Interesting to note. Rich had throat cancer at stage IV. His survival rate after ‘cure’ was 4 to 5 years.
We left Dr. Witek’s office after our last follow up with him feeling that we’d beat that cancer, at least for now. Neither of us though about the survival rate really. Who wants to think about that after getting an ‘all clear’?
Let’s proceed to last year. Rich’s stroke. Apparently it was his second major stroke. A build up of TIA’s and silent strokes had done its damage. Surgical intervention saved him from the pure misery of being completely confined to a wheelchair or worse this last year.
The brain can only take so many injuries apparently. The brain controls the essential body functions. Think of the brain as a Hard Drive. Think of a stroke as damage to a sector and suddenly your computer won’t work properly anymore. It can’t pull up certain files, programs work but then crash unexpectedly.
This is what stroke and then dementia do to the brain. Pieces begin to miss or get sidestepped. Thoughts get lost like files get lost. The brain forgets to tell the heart and lungs to do certain things.
What the doctors won’t tell you when you are diagnosed with dementia, whether it is vascular, Alzheimers, or some other sort,…is that your life expectancy is drastically shortened to perhaps 3 years.
Another survival rate. Well now.
What year are we in?
I don’t really know.
How long do I have with him? Not long, I think. He sleeps all but about 6 hours a day. The bed is his pal and his enemy. He never likes to be far from it.
The OT/PT people want him to exercise. How is that going to be possible when he can’t push through the mental and physical fog.
I hope to find a little hope in our visit today with his PCP.