March 1st my Mom had an Ischemic Stroke. Her stoke affected her right side. She lost her ability to talk, to reason, to drive, her job and her independence all at once. Two weeks later my sister and I decided that it would be best if my Mom moved in with me.
We had a lot of difficulty finding a speech therapist for my Mom. It’s challenging to find a speech therapist who will work do outpatient work or who will work with adults. But we did manage to find Aspen Speech Therapy in Fort Collins. Kristi Kelly is amazing and I love the work she’s doing to make speech therapy available for all ages.
My Mom’s speech has improved rapidly since her stroke. However some things don’t seem to be coming back. She struggles with short term memory loss and she definitely has lost her personality. My Mom was a sharp witted woman and she cackled like a witch when she would laugh. I know that I need to mourn and adjust to the new normal. But taking care of my young family and my Mom doesn’t leave me much time for anything.
We went to a Neurologist, Joseph Schmitt, last week. He explained that my Mom has surpassed the time when she would make big improvements. He said that my Mom will continue to make small improvements until probably March 2017. I was very impressed with his thorough examination and his careful explanation of my Mom’s status.
Cognitively my Mom is scoring a 22/30. She is significantly weaker on her right side. Her gait is wide to help keep her balance and she doesn’t swing her right arm when she walks. Her vision is also significantly worse in her right eye. I don’t know if that’s from the stroke or if that’s from the Diabetic Retinopathy. Could be both.
My Mom has had type two Diabetes for the last 11 years. Because her blood sugars have been uncontrolled, it’s caused a lot of damage her eyes, toes and we think it’s also what caused her stroke.
More than likely my Mom will be declared permanently disabled and she will have to be taken care of for the rest of her life. My Mom is only 60 years old, but I feel like her diabetes and her stroke have decreased her life expectancy.
The saddest part for me is knowing the vibrant and funny woman that I called Mom is gone. Her personality has been washed away by her stroke and it isn’t coming back.
Even though this has been hard I have felt Heavenly Fathers love for me and for my Mom. I have been blessed to make it through the all the “not so great” news that we keep getting from various doctors. But I am grateful that Heavenly Father has put me in a position to take care of my Mom. He has prepared me to take on this difficult new challenge.
Please pray for me, for my Mom and for my family. We will continue to need your prayers in the years to come. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers on our behalf.