Stroke

Interview 10

Female
Age at interview: 44

Brief outline: She had a stroke (aged 41) due to a clot from a hole in her heart which caused left-sided paralysis, numbness and central post stroke pain (CPSP). Medication' simvastatin (cholesterol), aspirin (antiplatelet), gabapentin, amitriptyline (CPSP).

Background: Is a divorced mother of 2. Was part qualified accounts person and a fitness instructor but is not working because of stroke. Ethnic background/nationality' White/English.

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This woman had her stroke at the age of 41. Her stroke was due to a clot from a hole in her heart which she had two operations to repair while she was in hospital. After she was diagnosed with the stroke she realised that two previous periods of illness, where she felt dizzy and had some visual symptoms and slurred speech, were probably mini strokes. 

Her stroke caused initial paralysis and numbness in her left arm and leg. Rehabilitation in hospital helped her recover the use of her arm and leg and she is now able to walk normally. However, she still has numbness in both her leg and arm. Her major problem now is severe central post stroke which is due to damage in part of her brain. She mainly feels the pain in her shoulder. 

She has been given medication to help combat the pain but find that she gets most help from having hot baths, doing regular physiotherapy and using relaxation techniques. She would like to go on a course to help her learn techniques to manage her pain and is always looking for new pain relieving treatments. She regularly receives newsletters from a couple of support groups to keep in touch with new developments.

One of her major concerns is to keep life as normal as possible for her two daughters but sometimes finds this difficult because the pain can take over. Her daughters are very supportive and helpful.

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