (or any other invasive brain surgery), can you share how you felt post op and what made you feel better?


First off my prayers go to your Mother and family.
The best advice I can give you is give it time. She has had major surgery and her brain is swollen right now and will be for some time. It is normal to be in ICU after brain surgery and she just needs you there to hold her hand and be with her. In a few days she will be coming around and able to communicate with you.
I wish you and her all the best.

Erica, I was in ICU for 28 days and have no memory of it at all. Apparently I talked and had many of conversations, but remember none of it. After reading what others have said after a rupture, that seems to be pretty common. Her brain can not control her emotions right now and there is a good chance she won’t remember much if any of her stay in ICU (which can be a good thing). I would just keep comforting her and letting her know you are there and that you love her. I hope this helps, prayers for all of you. Kim

Thanks all, this has helped a great deal.

I’m happy to report that mom has mad some great progress, she is speaking again and they removed her feeding tube today. There are some words that she mixes up but for the most part, she’s pretty verbal and coherent. She was also able to eat some apple sauce and Boost and even took the spoon out of the nurses hand when she had to eat some apple sauce w/ medicine mixed in.

As a result of this discussion, I have stopped asking my mom as many questions as I was before and have been just gently correcting her when she calls me my aunts name or something like that. I just tell her stuff thats going on and hold her hand and let her be the guide of when she wants to converse. Its occasionally frustrating to her when she wants to get an idea out and can’t find the right word but I think for the most part, she realizes that there will be some frustration.

Thanks again for all the great advice.

Despite what looked like a strong recovery, my mom passed away on August 21 after the clipped aneurysm ruptured anyway.

I am not sure how that happens since there was supposed to be a bypass but nonetheless…my mom has passed.

Thank you all for your encouragement and warm thoughts.

just what your doing , i love you your going to get better, and hugs all i wanted for someone to just hold me ,i dont remember anything for the first three weeks they didnt think i would make it ,they had me in a coma feeding tubes breathing machine,ect. i was afraid to be alone when i came home,im 51 my right side was week went home with a walker but starting walking a week later without it .love and hugs and you should remind her .i have very very bad short term memery good luck god bless you all

i am so sorry may god be with you all. we are all here for you if you need us linda

I am so sorry…and i hate aneurysms more today

many blessings