First I want to say thanks to everyone who posts here. The stories of recovery kept me positive for my dad.
He was 72 and had a brain aneurysm with SAH. My mom found him in the AM with his CPAP he was not responsive and had vomited in his CPAP. EMS came and cleared his airways he had aspirated and there was no way to know how long he had been in that state. Sometime from the time he went to bed until my mom found him.
He vomited several more times in the ambulance and was taken to the hospital. The hospital did a scan and found the aneurysm but they were unable to operate on it so he was sent to the medical university. Once at the MU they did an EVT to drain the blood on his brain. This about 7 hours from the AM to the EVT. A Dr. came out and told us about the aneurysm and that they wanted to operate to attempt to coil it to prevent it from re-rupturing as they often do if nothing is done. The family agreed and the operation took place. It was completed about 6 PM. The operation went well and he was sent to NICU for recovery.
At this time he was on propofol, the head EVT, breathing machine and antibiotics for pneumonia and he had sepsis we were told. They were pushing us to do a trach from the start which we refused. He was responding to neuro tests crossing both arms over the heart line when pinched. This continued for 2 days. A lot of nasty fluid was coming out of his lungs.
The third day he opened his eyes on his own although he seemed confused and did not know who we were. We kept talking to him and writing him notes incase he was not hearing. He slept a lot over the next week and gradually seemed to remember us. He was responding a little better on the neuro he would sometimes give them a thumb up when asked and wiggle his toes. We would watch tv or listen to music when he was awake. I would put coke on a sponge and let him suck it off when nobody was looking. He seemed to like that best. He ran fevers so they brought a fan in to put on him. I would wipe his face and put damp towels on his head. He also had high sugar.
About day 7 he began to digress some. They decided to try and clamp the EVT which failed and so they opened it back up. He quit responding to the neuro exams. They kept pushing the trach and wanted to put in a shunt and a peg. My sister is a nurse and so she requested palliative care to come mediate for us.
After palliative care came in the Dr. told us that he would never have a full recovery. He would be nursing home bound the rest of life even if we did the trach, peg and shunt.
We decided that this was not the life our father wanted for himself so on day 14 we removed the breathing tube. He was then moved to comfort care, given morphine and anti-anxiety medication. He went to sleep and within the next 12 hours our father passed from us.
I'm thankful for the 14 days with my dad so that I could say good-bye and in his way I think he was telling us good-bye too.
I just wanted to share my story with you because I'm not a medical person but I learned a lot in these few weeks. Make sure the people you love have their medical directives in place and that they are clear what they want and don't want. If you feel you are not getting a good answer from the Dr. request palliative care. They really helped us get things sorted out and find our path forward.
God bless to you all.