Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pa-Paw had a stroke

Let's start with this: he is doing quite well, all things considered.

As longtime readers of my blog know, my grandfather is 90. Up until very recently, he was in quite good health, with the exception of his short term memory. That, in particular, has gotten especially bad in the last few months. The new neurologist said that he is physically very healthy, but that his mental "software" is starting to fail. It's not Alzheimer's; as I understand it, the pathology is different, but the symptoms are similar. The neuro gives it about 18 months before Pa-Paw doesn't know who we are. We were already planning our regular visit for Labor Day weekend (first weekend in September), so we thought we were okay.

He has had issues with TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) for many years, and we knew that a stroke was a definite possibility, but you are still never quite prepared for it. It is certainly not the email I expected to get from my father on my birthday this year. I was out of town, doing something very special (more on that later), and I know he hated to send it to me, but it had to be done. There was no way to know, at that point, how things would go, and I needed to know in case we needed to return home.

He lost some of his speech ability (repeating himself, difficulty "finding" the right word, etc) and was having right side weakness/loss of control. As the weekend progressed, his speech returned, and his right side issues improved. He will still need some physical therapy to (hopefully) improve his walking and his ability to do things like tie his shoes or button his sweater (that he *always* wears, even in mid-summer in middle Georgia). It is unlikely he will ever regain full use of his right arm, but some improvement is expected. The real difficulty is that his memory is so bad, he cannot remember that he had a stroke. ::sigh:: We'll see how it goes. Dad thinks we should be okay to still wait until Labor Day to come down. He will hopefully have completed his physical therapy and returned to assisted living by then. If you have any good thoughts or prayers you can spare for him, they would be most appreciated.

Currently feeling: sad

No comments:

Post a Comment

My apologies for not allowing comments from Anonymous users. I was getting way too much spam. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!