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Petoonya

Can a two months post major stroke man who is unable to stand take a cruise?

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Have an in-law relative who is insisting he wants to go along on an Alaska cruise on NCL Bliss in May. He does fine with  a walker yet still unable to stand but for a few seconds. Can’t walk unassisted. He says the cruise gives him motivation to improve. A scooter would help but he refuses. I foresee too many instances where standing and walking unassisted for several seconds would be mandatory for doing some things. like disembarking, tendering and even boarding a plane.

What do you think? He is even defying his drs recommendation that he forget it.

Thanks.

Edited by Petoonya

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I would try to convince him to stay home with the following (since he won’t listen to his Dr):   Who is he taking with to carry him around the ship?  Obviously he doesn’t want a wheelchair, but even then, who will he be paying for, to take care of him?   What nurse is he bringing with to assist in his day to day activities, and getting from cabin to other parts of ship?   Also, he realizes that the ship is not capable of handling post stroke patients, and he may be taken off at any port if on-board Doctor says so.   Advising him that you or your loved ones will be busy and not able to attend to his needs, may slap some sense into him.   Sorry, but I think a solid no, with a stern look, and some tough love is what I would do.     You have enough on your plate already!     Let us know the outcome, I feel bad for you and the family member, but there are times that you just need to say no.   

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Is there an accessible cabin available. Because it sounds like he will need the disabled bathroom.

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welp is he prepared to be sent off the ship at a foreign port and expected to get home on his own time and dime because the cruise line kicks him off for being unable to  take care of himself?  they will NOT make any accommodations for him once on board outside of a few small ones involving muster.  is he prepared to foot the bill for whoever has to  leave the ship with him?  

 

oh and since his doctors say he shouldn't be going, any insurance he has will NOT pay out after the fact.  

 

the cabin has a ( fairly steep ) step up to the bathroom in all categories except an accessible one.  I was 6 weeks post hip replacement on my last cruise and even with the cane/walker it was  interesting  especially during rough seas.   they do NOT have any wheelchairs on board for him to borrow on day 2 if he suddenly decides that maybe he does need one after all.  

 

if the ship's doctor refuses him boarding ( and they can with no recourse)  then what?   again, ,insurance won't pay out  because he had been advised to not sail  in the first place.  what about the ill will  amongst the family who now have to adjust everything in order to  take care of him?  

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it sounds like he's still in those first few months where the brain is making some rapid changes to compensate for the damage it sustained, so his mobility might improve a lot in the next couple of months if he puts in the effort. I'm not sure about a plane, but I can't think of anywhere on the ship where he'd have to do without his walker. DH has been in a wheelchair full-time since his stroke and uses his scooter at all times on the ship.

 

The more significant issue may be endurance. DH's first cruise after his stroke was a year later, and the noise, brightness, people, and overall activity of a cruise ship all overstimulated him to an extent that he spent most of the cruise in bed. It's awesome that your in-law wants to use the cruise as motivation to work on his recovery, but I think he needs to not underestimate the effort he needs to be putting in NOW in order to have a reasonably successful cruise. Take him to Wal-Mart or another busy environment for a few hours and see how he fares. As much as we enjoy cruising, they can be exhausting, and a test run now might reveal a lot about how it might go for him.

 

If he's allowed to go, I'd request wheelchair assistance for embarkation and disembarkation, even if he's capable of walking that type of distance. If nothing else, it will help normalize the experience for the rest of the family. If he wants to practice walking long distances, he can walk around the decks once he's on board. 😉

 

Good luck!

 

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On 1/24/2020 at 8:48 AM, spookwife said:

welp is he prepared to be sent off the ship at a foreign port and expected to get home on his own time and dime because the cruise line kicks him off for being unable to  take care of himself?  they will NOT make any accommodations for him once on board outside of a few small ones involving muster.  is he prepared to foot the bill for whoever has to  leave the ship with him?  

 

oh and since his doctors say he shouldn't be going, any insurance he has will NOT pay out after the fact.  

 

the cabin has a ( fairly steep ) step up to the bathroom in all categories except an accessible one.  I was 6 weeks post hip replacement on my last cruise and even with the cane/walker it was  interesting  especially during rough seas.   they do NOT have any wheelchairs on board for him to borrow on day 2 if he suddenly decides that maybe he does need one after all.  

 

if the ship's doctor refuses him boarding ( and they can with no recourse)  then what?   again, ,insurance won't pay out  because he had been advised to not sail  in the first place.  what about the ill will  amongst the family who now have to adjust everything in order to  take care of him?  

 

THIS could be a very real problem... at the start or at any (ANY!) time during the cruise.

 

Why would he defy his physician's recommendations, when it is so obvious that he can NOT care for himself??

(Or is he indeed bringing along a private nurse/etc., who will be available 24/7?)

 

GC

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On 1/23/2020 at 1:31 PM, Petoonya said:

Have an in-law relative who is insisting he wants to go along on an Alaska cruise on NCL Bliss in May. He does fine with  a walker yet still unable to stand but for a few seconds. Can’t walk unassisted. He says the cruise gives him motivation to improve. A scooter would help but he refuses. I foresee too many instances where standing and walking unassisted for several seconds would be mandatory for doing some things. like disembarking, tendering and even boarding a plane.

What do you think? He is even defying his drs recommendation that he forget it.

Thanks.

I cannot walk unassisted .I cannot stand more than a few minutes.I convinced my wife to book a cruise,BIG MISTAKE.I was miserable on the cruise.I could not get off the ship in ports and could not get around the ship.

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On 1/23/2020 at 12:31 PM, Petoonya said:

Have an in-law relative who is insisting he wants to go along on an Alaska cruise on NCL Bliss in May. He does fine with  a walker yet still unable to stand but for a few seconds. Can’t walk unassisted. He says the cruise gives him motivation to improve. A scooter would help but he refuses. I foresee too many instances where standing and walking unassisted for several seconds would be mandatory for doing some things. like disembarking, tendering and even boarding a plane.

What do you think? He is even defying his drs recommendation that he forget it.

Thanks.

 

The fact that he BOTH (1) wants to decline advice not to go AND ALSO (2) wants to decline accommodations once on the ship, is telling. The presence of BOTH issues argues that this is a decision born of a psychological desire to convince himself that what has happened has not happened, and that what he is afraid of being true is not true.  As a psychological defense mechanism, his position is understandable.  But, understandable or not, his position argues that he is not truly wanting an honest assessment of what to do here.  Instead, his position is about an emotional reaction to having had a stroke.

 

If he is to go, it should be with maximal use of whatever accommodations as may be able to help -- the most that can be offered, not the least -- and only if, subject to those accommodations, his physicians agree.

 

- Joel

 

BTW, I am a neurologist

Edited by cl.klink

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If he can't stand for more than a few seconds, this is going to be difficult, both for him AND anyone who is supposed to assist.  He will need an HC cabin, so there is no step into the bathroom.  If the ship is rocking and rolling, due to weather, it's going to be even harder for someone to support him.  I would nix this idea until he's recuperated a bit, and learned how to handle his disability a bit.  For everyone's sake.

 

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Well, I did it and lived to tell the tale. In November 2018 I had a massive brainstem stroke. Ten days later I had another lesser event that paralyzed my face. And two weeks after that I fell and broke my leg. 
 

I ended up in inpatient rehab for months. I had a cruise scheduled for May 2019 and knew there was no way I could go. I couldn’t stand or walk and my dominant side was now weak. 
 

To my shock, my doctors encouraged me to go and wrote their approval in a letter. We booked a full accessible suite and did it. 
 

I had a 3 wheel scooter and flew with it to the port city. I also rented a manual chair for use in our suite. That was a waste of money as it was hard to maneuver in the bathroom. 
 

The supposedly accessible toilet was extremely low and the surrounding grab bars were wobbly, but I managed. Transferring was rough and I had accidents, but I brought extra towels and cleaner and took care of it. 
 

The scooter was fantastic for getting around the ship. Make this mandatory for him. We rented a scooter for my husband who normally used a walker. After the first day of pain and exhaustion, he gave in and rode the scooter everywhere. Loved it, on and off the ship. 
 

I managed my own needs without help. My husband has his own medical issues and cannot help me. It’s a sore spot for both of us. 
 

Pulling myself into bed was tricky as the bed was high. It would help to have a bed grab bar or bed cane to support him as he moves on and off. 
 

Using the ship’s accessible public restrooms was a nightmare. Most required tight turns to get in and out. My husband refused to come in with me or stand outside to guard the door. Several times when I used these restrooms I could not open the door to leave and had to yell into the hallway for a stranger to help. 
 

Your gentleman will need a buddy to help with simple things like this. A nurse would be overkill, but a friend or relative to help with transfers and other risky moves would be smart. 
 

We are cruising again at the end of this month. I still can’t walk. I can stand for maybe 2-3 seconds. I now use and am bringing an electric wheelchair. Husband is bringing his scooter and walker. It’s a brand new ship and should be more accessible than the last one. 
 

I’d suggest a few sessions with a physical therapist to help him get ready. And then hit him with a big dose of encouragement. Cruising is fun for all of us.  

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