A lot has happened during the past week. We have had some downs and many ups. Since progress will begin slowing I believe this will be an easier way to keep everyone updated that is curious. I am going to start by writing a small synopsis over what has happened the last week.
On Tuesday the 12th Dad kind of acted strange and didn't feel well. After many failed attempts of putting his wallet into his pocket Jeanne took him to the clinic. Dads blood pressure was sky high. They recommended he go to Llano hospital. Once there they performed a CT that showed up negative. They thought he needed a MRI and had him transported to St. David's in Austin. Once there he seemed almost normal. He was laughing, cutting jokes, and just being James. His speech was still delayed and slurred a bit, but that is common with a minor stroke. Wednesday morning is when things changed. He was walking in the halls and speaking minutes before his major stroke. One of his physicians saw him and thought he looked normal. This would late be the same person that called him his "miracle patient". It was determined he had a blood clot that was pretty hard that needed to be removed. Later testing would then show the entire left side of his brain was affected. He had lost movement on his right said and we were unsure if it would ever return. His speech was non-existent, but we believed he knew what was going on. Thursday the 14th we were told he had major swelling on his brain and required immediate surgery to perform a craniectomy, partial removal of the skull. He came out of the surgery as expected and we were told it was done just in time. The next few days was full of small victories, but it was much better than the devastating news we had been getting the last few days. He began moving his left side and fighting. He began to wake up and squeeze our hands. They began to ween him off sedation and pain medications to make him more aware of what was going on. With doing that we saw more of him and what he is capable of doing. They allowed him to breathe on his own during the days to see how he did, and then turned the ventilator back on at night to give him a rest. Before we knew it he was off the ventilator completely, days before some of his doctor predicted. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists have all started working with him.
Dad was downgraded from ICU to PCU, progressive Care Unit. This is a huge thing because doctors said he would be in the ICU for at least another week on Monday the 18th. Dad was able to move his eyes and look to the right, which neurology was extremely happy about. Dad still has feeling on his right side, but is struggling with movement. Dad was extremely exhausted and slept most of the day.
After sleeping all day he was up a lot of the night. He is coughing some, but it is not in the lungs which is good. The speech therapists performed a swallow tests and determined dad still needs to stay on the feeding tube. During the stroke some of his muscles forgot how to work so now we need to retrain them, including those in his throat. It was not the best results, but we are only a week out from the stroke. He has made huge steps in just a week and learning how to swallow again will happen in due time. They are going to be giving him ice chips frequently and practice with him. He will attempt the swallow test again next week.
I will do my best to update daily, if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me.