Diff'rent Strokes is your source for information about Todd Thelin and his stroke recovery. Please feel free to add comments about posts, add new information in the comments, e-mail new information for me to post, or ask questions that we can answer. Keep in mind that posts are moderated, so they will need to be approved before they show-up. This helps fight spam.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day what ever. It was a bad one.

Todd is really starting to struggle. He has a lot of anxiety that is both brain injury-induced and environmental/emotional. Meaning that some of it is real, and some of it is "imagined," if you will. He gets facts and conversations confused, and even the smallest innocent comment can leave a lasting, hurtful impression on him, even if the speaker was only making a joke or teasing in fun, and trying to communicate how he feels leaves him frustrated.

After a rough afternoon with his dad, I was at the hospital with him for the rest of the day, and it went downhill from there. He had a couple of visitors, and was getting more and more visibly agitated, and after I hurried them out, he asked for a coke. I thought drinking more caffeine was not a good idea, considering his level of agitation already (legs bouncing around and fingers tapping uncontrollably) and I told him so, which apparently was the straw that broke the camel's back. He began arguing with me, and his arguments kept changing, and when I pointed that out, he just got more and more worked up, until eventually he told me to leave and asked the nurses to take me off all of his charts. The nurse came to try to get him to take his medication, both his regular meds and something for the anxiety, and he refused. The massage therapist came hoping that a massage would help reduce it, and he refused. Finally they advised me to take a break and give him some space. After a little while he fell asleep, and the nursing staff told me to go home and get some rest. (And here I sit at midnight typing instead of sleeping.)

His nurse put a request in for the neruopsych to see him tomorrow, and see if his medication needs adjusting or what can be done to help. I have been advised not to take any of it personally (easier said than done) because as they said, it's not really him. He may or may not remember even being like this later. And they have also said that his behavior is mild compared to some stroke paitents, who have been known to hit, kick, slam doors and fling urine, so I suppose I should be thankful.

Please when you visit, resist the urge to speak for him, to finish his sentances, and to make decisions for him or talk down to him. He needs to feel like he is a grown up, and this is HIS therapy, and take ownership of his recovery. So the lesson here is for visitors to keep their visits VERY brief, like less than 15 minutes, and for all of us to take a deep breath and renew our will to be patient with Todd as he struggles through to recovery.

5 comments:

Barbara said...

Our prayers continue with you. We know that you are bearing the brunt of this and the burden is significant. We know how very important this period of Todd's recovery is because the level to which he can recover will pretty much define what you future lives will be. We pray for the calm and peace you need to continue with the heavy burden of support and worry you carry every day. We love you and admire you.

Cassie said...

Hang in there Amelia, I can't imagine how hard this is on you... You guys are in our constant prayers, that Todd will recover quickly, that you'll have the strength you need to carry on your family. We love you!

Coolclan said...

Many prayers from here. I can only imagine how frustrated Todd is and how exhausted--and tempted to be hurt!--you are. Hang in there...

RaChelle said...

Hang in there Amy! I know that the challenges you are facing will only make you stronger. That may seem trite and overused, but it is true! Remember all of the prayers being said in Todd's behalf and also for you. You will be sustained through all the moments of this recovery, good and bad.

arianne said...

Amelia,

we are praying for Todd and for your families.

Like Cassie mentioned i can't even imagine how hard this must be for each of you, including Todd.

we love you hang in there!