Need some clarity on my mom

Hello All,

My mom had an SAH in February 14th of this year and had a clipping on February 20th, she is still in Bed she moves her arms and legs a lot and tries to pull out her trek tube and at times scratches her face and opens her eyes, but when we does open her eyes it’s almost like she is looking past you and if you try to have her follow your finger she doesn’t. it has been 10 weeks since her surgery and i am wondering how long she will be in this condition and come out of it so she can begin therapy. She is 65 years old and suffered a stroke when she had the SAH, but we have seen improves weeks over week from her not moving at all to moving a lot now especially when she hears someone talking but she is just not connecting or able to follow commands.

Welcome Steve and thank you for starting a new topic. Is your mom in Rehab or still in ICU? After ten weeks she should at least be getting some range of motion (ROM) from the nursing staff if not a PTA or PT. One of the issues for being in bed so long is the development of decubitus ulcers (bed sores or pressure point sores). Medicare will not pay facilities for them as they’re preventable with proper care. They can also lose the ability to have Medicare pay for any patient, so quite a serious consequence. I’m not sure about private pay insurance companies. I learned about the consequences when my parents were in hospital and then moved to rehab.

When you say stroke, are you talking about an ischemic stroke or the hemorrhagic stroke? Did she have both? An ischemic stroke is a blockage preventing blood getting to a part of the brain, the hemorrhagic stroke is a bleed which also prevents blood from getting to where it needs to go but infiltrates a part or parts of the brain. There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes, one is an ICH (Intracerebral Hemorrhage which can be broken down to a couple other types) and SAH (Subarchnoid Hemorrhage where the blood gets into the subarachnoid space). Yes, I know your mom had a SAH but just looking for the other type so I can do some research for you. There’s also a high risk of a perioperative stroke I think it’s called from the anesthesia during brain surgery. Someone please correct me if I got that wrong. Sometimes Doctors just say stroke but what type they usually don’t say. When I was in NSICU, they’d interchange the words stroke and SAH, it was quite confusing to me and to BH. We had to ask for clarification, I just had the SAH with 21 days of vasospasms. Before I ruptured, I only knew about ischemic strokes, who knew there could be so many other types? As you can tell, we learn a lot here!

Whilst I can’t tell you how long it will take your mom to recover, I can give you some hope. A week or two before I ruptured, I had some training at work on TBIs. There’s a Psychologist down in Texas that’s been doing decades long research and has concluded that the brain can continue to heal no matter our age. His research is ongoing to this day. When my Neurosurgeon told us my brain had healed all it was going to, I told her she was wrong. Thankfully, I was correct this time. When I was in college decades ago, the belief was any brain damage after the age of 5 was permanent.

It’s been a really difficult road for me, despite having many tools in my toolbox as we called it. But I think it’s been harder on BH with the constant worrying. The way I see your mom, is she’s survived her rupture and her brain is just taking a bit longer to repair the damages. Craniotomy procedures are the most invasive type to have as I understand the differences.

Can’t tell you how long it will take, there’s too many variables. Be patient, please. And please take time out for yourself as well as any other loved ones that visit her. It does sound like she’s trying to connect. I found music to be very helpful with my recovery, that and BH or my parents/friends holding my hand when I was still in hospital. Music and hand holding help to this day. So try that instead of having her follow your finger. I hold the belief that we can feel the love from others, even if we can’t understand what they’re saying. Talk to her about your day, both good and bad, just as you would if she hadn’t ruptured. Just use simple words.