Bonnie’s Mother-In-Law, Shirlee, Had a Stroke (8 Days Before Her 85th Birthday)

We are spending a lot of time at the hospital as Shirlee had a stroke on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. She has taken a turn for the worst today after seeming to improve yesterday.

January 13, 2013, three days before Shirlee had a stroke

January 13, 2013, three days before Shirlee had a stroke


Her left side is paralyzed and the first indication that something was wrong (that we noticed) was that she couldn't seem to see perfectly during the night Tuesday night (the doctor told us later that she must have lost the sight in her left eye during the night). She didn't say anything about not being able to see, but she called to Dale from the hallway and asked him to help her find the bathroom and after she used the toilet (he waited to help her back to bed) she just stood up and didn't move and asked him which way to turn to get back into bed. She got back into bed and thanked him and he went back to sleep, but first he thought about her behavior and decided that maybe she couldn't see right and planned to call Kaiser about it in the morning. (He had taken her to the pain clinic Tuesday because she fell out of bed and landed between the bed and her end table Monday night and scraped and bruised her side. The doctor looked her over and felt her ribs, etc. and said she didn't break anything and she should take Ibuprofen for the pain.)

Dale was on the phone talking to the advice nurse at Kaiser when Sandy yelled to him that Shirlee was having a stroke (Dale had asked Sandy to sit with her while he called Kaiser from his phone in the office.) I was in the shower and I heard Sandy yell. Later Sandy said Shirlee was talking to her normally when all of a sudden she started to drool and mumble incoherently and shake her head and fail her right arm and hand around. Dale quickly called 911 and the ambulance came in 10 minutes.

Yesterday, Friday, Shirlee recognized me and seemed to be able to focus both eyes. We could understand most of what she said ("Oh, Bonnie, my friend." and then she began to cry). She even swallowed some apple sauce and cranberry shush. But today she couldn't swallow and she had another CT scan. The first one, that was taken on Wednesday, showed that she had been having strokes for several weeks, not just the big one that morning. I'm going back to the hospital now and maybe we'll get more information.

Dale is home now and is going to take a nap. We are taking turns (with his daughter, Rhiannon, in between us) of being there for Shirlee.

The next step for Shirlee is to go to a rehab facility and she will be there (as long as she keeps improving and can retain her instructions on how to do things -- the doctor says she will not fully recover and will be in a wheelchair) for up to six weeks. She was scheduled to go there today but not being able to swallow put it off temporarily. They haven't put her on a blood thinner yet either as that might cause her to die. Then the doctor said, "However, not putting her on it might cause her to die, too!"

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