Please help! My mum’s still in admissions

Hi and thank you to anyone who reads this. 

My mum had a stroke on Monday morning, she managed to call my sister who was around the corner and called the ambulance.

She went to the hospital where a stroke was confirmed and was placed in the admissions ward while they do a COVID test. The test has come back negative but the dr is saying that her chest x-rays indicate she may have Covid or the X-ray results could be a result of her arthritis medication. 

Either way it has been 4 days and she is still in admissions on aspirin. She can no longer talk or move her right side. We are distraught and not being told how long it will be before she can get on a stroke unit. 

What can we do? 

Hi Carly

So sorry to hear about your Mum's stroke.  The short answer is that, unfortunately due to the covid procedures in hospital, they will only move Mum to a Stroke Unit when they are sure it is not Covid.  Whilst she is in the admissions ward they will continually monitor her position and keep giving her the aspirin which will stabilise the stroke until they decide on the new medication for her to help with the recovery.

Not much help to you and your family I know but it's not unusual for people to be held in admissions ward when they first enter hospital for a few days.  This is mainly to stablilise until being moved to the specialists ward.  Sadly, the stroke units aren't very large and don't contain lots of beds so bedspace is limited. Although she is still in admissions, she will have seen a Stroke Consultant who will be in charge of her care up to and including being moved into the Unit.  Other than being in a ward with others that have had strokes, in the early days, there isn't anything extra that you get in a stroke ward than you would get in the admissions ward until it's time for physio assessments.  The main thing at the moment is to keep your Mum stabilised to make sure her stroke has 'finished' before moving her.  When I say 'finished' strokes start and can take a couple of days before stopping so they will be waiting and monitoring her for that to happen before moving her.

It is incredibly hard for families due to Covid at the moment. I feel for you as I had a similar time with my late brother who had cancer.  Try to stay strong.

Hi, I cannot add to the wise advice you have already received on this forum. What I can say is that, yes, stroke units are small and at the moment they have fewer beds because patients have to be two metres apart.

Mum has been stabilised and has medical care. That's the most important thing. As the stroke was only a few days ago, she will suffer the initial effects and probably feels 'out of it'. After my stroke five years ago, I couldn't remember going to hospital on blues and twos and the next week was a blur. Even when you start to improve a little, you mostly want to rest.

We mostly start to improve several days after the stroke, but improvement is slow. Try to hold on to the fact that mum is in good hands, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

I understand your distress at the situation - it's extremely frustrating, and will add to your worries.  My advice is all with hindsight, because I think I could have been more assertive if I'd known more about stroke.  So you have the benefit of John and Brenda's first hand experiences.  My husband never made it to the stroke ward, (August 2017), he was left on a cardiac ward with the promise that the stroke team would make daily visits to assess and manage his needs.  This didn't really happen, and I guess with the current Covid situation you may find yourself in the same position.  Fortunately he made a good recovery, but it was in spite of, rather than thanks to, the stroke team.  Covid makes everything a struggle, but if you are able to establish that your Mum is being visited at least once/twice a day by stroke specialists, just for monitoring, this may ease your worries.  

I'm so sorry this has happened, and at such a difficult time.  Hopefully if she can get plenty of rest she may be able to be strong enough to make a recovery.  ?Take good care xx 

Dear Carly

so sorry  to hear of Mums stroke.

a stroke bit me 13/12/2015, i am now 73.

i do feel for those who are involved in any hospital stays during this horrid pandemic. 

worse for those on the outside than those inside. 

the three kind and xperienced contributors have told you the essentials. Mum will be getting the necessary tests and treatments. Can i just add one thing. During my time in hospital, i needed rest and quiet, and visitors clash with that. Visiting time was torture. I explained to my wife and got her to read, knit, and take endless trips to the cafe for meals or drinks. And then just sit by me. Conversation hurt. The medics understood this and would ask simple questions then wait for a reply.

Every stroke is different. 

best wishes