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April 2018

My Father's Recovery

The past two weeks

The past two weeks with my dad have been a little stressful. He had a really off week where he wasn’t being himself at all. He wasn’t smiling, making eye contact, and would not eat. The nurses, aids, and therapists noticed his change as well. At his rehab, an on-site neuropsychologist saw him and had a gut feeling he was on too much heavy medication.

While his ‘off’ week was happening, he was taken out of rehab a few times to get updated scans on his head + aorta.

We were so relieved to find out there was no new bleed in his brain, and the head scan came back clear. This really made us believe that it was his medicine throwing him off the whole time because there was no further brain damage.

Once his head scan came back, my dad had a visit with the Neurosurgeon at Stony Brook to review the scan with my mom + uncle. Overall, he said my dad had a massive stroke and took a really hard hit. He thought it was amazing that my dad is not on dialysis and that is a huge plus for him. He said multiple times to my mom that he will get better and everything is going in the right direction. As we have been told, it is a very slow process for recovery and there is always going to be setbacks along the way. Before leaving the room, he went up to my dad while he was laying in the stretcher and he said “Mr. Monaco you WILL get better” and my dad smiled at him.

My dad also had a visit with his vascular doctor. Prior to the scan, his vascular doctor thought there would be no change with the aneurysm on his Aorta. He said even if there was a change in size, there is NO way he would operate on my dad. The longer we can push off operating, the better. After reviewing the scan, the aneurysm on his Aorta is the same size, which is GOOD NEWS. This was the first time the vascular doctor was seeing my dad with his eyes open. When his doctor went to walk out of the office, he turned around, looked at my dad and said “Truly Amazing.”  Every doctor working on his case thinks it is a miracle he is alive.

Fast forward to the past week after a bunch of medicine changes, he has been much more himself. He is making eye contact again, starting to eat more, and smiling. I am super excited to see him this weekend. <3

 

Link below to help out my father’s recovery, anything helps.

https://www.gofundme.com/carmines-stroke-recovery

 

My Father's Recovery

Family + Friends

I can easily say the support of my dad’s family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors has made this so much more bearable for my mom, brother, and I. Once my dad can truly understand what happened, I think he will feel thankful and comforted by all of the support he has been given. Now that he is closer to home, we have family visiting him everyday. Almost every time someone walks into his room his face lights up!

All of the doctors say that family support plays a big role in a patients recovery. It gives them way more of a will to fight to get better.

This week my father will get some updated scans on his Aorta + Brain as well as a visit with a neurologist. We are all praying for some good news <3

 

My Father's Recovery

Little by little

This past week was such a rollercoaster with my dad. For a few days all of his numbers were off, which is extremely alarming. He was VERY tired and not alert. Eventually, they gave my dad an IV for some fluids, and the next day he was SO much better. After the IV he was the MOST alert we have ever seen him.

I keep in touch with my dad’s therapists every week to see how he is doing. Overall he is starting to talk more. Some words he says are clear, other words sound like gibberish. Either way, he is making progress in that area.

He is also starting to follow (some) commands now. Ex: We will ask him to grab a ball from our hand, and he will grab it! Before this, he would just stare at us.

In physical therapy he still needs 100% assistance to do everything. He is building up more of a tolerance and is leaning less to one side. He is making tiny improvements!

Over all, the therapists all think he is a lot more alert and understanding of his situation.

A lot of people ask me if my father knows what happened to him. I honestly… have no idea. We always tell him he got injured and is in a place to get better + recover, it’s hard to know if he fully understands. We do know that he is getting very frustrated. He is starting to make it clear he does not like his food and he is uncomfortable being in his wheelchair all the time. He actually has said a few times “this is bullshit.” If he can’t tell us how he feels, he makes super angry faces to show his frustration.

I hope as the weeks go on, he will be able to communicate more with us, and he can understand how far he has come and will continue to go.

If you want to help my family in his recovery process, there is a link below to donate. Anything helps and everything is appreciated more then you know!

https://www.gofundme.com/carmines-stroke-recovery

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