Stroke

Interview 12

Female
Age at interview: 54

Brief outline: She had a stroke at the age of 48 due to a dissection of the left carotid artery. Her stroke caused aphasia and epilepsy. Medication' pravastatin (cholesterol), aspirin (antiplatelet), Epilim, Frisium and levetiracetam (epilepsy).

Background: Is recently divorced with no children. She is a medically retired teacher. Ethnic background/nationality' White/English.

Audio & video

This woman had a stroke at the age of 48. Her stroke was due to a condition known as a carotid dissection of the artery carrying blood to the left hand side of her brain. She now takes aspirin to prevent blood clots forming and pravastatin to reduce cholesterol. 

The main impact of the stroke has been speech problems known as aphasia. Initially her speech was very muddled and she could not make herself understood. Her speech has improved but she still has some problems with speaking and understanding people especially if they talk too quickly. She feels she did not get satisfactory help with recovering her speech whilst in hospital and did lots to help herself including reading simple children's books, copying people on the television and eventually reading from the bible. Her communication is much better now but when she did struggle to understand she found it helpful if people spoke slowly and she sometimes asked people to write things down.

Since the stroke she has suffered from epilepsy. She now takes medication which keeps it mainly under control. She has noticed some problems with her thinking since the stroke including problems with understanding money and problems with following recipes although these are much improved. She also experienced some auditory and visual hallucinations but has not found these too distressing. She is an artist and since her stroke feels that her painting has completely changed for the better. 

Since the stroke she has been unable to continue her job as a teacher. In the future she would like to work as a volunteer supporting other people who have had a stroke. She is a member of a number of support groups and has collected and read extensive information about stroke, aphasia and epilepsy. 

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