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Mom lives over seas - 2 strokes within 1 year.

by Lucia Aleixo
(Eastchester, NY)

Question: My mother is 79 years old, diagnosed by-polar over 30 years ago and lives in Portugal with my father. She has a healthy diet, has lost weight but is not active. She had a TIA last February and 11 months later her second TIA stroke. First stroke affected her speech and the second stroke affected her left arm with some short term memory loss and slow speech. Both times the stroke affected her mood (became more depressed). Since it is difficult for me to communicate with the doctors over seas, what should I be asking them to do for her and give me in order to ensure that my mother is getting the appropriate x-rays, tests, re-habilitation and the best care possible? In addition when she returns home should she try mild exercise?

Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated. I'm very worried for my mother's health and well being.

Lucia Aleixo

Answer: After having a stroke, it is important to follow up with a neurologist and also to see one's family physician on a regular basis to be monitored. Normally physicians will monitor things like blood pressure and blood work. After a patient has stabilized from a stroke and has their M.D.'s okay, it is usually not a problem to do exercise (assuming they don't have other medical complications that would limit their ability to exercise). If depression is an issue, it may be a good idea to do a consult with a neuro-psychologist or neuro-psychiatrist who specialize in working with emotional and personality disorders related to neurological problems.

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