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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board

Brain & Nervous System Disorders Board Index

I have been asked,"how did my dad act before he went to the hospital?" I am surprised by this question because there is so much stroke information available. However, even the hospital doesn't have this information posted. If I can help one family with this post, I will be the happiest person. Stroke and brain injury are very tricky, sneaky in their presentation of symptoms.

I have found this acronym to be the easiest to remember: FAST

F for Face: Is there a sagging to one side of the face? This symptom is very noticable.
A is for Arms: Can the person raise both arms to the same hieght? Sqeeze with both hands with equal strength?
S is for Speech: Can they repeat a simple sentence? The dog chased the cat up a tree. Is their speech slurred, slow or are they incapable of repeating the sentence? (You can use your own simple sentence!) Do not ask the person if they are fine. They will probably say yes.
T is for Tongue. Have the person stick out their tongue. Look to see if it lists to one side like a panting dog. Stick your tongue out, look in the mirror to see how yours looks normally.

These are not the only symptoms of a problem with the brain. However, if you notice anyone experiencing any of the FAST symptoms, get them to the hospital. Call 911 do not drive them yourself. My dad was unable to maintain his balance and had an extemely bad headache. Also, he had problems with his sight. The hospital has the ability to administer drugs that will help the blood clot in case of stroke that will help to disolve the blood clot if administered within a 3hour period. Usually with a very good result with minimal damage to the brain.

My dad did not have a stroke, his brain started to bleed. It was explained to me that it started like a run in panty hose and just kept shreading very similar to how a runner can get away from you if you don't use nail polish to stop it! He was on a blood thinner. The hospital immediately gave him a shot of vitamin K to thicken his blood and also many pints of platelets. His brain continued to bleed for 5 days.

The lost blood pooled in his brain causing additional problems: left side neglect and eye sight problems and a weakness on the right side. Neglect means that the weakness he shows on his left side is because he doesn't know he has a left side. If you sit on his left side, he actually forgets you are there. He "forgets" he is holding something in his left hand and also has no concept of feeling on the left. This means he doesn't know I am holding his hand. In exteme cases of "neglect" the person can forget to put on one shoe or not shave one side of face. This is because the brain doesn't recoginze the whole, it only acknowledges the one side. This is so complicated and frustrating. I hope I am explaining it well enough that if you have a loved one who is experiencing the problem of neglect, you will know they are not faking or playing games. They really have no idea.

Understand that my dad had the majority of his brain problems on his right side of his brain. That caused the euphoria he had and took away his ability to be "logical". If the blood had attacked the left side of his brain he would have lost motor skills on his right side and also would have become much more aggitated and angry.

I guess in some respects his happy state is a good thing. The majority of times when you ask him a question he says "yes!" with much enuthisiasim and doesn't complain at all. I do wonder if he understands the concpet of pain. There is no way I could endure the surgery he has had and have no pain killers. He is so brave and strong. I am the one who needs a dose of courage and a shot of strength. I'm keeping a diary on the progression of my dad's illness. Feel free to conact me for the link.

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