Irene Goerzen | CaringBridge

Irene Goerzen

First post: Apr 10, 2016 Latest post: Feb 28, 2017
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 she 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 has been undergoing daily physical therapy to improve her walking and rebuild her strength. Antibiotics have taken away any infection, and most of the swelling in her legs and feet has disappeared. However, she remains in the hospital because of worsening dementia, making it unsafe for her to return to assisted living at The Hamlets. Her case worker at Interior Health is waiting for a room to open up at a complex care facility in the area. So this means another move for Mom in the next couple of weeks.

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