Irene Goerzen

First post: Apr 10, 2016 Latest post: Oct 31, 2018
Mom suffered a moderate stroke on Sunday, April 10, 2016, two weeks after her 85th birthday, and was admitted to Penticton Regional Hospital. Her main symptoms were speech that was initially unintelligible, weakness in her right arm, poor fine motor skills in her right hand, and memory issues. Her mobility was not severely affected, although she temporarily used a cane to walk. A CT scan of her brain showed that she had an isthemic stroke caused by a blood clot that hindered the flow of blood to the brain. Further tests showed that her heart was probably not involved in the stroke.

Within a few days of the stroke, Mom's speech and weakness were much improved, and on  April 13 she was transferred to the hospital's rehab section where she underwent daily therapy to improve her speech and strength. The rehab staff determined that she was well enough to go back home on April 21. Visiting nurses  then came to her house each morning to do  such things as help with medications and bathing.

Despite the extra help, it became too difficult for Mom to cope with day-to-day life, and living alone became too dangerous, so she moved to The Hamlets, an assisted living facility in Penticton, in mid-October, and she sold her house. Mom has been eating better and enjoying more social interaction, but she continues to struggle with dementia,  incontinence, a hiatal hernia (making eating painful), unsteadiness on her feet, and more recently swelling in her feet/lower legs.

The edema/cellulitis got so bad the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017,  that Mom was admitted to the hospital in Penticton.  It turns out the cellulitis in her right foot was related to a badly stubbed/fractured big toe that she suffered about a week earlier.  She was fitted with a special boot and underwent daily physical therapy to improve her walking and rebuild her strength. Antibiotics took away the infection, but she was kept in the hospital due to worsening dementia, unable to return to The Hamlets. Her case worker at Interior Health finally found a room at a complex care facility called Westview, the long-term care section of the Penticton  hospital. Harold & Linda Goerzen traveled to Penticton in March 2017 to move her to her new home. Physically, she is doing OK, but is still thin and has lost all bladder and bowel control. Her dementia is also worsening, but she still recognizes people and loves  to have visitors.

Mom's dementia has gradually worsened over time, but she is great at recognizing people and usually remembers names of friends and family members. She loves to have visitors!