Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stroke Update (day 24)

Location: New Rockdale RV Park (el 225 ft); Mansfield, Louisiana

It has been 24 days since Brandon's second stroke. He was discharged from Pathways, the in-patient rehabilitation hospital, last Friday and everyone was glad he was home. The nearly two weeks he spent in Pathways was very beneficial and I give them a high recommendation. He was evaluated at the local out-patient rehabilitation center and begin therapy today. That therapy will consist of physical, occupational and speech. He continues to show improvement in all areas. His attitude towards his recovery remains positive and high. I would hope mine would be so too if I was in his situation, but I don't know for sure. He remains an inspiration in his courageous approach to a crappy deal.    

Last Sunday was a scary day. Brandon's blood pressure kept dropping into the very low range. After seeing the doctor on Monday, we learned that this happens sometimes after strokes in that the body will lower its blood pressure to compensate for the stroke. He has been off of one of his blood pressure pills since Monday but has since resumed a half dose this morning after his pressure seemed to have stabilized in the 150/90 range, which is the upper limit for his condition. Hopefully the half dose will do its job at lowering it just enough, but not too much. Brandon didn't go through this low pressure stuff with his first stroke so it was news to us and was scary. It seems to be resolved (fingers crossed). 

Along with his low pressure on Sunday, his blood sugar wanted to go low too. Over the 20+ years he has been a diabetic, he can generally tell his blood sugar reading prior to testing. The testing usually is just confirmation. However, after this stroke, that sense of knowing the readings seems to have been altered. It is almost as though he is going through a second "diabetic honeymoon". For those unfamiliar with that term, it is when a newly diagnosed diabetic has drastic swings in their blood sugar levels. This is due to the pancreas turning its insulin producing ability on and off at random times. It's trying to do it's job, but just can't. Only after it shuts down completely, can the patient know for sure that the only insulin in their body is the insulin they inject. His sugar level has been much more consistent over the last two days without any drastic low readings.

Another item of interest that we found out a while back about Brandon is that blood pressure machines give a false reading for his pressure. Thanks to a conscientious nurse at his stay in the hospital last year it was discovered that the machines give a reading that is too high by 10 points on both the upper and lower reading. This has been confirmed independently by two other hospitals and more recently by his doctors nurse. During his last doctor's visit, the blood pressure machine used at home was compared with the nurse's reading taken the old fashioned way with stethoscope and pressure dial. Again, approximately 10 points higher on the machine. The nurses said it happens to some people and it is rare. Something about the machine picking up a second false echo prior to the real one. All I know is that it has been confirmed by at least 6 to 8 different nurses in 3 different hospitals and doctors offices. So, if you are getting high readings from a blood pressure machine, ask for confirmation by the old fashioned method. I would bet it happens more often than people think.
Seeing double. That is Liberty in the background. The one in the foreground is a newer and cleaner cousin. I haven't met the owner yet, I think he is working the night shift at one of the plants. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.

  

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the update. It seems things are going fairly well and that is wonderful. Congratulations to Brandon.

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    1. Thanks Barney. I hope you are enjoying Rockport.

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  2. Certainly glad your son is progressing. I continue to follow your writings everyday but did not want to make comments in this period of family stress. Just desiring things continue to improve for you and you son. Martin

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    1. Thank you Martin. Don't hesitate to comment. The blog is a connection to my other life. I will be making posts about Brandon's improvement as well as other things. Take care.

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