Hi all,

My mum who is 82 had a stroke a week ago. She is still sleepy most of the time and doesn’t really open her eyes. She does know that we are there and will smile or frown when we talk to her. She pokes her tongue out when we ask and seems to know who is there. She was trying to speak for the first couple of days after the stroke but just seems more sleepy now than she was then. Everyone keeps saying that sleep is the best thing but I’m beginning to feel she is never going to wake up xxxx

Hello Kazzy,

 I think if you read some of the comments in the Forum, you’ll find that many SS need lots of sleep even after a few years, never mind weeks. Your Mum had her Stroke just over a week ago so it is very early days. Her brain will be so tired from trying to rewire  itself she may not be able to respond as you want her to yet. However, from reading others experiences on here and elsewhere, I would recommend talking to her about everyday things even though she looks asleep.  Our brains are so clever, they just need time.

 I have a special story to share with you. We met a couple on a cruise to the North Cape a few years ago. S is paraplegic and L has lots of medical problems. They’d been married five years when we met them and they were very popular  with staff and passengers alike. We first noticed them as L pulled S upright out of his wheelchair and they hugged and rocked to the music as we all celebrated passing the North Cape.

S had been mowed down by a car when he was 19 and had been in a coma for several months. He had severe head injuries and the family were discussing whether to turn off his life support. It was a traumatic decision and his Dad was heartbroken. He rushed into the room and shouted at his son, ‘if you’re still in there, for God’s sake let us know!  S moved a finger and squeezed. Of course the rest is history. It is a great honour to be classed as their friends. After John, my husband, had his Stroke two years ago he regularly talked about how S has been his inspiration in recovery. We try to emulate this amazing couple by treating our new life as ‘normal’. If we want to do something, we try to find ways to do it, hence our regular holidays and social activities.

I hope this is of some comfort and help to you. Your Mum may not get away on holidays but she will hopefully be able to improve her current situation.

meantime, it is important that you look after yourself, too. Veronica 

Dear Kazzy

I found it very hard to converse for the early days. The effort to process a simple sentence was immense. Veronica is right about communication, and this will be right when the time comes, not quite yet. Ask the medical staff, they should know when. It is not rare to need to sleep 22 hours a day. I didnt sleep that much, we are all different.

Reasonably full speech returned to me in about 4 months. Now you cant shut me up!