Posts Tagged With: Subdural hematoma

Words I’d Rather Not Need to Know

Day three of Mom in the hospital.

It’s afternoon and she’s being moved out of ICU and into rehabilitation. The physical therapist had her up and walking a bit. Hooray!  Her toes and feet don’t want to move as easily as her legs do. Not sure what that means right now. She’s not complaining of pain and that’s good. Her blood pressure is stable. When they were moving her, my sister-in-law got her to laugh. I take that as one of the best signs yet.

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I love words. Usually.

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(Photo credit: TexasT’s)

Since Dad’s early morning phone call on Saturday I’ve had to become familiar with words I never wanted to have to know. Words like subdural and hematoma, intubate, edema, extubate, aphasia, expressive aphasia and swallow evaluation.

I’m sure there were other big latin words thrown around at the hospital, but I’m getting the edited, layman’s version through text messages and emails and phone calls.

So I’ve searched the internet for answers. Sometimes it’s scared me, sometimes it reassured me. Sometimes I didn’t know what to think.

Here are a few words I learned this week:

  • Hematoma- a collection of blood
  • Subdural Hematoma – In a subdural hematoma, blood collects between the layers of tissue that surround the brain. The outermost layer known as the dura. In a subdural hematoma, bleeding occurs between the dura and the next layer, the arachnoid. The bleeding in a subdural hematoma is under the skull and outside the brain, not in the brain itself. As blood accumulates, however, pressure on the brain increases. If not treated quickly can lead to a life-threatening occurrence.
  • Edema– swelling caused by fluid in the bodies tissues.
  • Intubate – to insert a tube into the larynx (helps with breathing)
  • Extubate -to remove a tube.
  • Aphasia is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language. It can make it hard for you to read, write, and say what you mean to say.
  • Expressive aphasia – you know what you want to say, but you have trouble saying or writing what you mean
  • Occupational therapist – helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support for those experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
  • Clinical Swallow evaluation – determines if a person is recovered sufficiently to eat and swallow food after an injury or intubation. Can also help a speech therapist in assessing a patient.

What does all that mean?

It means we almost lost Mom. She’s improving surprisingly quickly. There’s a long path of recovery ahead though. She still can only say a word or two at a time, and has a hard time finding those words. The right side of her vision is inattentive, or unaware, so that needs some work.  She’ll need occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Salt & Pepper

I joked last night that now Dad can get a whole story told without her interrupting him. But I wouldn’t count on that for too long. They usually both tell parts of a story together, one correcting the other, or filling in a detail, or adding something important. They are like Salt and Pepper. Dad without Mom is a puzzle with a piece missing, a recipe with a key ingredient left out.

I’m glad there are people out there that know all those latin words and medical terms and what to do about it all. It translates into a few very important words that I do understand.

Mother.

Father.

Family.

Life.

Health.

Love.

Categories: Family, Hope, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Little Relief Valve for Us All

 

Day two for Mom at the hospital.

 

Thanks to my siblings for keeping me up to date through phone calls, texts, photos and emails, it’s almost like being there. This afternoon she has been extubated, is moving her legs and arms and can speak one or two words at a time. All good signs after having suffered a subdural hematoma and the surgery to relieve the bleeding and pressure. We are cautiously very optimistic!

 

Phew!!!

 

So, for a little tension relief, I’ve looked up some jokes from Reader’s Digest to share with the family. We could all use a little laughter right now. Enjoy!

 

Hiccups

A fellow walked into a drugstore and headed to the back to speak to the pharmacist. “Do you have anything for hiccups?” he asked.
Without warning, the pharmacist reached over and gave the man a sharp smack on the shoulder. “Did that help?” he inquired.
”I don’t know,” the startled man replied. “I’ll have to ask my wife. She’s waiting in the car.”

Wrong Patient

 

Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet—who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital. After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.

 

On the way down I asked if his wife was meeting him. “I don’t know,” he said. “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”

 

Math Question

“If you had two dollars in one pocket and three dollars in the other pock-et,” the teacher asked a little boy in her class, “what would you have?”

“I’d have someone else’s pants,” the boy answered.

Second Grader Wisdom

 

During a science lesson, my sister-in-law picked up a magnet and 
said to her second-grade class, “My name begins with the letter M, and 
I pick things up. What am I?” A little boy answered, “You’re a mommy.” —Robert Boyer, Marion, Indiana

 

English Professor

A harried man runs into his physician’s office. “Doctor! Doctor! My wife’s in labor! But she keeps screaming, ‘Shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, can’t!’”

“Oh, that’s okay,” says the doctor. “She’s just having contractions.”

Jewelry

 

As I was admitted to the hospital prior to a procedure, the clerk asked for my wrist, saying, “I’m going to give you a bracelet.”

 

“Has it got rubies and diamonds?” I asked coyly.

 

“No,” he said. “But it costs just as much.”

 

Closing words:

 

Having Mom showing signs of improvement: priceless!

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Hope | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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