Estate Planning Blog Articles

Estate & Business Planning Law Firm Serving the Providence & Cranston, RI Areas

What Should I Know About Stroke Recovery?

A stroke is a serious medical emergency that happens when blood flow is deficient to an area of the brain or bleeding in the brain. Sometimes, direct stroke intervention is necessary. This may include:

  • Blood thinners given intravenously (IV) for an ischemic stroke;
  • Direct injection of blood thinners into a blood clot for certain types of ischemic strokes;
  • Thrombectomy, where a thin tube (catheter) is threaded through blood vessels to a clot in the brain, and the clot is mechanically removed;
  • Surgical intervention for removal of blood for a hemorrhagic stroke; and
  • A craniotomy removes a small area of the skull to relieve severe edema (swelling).

VeryWell Health’s recent article, “Everything You Should Know About Stroke,” explains that close monitoring of neurological functioning, fluid and electrolyte concentration, blood pressure and blood glucose is needed in the first few days after a stroke. Brain damage from a stroke may sometimes cause a seizure, necessitating treatment with antiepileptic medication.

After stabilization, recovery can start, but note that recovery after a stroke is often gradual. Some people fully recover, but most have some impairment after a stroke.

Immediate medical care and consistent therapy can improve long-term outcomes. Patience throughout recovery is important because improvement doesn’t always adhere to a smooth and steady path.

Sometimes, complications can be prevented by taking proactive measures. Choking or pneumonia, possibly due to difficulty swallowing, is an especially concerning risk. Weakness and sensory changes can increase the chances of bedsores and blood clots. Weakness and vision changes may lead to falling after a stroke.

Rehabilitation should be customized to specific deficits that happen after a stroke. For example, many people require physical therapy to help with improving muscle control and strength. Speech and swallow therapy is crucial to avoid choking and aspiration pneumonia.

Recovery can frequently be slow over the next few weeks. For some, recovery continues for up to a year.

Reference: VeryWell Health (Feb. 27, 2023) “Everything You Should Know About Stroke”

What Is Hypertensive Chronic Kidney Disease and Glomerulonephritis?

Unlike an acute kidney injury (AKI), where the loss of kidney function may be reversible, chronic kidney disease is “progressive.” That means it gets worse over time. The damage to your kidneys causes scars and is permanent. Among the diseases that can cause CKD are diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis and polycystic kidney disease. This post looks at glomerulonephritis.

Very Well Health’s recent article, “Causes and Risk Factors of Chronic Kidney Disease,” explains that glomerulonephritis is a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the glomeruli and nephrons. Glomerulonephritis usually affects both kidneys and can happen alone or as part of another disease.

While it’s often hard to pinpoint what triggered the inflammatory response, the causes can be broadly broken down as follows:

  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a group of diseases that cause the selective scarring of glomeruli
  • Autoimmune disorders, which either damage the kidneys directly (IgA nephropathy or granulomatosis with polyangiitis) or trigger whole-body inflammation that indirectly damages the kidneys (such as with lupus); and
  • Inherited disorders like polycystic kidney disease, which causes the formation of cysts in the kidneys; Alport syndrome, which damages the blood vessels of the kidneys; or Goodpasture syndrome, which damages kidney membranes.

In some cases, the cause of glomerulonephritis is never found. There are also other, less common causes of CKD in adults and children. They include the following:

  • Heavy metal poisoning, including lead poisoning;
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome, in which ruptured red blood cells block renal filters (occurs exclusively in children);
  • Hepatitis B and hepatitis C, both of which are associated with glomerulonephritis and renal vascular inflammation;
  • Interstitial nephritis, inflammation of the kidney tubules often related to the long-term use of analgesics or antibiotics;
  • Pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection of the kidneys;
  • Prolonged urinary tract obstruction, including an enlarged prostate, kidney stones and certain cancers;
  • Recurrent kidney infections; and
  • Reflux nephropathy, the backing-up of urine into the bladder.

In addition to known causes, CKD can often be idiopathic, meaning the cause can’t be found.

Reference: Very Well Health (July 25, 2021) “Causes and Risk Factors of Chronic Kidney Disease”

How Do I Care for a Loved One with Arthritis?

Those with arthritis know how stiffness and pain can restrict the ability to move and function properly.

VeryWell Health’s recent article entitled, “Caring for Someone With Arthritis,” says there are some things that you can do (or keep in mind) when caring for someone with arthritis. These may include the following:

  • Understand their condition. Have a clear understanding of your loved one’s arthritis condition. This can help you see where they may need help. For example, suppose an individual has rheumatoid arthritis that affects their hand and upper extremity movement. In that case, they may need assistance opening bottles and jars or managing fine motor tasks, like handling medication.
  • Keep lines of communication open. Talking with your loved one about arthritis is a great way to understand how it impacts them. You should also share your feelings about caring for them with someone, since providing care and helping someone consistently may take an emotional toll on you.
  • Know when to help and when to stand back. Most people with arthritis want to remain as independent as possible. Therefore, be sure your loved one has the opportunity to be as functionally independent as possible and know that they will ask for assistance when needed.
  • Help manage medication. Sometimes managing arthritis means managing various medicines. If your parent has difficulty keeping drugs and dosages straight—or if they physically have difficulty handling medicine—be ready to assist.
  • Help with managing assistive devices. Some people with arthritis need assistive devices, like canes or walkers, to get around. Sometimes using these can be hard to use. You may help by learning how their assistive device should be used and how to operate it properly.
  • Encourage and help with exercise. Exercise has proven to be beneficial for many with arthritis. Movement helps keep joints lubricated and muscles strong, and exercise can help maintain or improve functional mobility.

Know that your family member may have times when your care and assistance are welcomed and when they want to do it alone. Stay flexible in your care and provide help when necessary and when it is welcomed.

Reference: VeryWell Health (May 29, 2022) “Caring for Someone With Arthritis”

Join Our eNewsletter

Recent Posts