Hi to the forum members, I am looking for some advice and guidance as I am in a new and unanticipated situation. My sister who is 41 and not married, sufferred a massive left-brain ischemic stroke and spent 2 and a half months in the ICU and has just come home 3 days ago. She has right side paralysis in the arm and leg. Her speech is more or less intact as in she can talk well but sounds a little like how a child would sound. One of the noticeable things about her speech and behaviour is that she sometimes cannot express exactly what she wants but still gets frustrated that we are also not understanding what she wants, and it gets difficult for us as family (and the professional caregiver that we have employed) to understand what she is really asking for. As an example, yesterday she said "give me my phone" (as in her mobile) over and over again without giving any of us time to go and get her phone, and each time she asked for the phone she would cry a little more to the point of throwing a tantrum. When I got her phone, she said "no, I want my phone, give me my phone". Again I gave her her phone, and again she kept saying "no, give me my phone. Are you stupid, don't you understand English, I want my phone". It seems that she wants something in particular but the word "phone" is in her mind. Today she asked me for "the calculator thing for the phone" and when I asked her what it is exactly, she just said its the calculator thing for the phone. She doesn't seem to have the patience when I ask her what the object she wants looks like, what does it do, what does it resemble etc. Neither will she draw it on a piece of paper. This is just one example of her asking for this, but she actually means that. In addition to this, she calls me dad, and when I tell her that I'm not dad, I'm her brother and I give her my name, she says I know you're my brother, but she'll still call me dad. She calls the nurse and the physiotherapist by another name, not their actual names.
I would like to know if anyone has similar experiences to this and what they have done to address such issues and if there are any professionals who have helped make a difference.
This is an entirely new experience for me, and I can begin to understand how difficult it can be for anyone in this kind of position.
Thanks very much for listening, and any advice or guidance will be highly appreciated.
You could try a communication board that has pictures of the various daily items she uses or would ask for. If she is unable to get the right word out, then she could point to the item on the communication board that she wants. You want her to try and speak the right word, but a communication board can be used as an adjunct as needed.
Hi squinun,gosh 3 years ago i was there in your place,Im so sorry about your sister and i too went through this with my husband,couldn t get no help,we live in very rural area of michigan,It took us quite a while to sort out what he wanted,the min doesn t work that easy with a stroke,it helped to think of what my husband would be asking for,something he would normally be using that the word phone would be like,your sister knows what she wants but can t find the right word and make it come out of the mouth,I tried flash cards,writing words down,he forgot everything,think back what she normally did,my husband got so frustrated with words,he would just say aw forget it,it was hard,we cannot read a mind but be patient,its hard for your sister too.It will hopefully come back a little at a time,it has with my husband,a speech pathologist helps if you can find one but we could not,we were on our own,he has had many things change,i pray this will get better for you,she still knows what she wants,she just has to have time to relearn,good luck and best wishes. sami
I had 2 strokes the first one I did not know I had, but the second affected my left side. I could not use my left arm or left leg. I was dependant on everyone for help. I have gained about 85% of my function back. I am typing this response with both hands, I walk (w/Limp yes), I drive and I work 9 hr days!!! I had lots of physical therapy and an experienced and knowledgeable Doctor of Oriental Medicine. He gave me acupuncture. This stimulated my brain function and nerves and gave me back my function. My doctor is internationally known for his "Balance Method". His name is DR. Richard Tan, San Diego, CA. If you are not near here his office also has recommended experienced practitioners in other locales. Highest return of function is seen in those who receive treatment within first 4 months after incident. Hurry!!!