4 weeks in and struggling to make sense of what the outcome will be !

so a bit of why I'm on here , my father in law suffered a fall and I turn a very severe brain injury 4weeks ago along with a cardiac arrest, we were initially told there was no hope with a horrendous outcome if he woke with no speech sight or movement! Well two weeks ago he started to communicate and has movement down his right hand side and some vision he can't talk but has currently got a tracheotomy fitted , but can answer commands from the nurses and responds to basic questions, all of this is positive news however I'm scared for what's to come the doctors can offer no answers , how will he be ? What will he be able to do ? Will life ever be the same, well I know that it never will but am finding it hard to know what the future will hold with so much uncertainty, is it natural to be so confused ? So happy he is alive but so sad at what the future holds ? Trying so hard to be positive not only for my husband but for the rest of the family including my own children who care so much for there grandad who I'm to scared to let them see for fear of upsetting not just the children but there grandad . Reading people's posts and there stories is helpful and thank you to all who have shared there stories on here x

8 Replies

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  • Hi Kira1becca, what the doctors told you was true at the time, with brain injury no-one can tell what the outcome will be until the patient wakes, even then every brain injury and recovery is individual. It relies on the actual damage done but also on the amount of work put in by the patient to aid recovery.

    I was not expected to survive, or if I did I could be in a vegetative state. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am now nearly 5 years on and still finding I am improving, although very slowly now. Most of my recovery is now done.

    I can take care of myself, I go out, even travelling alone to London and Glasgow by train. I have worked very hard at recovery, I still do daily puzzles, I found jigsaws and paint by numbers helped with fine motor skills and making my brain order daily tasks etc.

    I still have issues with balance and fatigue but perseverance has brought back reading and writing skills, the rehab unit taught me to walk and care for myself again.

    I tried to remember just how a child learns and tackled my brain re-wiring in the same manner.

    Mostly things came back within the first 3 years. My rehab consultant explained that practice, practice, practice are required to give oneself the best possible outcome.

    I was 59 when the BI happened and I am now 64, looking forward to a good, if different from what I had planned, future.

    Take care and be positive, and have patience, it could be a long road.

    Janet x

  • Ahh Janet thank you so much for your words , and what you have been through and the out come you have had seem fantastic and I would be so happy if we get the same outcome, I know I need to be patient and it all takes time but some days that just seems a lifetime away and to see how he is each day at the minute makes it really hard to see him any different.

    also find the way he looks at us hard to deal with as he was always so independent and I wonder if he knows how things are ? And what's going through his mind , it's difficult but I'm looking at as much information as possible to try and get as much of him back as possible and as many ways to help him .

    Once again thank you

    Tara x

  • Hi again,

    I can only tell you of my experience.

    I was 3 weeks in a coma but during that times there were the odd occasions I would hear snatches of conversations around me, so it is very important to include your father in law I those conversations. It will help him, I was also told many times where I was and that I was fine to stop any panicky feelings that I may have as I became more aware.

    It is awful to become more aware of your surroundings and be unable to move much. I remember listening to a busy ward, once out of intensive care, as if I was dreaming.

    So, lots of reassurance from you all, an I pod to listen to his favourite music or talking books would be great. The nurses used to put mine on me whilst in the coma and my son had a recording of the Hobbit he had done for his children so played that for me. Also read to him, that way you aren't searching for what to say but your voice will help sooth him.

    Good luck, come back when you need to xxxx

    Janet

  • All you can do is be there for him. All brain injuries will show their effects in time. 22 years post brain injury and I'm still learning about myself, but those initial weeks and months were one enormous learning curve. But what I do know is that my family and friends carried me through that time and enabled me to adjust and accept my situation a whole lot quicker that had I been alone.

    Time, it's all it takes...

    My very best wishes and good luck to your family

    Andy

  • It takes time to recover even from a smaller brain injury to the one he suffered. Understanding some of the problems your father in law faces and being able to share this with your family might help everybody. My mum has post concussion syndrome from a mild brain injury. The book by Dr Diane helped me to understand some of what is going on. Dr Diane Roberts Stoler, 'Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury'. See drdiane.com and for when your father in law can cope with normal foods, the cook book Nourish Your Noggin by Tina M Sullivan, a health nutritionist whose son was treat by Dr Diane after suffering concussion.

    Get well soon to your father in law.

  • Dear Kira1becca

    I am a nurse and I have also experienced a brain injury recently, so I've seen the results of brain injuries from both sides of the fence. All I can tell you is that recovery from an acute brain injury takes time. Recovery is very much an individual thing. Some people make miraculous recoveries, some people are left with neurological deficits, most people are somewhere in between.... It would be impossible at this stage to say what your father in laws recovery will be like.He is showing some positive signs of improvement. He will have some neuro rehab when he is stable which might help him further. It sounds very much like he is in the acute stage of his brain injury, so at this stage it's just a waiting game. He needs your families support more than ever now and for you to be there for him and for you to encourage him. Even if he is not fully conscious he can probobly still hear you, so have a wee chat with him and tell him what's been happening....

  • My Mum was told I would be a vegetable if I ever reached consciousness. Well, 50 years on at almost 67 and a life of work [and misery at the tender years end] things are not as predicted.

    Its much a look and see environment ... hope all goes well.

  • Thanks so much for all your words of support and of encouragement and if bravery, I really do appreciate reading all your posts x

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