Growing up too fast....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update on Dad's Condition(picture taken 2 weeks ago in Gatlinburg LAUREL FALLS HIKE


First of all...thank you so much for your continued support and concern of my father as he battles through his 2nd stroke. Your phone calls and texts have been much appreciated.

For those that have asked...here’s what happened and the latest update. For those who may not have heard...here ya go.

On Oct. 10th at about 11PM, he had his second stroke. He knew it was happening and was fully cognizant of the situation. He called my mom (who happened to be in Nashville at the time visiting Amber before her baby shower) and told her he thought he was having another stroke. Long story short...EMT’s took him to Dyer County hospital where he informed them of his past heart/stroke history.

For those of you who may not know, my dad had a stroke about 6 years ago after his quad-bypass surgery. The day he was supposed to go home from the hospital, he threw a clot. It slowed him down a bit, but didn’t incapacitate him by any means. After therapy, he was able to get back to a full life...although much slower and with a permanent limp on his right side.

Upon arriving and hearing of his situation, the doctors immediately gave him a Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) shot, which is very effective in thinning the blood and breaking up/clearing a clot if administered within 2-3 hours of a stroke. Unfortunately [and unbeknownst to the doctors...which I’m still curious as to why...i’m guessing there wasn’t a CT scan at Dyer hospital???], my dad did not have a “clot” stroke, but a “bleed” stroke. Well, you can imagine what a strong blood thinner like a TPA shot would do to a person that’s bleeding internally...it only exacerbated the problem and he immediately took a turn for the worse, becoming virtually comatose. When they saw his reaction to the shot they immediately put him on an ambulance to a more advanced facility...Jackson-Madison General Hospital, in Jackson, TN. about 40 minutes from my parents home in Dyersburg.

Mom, Lara, Amber, Jonathan, and I got to the hospital at different times throughout the day, Saturday the 11th. When we first got there...he wasn’t very responsive at all, and just looked kind of glazed over. We spent as much time as they would allow us in his ICU room. We just continued to stimulate him in any way possible when allowed in the room, making sure he had familiar faces in front of him and that he could hear our voices. He just looked completely exhausted...so, we left him around 10PM Saturday night to get some much needed rest before they let us back in at 9AM Sunday morning. He looked much better the next morning, but here’s the current status.

He’s completely paralyzed on his right side (with the exception of some slight twitching reactions to stimuli...which is a start), but does have use (although limited) of his left side. He has a strong grip with his left hand, and can actually feed himself, although the swallowing bit isn’t up to spec, just yet. But, no need for a feeding tube at this time, which is GREAT news. He can’t do thin liquids just yet, because of lack of control of his mouth and swallowing. But, has done well with thicker things like mashed potatoes, pudding, etc. Hey...it’s a start.

He can’t speak whatsoever at this time...but, seems to by trying as he’s grunting more now. If he is cognizant of what’s happening and can hear/understand us completely...i can only imagine his frustration. He’s not very responsive to specific commands, so we really just don’t know what all he’s comprehending. He’s showing emotion...so, we’re pretty sure he recognizes us, but when given a specific command like “blink once for yes, or squeeze our hand for no”, he doesn’t seem to respond very well...and, when he does...it’s very delayed. The bleed has affected about a ¼ of his brain, according to the Neurologist and CT scan. So, it’s fairly significant. She said he’s actually doing much better than she expected after seeing the damage of the bleed. Right now, we’re just hoping it’s stopped bleeding so the body can start to mend the damaged/bruised area of the brain. He may improve drastically or not much more than what he is now...only time will tell.

We hope to have him out of ICU within’ the next 2-3 days. Again...thank you so much for all the support. I’ll keep you posted on his progress. Much love: the Thurmond family.

1 comment:

Carter Clan said...

Thanks Amber for the update....Gav and I have been praying hard for for him to regain his strength. Also for strength for you and your family. Take care of yourself and the ladies! love ya, Erin