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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finally checking in


Transport to IMC. We got to ride in the van this time.
Hopefully that will be a little cheaper than the 2 ambulance rides.
The "Hilton" of hospitals. Todd's new digs.

Oliver's visit with Daddy yesterday.
He said "ba" then just wanted down on the floor to play with his cars.

Hi family, friends, ward members and random blog readers. I'm finally home, first time in weeks, and able to check in.

Several people have asked about Todd's prognosis, now that he's in rehab, so I thought I'd fill you all in on that.

As previously mentioned, Todd has been recovering and healing at a remarkable rate, even to the doctors. From what I understand, a faster recovery at the outset is a good indicator of how far his recovery will go toward completion. And if this is any indication, we should all be able to look back on this experience and laugh (with greater wisdom and humor) in no time. His dad is convinced that he'll be a few weeks in the hospital and some time at home, and be back to work and daily life very soon. I'm currently leaning on his faith on that one, and remain very hopeful.

It must be remembered, however, that Todd has had not one, but three strokes. There is tissue in his brain that has been killed (my word of the day, Cerebral Infarction.) The brain has amazing, and not fully understood powers to heal, reorganize, and repair itself. Todd is very lucky to have no paralysis, or even much discernible weakness in his body. Those are very good things. Where Todd is struggling now is from the neck up. He is experiencing some very common effects, such as:
  • aphasia - problems remembering words, names, finding the right word, etc. He gets caught mid-sentence, and gets stuck until he is reminded of the word, then can continue on. He can't remember new names well (like names of nurses etc) or people's last names, and replaces them with a similar sounding name (like Becca=Brooke, Terry=Ted, etc)
  • emotional liability - sudden and sometimes inappropriate emotional outbursts. Like his emotions don't have any brakes
  • sensory deprivation - because he can't see well, his visual sense is somewhat deprived, causing him to get overwhelmed when exposed to multiple conversations, or too much going on. This can also cause anxiety, hallucination, depression, and bizarre thoughts. I mean more bizarre then the pre-stroke Todd.
  • cognitive problems - memory problems, abstract thought/reasoning/problem solving
  • inappropriate social behavior - where Todd didn't have much of a "filter" before, he is completely lacking one now. He is apt to say and do things that he would have previously only joked about doing
I tell you all this not to make discourage or worry you, but to give you a more realistic picture of what he and our family are and will be dealing with in the months, and even years to come. Knowing that he can walk, talk, eat, and toilet with less and less assistance are all wonderful things, but they are not the complete picture. These will have much more far reaching effects, and to the casual observer, and even to himself, he may appear to be fully recovered and capable of doing things when he's not. Like driving, for example.

As Brett mentioned, they expect him to be in in-patient rehab for approximately 2 weeks, and will then release him to go home, at which point he'll begin in home therapy, similar to what we do now with Oliver. Todd is a survivor, and he has come an incredible distance so far, but the journey is not yet over. Please be patient with him, and with those of us who will be helping him on his way to full recovery.

I have a lot more to write, but as usual, the day isn't nearly long enough, and it's already midnight, and I need to be at the hospital early again. Thank you everyone for your prayers. Believe that they are being felt constantly. I'm still standing, not a puddle on the floor, so that should be proof. All my love.

4 comments:

Taylor's said...

Amy,

It is great to hear your take on how things are going.

I am glad to hear the "keeping in real" take on Todd and your point of views.

Todd looks great to us but I know it will be a long road until you and your family have the "real" Todd back!

Our prayers and fasting are truly with your family! Please call us and let us know if and when we can watch Oliver! We would love to have the "little guy" over to play; after all, Jeff always to play with trucks but our little girls just want princess stuff!

Keep your head up and keep smiling; we are truly watching miracles happen!

Coolclan said...

We are thinking about you and praying from you! -Holly, from Adoptive Moms board

Katie said...

We are so glad to hear of the progress! We too are praying each day for your family. Amy, I am happy to take Oliver if you need me to. We are just here and I'm sure Evan would love it! Let us know.

Misty and Jake said...

Lola,

I have told you numerous times you are truly an amazing wife, mother and friend and I feel the need to remind you. Reading your post just amazes me. Todd is so lucky to have you as his wife.

It was really nice to see Todd the other day. Other than my secret got out. But that is ok :) It wasn't that bad of a secret right? hehe :) and Todd when you read this thanks for the good laughs that night!

We look forward to seeing you guys again soon and know that if you need anything even at the most random hours of the day I am open to help you 24/7 :)


Misty