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Doctor Slifkin will be 68 in November and until his aneurysm was head of the microbiology and viriolgy labs at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh PA. He went to college at Furman in South Carolina and got his masters degrees at UNC (we are huge tar heel fans) and a doctorate from Rutgers. He has published several books and numerous papers and was very well known in his field. His first love is the clarinet and he is a superb player and plays in bands and has his own woodwind quintet. My hope is that his fingers will recover enough for him to play the clarinet again. I just keep praying that he will make a 90% recovery. We are at 55% now physically but 100% mentally.
17 July 2001
My husband suffered a subarachnoid, aneurysm on March 14th 2001 and was operated on March 15. The doctor said it was a 5 bleed and he was not optimistic that day. However, the next day my husband spoke but than his breathing became erratic and they had to put him on a ventilator. they said they kept his blood pressure high to prevent spasms which would lead to strokes however on the fifth day he stroked. He also developed a rash to Dilantin and they did not note this in their computer. Finally after a week in intensive care they moved him to a step down unit. The ventilator was out and he had a trach.
About a week later he was moved to the neuro floor but could not talk and his left side was weak and barely moving. Than he developed a staph infection in the incision and they had to re-operate. Also they forgot that he was allergic to Dilatin and they gave it to him again with disastrous results. He looked like he had a bad sunburn and started to swell up and eventually peel and lose all his skin.
During this time he was also cathed. He was being fed through a 'J' tube. During this time he had very little physical therapy and his fingers curled and his shoulder froze. Finally about 7 weeks after the disaster, he was moved to a rehab center. He had to be admitted to the hospital twice for for a severe bladder infection and dehydration.
Today we went to see the neurosurgeon and he said that had he not had a stroke he would have made a remarkable recovery. The only thing attributable to the aneurysm is occasional double vision and some swallowing problems. However, the stroke is the problem. Now I need some help. His mind is fine and his speech is fairly clear when he slows down. However his left leg is very weak and he still cannot walk with a walker unless he has help. His bladder is lazy and the medicine they use makes him nauseous.
They want him to leave the rehab. If I bring him home he would need 24 hour care as he cannot do much since he cannot walk. They recommend a nursing home where he would get the needed physical therapy. My husband wants to come home but I do not think I can handle him. I need advice. Did anyone know of anyone who went to a nursing home and finally came home?
It is especially tragic since he is a brilliant scientist and worked in hospital all his life. Is there a chance he will ever walk? Any replies would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I am coming apart. My husband is 68. and was working when this happened.
Update: 12 Aug 2003
I am sorry to report that my dear husband Malcolm passed away Aug 8, 2003. He had an aneurysm on March 14, 2001 but did not die from that but rather from cancer of the esophagus. It could have been prevented had he had an endoscopy and taken Prilosac. Though he worked in a hospital he was wary of the medical profession. He came through the subarachnoid aneurysm with little damage but the stroke 4 days later was devastating as he was unable to walk. However, I believe that if he did not contract the cancer he would have made progress.
He lived long enough to see his beautiful granddaughter born in late July. He named her Emily and Emily it is. He was fairly conscious until the last 10 hours. As I said in my tribute to him I wrote a while back he was the bravest man I know. Most of his doctors except one thought he would never live past the year 2001. But only God knows those answers. I will keep all of you in my prayers.
Discussion, comments, or questions: Janet Slifkin
© Copyright 2001 Janet Slifkin
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