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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Stroke Reply with quote

My mother recently suffered what can only be described as a very dense stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. The initial prognosis was grim to the point of a physician completely losing his cool with the family ( he practices, and that may be the very correct term, in a well regarded Orlando hospital ) and almost shouting that " the family didn't get it, that the big one was coming and she would not survive. " He verbally abused and scared the hell out of my sister-in-law and was brow-beating her to sign a DNR. That was the first week of January. Mother was still in very critical condition, but was moved to a rehab center / nursing home at 9pm less than a week from stroke. In the weeks since, we have had the usual ups and down associated with stroke patients and the effect on families. To add to the problem, Mother is a diabetic, which had been wildly out of control. We are a family of realists, to be honest and we know the outlook is not terrific. The therapists have been very honest about her recovery and rehabiliation. She cannot speak, although she tries. Her sugar is still high, but it's coming down. She is paralyzed on the R side and they do not believe she will ever regain mobilty again. On that, we agree. But, they do not know Mother. They gave us a list of no and impossible, rather than a list of things we could do with Mother, in hopes of helping her to recover some of her lost abilities. We bought flash cards with simple words, a magnetic board with letters and numerals, she has seen herself in a mirror and now sees that she doesn't " look like a stroke " and we have seen her personality come through and she is trying to communicate. The point is, like most families, we have chosen to be realistic, but while she breathes, we have chosen to work with her, to attain some quality of life. There were days and nights when we walked out of her facility, shattered beyond belief, but when we walked back into her room, the show was on and so were the smiles and conversations we might have had at her diningroom table. We know her situation is precarious and we miss the sound of her voice, but the one thing we have is her smile, her facial reactions when we are " on " and the moments when she is all there. We are very early into stroke rehab and we are learning everyday, but one thing I can say, I am grateful for every moment with her, every look she gives us, the hand reaching for ours and now, thank you God, she can kiss
us. For what time we have been given, as a family, I am grateful. For that dirtbag doctor who screamed and yelled and insulted my sister-in-law, I can only hope one day, someone will yank his license, as he has no sense of humanity. Cherish your family, do the best you can and appreciate the time you have been given.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am glad to hear your mom has hope and is not giving up. So many people give up easily. It is important that the family support her to keep her spirits up and it sounds as if your family is doing just that.
I despise doctors that have such a terrible bed side manner. That sort of thing kind of happened to my family. My grandpa, God rest his soul, had cancer and was very sick and my grandma, God rest her soul, also had cancer and was at the doc for herself, while she was there she was telling the doctor about my grandpa and he yelled at her and said, "what do you want me to do about it." My poor grandma just started crying and hugged the doctor and said, "I'm sorry, I just dont know what else to do." He finally said, "well go home and bring him back." They ended up admitting him because he was having a bad reaction to chemo.
I think that when you are going through school to become a doctor there should be a mandatory class on bed side manners.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:07 am    Post subject: Stroke Reply with quote

I had a doctor once ask me why I thought a lot of doctors were jerks. I had no idea. He proceded to tell me that many doctors go to medical school with zero ability to relate to people. Most of them are super smart, but never get out into the world and interact and socialize with people. Therefore when they graduate, they are good doctors as far as knowing how to treat patients illnesses, but they have no clue how to relate to them. I thought that was a great answer to that question. There are many doctors that are great with patients and staff dont get me wrong. BUT, there are many that either have that I am better than you attitude or just cant talk to people/patients in a normal manner.

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Bad Penny

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mom has a history of thyroid problems, which can lead to weight gain. She started gaining weight, though she ate very little, so she goes to the doctor. The doctor proceeds to tell her that she's a liar. All women are liars. She HAS to be eating too much. All women eat too much, then come to him complaining, swearing they're not eating.

What irked me most was that she just sat there and took it. I was ready to go in and bust him in the mouth. Doctors only act this way because they know they can get away with it.

Went in for a job physical and this doc proceeds to tell me (just a job physical mind you) that I MUST have a pap smear, blah, blah, blah. My exact words - "Last time I checked, I don't HAVE to do jack **** squat, A-hole." Look on his face was priceless. Guess he never met someone he couldn't bully before.
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: stroke Reply with quote


Hang in there with your mom. You are right about the doctor not knowing your mother. When they tell you something more often they are speaking of their personal experience and facts they've read.

We were told the same things about my 76 year old step-dad. He had a stroke in November and couldn't move his left arm or leg. I don't pretend to understand all the happenings that went on before we got him into The Waters of Yorktown. He is still far from being able to care for himself, but he can now dress himself and push himself around the facility in a wheel chair. We are glad for that. I'm still hoping that he will eventually become self sufficient, which will present another batch of probelms.

Good luck to you, your mom, and your family.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is it that so many doctors have a lousy bedside manner? It seems that the higher up they go on the ladder of medical expertise, the lesser they can relate and empathize with people. I can't begin to tell you how many doctors I've "fired." I admit that I often go in with a bit of a chip on my shoulder, but one if I get one iota of attitude from the doctor that will be my first and last visit. I'm self-pay anyway, so I figure that there are plenty of doctors out there if the one I'm choosing to see doesn't work out.

Thanks for sharing your mom's story. Wishing her and your family well. Smile
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
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Location: Riverwest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, DAS050965...well, Mother has had some very bad times, but she is still alive and trying hard to speak and communicate. She is paralyzed on the R, her sugar continues to be a concern and we are not sure how much she remembers of her old life or if she is aware of what's happened and her circumstances. We do know she responds to her family, she smiles, she is alive, although we know this is NOT what she had in mind for her senior years, but you know, sometimes, we see " her. " It's hard on her, the frustration and it's hard for her " kids " and grandkids. Fortunately, Mother is in a terrific facility with a reputation for solid rehab therapy. It's uncertain to what extent Mother will recover, but she isn't giving up and neither are we. I hate stroke. It is a thief. It is a killer. It breaks your heart. I am back and forth and it's worth it...when I can go in her room, lay my head on her chest and her left hand strokes my face, it's all worth it. The thing most hurtful - knowing she suffered alone for so long and hoping she wasn't in pain, hoping she didn't spend hours in fear. I regret not being more firm, insisting that she leave her home and come live with one of us. Maybe things wouldn't have been so bad, then you never know, do you ?
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right. Ashleigh Brilliant
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