Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Letter From A Friend Who's Father Has Had A Stroke...

Dear Cindy Lee,
If I remember correctly, Paul was prescribed anti-depressants when he was irritable and quick-tempered. That was the first I'd heard about anti-depressants being used to calm someone, but it makes sense.
I ask because my dad has been pretty short-tempered with my mom since coming home from the hospital. I know many people are depressed after a stroke and are prescribed anti-depressants, so I think he should be on them, too, and I hope I'm remembering correctly that they may improve his temper.
That's what I wanted to ask about. Can anti-depressants also calm someones temper? I think he should be on them, but I thought I'd ask about your experience with them.
How goes your efforts to get a life again? After you played the song "The Heavy" for me, I went to your blog site and heard it again. That's a good version, but you have to hear what it sounds like played over the phone some day.

Hi Gary,
This is what I think:
When Paul was in the early stages of recovery from his brain injury (yeah, a stoke is a brain injury), even the first year, he would fly off the handle with anything and anybody. The brain becomes overwhelmed and hasn't gotten the new neurotransmitter routes in place yet and has to work harder, so the individual becomes irritable and irrational, overwhelmed. Your dad should be getting some out-patient rehab, they can talk to you about all this stuff.

There is a brain injury chart called the Rancho Los Amigos Chart which explains what you might expect of your dad, in the coming months...things to look for. You cant expect him to be rational, his brain isnt functioning properly. I had a caregiver at home some of the time, during these first few months, after bringing Paul home from the hospital...

They likely, won't prescribe your dad antidepressants until he lands in a recovery zone in a year or so...until then they will consider him still in recovery and thus moving through the various stages mentioned in the Los Amigos Chart...

That's my take on it alll....sorry you're going through all this..its tough stuff. And my two bits is that your mother should not be taking care of him any more...just my opinion. It was hard enough for me and I was many many years younger than her...clb

Cindy Lee,
Thanks so much for the information. It's all helpful. My mom does have help at home, so she's not just taking care of him herself. I also should say he's mostly been positive and cooperative, but sometimes he gets frustrated and depressed, and that's when he loses his temper.
And sure, you can use our conversation about my dad in your blog and even use my name.

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