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Does the confusion get better with time or might this be the permanent damage?

Hi! My husband, 42, had a hemorrhagic stroke. He was on a ventilator, feeding tube, etc. He had a permanent shunt inserted into his brain which I guess would stay in there forever??

He is doing well now; still in a care facility. It seems as if he can do everything on his own physically. Cognitively we will probably only be able to determine later on?

I am anxious about when he comes home; I have a daughter of 9 and a baby of 17 months... I am worried that it might traumatize them even further.

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The important things are regular rests, regular schedule, get him to read to the children to improve his skills and sing songs... have someone who specializes in family adaptation (from the rehab centre) to work with your husband and you and your children As he eases into home life.

speech language pathologist

It's a good question, but I would ask many questions, as prognostically guessing is not fair.  Some things that factor in: How long ago was the stroke? What kind of stroke was it?  This is really important because hemorrhagic strokes and focal strokes have very different types of treatment.  Why was the shunt placed?  Was there hydrocephalus?  Was there swelling on the brain?  What physically and how physically independent are they?  Can your husband walk or  feed themselves?

What kind of confusion are we dealing with?  Is it pleasantly confused?  What stage of confusion?  I recommend a scale called Rancho Los Amigos - it's a 1 through 10 scale and is a reference tool we use to understand the step-like recovery in brain recovery.  This can help to determine what type of confusion your husband may present with.

That said, I'm a big believer in neuroplasticity.  I have witnessed the principles of neuroplasticity over the years.  No one should be ever told that you have one year and there's no more recovery after that.  Throw that out the window.  I work with individuals who are 17 years post-injury that are still making gains, rewiring, and relearning - they're making steady progress.  I have many questions but yes I would say prognosis would be deemed positive.


The confusion was very bad in the beginning. There's always a little bit here or there and I forget a lot but overall two other people they don't notice. Just to my immediate family. It does get better with time. It just takes a while and it won't ever be perfect but it will get better and be easier with time.