Monday, August 29, 2011

googling the pons

Once again, can't say thank you enough for these postings, Dave. I woke up this morning wondering whether Dad was released yesterday; if so, what had actually been discovered at the hospital and what changes to protocol were being made; whether the logistics for getting Mom and Dad to doctor appointments were worked out...and when I checked the blog, all the info was there. I called and talked to both of them this morning. Mother sounds exhausted. In the end, after the Durans left, she was too tired to cook the family healing menu, and they had soup. But when she woke up this morning Dad was up, showered and starting to cook breakfast. There was some altercation over whether he should salt his eggs.
You'll undoubtedly hear all this when you see them today.
Anyway, I told Mom not to worry about salt and dietary restrictions too much right now, except for stuff like grapefruit that interacts directly with meds. Dad needs calories more than anything, and their diet isn't salt-heavy, anyway.
I tried to find something about strokes in the pons; not a lot. The most interesting info comes from a less than triple-A source—a UK-based net doctor board. So, to be taken with a grain of salt. Ha ha. It did have some interesting stuff, in quotes below. The only other interesting factoid I saw had to do with how afibrillation causes blood clots, which seemed relevant, but there wasn't much info beyond that statement.
And your rant is dead-on: If doctors would take the fucking time to explain what is going on, why they are prescribing what they do, we would all be healthier.

"I think pons stroke is a difficult term to find on a search because it often seems to be categorised within the more general descriptions of brainstem or vertebrobasilar stroke.

The pons is part of the brainstem. It's the lowest part of the brain that connects to the top end of the spinal cord. It's an important and densely packed area.

The pons contains many bundles of nerves that carry movement and sensory messages between the brain and the body.

It also acts as a junction box for all the nerves employed in coordinating movement and balance within the head, neck and body.

Because there are so many important structures within the brainstem, one small area of damage due to stroke can have wide-ranging consequences.

The exact symptoms depend on which biological 'electrical circuits' and junctions lose their blood supply.

This depends on which of the small blood vessels in the area (branches of the vertebrobasilar circulation) becomes blocked.

The symptoms can include:

  • difficulties with balance (ataxia)
  • dizziness due to vertigo
  • uncoordinated eye movements
  • problems with swallowing and articulating words
  • numbness
  • weakness in one half of the body.

It's not uncommon for people who've had this sort of stroke to feel sick (nauseous) as part of the loss of balance.

Recovery depends on the extent and severity of the initial stroke.

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