My moms impairments and outlook for recovery?

Hello there…hoping someone might find what I’m sharing to sound familiar in some way… My mom was in the hospital for a little over a month recovering from clipping surgery after brain aneurysm rupture. She was discharged a few days ago but now at a skilled nursing facilty, which the hospital highly recommended being her therapy progress was coming along pretty slowly. There are a few things that my mom is struggling with: expressing herself in longer sentences (she does better with yes/no questions), focusing (we will walk for awhile and then she’ll say " I have to go to the bathroom" which she may use the toilet, but then wipes down counters in her bathroom over and over, and repeates the process several times), and knowing her surroundings (she will say random things like " I need to pay the check, or where’s my purse/room key?"). She gets confused a lot and says things that don’t fit the context of conversation. Lastly, she is dealing with bladder retraining…currently being straight cathed twice a day. Will these things improve and if so how long?

Hi Brittney,

Its really got to be confusing for you and your family right now, witnessing your moms orientation (or current lack of it)...It does sound as though she's improving though, and this is a time based journey with many ups and downs along the way--which really throws things out of wack for everyone involved--but the fact that she's up and about 'doing' i 'd say is a great sign ! Keep up the good work and keep on being 'there' for you mom, i'm sure you'll go thru a bit more of the confusion with her but it surely will subside eventually,,,baby steps as they say..(I clearly recall hallucinating while on IV Dailadid, and i still recall what I said aloud to my husband one night--and I knew what I was saying had to be completely wrong and 'out there' , i continued with my line of questioning) things like: "Is that my dads room over there ?? the room on the left??" (My dad of course was not even in the hospital!) and my husband just 'went with the flow" and answered 'yes' --this made me happy i recall, even though i did know that this wasn't true ) my comment back to my husband was "OH !..Good"! --lol, one day at a time, Brittney, I know its not easy.. Peace to you and your family as you get thru it,


Hi Brittany! Welcome to forum and the site! ummm I would say judging from my own sah ordeal she will definitely improve, how much and how soon is apparently impossible to tell, it was so frustrating- all I got was maybe's and might's never anything encouraging from the professionals, hang in there some things are very very quick others are very very slow- I am still hoping my left side vision deficit returns and it will be 5 years in 27 days. Funny you should mention longer sentences cause I was just thinking how mine improved at a family meeting. Its an ongoing thing trying to improve. My hope and prayers are she improves well enough to join us- it has helped me so much forming thoughts and sentences and then applying it. Repitition may be needed- i'll bet they told me a hundred times what happened to me- at first I did not comprehend, then I thought they must be mistaken because everyone I ever heard of died from a rupture, then I thought it was a government conspiracy and I was a guniuee pig-lol There are many phases of denial, paranoia, acceptance and anger to name a few. Even now I always say i'm in a magnafyer - all emotions of happy, sad etc and fatigue and sleepiness and pain. Also light and sound is too but please hang in there it takes time- the first time I walked into Walmart I felt like screaming and running out of there but now it doesn't bother me, I must stop now, starting to ramble-lol, If you have any questions please ask- we are here to help~

Brittany, My mom is essentially 3-4 weeks ahead of your mom in terms of recovery. My mom had her aneurysm rupture March 31. She was able to speak in more than 3-4 word sentences for the first time around May 6…about 2 days after she was first given amanthadine (a drug that is a neuro stimulant that helps people with alzheimers, for example). Now she speaks completely regularly. However, she is still confabulating a little (making up scenarios and thinking she is in her house at home, thinking people visited her who really didn't, and so forth)…Whereas she was doing this about 60-70% of the time in the beginning of May, she is now doing this about 20-30% of the time. So we are improving.

My mom is also still straight cathed, and that is really because she cannot walk yet. She can stand for about 30 seconds under her own power and that is about it. We are a wee bit nervous that the walking will never happen, but she was just moved to a sub acute rehab place yesterday and have high hopes that she will make better progress in walking at the new place.

I would say that your mom is doing very well. This entire crisis is a test of one's patience. I am sure by now you have heard "two steps forward and one step back" with regard to brain injury recovery….I find it to be the most fitting description of the path we have been down so far. True that everyone's recovery is different, but your mom will undoubtedly improve over time.

Feel free to direct message me if you have any questions. Best wishes!

Thank you Janet… Sorry for everything you’ve been through. It looks like you’ve stayed strong through it all and nice to be able to laugh about things too. I guess she got taken back to the hospital today because the care facility was a little concerned how sleepy and out of it she was, more than usual. Looks like fluid pressure is starting to build again so they are thinking a shunt might be needed. Guess we’ll see for sure… A little scary… Do you have one?

Thanks Ron… A lot of what you say rings true when it comes to my mom. She gets very overstimulated by things you wouldn’t expect, but it makes sense now. Glad to see you are recovering well! I guess she got taken back to the hospital today because the care facility was a little concerned how sleepy and out of it she was, more than usual. Looks like fluid pressure is starting to build again so they are thinking a shunt might be needed. Guess we’ll see for sure… A little scary… Do you have one?

Cj- thanks for providing some insight , it looks like our mothers have been through very similar things! It’s encouraging to know speech will eventually improve, in some way at least. I see things getting better and better for your mom, and I’m thinking walking better will eventually fall into place. Thank you for sharing your experience. You are right it’s definitely one step forward two steps back. I guess my mom got taken back to the hospital today because the care facility was a little concerned how sleepy and out of it she was, more than usual. Looks like fluid pressure is starting to build again so they are thinking a shunt might be needed. Guess we’ll see for sure… A little scary… Do you have one?

My mom almost had a shunt put in about 5-6 weeks ago, but at the last minute it was decided she instead had an intestinal bacteria called "c-diff" (it's one of those bugs you can catch from being in a hospital) and that was what was making her so tired (she was very dehydrated). I remember they told me the shunt would have been temporary and that if a more permanent one was needed after a few weeks they would have had her undergo the procedure for that (with the drain running down the spinal cord as I remember?)

I am sure you realize now that this entire ordeal is mental and physically very draining. I find myself not being able to properly focus on anything else aside from my mom's daily condition. But I am a mother and a wife, too, so I know I have to pace myself. Please continue to post, or PM me, or find some way to take care of yourself. It is very easy to get sucked into the vortex of your mom's daily ups and downs and neglecting yourself and everything else around you. My husband needs to pull me out of that vortex every so often!

Your mom will get better over time. It's all in baby steps for the most part, from what I can tell.

1 Like

First, I'm glad your Mom has now graduated to the skilled facility and out of the hospital. I didn't have a rupture but did have the craniotomy to clip an aneurysm in September. For the first couple months I'd hallucinate, seeing people I knew weren't there. Sounds, lights, talking seemed so magnified and hurt. I could only answer one question in a few hours and it had to be yes or no. Otherwise I swear all I heard was 'blah blah blah' which made no sense. I'm now 8 months into recovery. I can do more. No more hallucinations. I can answer several questions now but need time to think so I can't make fast decisions anymore (or yet). I smiled when I read your note that your Mom keeps wiping the counter or when Edwardo says his wife is fixated with cleaning and organizing. I do the same thing. I find comfort in tasks like washing clothes and dishes. It's easy. When I started I had to talk to myself saying things like 'add soap, add clothes, close door, turn on' because I would do things like put clothes in and forget to close door or soap. And with repetition it was as if my brain started improving, remembering. Also my family did things like play games with me. They gave me a deck of cards and reminded me how to play solitaire. It took me almost an hour to figure out how to count to seven and then to recognize the numbers and colors and such. Then I started playing scrabble on my kindle and word searches and a game called einstein. So everyday I learn more and more. Ok I didnt' mean to write a book here! Oh yeah I talk way too much now too. So yes, things do improve but I think the how long is different for everyone.

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. It really helps us, the family and caretakers, to understand what you are going through from your perspective.