Keeping up to date

The visit from Matt went quite well. I had enough energy to make up for Stephen a bit. He is permanently in his powered chair, a challenge for us to manage, but sometimes it worked. Matt is still disconnected – I gather he will have training sessions.

He seemed a bit distressed later in the visit, and my attempts to reassure him did not really work. Stephen mentioned going to hospital emergency, I don’t know what Matt picked up, but he knows Stephen is unwell to some extent. However, he has also been a bit like this other times when we get back from a long trip, as though he has been holding on, and seeing us reminds him of ‘missing’. Whatever the reason, we can now offer regular visits and I hope he will soon feel more secure. Anyway, I enjoyed having him home very much.

This morning Stephen saw his GP regarding the results of the MRI. There appears to have been a small blockage or bleed, sounds like what they call a TIA. Not good. He got the referral to the cardiologist for tomorrow and John recommended he take the scans and report with him. The risk with AF is having a stroke – so it is related. Apparently the GP rang the radiologist who did the MRI – good follow up and makes up a bit for not taking the chest constriction, etc. perhaps seriously enough last week. He also said that the stress of the travel could have contributed to the problem.

Anyway, cardiologist tomorrow and neurologist 8th February, about 3 weeks away. Nothing more to do.

I will see Mum on Wednesday. She said that she doesn’t feel confident about driving to Mundaring, so I said I can take her shopping and drive her car so that it gets a run. We are concerned that she is forgetful, following the fall she had a few weeks ago. I feel rather torn. Jamie is visiting her more at the moment.

The photo was taken at Brighton Beach Saturday evening.

The reason why I say Stephen had a seizure on the 19th December is as follows:

He didn’t just collapse and become unconscious or semi conscious.

His whole body was jerking and writhing, his face was distorted, he was making a thrumming sound, quite loud. It went on for about 4 or 5 minutes, non-stop. It was terrible to watch. I have seen people have seizures before, and sometimes they are quite mild, the person just jerks a bit, then goes unconscious or sleeps. But this was a full what used to be called ‘grand mal’ seizure. If we had been out walking he would not only have fallen to the ground, he would have been jerking around uncontrollably and probably hurting himself even more than from the fall. It’s useless for anyone to try to hold someone in that state because you risk being injured by flying arms or legs.

After that time, he began to loll about, his muscles gradually relaxing, but still jerking strongly from time to time.

After about 20 minutes or so, he began to respond to people talking to him, but doesn’t remember any of that. It’s apparently normal to want to sleep, the body is absolutely tired out by what it has been through.

At the first hospital they tested for signs of a stroke or brain damage (testing reflexes, touching his nose, etc). This all checked out OK. By then he was conscious enough to answer some questions although he can’t remember being at that hospital at all.

At the second hospital they also tested him for signs of a stroke, again negative.

I demonstrated to the doctors what I had seen, they did not say ‘maybe it was a stroke’.

When the cardiologist saw us, he said that maybe a lack of oxygen in the brain triggered the seizure. They can be related events.

Stephen still has no signs of having had a stroke, apart from what they have found by doing an MRI. There is a recommendation to have another MRI in a little while.