Stroke

Interview 02

Female
Age at interview: 29

Brief outline: She had a stroke after an operation to remove a malignant melanoma. The stroke caused right weakness of her arm and problems with speech. Medication' aspirin (antiplatelet).

Background: Is a married mother of 2 who works as a driving instructor. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Scottish.

Audio & video

This woman had a stroke due to a clot at the age of 28. The stroke occurred after an operation to remove a malignant melanoma on her arm and a gland in her shoulder.

The stroke was caused by a clot that stopped the flow of blood to the left hand side of her brain.

As the result of her stroke she had some weakness in her right arm and considerable weakness of the facial muscle of the right. As a result she initially could not talk or write with her right hand. She also experienced some problems with finding words due to damage to the speech areas of her brain.

In the hospital she had some physiotherapy to help with the strength in her arm. She also had speech therapy to help with the facial weakness and improve her speech. She said that it felt like relearning speech as a child. The speech therapy and physiotherapy was very helpful but she feels that it should have been available quicker. Her speech has improved dramatically but she has had to accept that it might not improve completely. 

She works as a driving instructor and was initially unable to drive after the stroke. She got back to driving fairly quickly but has struggled to get back to driving for work because of the problems with her speech. She returned to work part-time 7 weeks after the stroke. 4 months after the stroke, she was back to working normal hours, although it was a good 18 months/2 years before she felt confident in communicating with strangers. Nearly 4 years later, she has very occasional 'blips' with her speech and spelling but otherwise has made a full recovery.

Her friends and family have been very supportive particularly her Mum who looked after her children while she was still in hospital and dealt with telephone calls when she first came home. She was initially worried about how her children would react but they have been very good.

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