Recovery

In July 2009 my mother had a brain aneurysm and had emergency surgery. 9 days later she had vasospasms. She was in the hospital 3 weeks and in rehab for 1 week. After she was discharged she did outpatient rehab for an additional 6 weeks. She has no short term memory, has trouble walking, is incredibly moody and confrontational and completely disorganized. She was never like this before but the doctor reassured us that in time this will get better. Unfortunately in the past couple of months, I have noticed that instead of better, things are actually getting worse. Is this a normal part of recovery or should I be worried? Having never experienced this before I just don’t know what to expect. Can anyone give me insight as to what is normal and how long recovery takes? She is still working full time and frequently makes mistakes. Several of us have tried to encourage her to retire but she does not want to. Any advice anyone has would be great. Sometimes I wonder if my expectations are too high and I just need to be patient! Help!

She is back to work. That in itself is amazing. Recovery can take many months. For some people years. Let her work, the more she uses her brain, the batter the recovery.

Everyone recovers differently. It drove me bonkers when my doctor would tell me that things take time - I wanted a timeline on “time!” Does your mom talk to anyone about how she is feeling? My doctor told me when I returned home that depression or feelings of anxiety is really common afterwards. I ruptured 5 months ago and I can relate to some of the things you mentioned … feeling moody, confrontational. Has she talked to her doctor about this?

Hi Kelly,

I think it is great she is back to work. Recover time is hard to explain, you have your ups and downs but as you progress you have more ups than downs. I was incredibly moody also, but I soon realized it. It took me over 6 months on my first aneurysm surgery to return to work. I had to use a walker for awhile. Is there any way she would join this site? There are a lot of people with different experiences yet it is almost sure that she will find someone who matches what she is going through. While I was recovering it was easier talking to people who have been through something traunmic(sorry need spell check) experience. Before I found this site and another one I belong to, I use to talk to people I knew who had cancer, one friend that was in a bad accident. I guess what I am trying to say, she might need to assure herself. I am sorry but there is nothing called normal recovery after aneurysm surgery.
I don’t want to keep ranting but if you want to talk more, let me know.
We all are here to help
Ken

Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

Thanks so much for the info on the book. I will definately be buying it.

Harold Fernández said:

Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

Hi Kelly,

I don’t think Stroke and Aneursym is the same and may be more confusing

Kelly Liscinsky said:

Thanks so much for the info on the book. I will definately be buying it.

Harold Fernández said:
Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

I am not so sure about that Ken. I think if an aneurysm ruptures, leaks, bleeds it can then be a hemorrhagic stroke.

Ken Stratmann said:

Hi Kelly,


I don’t think Stroke and Aneursym is the same and may be more confusing



Kelly Liscinsky said:
Thanks so much for the info on the book. I will definately be buying it.

Harold Fernández said:
Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

Hello,

An aneurysm is a type of stroke. The technical definition of a stroke is, “the interruption of blood flow due mainly to either clogging or hemorraghing, amongst other possibilities”. The book covers aneurysm in a comprehensive and easy manner.

Blessings,

Ken Stratmann said:

Hi Kelly,

I don’t think Stroke and Aneursym is the same and may be more confusing

Kelly Liscinsky said:
Thanks so much for the info on the book. I will definately be buying it.

Harold Fernández said:
Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

Hello,

An aneurysm is a type of stroke. The technical definition of a stroke is, “the interruption of blood flow due mainly to either clogging or hemorraghing, amongst other possibilities”. The book covers aneurysm in a comprehensive and easy manner.

Blessings,

Donna Mignone said:

I am not so sure about that Ken. I think if an aneurysm ruptures, leaks, bleeds it can then be a hemorrhagic stroke.

Ken Stratmann said:
Hi Kelly,

I don’t think Stroke and Aneursym is the same and may be more confusing

Kelly Liscinsky said:
Thanks so much for the info on the book. I will definately be buying it.

Harold Fernández said:
Hello Kelly,

For a comprehensive and easy read on the situation you describe above I refer you to the book titled, “Stroke and The Family: A New Guide”, by Joel Stein, MD. It explains it all there and much more.

Harold Fernández

Kelly,
I also had a rupture, a rerupture and a separate stroke. I had a similar recovery situation as your Mom that about nine months to a year after my rupture, and I had some of those symptoms (moody, emotional, confrontational, disorganized, etc.). Luckily I came across the following article about the effects of a rupture on the Pituitary Gland, and it’s hormones. My doctors never mentioned that my rupture could have other, hormonal effects. They just kept telling me how lucky I was alive after my rupture. I felt miserable. http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/89/10/4986 and http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/strokeaha;35/12/2884

During a rupture, the pituitary gland gets flooded with blood and can get damaged. Blood is poisonous to brain and pituitary tissue. The hormones made in the pituitary glad has influence on EVERY bodily function. Her symptoms could be due to lack of hormones, and she could have Hypopituitarism. Bring a copy of these articles to her doctor and insist that her doctor run tests on her hormones. If any of her hormones are in the low normal to below normal levels, get her to a Pituitary endocrinologist, or a neuro-endocrinologist (NOT a normal endocrinologist, you need a specialist). http://www.pituitarysociety.org/

Also, have her Vitamin D levels tested. Vitamin D is a hormone which has huge ramifications on general health. When mine was tested it was 7.5 nmol (normal is above 35, but now doctors are recommending levels over 50 nmol). After 6 months of 50,000 IU of Vitamin D3, two times a week I finally got my levels over 30 and my moods were much improved!

Also have her ADH (antidiuretic hormone, also called Vasopressin) checked.

Sleep was very important to my recovery. Talk to her doctors, with her, about sleep and pain medication. I had HORRIBLE headaches for many months after my aneurysm rupture. I was put on a low dose of Amitriptyline at night which allows me to sleep, heal and keeps my headaches at bay.

I hope this helps your Mom. Recovery is different for each person.
Please let us know what happens!
JulieNH

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