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By Genevieve Waples Smith R.N., M.A. (auth.)

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Extra resources for Care of the Patient with a Stroke: A Handbook for the Patient’s Family and the Nurse

Sample text

As the patient's walking improves, you should plan other outings for him. Take him along on short shopping trips and let him assist in choosing what you buy, whether it be groceries, or clothing for him, or things for the house. Having the patient along will slow you considerably, so be sure the trip is limited to the purchase of one or two items. When he is able to stay up later in the evenings, take him to a good movie once in a while. Avoid crowds, however, and the possibility of having to stand in line.

He becomes unconscious, his eyes roll up, and his body stiffens and straightens. This lasts about a minute. Then the convulsions begin with the arms and legs jerking, continuing for three or four minutes. During this stage the patient does not breathe and may become bluish from lack of oxygen. Following this, there is a complete relaxation. The breathing is deep and noisy, with frothing at the mouth due to an excess of mucus in the throat. At intervals the patient grinds his teeth. Because of the complete relaxation of all muscles, the bladder may empty itself involuntarily.

The dragging toe can be held straight by a right-angle ankle brace which the doctor will have made for the patient if it is needed. This is fastened to the patient's shoe. When the 26 EXPANDING PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES 27 foot muscles regain normal strength, it may be left off during gradually lengthened periods of time (Fig. 6). First, while standing, he should practice putting his weight on the affected leg while lifting the other foot slightly off the floor. When he feels confident the leg will hold him, he should lift his feet alternately.

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