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In hospital with grandma who had SAH


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Hi all. I just stumbled across this forum. My grandma complained of a headache, vomiting and stiff neck four days ago. I thought she had the flu. Two weeks prior, she got antibiotics for pneumonia and a fever. I thought it was crappy that she was getting the flu after just having pneumonia.


Once we got to the hospital and she couldn't tell the staff who the president was or what year we were in, I knew this was more than a flu. The doctor came over and asked her about dnr and who should make decisions on her behalf. That was pretty scary and shocking. They took her to ICU and she has been here since. They gave her anti seizure meds and antibiotics. We think she had a stroke 2 days ago.


They said she wouldn't be able to move her left arm again because of it but when they gave her the feeding tube, she was waving it about. She is 73. They found out that she has a staph infection and a blockage in her heart valve likely due to a build up of infection debris. She was out of it after the stroke and her pupils weren't dilating correctly but they are fine now. She's in a semi conscious state right now.


I am trying to make her comfortable by positioning the pillows. She has chronic neck and back pain and two nerve stimulators because she is allergic to opioids. She cant have an MRI because of the simulators under her skin. They said a chunk of the debris can break off and cause more strokes, or it can reduce with the antibiotics, or it might require surgery if she was in a position to go through surgery. Anyway, I'm shocked and trying to care for her as best I can but it kills me to see her in pain and not knowing how this will play out.


She's the toughest person I know with pioneer woman fortitude but she's up against a lot. I don't know what to do but take it breath by breath, moment by moment. I'm playing old country music for her and she was tapping her foot so that was nice for a while. She seems to be in pain again since they re-positioned her. I'm at a complete loss right now but trying to keep it together and be strong.


I guess I'm posting here because I wanted some insight into how others have dealt with similar situations. I have always been really close with her and my heart is aching but I know life will take it's course. Trying to do what I can to support her but I feel helpless :(

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Hello Sarah, and a warm welcome to BTG. So sorry to hear about what has happened to your grandma.


We do not provide medical advice, but you are in the company of members who have survived the trauma of SAH and NASAH, and also members who are carers like yourself ....all whose lives have been suddenly caught up in a life changing event over which they have had no control.


You already have sensed that feeling of helplessness and insecurity.


While your grandma`s trauma is unique to her...there are some general pointers which are common to all. I mention some which may help you in some way.


You will have had much communication with the medics.  Put your trust in them... they will do their utmost for grandma and keep you informed of any prognosis. 


Spend time at grandma`s side holding her hand and talking to her....assuring her of your support.  It is highly likely that she will hear and understand. It may well be that you are asked to stay in a waiting room and keep in mind that there will be other carers there who are also experiencing uncertainties about a loved one.  Sharing a few words with these people you have never met before can be so supportive for both..


Do you have other family and friends to share the caring load?  You need to have friends to share your own thoughts and fears. Don`t be afraid to cry .... releasing your own emotions is so important to keep you grounded. It is tough when you leave your grandma to get some sleep .... alone with your thoughts can be so difficult


Keeping yourself well rested and well fed. These can often be overlooked in the heat of these uncertain early days.


The body is an incredible thing and even at the brink of life.... there can be a resolve to fight to live...and grandma is fighting that fight every minute with your help. .


Please keep in touch with us and don`t hesitate to share your thoughts ad concerns on this site. You are in the company of members who not only have survived their own trauma, but now they are helping others in their challenging recoveries.






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Hi there


Warm welcome to the site.


mines started with flue like symptoms that re-occurred..


I love that thought pioneer woman fortitude (I'm a Ree Drummond watcher) 


Just her knowing you are there for her and supporting her. have a look at the site that'll give you some idea's talking about things, keeping the mind engaged is good...


hoping to hear more from you.  take care of yourself though its tough on you...

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Hi Sarah,

If she is a fighter then keep talking to her as my Sisters used to talk to me and sing, when I woke up I sang to a nurse after shunt was put in as I had Hydrocephalus.  


I do hope Nan gets better and talk as she might hear, I was with my Mum who wouldn't talk to me (Cuckoo land) !! Mum died in 1976 !!


Make sure she is comfy and do not give up on her, get rest also and I do hope she gets better xxxx Good luck Sarah 


Winb143 xxxx  

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