It has been a interesting week. Even with my Nursing knowledge there is a lot that I continue to learn. When My Mom had cancer I learn all about the kind she had and the treatments. What can be done in the new technology age. Unfortunately she was in Stage 4 and not much could be done for her.
My Father stated having noticeable TIA ( Transit Ischemic Attacks) In 2013. At first we thought they were just Senior moments caused by Dementia. However we learned in 2015 they were TIA's. The MRI's showed the previous damages. Now we know. I remember back in the 1990's. Mom had told me something was wrong with Dad. He was having some Memory problems. Back then they did not know what it was. The problem with TIA's is that they do not show up in the Brain as Damages for years. One can go a long time not having one and then have an episode. The episode only last last than 15 minutes and if no one is close to them you would never know. It could be a sudden mixing up words , Blurriness in one or both eyes, and twitching of the eyes or mouth, or a numbness in a hand or foot. Even going to the hospital ER it is hard to determine what happened until a acute Ischemic stroke happens. Only then can the pieces be put together.
The Neurologist explained the cycle. Telling us what happened and that there really isn't much one can do. Diet and Exercise can help with the blood flow. My fathers mobility was not affected. He still can get around well. Since he has be with us his Blood sugar and Chems are all normal. No more Swings. My Mother told me I need to take care of Dad and that he would need a lot of help. I believed she knew within her heart.
These TIA's seem to running in the family. Can start as early as age 45. My Dad's Biological father had them and died at the age of 49 of a Stroke. Granny told me a long time ago, that He was in the hospital a lot in the final 2 years. It must run in the men. Cause Dads Half Brothers had problem also. some became hermits. Due to the uneasiness to be around people. Dad has some of that. Although He enjoys being around us and some family members. It seem like the TIA are mostly in the Brocia and Wernicke's part ( Left side Anterior and Posterior part of brain,) These normal cause problems with Speaking, Finding and Forming Words.
Once a Ischemic Stroke happens, the brain can have an Cerebral Infarction in the region. These are Blood Clots that move from the original stroke. Not a New Stroke. They are in the same family as TIA's just a different cause. TIA's can and do lead to a major stroke down the line. As to when that happens is unknown.It can happened shortly after a TIA or months even years later. But if you think you are having them go to the ER. Sometime you can have two the more in the same day and if you are somewhere they can monitor you there is help.
Education is the key to understanding the body. With today's Technology and Internet help one to live longer and prevent some things. Having knowledge reduces the Stress. This is a good thing.
My Dad has Aphasia and bi-product of the Brocia Stroke and TIA's. He is making a good recovery and retraining the brain to store things in a new location. Even though he has had to relearn some things. He still does not like talking on the phone and uncomfortable around large crowds. I do not know if that will ever go away, since he has been that way for a long time. He will now be living with my family and that is okay. My Mom knew this and prepared me for it. For that I am thankful.
About 8 years ago my Mother told me I would have to take care of Dad. She stated that He has some problems and will need help. At the time I didn't understand this. However now I can see it. The Doctor told me that Dad have been having Problems for a long time and he believes he has been having these Brain attacks for sometime. I think my Mother saw the changes in him. She then made sure I would take care of him after her passing.
I spoke with my Dad some seven years ago about this. He said he has always been a recluse. Most of his life he depended on Mom to help him out of it. She would plan the activities, encourage him to do things and he loved doing it for her. I am now that person to keep him from the tendency of falling into that mode again. I try to get family members to visit and take him to as many family gatherings as a can. We take him out to visit folks and to activities going on. I try to take as much stress from him by managing his daily activities. He really like this. We talk about bills and other things that need to be done. He is still in charge of things, I just do as he wishes. Keeping his mind active is a must.
With the Aphasia one needs to keep the mind active. Also the folks around him need to give him time to responded to questions. If he wants to talk let him find his own words. Sometime there are pauses cause he is looking for the word to express his thought. The learning curve for us is also challenging. We must learn to be patient and listen closely. We can sometimes help him find the word if we are listening and following he thoughts. I have learned to do this well. Never giving him the word but repeating what he has already said. This seem to help him retain the thought and find the path to the word. Even going through the path in a back door. The brain can find the words. We had been working on his address which he has had trouble remembering, and the names of his children. However he is doing better now and retaining the information for a longer time. Even through his address will change we will continue to work on that part of the memory. Because the address seems associated with a lost, It is harder for him a want to retain it. The home in his words was my Mothers house. That is how he perceives it. Most of the things in the home was hers and still is. He calls it "The Event" and wishes not to remember it. So I am sure things that are associated with her are not on his important to remember list. We do talk about the positive things about mom. This way he can associate things with her that are pleasant.
My Husband and I take care of the House. Maintenance and taxes. We have tried to get dad to help but he wants nothing to do with it. He just wants to give the stuff away. So we are in the process of doing that. The Family will take what they want and we will donate the rest. It is hard to see things go, but it is a process and doing it now is better. I think it will help Dad Move on and let go of somethings. All of this has made me think it is time to do the same at my home. We hang on to many things that will be meaningless later in life. The old saying... You can't take it with you.... is so true and may I add.... No one wants it after you are gone. It only causes division and pain. We went through this with my Husband Parents and there home. So I do have some experience on this.
In conclusion, We have learned a lot in the past twelve years. I wish to pass it on to you. If you are going through any things like this, I hope this help you maintain you sanity. Not there yet. Remember this post to help you when you become a caretaker of your love one. You would be surprised how many of us are out there.