Stroke

Interview 19

Male
Age at interview: 47

Brief outline: Stroke at 45 due to dissection of right carotid artery. Caused left paralysis, spasms & painful spasticity. Medication' perindopril (blood pressure) statin (cholesterol), aspirin (antiplatelet), citalopram (depression) clonazepam, tramadol (spasms/pain).

Background: Is a married father of 2 adult children and 2 stepchildren. He works as a senior psychiatric nurse trainer. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Welsh.

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This man had his stroke at the age of 45 he is now 47. He suffered a relatively rare condition known as a carotid dissection where the artery to the right side of his brain became blocked by a tear of the artery wall.

He spent 5 months in a rehabilitation hospital. Initially he was completely paralysed down the left hand side of his body including weakness in his facial muscles. He was unable to swallow properly and for a few weeks had to have liquidised food and thickened drinks. In hospital he received physiotherapy to help with mobility and occupational therapy to help with dressing and daily tasks. He felt this was a positive experience. Although he has been unable to walk he can now stand which has made it much easier for him to look after himself. He now uses a powered wheel chair which has been a great help for getting around. When he first went out in a wheelchair he felt quite vulnerable particularly in crowds.

The paralysis in his arm has lead to a painful condition known a 'shoulder sublaxation' where the weight of the arm causes the shoulder joint to separate. He has also has pain from a severe continuous muscle spasms in his leg. At the time of the interview he was undergoing a course of Botox injections to try and release the spasm in his leg.

Before the stroke he worked as psychiatric nurse. Although he was unable to return to the same job he now works part time as a training officer. He has been very motivated to get back to work and has found out about lots of ways to get his work space adapted.

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