Stroke

Interview 09

Female
Age at interview: 31

Brief outline: She had a stroke at the age of 30 due to a clot which possibly originated from a hole in her heart. The stroke could also have been caused by smoking. Her stroke caused visual memory and visual field defects. Medication' simvastatin (cholesterol), aspirin (anticoagulation).

Background: Is a married mother of 2. Was a production operator but is not working because of her stroke and young family. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Scottish.

Audio & video

This woman had her stroke at the age of 30, 4 months after the birth of her second child. Her stroke was hard to diagnose because she was so young and her symptoms were unusual. The doctors initially thought that she was suffering from migraine or a head injury. 

The stroke was due to a clot lodged in the visual areas of her brain. The clot could have possibly come from a small hole in her heart although this was not confirmed. She has been advised not to take the contraceptive pill since her stroke or to have more children as there is an increased risk of her having another stroke. 

Her symptoms, which are relatively rare following a stroke, include problems with visual memory, including memory for unfamiliar faces and problems with visual depth perception. She initially found it hard to recognise even familiar surroundings but now tends only to find difficulty in new places. One of the biggest challenges for her has been following directions and getting to places. With the help and encouragement of a community occupational therapist she was recently able to walk her daughter to school which she was really happy about.

Her friends and family have been supportive particularly her husband who took on a lot of responsibility for looking after their young family. Her friends sometimes forget that she has had a stroke but she does not mind as she sometimes thinks it is better to talk about normal things.

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